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Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Wed May 23 2018, 05:25
by MrPointment

I've just recently obtained my Commercial Helicopter licence, with a low level rating, and am shortly to embark on a road trip to search for my first gig. I have about 135 hours total, 40 of them in an R44, the rest in an R22, and I'm rated on both. I started my flight training in the UK, then moved to Australia to complete it as it made more sense to be trained in the country in which I intended to search for work.
I'm currently in Cairns but I'm willing to relocate anywhere in Australia. I am, however, English. Meaning I would require any potential employer to nominate (not sponsor) me for a 187 Regional Migration visa. I understand this would represent a bit of paperwork, and I would do as much as I could to mitigate any extra effort required in employing me. On the other hand, the visa situation can also work in an employer's favour as I would be bound to that employer as a condition of my visa for minimum 2, more likely 3 years.
I know that this is going to be a bit of a long-shot, but any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Wed May 23 2018, 08:28
by Helicoil
Best of luck for your endeavours Neil - fly safe. :wink:


Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Wed May 23 2018, 12:37
by MrPointment
Thanks, H.

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 00:34
by ChicoCheco
Quite long shot indeed.

Do PR through skilled work unless partner visa. Assume you can't get WHV to help ease into a job.

If you had double those hours and FI ticket, very maybe out West (ern Oz).

I recall 1000hrs guy with sling/turbine hours on WHV and asking here for pointers and some employer responded, not backpacker visa. And he was competitive for early turbine jobs.

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 01:37
by Ala rotante
From my personal experience:
Do the drive as you are playing, get an idea where is likely to get a casual/ part time ground crew and be happy if they give you a ferry some time.
See the list of jobs that can apply for 457 and choose the one you are good at it.
Get the 3/4 years for the pr and in the meantime build your experience and hours and accept any casual not pay flying job.
Hard working people are always be reworded here in AU, it work for me!
But if you get lucky I’m happy for you mate!
Best of luck ( apologies for my English is my third language)

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 12:31
by ChicoCheco
It appears doable on the paper (RSMS or TSS/ex457 and 489) although 489 is state/NT specific and most don't do it and NT seems no-go if you are NOT grad or past work exp there. Even then the recent graduate may not have applied to your course length/type training, as there may be other conditions.
BUT, it's not favourable odds at all.

Do you know that the RSMS nomination requires paperwork on employer side, similar to 457/TSS and again, unlikely for yourself at that experience. Every month there are maybe half dozen to dozen CPL grads across Australia, many locals and not all arranged mustering jobs etc. Obviously ballpark numbers and varies across the year.

Sponsored vs nomination, unless you talk 190 or 489 visa, which are bonus points from state/NT for independent applications, company based work or permanent visa aren't same.

There were some Brits sponsored for visa then sorting themselves residence I believe, but they were instructors with some experience. Others, if so probably plenty more experienced.

Good thing is, when you get back to Europe, doing rest of PIC hrs for EASA, wouldn't rack up too many hours above minima, for CPL module or shorter conversion. Would spend more hrs on training the other way with at least 185hrs for Euro heli CPL as you surely know.
With your 22/44 hours, I recommend some Cabri hours also to be more versatile for say FI jobs later.

Minimum 15hrs on type coming from Robbies wouldn't be enough to feel at home instructing them. At least hasn't been my experience.
Not telling you to do stuff but have more realistic alternative plans.

Out of curiosity, how exactly do you intend to "make it worthwhile" other than getting paid less than already not lot of wonga, for the potential RSMS paperwork?

Rsms applicants wait 1.5-2 years or more to get visa approved, recent figures i checked. Not just govt estimate but people filing mid to late 2016 still waiting, due to DHA staffing and various visa changes. One should get work rights on bridge visa for PR class visa application even from tourist if filed onshore. Assuming you start pilot job with said company. For elsewhere bridge visa may not be enough of guarantee of continuous employment.

One can get travel condition on bridge visa, but up to 3 months offshore I believe max at a time.

Sorry, no upbeat info on the topic you put on table. I am neither for or against you succeeding. Just long shot. Job market and the added paperwork/cost/labour testing don't justify it to employers hiring low timers.

You cannot speculatively file residence class visa without EOI they first look at or the company nomination in lieu. Just to have 6-24 months of work rights.

Do you think companies make such commitment to newbie, if even able to do RSMS paperwork? That maybe you would be on staff for at least two years for application taking right now two years to approve? Sure the timeline should get back down to half year to year, but still.

I've become familiar with all sorts of oz visa myself directly or through colleagues in past jobs, the 457 also. Been on/off in oz since 2013 and now eventually not on temp visa. I have watched the space and other job skills the visa mentioned, so just food for thought and you are encouraged to check all statements yourself online. Migration boards etc.

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 13:07
by MrPointment
Well, if I'm asking too much of potential employers here in Australia, I'm sure I'll find that out as I go. If RSMS visas were the colossal hassle for employers to obtain as you suggest, there wouldn't be as many thousands of them every year as there are. If at the end of my road trip I've got nothing to show for it, I'll have to start looking elsewhere, but for now I'm going to make the best go of it here in Australia as I can.
Over the course of the last year my FTS has had several commercial students graduate and more or less walk straight into entry level jobs, every one of them had fewer R44 hours than me, or even R22 hours only. So there are the beginner jobs out there, I just have to find them. Granted, the visa situation puts me on the back foot a little bit, but I don't think it's necessarily an insurmountable issue.
Time will tell I guess...


Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 22:53
by MrPointment
Thanks Ala

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 23:17
by MeandI

Good luck with the job hunt. You said that plenty of guys from your FTS got flying gigs with less hours than you but I presume they have the right to work in Australia. It’s not unheard of for a pilot to get sponsored for a visa but it is a very very slim chance in today’s current climate. Certainly do the hunt for a job but have a good back up plan.

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 23:28
by MrPointment
Cheers MeandI.

Yes the others were Aussies with the right to work, straight out of the gate. I know that I'm going to have to try harder than those guys, which I'm prepared to do. I knew before I came here that in order to succeed I was going to have to go look for work in more remote places where the majority of Aussies don't want to go or don't want to be for very long. For me it's just a matter of finding a vacancy and convincing the employer that I'm worth the forms they'd have to fill in....

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 23:43
by Fill-level
Just a point, when I was over in the UK, there were a couple of Aussies trying to get jobs after there conversion....after 12 months of banging on every door, they came back and got jobs here..

Good Luck ...I would look at mustering , with the view to do ground ops for an extended period , you could score that visa that way

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Thu May 24 2018, 23:54
by MrPointment
Hi fill level.

Thanks. I would actually like to give mustering a try, it looks like a real action packed time. But a lot of people have told me that because I haven't grown up around cattle I wouldn't even be considered for that role, which is a shame. I'm prepared for the fact that in any role, I would have to do my time as ground-bitch, that's pretty standard anywhere in the world I believe.
I can believe what you said about the guys trying their luck in the UK. The volume of jobs just isn't there, so unless you've got military level experience or qualifications for days then there's very little opportunity...... Hence, my presence here....

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Fri May 25 2018, 00:34
by ChicoCheco
Enthusiasm and motivation are important.
As well as being realistic.
You prove us wrong only when you sort work visa/RSMS as newbie heli pilot in Oz.
Can't win lottery without buying ticket.

Some regionals have employed Dash 8 or similar PICs for DEC jobs on 457 etc. But there was MARKET NEED. Whether salary or outback basing related. Not the place to dissect that topic.

There isn't such scope when schools between Top end and Melbourne keep churning heli grads. Don't forget the NZ CPL heli grads with Oz sc444 visa on arrival, more competition.

Yes, but look at the job titles getting RSMS.
Can you get 457/189/190/489/186/187 visa in OTHER job? If so then do it. Transition to full PR if not and voila. Dump that other career or keep as backup.

I knocked about low skill jobs working on aviation career and it's been sort of shooting self in foot in greater picture. Unused qualifications. Years gone past.

Until then I don't see it rosy for your intended plan. I got nearly worthless 500 heli hrs myself. Doesn't feel much different to having 200. Yes some time shaking in 22 left side but still.

Ask yourself. All grads are keen. If they make effort and aren't sloppy. Imagine you are employer/manager. You can't give them all job.
When someone leaves or season coming up, you need pilot NOW/coming weeks.

Not months to years. Which is what the RSMS is right now. As I said, it isn't just quick form quick processing and bang substantive visa appl and work rights bridge visa. Maybe some employers don't want to advertise IF, big IF they could or do it, to avoid any negative feedback from local pilots and B/S members.

This is country even for casual jobs some companies discriminate Workint Holiday visa or other temp eork rights visa jobseekers in stupid belief thar PR/citizen would stay longer. This is country where even basic qualifications are needed/asked for jobs that need short induction. And many wouldn't train up people who may just quit in weeks or few months anyway.

I do empathise, but can't tell you only what you wish to hear. I grew up on old continent, trained/flew mostly in US, lived in UK, been moving to Oz, temp visas on/off. I now got PR but not CPL/FI conversion yet. Couldn't justify or later afford it.

If you were experienced Indian chef, tradie, IT or medical professional, sponsored or PR class visa wouldn't be issue. And many more.

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Fri May 25 2018, 00:57
by MrPointment

Regarding the visa processing time for a 187... Yes, to get the whole thing processed can take months or even over a year to get the whole thing done. However, the way I understand it, once the employer has made the nomination and the applicant has made the application, a bridging visa can then be issued to allow the applicant to start working. I don't think immigration service would keep an employer needing a position filled and an applicant ready to fill it waiting for up to 18 months, sitting around scratching their arses whilst the long term visa is processed. I don't claim to know everything there is to know about visas, etc, but I do know an immigration lawyer who can steer me through any bumps along the way.

Re: Recently qualified CPLH looking for first job

Posted: Fri May 25 2018, 07:56
by ChicoCheco
Yes, as mentioned, PR class visa applicants DO get work rights bridge visa, applying onshore even from non-work status.

If you have the job to start on bridge visa, fine.
That is if the application filed and all prior admin.

Just from people I know in person. The nomination approval for 457 for example is few months. That assumes employer has done the paperwork to be approved to nominate. RSMS has some extra stuff.

Honestly, I did my best. What you think or assume is reasonable or not, is irrelevant. Fact is, people still wait for RSMS grant applying mid to late 2016. Not starting the process from scratch by potential employer and then all other paperwork etc.

Yes, it should and may go down, processing times.
The issue for you isn't just/mainly the current situation on the DHA side. But rather the probability to have that happen in first place. As junior foreign heli grad. 5hrs or 40hrs on 44 isn't huge difference at your hours. Some training hrs vs 100-150hrs R44 PIC often seen for some Oz jobs, along with citizen/resident status, is.

Seasonal work employers won't commit to fulltime job for at least two years since the grant. The regional postcode is another limitation.

GBR or wherever you trained, obviously aren't ready to do RSMS. Next big player would be Nautilus up North. Have you talked to them?

I take it you are unable to do other skilled migrant visa if you are sticking to this plan.

I believe I covered what I wanted to say, twice over.
May as well get lottery ticket as you feel lucky.