Advise for junior pilot starting out

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chopperlife
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Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby chopperlife » Tue Dec 14 2021, 08:41

Hi Brains trust!
I'm reaching out for some advise from anyone that has made it through the early days of first jobs and hour building. I'm 28, have self studied and finished the 7 theory CPL theory subjects and am working through the hours with Helibiz Whitsundays to obtain my CPL with the intention to pursue a career as a Heli pilot. I have 7 years of sales and management behind me as well as being a qualified plumber. I've worked over the years to set myself up ready for when I go in search of that illusive first Flying job through getting some savings behind me and getting my plumbers license so I can pick up work easily in between flying to fill the gaps.
To Make myself as employable as possible I'm currently working through the ATPL theory subjects (I'm also doing this as I've enjoyed the CPL subjects and figure it can only benefit me having more knowledge, even if I don't end up using it one day). I also plan on putting myself through a DG Course to get that certificate to add to the resume. Once I get my licence which will be mid 2022 I'll be willing to travel to anywhere in Australia and would even love the chance to work and fly on a station where put my trade to use and learn to work cattle to eventually land a mustering job while still building the hours.
My question for the group is what else can I do in the meantime to prepare and give myself every advantage I can in the industry? And is there any advice that you would offer someone starting out?

I've already found a lot of useful information from Bladeslappers and appreciate any input.
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skypig
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby skypig » Wed Dec 15 2021, 11:59

Sounds like you are on the right track.
Try and get an R44 endorsement, and more than the basic hours required for same.

Go and sell tickets/load/clean at a place that has previously given a low hour/new pilot a start. Usually a tourist operation.

Stay there until:
1. A better job opportunity comes along.
Or
2. You can’t stand another day.

Enjoy.
Wannabe60Driver
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Wannabe60Driver » Wed Dec 15 2021, 18:29

Sounds like a solid plan. I only have two things to throw in the mix:

1. Some companies in the rotary world do look favourably on ATPLs as someone prepared to go the extra mile. Generally they’re multi-crew operations though and your IREX will be a higher priority to them. Getting your ATPLs out of the way while you’re in study mode and before life gets too busy to go back and do them is smart though.

2. Most stations hiring mustering pilots want you to have plenty of experience chasing cows from the ground given that you’ll then know the lingo, work in with the team on radio etc. often you’ll see jobs on RFTTE etc that are just as much a station hand as a helicopter pilot as the flying isn’t always there. Something to think about if that’s the path you want to take.
Heliduck
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Heliduck » Wed Dec 15 2021, 20:17

Wise words from previous posters.
I tried to think of some sage advice to motivate & support your dream, & all the while I had this little voice in my head repeating a saying I heard from a pommie bloke I worked with in Indonesia- “W@nk, w@nk money in the bank. Poke,poke, now you’re broke.” The moral of this story is to stay on task. It takes years to get established in this industry, good looking distractions & shiny things will come along & can delay your progress by years(speaking from experience!). I have seen people get good jobs with low hours & I thought they were lucky, I now realise that luck is what happens when being prepared meets opportunity.

You’ll hear these words as you progress - “Once you get to a thousand hours the worlds your oyster”, followed by “Once you get some turbine time the worlds your oyster”, followed by “ once you get some long line time the worlds your oyster”, followed by “ once you get some fire experience the worlds your oyster”, followed by “ once you get some twin time the worlds………” you get the picture. Accept the fact that you’ll never have enough of anything when your looking to step up in hardware, what will provide the ladder is your reputation. A good reputation with 500 hrs is worth more than a bad one with 5000hrs, I have come across a few high hour pilots over the years who couldn’t get a turbine gig because of how they flew &/or their attitude. Operators weigh risk & reward when deciding to recruit experienced people or train people they like. They carry a lot of risk & need to sleep at night; your professionalism & self discipline is all you have to offer until you have enough experience in the log book to have developed your reputation.
"Plan twice...Fly once"
T-Bone
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby T-Bone » Wed Dec 15 2021, 20:41

Some great advice there….
The more ground experience working cattle the better before taking to the skies, and any trade/skill will certainly help you get a foot in the door.

Don’t give up !!
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Chopper Guy » Wed Dec 15 2021, 21:40

Hey Mate

I think you’ve been given some really good advice above, and I absolutely commend you for getting a trade behind you and putting some dollars in the bank before starting your license.

Obviously, everybody’s advice will be different but here is my thoughts;

If your planning on chasing cows for the rest of your days, then there is no value in doing your ATPL’s. Ultimately, what you’ll need to get a job as a mustering guy will be experience working with cattle. Without any experience with cattle, you’ll look just like another city kid (I know your 28) who’s parents paid for his license and now he wants to be a world famous cow chaser.

So, I’m going to throw out what is possibly a crazy (aka out of the box) idea… instead of doing your ATPL’s, do a cert III in Agriculture. At least this way, it’ll look like you have some level of interest in what the industry is all about (and it’s about a whole lot more than just flying a R22).

Having said all that, probably the best advice I can give any low hour pilot is to enjoy the journey. It can be a hard industry at times, but personally, I’ve had and continue to have a flipping lot of fun doing what I do.

CG
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skypig
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby skypig » Wed Dec 15 2021, 22:18

I’d echo what Chopper Guy said.

If you are chasing cows or flying tourists in a Robinson, allow yourself to enjoy the hell out of it.

Don’t focus on the day you’ll get to fly tourists in an EC130 (for example). You won’t likely enjoy it any extra in the nicer machine.
The Helicopter industry is one where you are always looking to progress, and the trap can be: not enjoying the current.

Like life generally, every situation has good and bad. Many of us struggle to see the half full glass.
I’ll personally try to enjoy the really nice machinery I currently fly, with support from from some wonderful colleagues. And do my best to ignore as much as possible the truly horrible people that run the company.
cupid stunt
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby cupid stunt » Thu Dec 16 2021, 05:13

You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion.
139driver
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby 139driver » Thu Dec 16 2021, 22:48

Advice

Have a goal to always aim for, 200TT, 500TT, turbine etc…

Don’t be a snitch

Golden Rule…….always be nice to everyone, I know pilots who were just generally mean and bullies and that travels along way in this industry.

When ever you meet any pilot, no matter the experience get to know them and get to know their story, you’ll never know who you’ll be sending your resume to next!
Last edited by 139driver on Fri Dec 17 2021, 23:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Hello Pilots
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Hello Pilots » Fri Dec 17 2021, 07:02

Hell, I’m still waiting for the nam vets to retire.
chopperlife
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby chopperlife » Fri Dec 17 2021, 08:20

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the pointers! I haven’t even finished my cpl yet but loving it every time I jump in the seat.
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skypig
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby skypig » Fri Dec 17 2021, 21:39

Hello Pilots wrote:Hell, I’m still waiting for the nam vets to retire.


And now the military are giving their pilots AW139 endorsements so they can move straight into the EMS positions the Vietnam Vets are vacating!!
Ala rotante
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Ala rotante » Sat Dec 18 2021, 02:16

Don’t get married, no kids, no mortgage, no even GF unless she willing to stay in a tent, move anywhere you go and do whatever job available... talking by experience... sincerely good luck!
)c/ Old Grumpy but Handsome Man 8)
Kaipo
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Kaipo » Sat Dec 18 2021, 09:07

Hey mate, you have some great advice here.
My best advice to you at any stage in your flying career is" have to courage to say no" .

Sounds easy, it isn't always easy.. but do it.

If there is any doubt in your mind then that's your decision made. And believe me, when I've had a fright , it's when I've ignored the early indication something wasn't right.

Best of luck.

Fly safe.
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Hello Pilots
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby Hello Pilots » Tue Dec 21 2021, 10:40

skypig wrote:
Hello Pilots wrote:Hell, I’m still waiting for the nam vets to retire.


And now the military are giving their pilots AW139 endorsements so they can move straight into the EMS positions the Vietnam Vets are vacating!!


Don’t forget the pilots qualified on the Black Hawks to ease into the summer jobs.
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hand in pants
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Re: Advise for junior pilot starting out

Postby hand in pants » Mon Dec 27 2021, 07:33

Best advice I can think of is don’t work for free.
Try not to work for rubbish money.
Stick within the rules even though they are complicated, disjointed and pretty much unworkable.
Every job is a stepping stone to the next.
Try not to leave a job on bad terms. This can be difficult which is why I said try.
If you don’t have anything nice to say about an employer or fellow pilot, say nothing. And I’m guilty of breaking this one.
Avoid contact with caa as much as you can. Tell them nothing you don’t think they need to know. This is especially true with avmed.

This is basically a good industry. Like every industry there are good and bad. Thankfully the good outnumber the bad by a huge margin.
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!

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