Got a spare #60,000 burning a hole in your pocket? How about spending your life with your head in the clouds?
Enterprise Editor Joanna Geary takes to the skies to talk to Helicentre Aviation owner, Chris Line, about life changing decisions and learning to fly...
An entrepreneur who sold his engineering businesses to become a helicopter pilot is now taking advantage of a wave of executives wanting to do the same.
Chris Line, aged 39, is the owner of Coventry airport-based Helicentre Aviation, which he founded in 1999 after selling his share in his engineering firms.
Now he trains business-owners and successful executives who have also been hooked on flying as a potential career change.
"We do have all sorts of people wanting to train, but we are increasingly seeing a type of individual that come to us," Mr Line said.
"They are usually successful business people, male, between 30 to 40 years old and have decided to switch careers. Very often it's been triggered by a big life change, such as a relationship break-up.
"We do tend to attract those who can afford training. Although finance can be arranged, helicopter training isn't cheap."
The average cost of a private helicopter pilot licence is around #14,000. To qualify for a commercial licence would cost an additional #26,000 and instructor training would be #20,000 on top. This gives a total cost of around #60,000 to train as an instructor.
"It's a life decision," Mr Line said.
"Some people may pay that for a new car or kitchen. I would personally prefer paying it for a professional qualification."
Helicentre Aviation owner, Chris Line, at the Helicentre based at Coventry Airport
According to Mr Line, it is also a qualification in demand.
"Traditionally, civilian helicopter pilots have been ex-military," said Mr Line.
"However, with smaller military budgets, the number of pilots has declined. Now the industry is beginning to rely on those with the money to train themselves."
According to Mr Line, there is a now a shortfall of helicopter pilots to work in search and rescue and for North Sea gas.
"Many people overlook helicopter pilot as a career," said Mr Line. "They tend to think planes when they think pilots. But a helicopter pilot working in the North Sea could expect to earn anywhere between #38,000 and #110,000."
Mr Line said he "fell into" running and owning transport engineering businesses after finishing three year's service as a marine.
At the age of 26, he began flying helicopters as a way of taking his mind off work.
He said: "My business partner has golf, but I didn't have anything that could help me take my mind off things.
"I decided to give helicopter flying a try and, for the first time, I wasn't distracted by work."
Finding himself hooked, Mr Line qualified for his private licence in just three months and began training as an instructor.
"At that time I started up a small business selling helicopter pleasure flights and trial lessons," Mr Line said.
"But after about two years, I made the decision to to make the switch."
Mr Line sold his share in the engineering business and founded Helicentre Aviation, with just #30,000.
"The outlay was small because I had already paid for my pilot licences," Mr Line said.
The company now leases eight helicopters worth a total of #2 million, employs eight people and currently turns over #1 million.
It runs training programmes throughout the year and last year passed 134 private pilot licenses and 34 instructor licences.
As well as training, Helicentre Aviation also offers chartered trips and has flown a number of well-known celebrities from the sporting, business and political worlds.
The company also provided a pilot for the filming of aerial shots for the BBC Midlands Today title sequence. Other clients include water authorities and automotive manufacturers.
As to the future, the company has launched a new website and Mr Line hopes to double the business's turnover in 2007. This will, in part, be helped by Helicentre Aviation's new site in East London, which Mr Line hopes will be able to take advantage of the 2012 Olympics.
"Ultimately, I would also like to see Helicentre Aviation in the North West too," he said.