Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

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jandakotflyer
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Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby jandakotflyer » Sun Aug 24 2014, 04:26

I am seeking some advice as to my employment prospects as a newly qualified CPL(H) looking for my first helicopter job.

I hold a CPL(A) with 235 hours and some charter/scenic flight experience (about 30 hours). I completed my CPL(H) in February this year and still only have 77 hours in helicopters (R22/R44).

Am I employable with only 77 hours helicopter time? Does my fixed wing experience make me any more employable as a helicopter pilot?

I have previously completed my ATPL(A) theory and IREX. Should I complete my ATPL(H) theory? Is there anything else that I should do to make myself more employable?

I intend to remain with my current employer until Jan 15. During this time I will continue to build my hours in the R22 until I have around 105 hours.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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JT
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby JT » Sun Aug 24 2014, 07:50

I started out a similar way and found that going into the competitive work force with 77 hours was tough.
However it also come down to your attitude, ability to learn and finding an operator who will give you that opportunity.
Generally in my experience, I have found if you posses the right attitude and develop a relationship with someone they will be more
than willing to give you a go.

Your fixed-wing time will not really help you in landing a helicopter job, however your total time means you have AERONAUTICAL experience and in some cases
that TOTAL TIME could help you with insurance. Basically having aeronautical experience will never work against you, total time is total time... but don't expect with 3000 hours fixed-wing and 100 hour helicopter to walk into a turbine heli job etc. The same goes for 3000 hours helicopter and 150 hours fixed-wing won't get you into an airline or turbine.

If you want to be successful in both sides of the industry you have to be prepared to spend a bit of time working your way up from the bottom in both sides, which may be harder and take longer but the rewards are there long term. Eg: Employment opportunities are doubled by having 100% of the Aviation industry available to you.

My advice is get some R44 time, minimum 10 hours for insurance.
Find an operator in your local area close to your current employment and introduce your self. Tell them you're keen to learn and build some experience, go in on your days off and learn as much about helicopters as you can. Alternatively seek employment with operators that operate dual fleets. If you want to be a helicopter pilot, then focus on flying helicopters as your primary and fixed-wing on the side.

For me, fixed-wing became my primary and helicopters the secondary. Purely because fixed-wing offered me an airline job and the chance to travel the world, while also being offered a nice pay packet. I also consider my self extremely lucky and fortunate to be dual rated. Helicopters will always be where my heart is!!!! :cool_slp: :cool_slp:

Maybe a helicopter operator will be interested in fixed-wing time when you have previous fixed-wing IFR experience and a IFR rating. Then transitioning to an IFR heli job will be A LOT easier.

Eg: If you're applying to Britow Helicopters for an off-shore job and turn up with the required minimums PLUS fixed-wing IFR experience and a rating. I would presume that any recruiter would value that IFR time as IFR is procedural & much the same for both aircraft & rotorcraft. This MIGHT make you more attractive than a CPL(H) pilot turning up with a bare IREX and no IFR experience. However as always, attitude and trainability play a big part.

My best advice.... ALWAYS BE HUMBLE.

Good luck and I'm sure you will be successful as you've already displayed you have the ability to ask for and take advice.

That's rare for a fixed-wing pilot!! :lol:
jandakotflyer
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby jandakotflyer » Mon Aug 25 2014, 07:03

JT thanks for your post. You have provided same excellent advice that will definetly help me with my job hunting.

I have 25 hours (10 PIC) in the R44, so that should put me in good stead for insurance. I am starting to touch base with local employers to see if I can start building some relationships. I am also going to start contacting some employers further afield. I am preparing myself to start from the bottom and work my way up.

I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead. Thanks again.
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby rodger rodger » Mon Aug 25 2014, 23:01

My best advice.... ALWAYS BE HUMBLE.


Well said, keep that attitude all the way through and you'll get there.
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby Iknowboats » Tue May 31 2016, 05:07

I don't want to put you off, but things are pretty average in the helicopter market at the moment, while fixed wing seems to be booming. IMO you'd probably be better off pursuing fixed wing while the going is good and revisiting rotary later down the track. The big offshore companies (Bristow, CHC) are letting people go with more likely to come, so there's a lot of experienced guys out there looking for jobs I'd wager.

Just my opinion. But hey, you never know, if the oil price rebounds it could be all go again.
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hand in pants
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby hand in pants » Thu Jun 2 2016, 05:57

IKB, I agree pretty much with what you say but I don't know how many experienced multi engine IFR off shore pilots would be going for the same jobs as jandacot is interested in.

The job market is flat, but its been flat before so it mostly a matter of patience and things will improve.
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby Iknowboats » Thu Jun 2 2016, 07:58

They won't be competing directly for entry level jobs, however they may have no choice but to go back to single engine work. This prevents guys from moving up the chain, which means less job opportunities for the OP. I would argue that the market is worse than flat, it's contracting and nobody knows when it will improve.

Fixed-wing on the other hand seems to be all go. I hear that Q'link has been cancelling flights due to pilot shortfalls. Jetstar are hiring. There have even been entry-level twin operators such as Hinterland actively advertising for guys, which is pretty rare. Lots of movement = much better chance of success.
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby Hueyman » Fri Jun 3 2016, 23:09

My advice is do as many R44 hours as possible unless your mustering your first chopper will be the 44.
Don't worry about ATPL till later as it won't be relevant till you have over 1200 hrs and 200 night.

And your first job will probably be on the ground getting flights every so often. Till you build that total and pic time.
charlie don't surf! (c:_ol
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby Saucepan » Sat Jun 4 2016, 20:01

The original post is almost 2 years old. Would be curious to know which way he/she way and what they're up to now. pop;
jandakotflyer
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby jandakotflyer » Sun Jun 5 2016, 06:41

Hi Saucepan,

A lot has changed for me since my original post.

I made a decision about 18 months ago, to remain with my employer at the time and continue to pay to build my hours while employed. I thought that I would have a better chance getting a helicopter job with a Flight Instructor Rating than a bare CPL(H).

I went on to complete my ATPL(H) theory while I had some spare time to do them. I thought that by the time I got my first job, I would be busy trying to stay on top of my flying rather then studying for ATPLs.

I have now built my hours up to 250 hours heli. I have also completed my initial turbine endorsement in a Jetranger and completed my sling endorsement while building these hours.

In the last two weeks, I have left my previous employer and have started my Instructor Rating Course. I'm now commencing the hunt for my first helicopter job as an Instructor somewhere. I know it is quite a tough job market at the moment but hopefully something will come up soon.

JF
Saucepan
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby Saucepan » Sun Jun 5 2016, 22:53

Thanks for the update JF and well done for sticking it out. I'm genuinely surprised I got a reply considering the time lapse.

Once you're qualified as a Grade 3 FI please drop me a PM. One of the biggest hurdles to employment is location, especially if you have a family. Are you willing to work away from Jandakot?
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Re: Advice for Very Low Hour Pilot

Postby nuggs » Mon Jun 6 2016, 02:13

hey jandakotflyer. I'm also thinking of doing my grade 3 instructor rating, who are you doing it with? also let me know how it goes looking for jobs after you finish, I would be interested!

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