New pilot

A place to have your say and ask your questions on anything in the Helicopter learning environment.
SD86
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New pilot

Postby SD86 » Sat Sep 30 2017, 08:56

Hi

I want to get into flight school and learn to fly helicopters as a career. The only problem is I am coming across very mixed advice. An experienced 3000 hour plus military and private pilot has told me your not too old but don't wait about, schools have said I am not to old (but they may just want me to spend the cash) and others saying your too old you will never make it as a career move. I am 31 years old. I realise the main issue will be getting the hours and experience up to gain employment. But my earlier years I could not afford to pay for flight lessons. Or know of any companies who train pilots? Any advice would be appreciated. Thankyou for reading.
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Rotorpilot
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Re: New pilot

Postby Rotorpilot » Sat Sep 30 2017, 12:55

Yeah it's a tough game. But if you love it go for it. Just know that unless you select a school with avenues or know someone who will help you, it'll make it 100 harder. Most people get jobs because of someone they know or the flight school knows. Seaworld I've heard is good for getting people in contact. And don't take it lightly, It's f n hard in this game. Unless you have an up. Or lots of money to support you, your partner, your future aspirations, more endorsements and more flight time. You will need $80k+ and that's just before you work for less than minimum wage or even $50 a day plus a bit of flight time. Or even worse charge you for flight time you do for the company. And belive me this happens more than you know.
Eyes wide open. Keep researching. Ask lots of questions and actually listen to the answers. Don't be blinded by the passion of flying. If that is the case then find a good paying job and fly for fun.
Lastly don't belive any employer until you are getting a payslip. good luck.
Last edited by Rotorpilot on Sat Sep 30 2017, 20:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Friendly Black Dog
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Re: New pilot

Postby Friendly Black Dog » Sat Sep 30 2017, 19:53

For what it's worth I started at 31...wish I'd started at 18 when I wanted to but there were no funds.

It's definitely not to late...be prepared to move round a bit and you'll be right.

FBD
Shaun Dickson
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Re: New pilot

Postby Shaun Dickson » Sat Sep 30 2017, 20:59

SD86,

'Dreams & dedication are a powerful combination'
- William Longgood.

Go for it! https://youtu.be/3yFiqdCjNMk
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SD86
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Re: New pilot

Postby SD86 » Sat Sep 30 2017, 22:37

Friendly Black Dog wrote:For what it's worth I started at 31...wish I'd started at 18 when I wanted to but there were no funds.

It's definitely not to late...be prepared to move round a bit and you'll be right.

FBD


That's good to know. And have you been employed as pilot since then? Earning a decent wage?
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Helicoil
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Re: New pilot

Postby Helicoil » Sat Sep 30 2017, 23:05

You're not too late - I started at 34 and now have close to 2900 hours :wink:
Pitchpull
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Re: New pilot

Postby Pitchpull » Sat Sep 30 2017, 23:44

I sent you a PM let me know if you got it.
Cheers.
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Yakking
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Re: New pilot

Postby Yakking » Sat Sep 30 2017, 23:55

31yrs is not too late (most seem to start in their late 20's to early 30's once they have saved the funds for their training).

But in order to be successful in this industry expect to make some sacrifices at some point in the first five years. They won't be small sacrifices either, it'll be something along the lines of a failed relationship, taking a large financial hit (i.e.; poor remuneration), or having to move/work to a remote location, leaving family and friends. This is the reality of the industry. There are exceptions to the rule, but the majority would have made some sort of sacrifice.
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Jamienz
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Re: New pilot

Postby Jamienz » Sun Oct 1 2017, 07:10

A lot depends on where you are at in life with regards to a family and finances.

If you are 31, single and have a bit of $$ behind you, and don't mind very little income for a fair while then its not a bad move. Tough to get any employment after your training, and not a lot of money to be made as a pilot but still potentially a satisfying career to be had at the end of it if you love flying and are prepared to give everything up for it.

If you are 31, married with children and/or don't have the full amount of $$ required to throw at it then I would say don't even think about it. Its too hard on family life to get into flying helicopters professionally. The reality is that its extremely unlikely that your first job will be where you/your family live, and moving them around the country (world?) for a low paying entry level, maybe not even flying position is not fair the wife and kids in my opinion. If you have to borrow money to do it then I would also advise against it. Starting out in helicopters massively in debt means that you will be financially hamstrung for a while yet. Earning enough money to live will be hard enough, let alone paying down debt. Hard to do as a young person happy to live on two minute noodles, but even harder to do if your standard has become reasonable like most 30 year olds...

If the conditions are right then go for it. If not, think very careful on the implications this line of work has on the rest of your life. I have seen a fair few people get into it without considering the true cost of becoming a helicopter pilot.

If you do have a family, or don't have the full cost sitting aside ready to throw at it, consider doing it for fun. Get a PPL and fly yourself and mates around on the weekends. You can still scratch the itch, call yourself a pilot at the bar and still have some semblance of a life at the end of it all...
Iknowboats
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Re: New pilot

Postby Iknowboats » Mon Oct 2 2017, 12:42

Go fixed wing - the industry is booming and there's a global pilot shortage. As much as I love helicopters, it's a declining industry IMO. And no, 31 is not too old at all.
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FerrariFlyer
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Re: New pilot

Postby FerrariFlyer » Mon Oct 2 2017, 18:27

Yakking wrote: But in order to be successful in this industry expect to make some sacrifices at some point in the first five years. They won't be small sacrifices either, it'll be something along the lines of a failed relationship, taking a large financial hit (i.e.; poor remuneration), or having to move/work to a remote location, leaving family and friends. This is the reality of the industry. There are exceptions to the rule, but the majority would have made some sort of sacrifice.


I’ll put my hand up for all of the above. Few succeed without ‘enduring’ the above hardships. For those who do make the sacrifice the rewards are great - and they vary according to what you want to do.

That said, the airlines are booming and will likely be a growth industry for quite some time. Perhaps consider a Trial Intro Flight aka TIF for both helicopters and fixed-wing.

Good luck with whatever decision you make. And ask as many questions as you can! It’s a considerable investment in your future whichever path you elect to take.
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muppet
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Re: New pilot

Postby muppet » Mon Oct 2 2017, 20:43

yep, the slab wing path is far easier. Better pay, better conditions, better travel, better destinations, far better and greater numbers of attractive women... the list is long. But all my mates who fly planes wish they had my job. My job is interesting, it is rewarding and it is challenging. (average money, very few women... sniff....) The road here was ridiculously difficult and out industry sucks by comparison. So work out what rocks your world, and then choose. You want a nice, stable, normal and well paid life, then go fly planes. if you want some good stories for the grand kids, and to go places and do things few get to do, then welcome aboard. But don't say we didn't warn you about the dangers of the dark side young padewan. $100 says you are back here in 10 years sounding like a grumpy old cynic, like the rest of us... he he

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