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-   -   Advice to a newbie - from "Zero to hero" (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/513756-advice-newbie-zero-hero.html)

Yorkshire Boy 30th Apr 2013 19:30

Advice to a newbie - from "Zero to hero"
 
Hey guys,

Just joined the forum, after coming across what seems to be a wealth of knowledge. I'm currently considering going down the whole line of PPL(H), hour building, CPL(H) all in order to hopefully get a helicopter pilot career at the end of it.

I have, to put it mildly, an extensive amount of questions which I simply can't really find answers to without talking to those who are in the know! So here goes:

I've looked around, and most jobs seem to require 1000+ hours at least for the majority of pilot roles I've seen. I understand why the quantity has to be so large (insurance and such) but I was wondering what the type of job (i.e. tours/charter etc) requires the least? Is there a specific employer or group of employers that are more inclined to take on an "inexperienced" pilot?

I live in Yorkshire, and whilst I'm more than happy to relocate if need be, what/where are the best priced and generally speaking the better helicopter schools? - in the North of England and beyond? Helijet and Multiflight Leeds are the closest to me and seem reasonably priced (just to give you an idea of what I've looked at)

I've read that many people seem to find flight instructing as a good route to build hours up. This seems promising and something I'd be more than happy to go into, but I was wondering what the truth is surrounding this? Also the costs of the FI(H) - again, where is the cheapest and 'best' places to undertake it.

A lot of these questions are obviously ones that I will not need answering straight away - but it seems careless to potentially throw 50k~ at the whole training cost and end up without a job at the end of it.

Without a doubt more questions will pop up into my head, but for now I hope I can leave this with you (the more knowledgeable out there) and start to think logically about what/where to do/go next!

Thank you in advance people :)

paco 1st May 2013 06:17

It depends where you go and what "consultant" the hiring customer listens to. In some paces in Canada, you need 2500 hours to move passengers all of twenty minutes from a compressor station to a fully serviced airfield - 300 hours of that "must be in the province"! Can't think why, as tundra is tundra wherever you go.

More seriously, your biggest hurdle is not getting the licence but hours building afterwards.

I would think twice about instructing unless you really want to be an instructor (nothing wrong with that - the world needs good ones). It is poorly paid and is often not the best way of spendng your money - plus you will still be flying single-engined helicopters. For example, a twin rating might be more appropriate. It depends on how much cash you have and what your future career path might be.

Having said that, in the early stages, for singles at least, 50 hours in the 22 are better than 10 hours in the 206.

I wouldn't worry about a job at this stage - things are brightening up nicely on the North Sea and by the time you finish that may well have filtered down to the lower end. Besides, there are many uni grads without jobs with more debt than that.

Yorkshire Boy 1st May 2013 13:09

Many thanks, I appreciate your reply!

Yeah - it seems the hard part is after the whole training ordeal. I'm only 21 so it's not like time is against me, and I'm generally a patient person (especially when it's something I enjoy).

I see. For me the big bucks can wait, I'm not too bothered about having to instruct for a year or two to gain the required hours - what worries me is that it might not be in the "right" type of helicopter in terms of engine?

Right okay, that does sound promising. I'm willing to practically work anywhere anyway, I love travelling (even to places people would normally hate!)

Indeed, it's a habit of kind of looking forward that I have - It's not necessarily job security, just the prospect that there will be jobs for the inexperienced out there.

For me personally it all depends on what happens in terms of jobs and...basically coming into a certain amount of money. I'm not hinging my life on this, but it certainly is my dream career - as I'm sure it is for many.

Thanks again for your reply again, greatly appreciated! :)

tiger88 1st May 2013 22:15

Bristow cadetship
 
Have you looked into the recently announced Bristow's recruitment? Details not fully out yet but with Bristow's now getting the UK Search and Rescue contract over from the RAF and Navy alongside further expansion in the offshore industry they are looking at recruiting some cadets. Worth a shot!

Bristow Helicopters to recruit ten ab initio pilots in 2013 | Pilot Career News

b.a. Baracus 2nd May 2013 09:59

Just be aware that at the moment 50k won't cut the mustard for N.Sea work. You will need a multi engine IR and this will likely set you back 50-55k, in addition to the money spent getting to CPL level. Some years ago N.Sea operators would occasionally sponsor CPL holders to obtain the IR but I believe this has since stopped.

Wirbelsturm 2nd May 2013 13:28

I've been out of the rotary world for quite some time now so my info might well be a bit 'dusty' and out of date but here goes.

CHC Global will look at low hour guys, it would be worth having a look at the sort of placements they offer to get an idea of what sort of work there is but, more importantly, where it is!

Rig flying is difficult in the winter. Flying out of Dyce on a cold, rubbish weather, day in a Goon Suit isn't fun. Watch out for wet decks and mad crane drivers!

Power line surveys and pipeline surveys are quite often the 'starting point'. Dull but pays the bills.

SAR contracts will, generally speaking, go to experienced crews due to the nature of the job. (4500 hours rotary, much of it on SAR units)

All of this is generally irrelevant as it is very tricky to build up turbine or twin turbine time with an IR without considerable financial outlay.

Look for sponsorship deals as most jobs are the classic catch 22, you need experience but you need a job to get experience. It's a tough world and the cost of getting the licence is not reflected in the pay. Certainly in comparison to the fixed wing world.

kyyle 5th May 2013 22:20

Im in the same position as Yorkshire Boy
im 24 and im really want to be a pilot but i will be self funding it from my own money by working to pay for lessons,altho for me it seems like the process will take atleast 18months for me to do my PPL and thats putting everything i have in.
The issue that holding me back is hour building if it taken me 18months to do my ppl at min 45 hours to do another 150 hours may take another 3 years just to build up enough for the CPL....so the 1000+ to get a good paying job seems sooooooooo far fetched for me :{

206Fan 7th May 2013 22:30

Kyyle,

Keep an eye on the Bristow ab-initio mentioned in the above post!

kyyle 8th May 2013 00:02

thanks 206fan i will keep a eye on that site

KurtW 28th Jun 2013 08:52

PPL(H) and CPL(H) Switzerland
 
Hi,

This is somewhat related to the previous question. I am planning to take the PPL(H) and then potentially the CPL(H). I recently moved to Switzerland from the UK and was initially thinking of doing it in Switzerland. Realising that prices here are about three times as high as the US I was wondering if it is possible to the flying so say 50 hours for the PPL in the US, also considered doing it in say Czech republic which seems pretty cheap, but do the theory and all other necessary things in Switzerland? Clearly, I want to be able to have a license that is valid in Switzerland and Europe.

Appreciate any information.

Cheers

B200Drvr 28th Jun 2013 10:48

Chaps, just be aware that many helicopter positions are filled by ex-military guys who have lots of heavy or turbine time. It is a VERY long road for a young guy to start a CPLH on his own dime and make it in the industry. With MoD cutbacks the market will constantly get flooded with well qualified, tried and tested pilots.
My advice would be to look long and hard at your prospects before dropping 50K on training with very little chance of any type of employment at the end.
Remember also that many of those ex-mil guys who are now flying heavies for airlines also freelance as chopper drivers, which kills the market even further.
Its tough out there, and it won't get much better in the Helo game.


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