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Most airlines or helicopter companies prefer pilots with at least two years of college-level education. For many companies, engineering degrees are becoming more and more of an expected requirement. However, experience can sometimes trump lack of education. To be eligible for FAA licensure and receive a helicopter rating, prospective pilots must accumulate at least 150 hour of total flight time.
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The Agusta-Westland AW119 Koala is an eight-seat utility helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine produced for the civil market. Introduced as the Agusta A119 Koala prior to the Agusta-Westland merger it is targeted at operators favoring lower running costs of a single-engine aircraft over redundancy of a twin.The A119 designation was first applied to a proposed 11-seat stretched version of the A109 in the 1970s but this was never actually built. The helicopter that was eventually to enter production was conceived in 1994 as Agusta was recovering from the financial woes that had nearly put the company out of business and the second of two prototypes took to the air in February the following year. The first prototype was used for static tests. Civil certification was originally anticipated in 1997 but that deadline was missed with Agusta citing personnel problems and a need to increase the performance of the aircraft to meet customer expectations.