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What are the job prospects for new CPLs? (MERGED)

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What are the job prospects for new CPLs? (MERGED)

Old 22nd Mar 2006, 22:54
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Question What are the job prospects for new CPLs?

Hi there, i am 17 and am considering a career as a pilot, i have recently tried to apply for a sixth form scholarship in the RAF as a pilot but was told i was 3cm to tall (bang goes that idea) i dont know if you know of it but Oxford Aviation is based 20mins from where i live and is the best place in the UK to train to become a commercial or helicopter pilot.

The main thing i want to get out of this post is some advice, i am still not sure which path to choose yet and it would take the place of University (dont say i am stupid you dont need a degree to be a pilot nor to get onto the course) I am a slight pecimist when it comes to this because i do not know myself how easy it is going to be to get a job, lets sum it up:

Commercial jet pilot - The training is expensive 60,000, 50,000 can be obtained from a loan, the training lasts 15 months and includes 5 months in the US flying (it is cheaper for fuel and the weather is better, this it what is included in the course) i know that jobs are easy to come by for this once you have the qualification but i am hearing all of this stuff that commercial pilots are going to be phased out over the next few years and i want a garentee of at least 40 years flying.

Helicopter pilot - The training is 55,000 and lasts 13 months, i am just unsure how to go about getting a job afterwards, i really dont want to be a freelancer and want a contract.

Right those are the options at the moment and i have explained my problems, does anyone know how to go about getting a job as a helicopter pilot and what kind of companys are going to recruit? What is the situation on the whole perminant autopilot system anyway? Is it going to change?

Thanks
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Old 30th Apr 2006, 11:47
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Hello, is there anybody out there??
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Old 30th Apr 2006, 12:07
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You'll find information, opinions and advice here:

Frequently Asked Training Questions
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Old 1st Jul 2006, 20:59
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What happens after getting a CPL(H)

Ok, I have read the various threads on here - but have a few questions based on todays world. Most of the treads are a couple of years old now.

Lets assume I have funded a CPL(H), have around the 185 hours mark on say an R22. It is possible I could spend the money and get a rating for an R44 too. Living in East Anglia in the UK, with partner in tow.

What happens next? Would anyone employ me? Consider training me, type conversion etc to small turbine etc? If I signed up with a company for x years, would that help?

I would not be looking to work off-shore, just on shore commercial work. Charter type of stuff I guess.

What, simply, are the baselines for get any kind of paid employment & at what kind of rate?

Any pointers would be very helpfull.
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Old 1st Jul 2006, 21:17
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No chance at all.
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Old 1st Jul 2006, 21:34
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OK, I was expecting that statement as the first line - although I was hoping for a more informative answer.

I cannot believe people self fund to over 1000 hours, pay for an IR and turbine ratings etc. Either all heli pilots are ex forces, lottery winners or come from very rich families.

So, what happens after a CPL(H) in the life of a professional heli pilot, and how do you get there?

Does everyone get their CPL(H), go to 300 hours, get an intructors ticket then spend years teaching those looking at the profession - with the knowledge that they may as well not bother.

Is it the case that the industry is that bad there is no requirement for new people to train?
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Old 1st Jul 2006, 21:35
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Only chance is if you're very lucky and know the right people. Otherwise your best bet is to get to 250 hours and do an FI rating.

Yes, the above is what most people do. Unless their timing is right and they get taken on by the North Sea companies. They gradually build their hours, get extra ratings etc, paying for a lot of it themselves. Some get lucky, or go abroad, or something. But not many.

There are just too many low hours CPLs. What happens when you get to 185 hours and get your freshly minted CPL? Bugger all, that's what. It sounds like a lot to you, but really, 185 hours is absolutely nothing. You simply do not have the experience to do very much. And why should any employer train you, pay for ratings etc, when there are plenty of qualified pilots around?

A lot of instructors enjoy their work, and aren't that bothered about doing anything else, at least not in a hurry. A lot of people would just rather be paid to fly helicopters in any capacity than do any other job. Does it make sense? No, not to most people. Only those for whom it makes perfect sense will do it. And as you can see, there are rather a lot of those. If it doesn't make sense to you, don't do it. There are more sensible ways to earn a living.
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Old 1st Jul 2006, 21:42
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Either all heli pilots are ex forces,
Yup, pretty much! Or rather, the ones with 1,000s hours are! Many of the large operators were very short-sighted in their succession planning so, whilst there is a reasonable amount of work for twin-rated, IFR, 1000 hour pilots, there is a shortage of these experienced chaps. Many operators probably assumed that they would be able to recruit from ex-services without realizing that the RAF/Army/Navy were not recruiting or training so many pilots.

The other issue is the insurance requirements of many operators which may stipulate pilots to have, say at least, 500 hours for particular work.

The instructor probably is the best route unless you can afford and instrument rating and then the off-shore chaps MAY take you on as a co-pilot.

Sponsorship does not exist to all intents and purposes.

A Turbine (Jet Ranger) rating may be more useful than R44 but that will depend on any operators for whom you wish to work.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 1st Jul 2006, 22:45
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Whirlies, both the original and the multi tasking one..

Thanks for your answers. So the general feeling of doom and gloom appears real.

Having spent a good number of years working in IT (started at 18, now 37), the time has come to look at something else. The IT world is not pretty either. I have no real need to earn a packet, enough to live on really. I have funds available to take me through to a CPL(H), which would take a couple of years I guess (working at the same time too). Ironically, when leaving school I had the option to join the forces as a pilot, I went into IT instead. Always wondered if it was a bad move.

So, planning ahead a few years - perhaps an FI rating is a way to earn enough to live on and simply enjoy myself in the process. Or get a lucky break at some point in the future. Whirlybird, yes, what you say does make sense to me. Enjoying a job can easily take priority over what you paid for it.

The Heli situation seems a bit like the IT world. It is full of people who have done courses, passed exams and come away with paperwork to say they can do a job. However, get a fair number of them to actually do it and it shows a very different picture, they have no idea. The difference is a good number of people do not have to pay a thing for their training in IT, they all think it pays a fortune. Just look at the TV ads which run in the UK offering distance learning IT courses.

I enjoy helis, always have. I have had a couple of lessons from different people - to try and get an idea if I have any ability to do it (apparently, I do).

More research, spreadsheets (very scary numbers on these) and thinking about possible directions...

Thanks for the responses so far.
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 07:37
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I know this may not help much but...

.. if you REALLY want to be a pilot you will, regardless of what others say. If you can't take the critisism then maybe you weren't meant to be one....on the other hand you can follow your heart and do it anyway . You live ONCE , only ONCE..

Best of luck with whatever you choose.

34'
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 08:27
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I have had a couple of lessons from different people - to try and get an idea if I have any ability to do it (apparently, I do).
Be very, very, VERY careful of this sort of thing. A lot of instructors and schools will say and do practically ANYTHING to get a student.

I'm sure, without even knowing you, that you do have the ability to do it. YOu see, almost anyone can fly a helicopter. The thing that varies hugely is the amount of time it will take you. Is it possible to tell that in a trial lesson? Possibly. You can tell if someone has a natural aptitude for the actual flying. But you won't know how they'll get on with navigation, or exams, or their basic attitude, or how they'll react when the going gets tough, and all these things are more important.

If you have the money, perhaps it doesn't matter. But as someone who took a long time to do everything, I rather wish I HADN'T been told in the beginning that I was amazing, a complete natural, and all the other bullshit that I lapped up, gullible idiot that I was.

I recently heard from someone who was advised to do a f/w PPL first, so that, apparently, she'd learn about navigation and so on and could then concentrate entirely on flying helicopters. So spend £5000 to save a few extra hours on helicopters. Does that make sense to anyone except the f/w school who said it?

My advice would be - if you have a decent job, hang on to it, start flying helicopters, and see how you get on. And along with all the bullshit, you'll get some reliable advice on here, and you'll soon learn who you can trust.
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 08:41
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Hey Mr RJC,

I have copied below what I posted on another thread some time ago, which I believe is still true.


CPL(H) only £40k approx high risk, no chance of employent
CPL(H) + FI rating £60k approx, low risk much better chance of employment but rewards can be low until you become high time
CPL(H) + IR £70k high risk, potentially high returns is you get to the north sea, have been recruiting recently but by the time you get there who knows.
thats it really

regards

CF
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 09:04
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Whirly
I think the advice to do the fixed wing PPL first is sound.
Learn all the basics of being in the airborne environment without paying the high cost of doing it in a helicopter, then that acquired knowledge will help whilst learning to stay the right way up in a Robbie.

I came through fixed wing - then helis. (Admittedly with the RAF in the 70's!) and it seems like a sensible way to save money when learning. Just a thought from an old git.
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 09:12
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Whoateallthepies, a fixed wing licence can only save you a MAX of 6 hours towards a PPL(H). So, that 6 hours at 250 versus 45 hours at 100 per hour! Whirly's right and I'm appalled that a school would suggest it.

I've never flown fixed wing - don't think it's done me much harm!

However, I have heard that the following MAY be feasible IF you plan to do an iinstrument rating and do already have a fixed wing licence.

Get a fixed wing instrument rating and convert it to heli IR. I've not done the sums as it's not applicable to me but it may be a cost effective route for some.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 09:46
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37!! you will be competing with young hopefulls you are very nearly half your age with no " partner in tow", and with pilots your age with 3000 hours plus with all the prefered types and experience.

If you want a job change, and with your IT experience, get into the CRM environment.
There are plenty of courses for a lot less money, which will take you from nothing to an instructor.
The industry is going that way rapidly, at least you will be in the industry, but with your age, I would be the last to advise you to embark on a flying career, sorry but that's the way it is in my opinion.

I wish you all the best, but if a school tries to tell you otherwise, they are not being honest with you.
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 10:14
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RJC, by the time you have finished a PPL (while working); the ground school exams (while doing a full time job); done the hour building and completed the CPL course + test in your holidays, there will have been an upsurge in the number of IT based SIM environments for heli training available so the total costs will be lower.

So there is a future in IT ...

h-r
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 12:45
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Whirls
I stand corrected. If it doesn't save money then it's not worth it. plus it's much more fun to spend the cash on helicopter time than fixed wing!
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 13:20
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37!! you will be competing with young hopefulls you are very nearly half your age with no " partner in tow", and with pilots your age with 3000 hours plus with all the prefered types and experience.
Whether that is a problem depends on what you want to do. I was a lot older than that when I started. I'm now instructing fulltime, and happy to stay doing that for as long as I can pass medicals and react fast enough to stop students killing me. Interestingly, I'm now getting the impression I might get some commercial flying if I got more ratings, but I'll hit 60 in not that many years, so I'm not sure if it's worth the outlay, or even if I want to. But 37? Really no big deal. Apart from the military guys, most people do this in their 30s, 40s, and older; they usually don't have the money before that.
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 13:30
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This may not be valid and is purely my opinion, but I have got the impression that many operators would prefer someone (all other things being equal) with a more mature outlook! Quite often you would be flying on your own. I'm not saying that the younger CPL (say, in their 20s) wouldn't be able to do that but I don't think 37 is too old. Heck, there's still a good 20 years left in you; more if you're an instructor.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 2nd Jul 2006, 22:06
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whirlybird

I get the impression that RJC would like to do commercial work, which is the reason for my 37!! comment, as he is just starting out.

Whirlybird your comment,
"I'm now getting the impression I might get some commercial flying if I got more ratings, but I'll hit 60 in not that many years, so I'm not sure if it's worth the outlay"

I rest my case your worship, it used to be the norm that the young guys did the instructing so that by the time they reached 30 they had the hours to get the break they needed, it has obviously changed in the more years than I would like to mention.

Yes if all you want to do is teach, do it when you are 50, if that is what RJC wants to do, sound advice mate, but a very competetive market.

Whirlygig,
most operators, don't give a rats about how mature your "outlook" is, they want a bumb in the seat, and their insurance underwriter would like some experience, I have found that both here and overseas.

Again just my opinion, I am lucky enough not to have had to build hours
teaching, but long enough in the industry to know the realities.
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