Foreign low-hour pilot

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Wippes
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Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Wippes » Thu Mar 26 2015, 18:38

Hi all,
My name is Wim and I am planning to start my CPL(h) course in September. But before I do, I would like to have some more information about the job market in this field, especially in Australia. I am from Belgium and I know the job market here in Belgium is almost nihil and in the rest of Europe it is rather small as well, so I am thinking about starting my career in Australia after my education. After my education I would have approximately 200 flight hours on Robinson R22/R44 (I'm thinking 180hrs on R22 and 20 hrs R44) + CFI-license. Furthermore I have a bachelor-degree in electro-mechanics. My plan is to move to Australia for one year and get my face in front of some companies and try to get as many little beginner jobs as possible. I am hoping to have after this year around 1000 flight hours and being kind of sort of launched in the business (with being launched I mean being able to start looking for a fulltime job).

Is this plan that I have in my mind realistic or rather too optimistic and will companies never hire a foreign low-hour pilot?

Any advices, comments and recommendations about what to take in mind, where to go to find the most jobs, what to do and what not to do,..are very very welcome.

Wim
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Sat Mar 28 2015, 20:32

A) long term work rights/residence to be really considered with tiny percentage of exceptions.

B) 200hrs isn't needed for commercial in Oz as you probably know. don't go over 155TT (50hr solo/non dual) not to overspend on Oz when returning to Europe.

C) yes, very, very optimistic
D) without trying to detract you from having nice time in Oz, if you want greater chance of work visa/flying towards 1000TT, then it'd likely not be it in your situation.

E) do you plan to live in Belgium/Europe afterwards? If you have enough work experience, maybe spend some effort/cash on residence visa (subclass 189 or regional/state/company sponsored ones like 190, 186, 489 etc)

F) have viable back up plans, jobs/licensing/finances (any repayments, earnings, career to fall back or work in while getting hours up in possibly part time job)

G) Plan, research, don't trust slick marketing from schools or overly positive pitch. One can get lucky, but normally it's deep pockets/funding, hard work, suitable personality and still need luck/good timing.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Sun Mar 29 2015, 07:27

One more thing, if you are dead set on training in Oz. If you are under 31 and graduated less than 2yrs, you can file 476 visa thanks to engineering degree (from most recognised Unis)

Fairly cheap appl fee (cost of working hols, plus police check and Oz priced simple medical - incl European approved docs)

It is part of Aus GSM, skilled visa, though temporary. Designed to make it easier to settle and file for PR, which is why I did it. PM me if needing ideas/help. May need to make few posts before being able to message on B/S due to antispam policies.
ec145pilot
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ec145pilot » Mon Mar 30 2015, 19:22

Hi,

One BIG advice, because you have a degree, do not attempt training and invest money unless you secure a Permanent Residency visa! This IS the first step. Once you have a visa than at least you are training with a purpose.

Just my two cents...

As for Europe we know it is difficult and cyclic but over the last 2 years in between CHC, Bristow, Bond and NHV they have hired around 100 pilots (guess estimate but I work for one of them!), some with CPL IR and 200 hours...but I didn't say it was easy.

Commit yourself to Australia because it is the best place in the world, just do it in the right order if you don't want to be disappointed or broke.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Wippes » Mon Mar 30 2015, 22:12

Hi guys,
Thanks for the replies, but I think there is a little misunderstanding. I am planning to take my training here in Belgium and get an EASA- license, which I will convert into an Australian one. and then after I have my license I will come to australia to get my first hours as a commercial pilot. The reason I would like to do it this way is because I heard it is possible to convert a European license into an American or an Australian license, but the other way around would be really difficult. Also I have a very flexible job here that I could combine with the training.

For the visa, Belgium is an eligible country for the Australian working holiday visa, with that visa I have one year that I can work in australia. but ofcourse that would mean that I can't take a longterm job (read several years). I am not sure in howfar that is a problem?

After that year I won't go back to Belgium, but to another place where I can find a job or extend my stay in australia for some more time (depending on what job I have at that time and how things are working out). Worst case scenario I can go back to Belgium and get a job as an engineer but I really don't like that idea ;-) but it is a back up plan in case.

@ChicoCheco: I really appreciate that I can PM you for ideas, you can expect a message from me later this week :)

Wim
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Dauphin » Tue Mar 31 2015, 07:17

RTFQ! I'm pretty sure the OP is NOT considering training in Australia.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Tue Mar 31 2015, 15:56

Roger.
Did notice 'CFI' which is normally FAA thing unless talking about chief pilot. No other indication about EASA, FAA, etc.

Foreign as by origin or training or both? The OP doesn't make it clear.

There are better ways to burn so much cash (at the moment) as it's needed for EASA CPL/ME IR(H) even after some/most of the CPL training in US.

Yes. Sure they'd hire again in North sea, but would it be 1 or 3 years and what experience?
The MAIN reason for the hiring boom in UK was not just extra contracts for OGP, but also the civilian SAR (lateral movement of experienced crew, plus newbie copilot hiring). That will NOT happen at that scale.

With reduced ops and recent hires, even if there's no crew shedding, past performance isn't guarantee of future.

Not long ago there was a cadet of the big company, not given job after sponsored training for CPL. Can't recall if he did MEIR or not.

I can repeat. Sort the residence visa, then burn cash on Australia specific ratings/licence. If training in Oz, don't overdo it and leave hours to do Euro stuff.

Btw, from talking to past students and instructors from Hillsboro (now 'H aero academy') I noticed trend of hiring more of own grads, but they end up having less hours at the end of their stay/visa, instructing. So I'd neither count with having 1000hrs heli even if hired as FI.
Wippes
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Wippes » Wed Apr 1 2015, 18:31

Hello Guys,

I had posted a reply to clear up the situation as soon as I saw there was a misunderstanding. But it took a while because my post had to be approved by the mods since I am new. Anyway I saw this morning that my message was put in the conversation. But now for some reason it is deleted again.. (why?).

So my situation:
I am planning to do my CPL course here in Belgium, and after come to Australia to get my first hours. The reason why I want to do it that way is because I found out that it is fairly easy to transform an EASA- license into an American License or an Australian one, but the other way around would be difficult. Another reason is because I have here a very flexible job that I could combine with the training. And I still live at hotel mum, so moneywise it makes the most sense aswell ;-).

So after having my CPL license(EASA) I am thinking about transforming it into an Australian one and come to australia to get my first hours.

For the visa: Belgium is an eligible country for the Australian working holiday visa. This means that I can work in Australia for one year. only restriction is, I can't work for the same employer for more than 6 months. (I don't know if that is also valid if you work freelance). So my question is: are there short-term jobs available in the helicopter business in Australia? Or do I need to make sure that I can stay in one place for an X-amount of years in order to be able to find a job?

After that year I probably won't go back to Belgium, but I am not sure where I will go (It depends on how things are working out there and what opportunities will arise, if any). I can move everywhere where I can find a job.

Worst case scenario I can go back to Belgium and get a job as an engineer, I really don't like that idea, but it is a stable back-up plan.

So I hope I made it clear now, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Oh and one more thing: Would it be doable to find a job before comming to Australia? Of course I know that it is a lot better to get your face in front of the companies, but I would help alot if I could start jobhunting before the time starts ticking..

Wim
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Fri Apr 3 2015, 07:42

Do the R44 easa TR and then as many of the solo hours needed for CPL as you can, in R44. It will help. That extra spending will make difference in Australia and even for R44 scenic gigs in Europe. After you got bit more training/hours post-PPL and some R44 solo hours, give friends/family a ride to get feel for 4 POB R44.

Unlikely newbie employing companies would want you for flight duties on WHV. They invest some check out/standardisation time in crew and it's increased risk, so it's not in their interest to have revolving door more than expected (upgrading).
Which is why I mentioned 476 visa and ideally getting 189 visa granted through offshore application from Belgium. You still haven't given your engineering work experience. If you got year or three, as long as you can secure skills assessment and some extra English language points, you'd be at/around pass mark points. THEN when you arrive to Australia and do conversion, stand chance. Granted, it's not cheap, expect about 5-6K AUD for all the fees and charges.

With the costs in Belgium, you may consider doing some timebuilding on cheap (and great month or two holidays) in US, although the EUR strength now made it less attractive. Obviously, between PPL and CPL module.

If I were you, I'd try to get to 70hrs PIC and relevant XC time, flying towards commercial, as if you later somehow get to/decide doing the Euro IR(H), once it 'makes sense' in job market, you may get 'stuck' with tight budget/loan for the IR and needing extra 15-20hrs solo/PIC time on top. Just saying. Plan ahead what type/kind of hours ticks boxes for what and even if you don't need it NOW/soon, you may, later.

That would include doing basic 'sling'/ext load training, even if you are unlikely to need it, it's handy for later and won't add much extra if anything, while you are working on commercial and got hours to burn on training.

I still do not recommend going to Australia on short term work visa and basic licenses. As mentioned, there have been more experienced pilots on WHV knocking about asking for jobs, only to be turned back due to the visa, not skills/experience. Besides, too many fresh grads competing for limited casual (mostly R44 scenics) jobs in Oz.

If dead set on Oz, get the work experience needed for full residence application (or if you got it, start the 189 visa appl process, it takes a while)
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Fri Apr 3 2015, 07:51

Re-read your post.
Sounds like you're fresh Uni graduate. So the 476 visa is doable/reasonably fast to get, as long as you are applying within restrictions/annual window/2yrs from graduation and still under 31yo. It's meant for quick entry on job market and getting skilled job, sort the skills assessment and Oz job/experience to file the PR appl.

NO. Nobody is going to offer a job to someone far away, on planned short visa and without being job ready, checked out on machine/seen in person. This isn't engineering desk job. Casual jobs open when there's need/demand/vacated spot. They aren't ongoing. Spot opens, if there aren't suitable known quantity pilots locally or 'friends of staff', then company pops the offer here or AFAP and within days they got 20-50 resumes of people ready to show up for check flight. Where do you fit in Belgium without ASIC, DG, Aus medical, CPL issued, in this scenario? Be realistic.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Skeeter » Sat Apr 4 2015, 15:17

Come to Australia on a WHV and enjoy the country, its worth it!
You can even extend it for another year under certain circumstances.
However, I wouldn't count on a job as a helicopter pilot.

I converted my EASA licence some time ago and have a PR as well.
After 2 years of networking (yeah.. not one of my best skills I have to admitt) and working in every job I could get I returned to Europe.
2 weeks later I had a job lined up flying medium twins offshore. The job market in Europe is not so bad after all!
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Wippes » Sat Apr 4 2015, 22:43

The 476-Visa looks interesting. To do some extra stuff while hour building sounds like a good idea.
1 question concerning that: When you fly with your instructor to get for example a VFR night rating, can you log that time as PIC time?

@skeeter: I have sent you a PM with a few questions about your Australian adventure.

Wim
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby wheatbix » Sun Apr 5 2015, 00:32

Wippes wrote:1 question concerning that: When you fly with your instructor to get for example a VFR night rating, can you log that time as PIC time?
Wim


The Australian system of logging time is different to that of the FAA (and by the sounds of it EASA). When flying with an instructor, it's normally logged as dual (which cannot be counted as PIC time). There exception to the rule is where a commercial pilot and above come sometimes log ICUS (in command under supervision) if flying with the instructor for the purposes of flight reviews, check rides or line checks.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Sun Apr 5 2015, 08:54

Australia has slightly 'wider' P/ICUS definition, different to FAA, but the logging is pretty much like EASA - main dual vs PIC differences.

One can do NVFR between private and commercial, although when people do 100-ish VFR CPL, there is less time with instructor to get proficient etc and it has little/no scope for most starter jobs anyway. There is more emphasis on instrument/navaid areas (obviously due safety) unlike USA, but now similar to Europe if thinking PPL NVFR. Part of the NVFR in Australia can be done in sim, too, but not as many companies around have on worth the cost (vs flight time) or available in first place.

476 costs 350-380aud 1 person application, but it's part of GSM system, so needs police check and medical (approved docs, Oz pricing set). Engineering degree grads ONLY.
Need to file it online within 2 years of graduation & before 31st bday, the grant/issue can be later on, about half year processing give and take. Police check/PCC and medical can be supplied later once requested, giving possibly up to 16 months to enter Aus after initial appl, if 'busy' outside, the enter by date is tied to be within 12 months of the medical date, pretty much. NO restrictions on anything/work. If young, can do the Working Hols afterwards, too.

If you want to 'save' ie doing most of your possible training splitting it, if you did PPL back home, soon as you got it, work on ATPL/CPL easa theory, finishing before going to Oz preferably due to the certificate validity and 18mth window to pass exams, then get more solo time in line with EASA while working on Aussie modular CPL (125now or 150hr later), get to know Oz and aviation, still need 155hr at least to start the 30hr module in Europe. With night and most/all instrument hrs minima out of way, can focus on VFR maneuvres in Europe.

You could do this on WHV, getting Oz licenses while doing some casual jobs, then return on 476 later if you wish so. It'd be more long haul travel, but you'd not regret the time saving. NVFR would cost some time in air extra even if night rated elsewhere (Aus specifics and flight test, although won't be essential to have), 'low level' rating, any brush up/training leading to 2-3hr flight test.

Obviously, due to your graduation date, it may not work. The 476 is 'offshore', ie can file in Oz, but the admin can issue only if you physically are outside Oz. They'd notify you/request travel outside dates. It could be Indonesia/Malaysia short holidays, too. So if not rushing to Europe to get CPL done, if not already, can do WHV and apply for 476 while eligible, but granted later on.

Up to you how you plan, manage and work out what you'd do and when. This outline saves you some research on immi.gov.au and elsewhere. I've 'done' both 417 and 476 and expect to have full PR by around April next year, possibly earlier (190) but not as primary applicant - too many qualifications, not enough 3+ years experience (trades) or more for engineering.

If serious about pilot job in Oz, again, get enough fulltime experience in engineering, maybe file for 476 then/or 189/190 directly. The 476 doesn't need 'migration skills assessment' which may have some gotchas and delays, IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/OET/CAE minimum score and the Oz engineering exp can help with skills assessment, too.

You'd not get more advice from MARA agent who'd charge you for it, haha.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Zebt » Thu Apr 9 2015, 05:08

Wippes wrote:The 476-Visa looks interesting. To do some extra stuff while hour building sounds like a good idea.
1 question concerning that: When you fly with your instructor to get for example a VFR night rating, can you log that time as PIC time?

@skeeter: I have sent you a PM with a few questions about your Australian adventure.

Wim


The Working Holiday Visa only allows you to work for an employer for 6 months maximum and not in all jobs. Check first www.immi.gov.au
For more information on assessing your qualifications go to www.engineersaustralia.com they are the official immigration accreditation body for engineering qualifications.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby ChicoCheco » Thu Apr 9 2015, 07:20

Thanks, but if you actually LOOK at subclass codes, you'd find the workING holidays (most of countries, not 'work & holiday' with stricter paperwork and own subclass) no limitation as to shuffling it before or after WHV, as long as application/eligibility and 'enter by' are complied with.

YOU WILL see that 476 is completely different kettle of fish. 18 months no restrictions from day 1. Part of skilled migration, NOT working hols, subclass 417. Does NOT even need skills assessment through EA, which is only essential for full PR or provisional residence (regional). That isn't to say hey may not need registration to 'practice' the job, but NoT right away for sorting 476 visa.

Do I have to remind that I do know what I am talking about? I have done the paperwork and have had both, 476 in effect. 10hrs ago also started the online TRN to get medical referral letters for the full residence.

I don't know OP's exact circumdstances, graduation date, training plans start, age, timeframe to go to Oz, so I kept my info/advice covering various bases/eventualities.
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Re: Foreign low-hour pilot

Postby Zebt » Thu Apr 9 2015, 08:44

ChicoCheco wrote:Thanks, but if you actually LOOK at subclass codes, you'd find the workING holidays (most of countries, not 'work & holiday' with stricter paperwork and own subclass) no limitation as to shuffling it before or after WHV, as long as application/eligibility and 'enter by' are complied with.

YOU WILL see that 476 is completely different kettle of fish. 18 months no restrictions from day 1. Part of skilled migration, NOT working hols, subclass 417. Does NOT even need skills assessment through EA, which is only essential for full PR or provisional residence (regional). That isn't to say hey may not need registration to 'practice' the job, but NoT right away for sorting 476 visa.

Do I have to remind that I do know what I am talking about? I have done the paperwork and have had both, 476 in effect. 10hrs ago also started the online TRN to get medical referral letters for the full residence.

I don't know OP's exact circumdstances, graduation date, training plans start, age, timeframe to go to Oz, so I kept my info/advice covering various bases/eventualities.


I will take your angry CAPITALS in good faith and my comment was not related at all to the 476. No you don't have to remind me that you know what you are talking about however I too know what i'm talking about and was merely mentioning the WHV restrictions so that if Wippes was to go down this route he would be prepared. If he alternatively decides to go down the 457 route he will need his qualifications assessed by Engineers Australia. If he takes other routes then I'm sure he will have plenty of advice.

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