Industry Spotlight: TEMSCO Helicopters

We recently had the chance to chat with Eric Eichner, chief pilot of TEMSCO helicopters in Alaska, about the state of the helicopter industry and what they are looking for in each candidate they interview. For those who don’t know, TEMSCO is an acronym for Timber, Exploration, Mining, Survey, Cargo, Operations.

TEMSCO was founded in 1958 in Ketchikan, Alaska. TEMSCO is considered one of the most successful helicopter companies in Alaska. The current fleet consists of MD500, ASTAR, Bell 212, and Bell 214B helicopters. The ASTAR fleet is what tour pilots will enter when they first come on board. New hires begin at TEMSCO as a tour pilot. The tour season is May thru early October, and training begins the last week of March. Current hiring requirements are 1000 hours of PIC Helicopters (due to Tour Operator Program of Safety requirements), 100 cross country, and 25 nigh cross country experience. Initial training is in Ketchikan and consists of FRASCA AS350 simulator and AS350 flight training and a part 135 check ride conducted with a company check airman. After training, you can be placed at one of three tour bases: Juneau, Skagway, or Denali. You can expect a 14 hour duty day and about 300-350 hours of flight time during the season.

Training Opportunities for High-performing Pilots

TEMSCO offers a unique opportunity for growth, as they are a multi-faceted company. High-performing pilots have possible training opportunities in part 133 sling training, MD500 Training, initial government carding, transition into Medium helicopters, and step-off opportunities in utility and fire fighting. This season (2022), TEMSCO is looking to bring on 26 tour pilots! This is quite the hiring wave and should be encouraging news to those in the industry. An average year at TEMSCO looks to bring on 15-20 new pilots, so this year is a high for hiring needs.

For more information about TEMSCO Helicopters’ hiring, email Eric Eichner.

Did you know Leading Edge has a job placement partnership with TEMSCO? Students who become instructors with Leading Edge, and maintain a professional performance throughout their career, will have access to our job placement partnerships with the following companies: Grand Canyon Helicopters, Pollux Aviation Alaska, Papillon Grand Canyon, TEMSCO, Pathfinder, Columbia Helicopters. Become part of our team today to have the best start at launching your professional career. Contact our admissions team at