A possible new pilot in the skies

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random-guy
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A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby random-guy » Wed Sep 24 2014, 11:14

Hey all, I have just joined this forum.........so g'day to all!

I'm sure you have read 100 post like this before but any assistance...advise would be greatly appreciated, I am in the early stage of preparing to starting my flight training with the aim of getting my commercial licence and hopefully change my career. It is something I have wanted to do for the last 15 years but have never been in a position to do it, so became a mechanical engineer then moved to a mechanical technical teacher. I have looked at military service, but military service life isn't for me or my family, so I will be funding the training myself, I'm 32 based in Sydney.

I have been researching what the employment market is like for pilots and from what I can see it is a very difficult industries to get in to (even more so for newbies with low flight hours) I would like some advise from anybody that is/has been in this position, I know it would be an amazing industry to be in a I have the work ethic and drive to prove myself. What I am really concerned about (and loosing some sleep over :cry: ) is completing my training and not being able to get employment, I would like to become an instructor as I love the teaching side of my job I just need to get in the skies. My girlfriend went through a similar thing a few years ago, she dreamed of being a make up artist and spent $20,000 training, then spend over 2 years looking for a job but wasn't given a chance because she didn't have any experience. She has had to now re-train as a nurse! I don't want to see the same thing happen to me because I don't have enough flight hours.

I have spoken to several flight schools including one I am looking to start training at and all give a sugar coated view of the industry, so I need some raw advise about the industry from people that are in the industry that don't have flight hours to sell :lol:

A very confused newbie looking for help...

Thanks all
hench
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby hench » Wed Sep 24 2014, 23:19

Welcome to the wonderful world of aviation.

In short your first job will be the hardest to get, expect to work for little pay, and be away from family of extended periods of time. You will more than likely have to travel to get your first opportunity.

In choosing a school find a school that has commercial operations, when your not flying or studying try catch a ride out with the pilots and help out on the ground, learn to rig sling loads (under supervision), load and unload passengers and get a real feel for the industry, before you know if you may even be picking up a bit of free ferry time.

I think getting a shot takes a lot of hard work but also been in the right place and the right time, and dont give up.

Been a pilot is very hard on family, especially if you have young kids.

Just my un sugar coated opinion. Still all and all a great industry to be apart of, you met great people, make great friends and have better work stories.
oei
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby oei » Wed Sep 24 2014, 23:20

I will give you one tip ... Anyone who promises you a job after completing your cpl is telling a heap of lies
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby Stochastic » Thu Sep 25 2014, 07:01

Consider the future of the industry. You are 32 and so can be expected to be flying for around 40 years.

UAV's will take over a lot of aerial work, survey, ag ops, etc in that time frame.
Oil rigs will become more automated so less people will be travelling to them.
Bush fires will worsen and water bombing will increase for a while and be one of the last human roles to go, but will eventually go.
Maintenance on remote sites will be conducted by robots which can create their own spare parts.
Climate will become a bigger issue and pressure on energy use will be another driver to increase UAV use.
Marine pilots will be able to manage multiple ships from a shore base employing UAV technology negating the need to be on the ship.
At the same time sea freight will fall off as a new paradigm in manufacturing takes hold.
EMS will become user pays as medicare collapses, destroying the demand.
With no pilot jobs, no one will train, leaving instructors everywhere, slumped in corners, clutching a few worn out whiteboard markers, and wearing haunted stares. A stare which seemingly passes through a creased, laminated line drawing of a helicopter, with magnetic backing, which has found it's way to the floor, never to be used again.

Having said that, if it is something you have always wanted to do, do it.

Half of the people who gain commercial licences will not gain commercial work.
The half that do work like dogs to get there. Once they are there, on the whole they have a great time.

(p.s. very soon there will be petri dishes full of rats brains flying fighter jets.)
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rex bivouac
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby rex bivouac » Thu Sep 25 2014, 07:28

It you want it bad enough it will happen but you have sacrifice the finer things in life ie;

Hot mrs... Trade in for a rough one or become single.

Nice house.... Trade in for a rough one , live in Macca's playground...

Money... ie; having none....

Life .....ie; not having one.

Car.... Not have one or buy a 1980 mark 4 cortina

Did I mention the Mrs part?

Anyway do all of this and you will succeed.

Good luck.

Rex.

Ps. The above is based on factual events experienced by the author.
random-guy
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby random-guy » Thu Sep 25 2014, 09:46

Thank you for the honest advise guys, it does confirm a lot of what I suspected based on all the research I have done and also job hunting I have performed to see what is available! It paints a bit of a bleak view for new pilots, I see a lot of experienced pilots with 1000's of flight hours looking for work and struggling to find anything!

One thing in can say for sure is I will continue with my flight training, but will have to make the tough decision about if I will continue on to my commercial. It's not that I don't have the drive or the determination, but it seems like a tough ride for my wife.

Long road of decisions ahead........
ozloadie
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby ozloadie » Thu Sep 25 2014, 10:08

Have you considered bridging your current mechanical engineering experience into the LAME (aircraft mechanic) arena?

The industry is screaming for qualified aviation technicians.

Use this area of expertise to finance your RW training and obtain your flying quals as you go. You'll always have a job prospect and nearly always a cap offered on tasks away from base.

It's not always possible to deploy engineers with machines, so a pilot who can operate both roles is very valuable

You make your money in this industry through opportunity combined with skill diversity.

You also need to be aware of keeping current. If you're not earning, the requirement for currency still stands.

You can't compress time, no short cuts, so the best idea is to get the most for the dollars and time you spend.
Keep it flying, don't quit!
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bladepitch
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby bladepitch » Thu Sep 25 2014, 11:11

Stochastic... I wasn't at all depressed about being in aviation but.... after reading your post........
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Crowman
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby Crowman » Thu Sep 25 2014, 21:22

Just don't look back in 40 years wishing you had done it.
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CYHeli
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby CYHeli » Thu Sep 25 2014, 22:10

bladepitch wrote:Stochastic... I wasn't at all depressed about being in aviation but.... after reading your post........

Razor blades, get your razor blades....
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
oei
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby oei » Thu Sep 25 2014, 22:18

Stochastic wrote:Consider the future of the industry. You are 32 and so can be expected to be flying for around 40 years.

UAV's will take over a lot of aerial work, survey, ag ops, etc in that time frame.
Oil rigs will become more automated so less people will be travelling to them.
Bush fires will worsen and water bombing will increase for a while and be one of the last human roles to go, but will eventually go.
Maintenance on remote sites will be conducted by robots which can create their own spare parts.
Climate will become a bigger issue and pressure on energy use will be another driver to increase UAV use.
Marine pilots will be able to manage multiple ships from a shore base employing UAV technology negating the need to be on the ship.
At the same time sea freight will fall off as a new paradigm in manufacturing takes hold.
EMS will become user pays as medicare collapses, destroying the demand.
With no pilot jobs, no one will train, leaving instructors everywhere, slumped in corners, clutching a few worn out whiteboard markers, and wearing haunted stares. A stare which seemingly passes through a creased, laminated line drawing of a helicopter, with magnetic backing, which has found it's way to the floor, never to be used again.

Having said that, if it is something you have always wanted to do, do it.

Half of the people who gain commercial licences will not gain commercial work.
The half that do work like dogs to get there. Once they are there, on the whole they have a great time.

(p.s. very soon there will be petri dishes full of rats brains flying fighter jets.)



It's happening quicker than you think ....perfect for karratha run and barrow island

http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/lo ... s-1.594612
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby elmirasol » Thu Sep 25 2014, 23:53

Well that is a hard question to answer, it comes down to individual circumstances .

I was pretty much in your shoes when I started to learn to fly in helicopters (32!) :roll:

Even though with financial burden it imposed on me, it was the best thing I did in my life and
I'm very proud of it and I'll do it again anytime !

Flying as a career is for people who passionately love it and prepare to sacrifice anything for that and if you go and speak with
career pilots and instructors they will tell you stories about their hardship and struggle to make it into the industry with some
variations depending on the individual.

No disrespect, we all whinge and complain about low pay and long hours and so on and on but still love flying and not giving it up !

On financial side of the story, don't expect to have any immediate return from you pilot licence and should be prepared to do
some self funded private flying after you got your licence or maybe travelling around the country to see who has got a position for you.
You never know if an operator needs a pilot or not !

Choose your flying school carefully, some of the schools like a few in Moorabbin Airport have bases in the outback which gives
you an opportunity to build up some hours and gain experience .

Anyway hope these few lines shed some light on the matter for you .

Adios . :too_cool:
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cazzaca
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby cazzaca » Sat Sep 27 2014, 11:30

Hey mate,

My tips for new KOTB:
- Find a school that is at least reasonably active in the commercial industry in one way or another = opportunity for you to get your hands dirty (along with people seeing you do it), learn the all too important skills other than flying, and MAKE CONTACTS. Things that come before flying = selling the flying, maintenance, law, paperwork, networking, making coffee, sweeping floors .. know them all well!
- Even better If they have a solid flow through (i.e. some commercial outpost/scenics etc.) for students to potentially get work - keeping in mind it's only the few that will get in, and it is usually based on timing and how much they like you of course.
- Importantly, make sure you are happy with the level of instruction they can provide, also that you will get along with them (to the best of your knowledge). How many instructors (of what grade) vs. students are they catering to, what does their flight schedule look like .. how happy does everyone (staff and students) appear to be? What is their training structure (do they have one)?
- Not a bad idea to ask what prior experience the current instructors have, as they will have contacts that they may be able to hook you up with.

I too will put in a vote for becoming a LAME. If I did it over, that is something I would consider doing (still am). Yes it may appear to be a harder/longer road from the outset ..but basically there is always a need vs. lack of LAME's, certainly by comparison to green pilots. Go and talk to a LAME or two and see what their experience is. I know quite a few that were pilots to begin with, or have become pilots & instructors through their work anyway. So ..perhaps consider going down this track, and going through PPL/CPL as you go? Whatever works for you.

Aside from the skills required, your biggest aide will be contacts in the industry. The first ones you gain will be through your school in the instructors and other students. If you can find genuine people, who will look after you and ensure you are trained well, this is a great start. Get to know them, connect, find out who they know ..etc.
You are most likely to get work (esp. that elusive first job) through someone you know - keep this in mind at all times. Always be polite, professional and work hard, and you will get there!

By the time you're done with training, make sure you and your family are fully mentally/financially prepared to uproot and go where the work is. Best doing this while kids are young if possible.

Just as a final note, there are still people who will try to take advantage of you, if it doesn't feel right - ask around.

Good luck making a decision :)

Cheers.
KNOW NUFFEN
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby KNOW NUFFEN » Mon Sep 29 2014, 11:39

Ask yourself is your love of flying worth upfront 100 hours training at $500 per hour ,then a job in the middle of nowhere for $500 per week for 2 to 4 years to get some hours up? To me a LAME might be the perfect fit for you .then again I know nuffin
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby Surprise » Mon Sep 29 2014, 12:41

After my CPL., I was in the middle of nowhere earning peanuts

However I was happy as. I liked the people I was with (well most of them), loved the flying, the social side of things (we did what could to make it bearable)

I soon moved onto my firs turbine job shortly after (on a twin) and haven't looked back since.

Everyone's different but I just went in knowing I was taking a risk and just told myself to enjoy the journey as best I can, and if it didn't work out well at least I tried
random-guy
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby random-guy » Tue Sep 30 2014, 09:51

Thanks again for all the advise guys! I have been reading them just haven't had time to reply due to a busy work project, I have also started looking at possible routes to become a LAME. I hadn't even thought about that before the advise I got on here! If the industry needs LAME's then it seems a very good entry point and also uses my years of experience from my current career.

I am going to start contacting local airfield and training centres and just test the water so to speak to see what the LAME situation is like etc, it looks like I would need to do another apprenticeship which I know can be hard to find a company to start at, but I'm hoping that my years of experience will give me some advantage....time will tell!
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Re: A possible new pilot in the skies

Postby helicopspeeder » Thu Oct 2 2014, 00:12

Hello RG,
I have now been flying for over 20 years. Helicopters for about 14 years. If I had to do it all again I would gain a fallback-trade first. You have that already. I would do my instructor rating early and gain some experience teaching, that way when I started working for a large organisation I could quickly move into a check and training role. It is my experience that the check and training pilots are the most valued, best paid (per diems, DTA and other allowances), and enjoy much better job security than other pilots. They are also the first ones to be offered training in new aircraft, systems etc.
As far as becoming a LAME I only know one person who successfully combines being an engineer and a pilot and it is only because he is VERY forceful in his convictions that he wants to fly. If you become a LAME and offer your dual services to an employer be prepared to be on the tools 95% of your career. I don't know anyone who is both pilot and LAME that gets paid any more for doing both jobs. You are however, more employable.
When negotiating with flight schools see if you can negotiate a package deal to include an instrument rating. Industry is now at the point where you need to have an IR to be competitive in the job market.
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