Flying in Seychelles

Flying in Seychelles

Joris Lemmens – EC120 helicopter pilot, flying in the Seychelles

Having flown Paragliders, Gliders, Ultralights and others, the time was right to move on to something more demanding.  Helicopters.

In 2009 I successfully completed my PPL training in Belgium, whereafter I left for sunny Hawaii for HourBuilding and my FAA Commercial Rating.  When I returned to Belgium I got into the Theoretical Part of the EASA training, soon to be followed by the practical conversion from my FAA CPL(H) to a EASA CPL(H), with Northern Helicopters.  They assisted me, improving my piloting skills, and got me through my first Turbine Rating, the EC120 Colibri.


Shortly thereafter, I got the opportunity to work for Paramount Helicopters, performing Pipeline Surveys, for numerous customers throughout Belgium.  Flying low and slow, we managed to get through the first 500hrs of flight time.

The beginning of 2013 brought some good news from further down south.  A professional operator in Seychelles was looking for new pilots, and being already rated on the EC120, I fitted the required profile.

Flying VVIP customers between the International Airport on Mahé, and the High End Resorts on the surrounding islands.  Island Scenic flights, Photo missions and the occasional Medical Evacuation are all part of the job.  The absence of weather and traffic radar, delayed international flights and unforeseen situations will make it pretty interesting at times, but teamwork between flight ops, ground ops and the pilots will get the job done.

Once off-duty, we’ll try to make the best of it.  Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking up and down the mountains, visiting the surrounding islands and the world heritage sites, …  It’s all been a wonderful experience !