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Looking for help and advice


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Hi my name is Chris Pickett; I am currently a serving solider in the British army and have been for nearly 12 years as part of the Army Air Corps.

I am fully Qualified as a driver signaller , holding my B,C, and C+E licences I also have an ADR licence with modules 1,3, in Tanks and out which im currently renewing, I also hold an nvq level 3 in transport of dangerous goods by road.

I am a class one signaller with an nvq level 3 in telecommunications.

I have extensive knowledge of the use of UHF/VHF/HF both radios and antennas.

I am an experienced ground crew man and refueler on lynx, gazelle, and bell 212 and have a basic skill on the AH 64, I am also a qualified helicopter handling instructor, landing point commander and rigger marshaller on lynx gazelle puma and Chinook.

I was a mission planning system administrator for 5 years, the computer system that allows the Apache mk1 to do what it does, I helped in the initial trials and formation of the operating procedures that now operate in the field army, and although I hold no official computer qualifications I have more than a working knowledge.

I was recently on my army pilot’s course but unfortunately had to withdraw 20 days from the end of a 2 year course due to family commitments.

My hours our approx 55 fixed wing (firefly) and 220 rotary (euro copter, squirrel ht 1 / 2).

I am an extremely hard worker, highly motivated, for which I have commendations for from the highest departments in the army. I am also friendly and approachable and have high levels of self confidence and initiative


My family is the single most important thing to me, and my wife can not live in England any longer due to health reasons so we a looking at emigrating to the USA mainly Florida hence the reason I am asking for advice.


I am looking for work in the Florida area hopefully flying but anything in the aviation industry,

I can supply a lot more detail and or submit a full C.V but im just trying to test the water and seek advice


Thank you in advance for you help



Chris Pickett

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Hi Chris,


Well first things first, it's not just as simple as moving to Florida to look for work with the whole immigration thing.


Now assuming you're legal to come here and work, you now will need to get all your FAA Pilot Certs from Private through Flight Instructor if you want to take the regular civilian route to Commercial Helicopter Pilot. I'm not sure if your British Army flight hours will transfer over so that you can put them towards your civilian pilot certificate. I know there is some process for the FAA recognizing flight hours and pilot licenses obtained in foreign countries, but that's all I know. If you can get credit for those hours you should be able to get all your certs in minimal time at a much reduced cost compared to a "regular Joe zero flight hours" becoming a pilot.


But at the end of the day it all depends on your immigrant status in the US. And unless you have some sort of trick up your sleeve the US unfortunately doesn't just hand out green cards to whoever wants them. In the event of you not having said trick up your sleeve, you should look into the likes of Australia, which has a pretty busy helicopter industry.


Hope this helps. Cheers,



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