Training School is Flying High

Coast couple carve out a niche with their helicopter training and charter service.

By Joanna Jones

Becker Helicopter Service, recent winner of a regional GIO Excellence Award for service, plans to expand overseas. Owned and operated by Mike and Jan Becker, the business has enjoyed enormous success since its inception two years ago. Based at the Sunshine Coast Airport, Becker Helicopter Service offers helicopter flight training along with tourism and charter flights.

It employs a full-time helicopter instructor, part-time office manager, and a part-time ground instructor. Jan and Mike Becker built something from nothing to create Becker Helicopter Service. “Mike had a vision and determination,” Jan said. They worked on the theory “if you bite off more than you can chew you better chew like hell”.

At only 35, Mike has had an impressive career in aviation. He has worked as a helicopter pilot, on a consultancy basis, for many multinational companies, including Shell Australia. He has clocked 7500 hours and his work has taken him to Papua New Guinea and the Australian outback. His speciality is high altitude training and mountain flying. The Beckers decided to move back to the Sunshine Coast when they planned to start a family. They recognised a void in the helicopter flight training field and created Becker Helicopter Service. Jan and Mike believe the next five years will be one of the most exciting times for helicopter operations.

“A lot of helicopter pilots from the Vietnam era are retiring,” she said. “This opens up a lot of opportunities worldwide for young people to be trained as pilots”. The Beckers plans include buying another helicopter to expand into overseas contracts as well as training Australian and international students.

We acknowledge the Sunshine Coast Daily for the article and Joanna Jones for writing it.

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