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Fixed-wing or Rotary career? (incl Changing licence to Rotary)

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Fixed-wing or Rotary career? (incl Changing licence to Rotary)

Old 29th Sep 2000, 06:47
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clear to land
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Fixed-wing or Rotary career? (incl Changing licence to Rotary)

Just pondering, and looking for feedback from those in the know. If you were dual qualified (A and H),and reasonably experienced on both (but more on plank), would you aim for long term rotary or plank. I have no desire to fly long haul, and would be happy with a reasonable salary. Your thoughts please gentlemen (and ladies).
 
Old 29th Sep 2000, 16:20
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helidrvr
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From my experience doing both, flying with seized rotors becomes very boring after a short time. All airports look the same after all and the cruise portion (95%) of the flight offers little redeeming value. A plank career obviously has the potential of leading to one of those jobs where your taxes will be more than most helicopter pilots' entire salaries. But as in everything, there is a price to pay first.

From a "Joy of Flying" perspective (or Zen if you are that way inclined) rotor craft win hands down for me. A joy ride in an L33 can be fun, but as a full time vocation there is no flying like helicopter flying. It has an endless variety of activities to keep even the most jaded on their toes - logging, construction, scenic, EMS scenes, off-shore, SAR, ship-to-shore, VIP transport, luxury yachts, UN missions etc. etc. The list is endless. Last but not least, we often find ourselves developing relationships with our customers which last well beyond the job.

The flight pay may (justifyably) not be on par with airlines in general, but for the ambitious there are still good money making opportunities in the helo business as well. Logging, overseas and becoming a small operator are some that come to mind.

So I'll stick with the greates flying machines ever invented. I like being able to stop BEFORE I land.
 
Old 29th Sep 2000, 18:46
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EESDL
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=====ditto=====
 
Old 29th Sep 2000, 22:42
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Arkroyal
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fish

Clear to Land

Agree with above sentiments

It's an old truth that Rotary pilots work for a living, And I enjoyed my Navy and Police helo flying Immensely.

As I got older, I moved over for the potential bigger bucks towards retirement and a bigger pension.

You don't say how old you are, but the world would appear to be your oyster. Enjoy the helicopters until the flying turns your hair grey, then put your feet up in a jet.

edited for bad spelin!

[This message has been edited by Arkroyal (edited 29 September 2000).]
 
Old 30th Sep 2000, 23:43
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mediummetal
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Couldn't agree more.I've been thinking about putting me feet up too and was wondering if you had any suggestions about entering the fixed wing retirement program. I have the IFR rating but have found myself pulling logs instead of flying in the clouds most of my career.Thanks for any suggestions.
 
Old 1st Oct 2000, 02:45
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Kaarrff
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I agree with Arkroyal. Helis are great fun when you are young but flying a plank is soooooo relaxed. I have 8,000 rotary (crab, fish and north sea) and 3,500 plank (Boeings, 50/50 charter and schedule). As a plank skipper you'll get in excess of 3,300 net a month. What would a rotary guy get? Oh, and no goon-suit plus coffee/tea every 20 minutes.

Happy landings!
 
Old 1st Oct 2000, 12:30
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HeliFlight
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Why not go for the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS?!
-- TILTROTORS --
I have been told pay will be significantly more than us Rotorheads, although certainly less than the heavy iron.

Problem is you'll need at least equeal, and maybe more experience on the rotary side rather than fixed plank. Hovering and autorotations are no doubt the most difficult part of flying it (and the most fun), so you'll need lot's of previous experience before they let you hop into one. Maybe work on that for a while, because the first civil AB 609s won't be here till early 2003.

Definitely something to look forward to!!
 
Old 2nd Oct 2000, 01:28
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Seaking
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Helis for sure.
I'm dual rated but nothing beats flying a helicopter.I would love to drive a large jet for while but the boredom factor would kill me according to my fixed wing friends and it appears to be difficult to break into that world anyway.

If you want to make money,go overseas,its possible to make 3000stg or more pm on contracts,most jobs are rotational so you can freelance on your free time.

As for tiltrotor you will need to be dualrated,with an instrument rating in one type(A or H).If you have a multieng (A) it will be an advantage but it is not necessary.However helicopter rated pilot will have the advantage due to the inherent problems which can occour with a helicopter such as settling with power.This has been brought home to the US Marine Corps due to the recent loss of a V-22 due to vortex ring state.You can find an excellent thread about this in the archives going back about 3 months.
 
Old 2nd Oct 2000, 06:53
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clear to land
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Thanks for your input. It seems that the vote for fun is unanimous. I am currently flying plank on airmed, which is rewarding, but I do miss the helos. The tiltrotor sounds like the ultimate way to go, but I'm not sure if I should chase more helo time first (1000 hrs turbine s/e at present), as I have 4000+ plank. By the way I'm 32.
Cheers chaps.
 
Old 2nd Oct 2000, 16:20
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jayteeto
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3300 hrs (H), 200 (A). Definitely plank!!
 
Old 7th Oct 2000, 23:52
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deepbuffet
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fish

1700 plank/multi. ATPL. 2100 on the thrashing palm tree. All in the RAF. Did the welded wings first. Boring even whilst dropping bombs. My wife could do it (probably). Rotary? fun, challenging, and I have 400 hrs below 200 ft on Night Vision goggles. Suck on that mr 4000hrs and I'm 32. (I'm 32).
 
Old 8th Oct 2000, 17:30
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arm the floats
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Don't worry cleared to land,Deep Buffet is still under line training and with an attitude such as his he won't get anywhere in the civilian world.I'd love to see his sh*t scared face if he had to sit in an R22 for the first time with a low time student who tries to kill you once every 15 seconds
 
Old 9th Oct 2000, 00:47
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mrfish
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Humbled in your presence.
After 4000 hours (3300 helo...oh yes and 300+NVG!) I am off to a FJ QFI job.
Already I am hunting for some part-time rotary work.
Never forget your roots...to fly is indeed heavenly, but to hover is devine!
All the best.
 
Old 9th Oct 2000, 21:33
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deepbuffet
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Arm the floats.

R22's!!! Please, I do have some self respect! I haven't flown an aircraft without a full IFR suite and twin turbines for the last 11 years, and I'm not going to start now that I'm putting my feet up in the civvy world. And as for the suggestion that I would do something as demeaning as instructing no-hopers who couldn't pass military selection....HELLO!!!!
FYI, It's corporate 76's as dep chief pilot.
 
Old 9th Oct 2000, 22:35
  #15 (permalink)  
arm the floats
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Deepbuffet
So you openly admit that your flying experience is limited!!
 
Old 10th Oct 2000, 15:02
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clear to land
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Dear Mr DeepBuffet, you do not have a monopoly on NVG time below 200 (I'm ex military as well), however with your attitude I'm surprised that anyone would enjoy working with you. You should respect every professional trying to make a living, so what if they are flying pistons. Quite frankly, you need to pull your head out.
My posting was not to big note myself, but to seek information from other professional aviators (this is obviously not you!)
 
Old 10th Oct 2000, 15:32
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4Rvibes
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Well said CTL, deepbuffet is so obviously a factory standard ex-crab with delusions of adequacy. I have met guys of his undoubted brilliant ability throughout my career and rather enjoyed seeing them sweat coldly the first time they are put in a position where flying the damn machine really matters. ie. Night, grotty Wx, and fully coupled "IFR suite" going horribly U/S. It doesn't matter if you have a snazzy job title (Deputy Chief Pilot in a company with only two pilots) if you can't get it home safely you will walk the walk.
 
Old 12th Oct 2000, 14:41
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tipspeed
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DB must be taking the rise surely? No self respecting amoeba would speak like that!
 
Old 15th Oct 2000, 01:32
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Chip Lite
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Kaarrff, or whatever, well spoken. Deep (bag carrier) Buffet. You're either a wind-up merchant or a complete knob or both!!

If you think you can get bored doing a 5 sector Amsterdam out of LHR, in an an aircraft doing 340 knots, then you are certainly ace of the base and get all my respect and admiration, if not then you are heading for a snotty heap one day through your shear arrogance. I have both Atpl/H&A IR with more than ten x more low level experience than what has been bandied here, I don't get bored!
 
Old 15th Oct 2000, 03:08
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deepbuffet
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Tipspeed. Alleluija!!! These straps in my fightin' chair are starting to chaff a bit. Look at some of the replies, and ask yourself who has the chip. I am enjoying civvy flying, but don't let's pretend it is an any way as demending as military flying, because it just ain't so. In many ways it is better, but I have been disappointed to discover the bitterness that seems to pervade the civvy world, when it comes to dealing with ex-military personnel. I put my comments here to make a point, or rather to help dispel one. Look at the answers. I will do what I can to enable a change in attitude, and we'll see what happens. ( We have 9 S-76's and I'm based on the U.S. Pacific coast (American parents)). Some ex crabs may figure that one out.

'Lookout and fly accurately sir?'
 

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