Joel – Search & Rescue pilot AW139

Joel – Search & Rescue pilot AW139

My name is Joel Heyden.

I took my Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating Instructor, Type Rating Instructor and various type ratings at Northern Helicopters.

I started my initial training in America back in 2007 taking FAA licenses from PPL up to instructor rating. After working in America for a year I went back home to Sweden and started converting my licenses to EASA.
Once I was finished with my conversions I encountered the same problem most Pilots do after returning to Europe.  In a business where connections can be an integral part of job hunting I found myself struggling because all the connections I made with people in the business was In America. Where I was no longer aloud to work since my visa expired, and getting a work visa for a pilot in America is almost impossible.
After struggling to find work for a few years I saw that Northern Helicopters was looking for instructors so I decided to invest some more in an EASA instructor rating and once I was finished I landed my first job in Europe as an instructor at Northern Helicopters. Training and working for Northern Helicopters taught me a lot about REAL WORLD FLYING. Not the “always fair weather flying where you cancel if there is some clouds” I was used to in America. This was real flying where I learned to handle and adapt to the elements in a highly professional and safety oriented organization.
After a year working as a flight instructor I got the opportunity to help start up the Instrument Rating program at Northern Helicopters and work with that for about a year before I landed my absolute dream job. Flying Search And Rescue in Sweden. Thanks to the connections I made at Northern Helicopters, where some of the Instrument instructors also fly Search And Rescue, I got an Interview and after some testing I got the job.

Flying Search And Rescue is a very interesting and challenging task with ever-changing conditions and the missions are never the same. They can vary from medevac from ships far out at sea to airplanes in trouble over land. We work in a crew of 4 people. Captain, First officer, Winch operator and a Rescue swimmer. When on the job we have 15min ready time 24h 365days a year.

joelh1 joelh2 joelh3