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Is it really worth being a helicopter pilot now?

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Is it really worth being a helicopter pilot now?

Old 25th Jan 2012, 09:06
  #21 (permalink)  
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PC you little tinker!
You got chopped from the RN probably because you couldnt swim across the River Dart every morning at 5am because of the stones I put in your wellies
There you go telling me I shouldn't comment on what I haven't done and then go and quote about flying at 100' in a SK on NVG??? Eh? When did you do that then?
One doesn't have to be an astronaut to know instinctively that it's a fantastic job. One doesn't have to to go to The Maldives to know it's going to be good.
One doesn't have to do a wire survey to know it's a sh*t job.
One doesn't have to fly single pistons to know it's not as good as flying twin turbine's.
Give us a break you old fart and best wishes for doing a good job in the HEMS/Police world. PS: I half expected you to go for the NPAS job...where were you when we needed you?
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 10:10
  #22 (permalink)  
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Is it worth it?


Is being a helicopter pilot worth it...Yes.

Should you do it straight away...No.

By that I mean don't worry about getting into the Australian Heli industry too quickly. It can be a cut throat and harsh place with a fairly hard road to get to the 'best' jobs. What everyones 'best' job is is a matter of preference. Some people love chasing cows, some instructing (weirdos), some offshore and some HEMS. There is also the Australian Army and Navy option with uni thrown in.

My advice, concentrate on getting the best yr 12 results you can and then have a good look at what further education (uni) is open to you. Your views on career paths and life priorities will change as you get older so don't limit your long term options by putting all your efforts into the one idea of becoming a pilot.

I've been around helis for about 25 years now, military, civil, onshore and off and even though I still enjoy the experience of flying it is just a job and as such my time off is far more valuable.

Having invested these 'pearls of wisdom' with you it may all be for nothing as you could be one of the dyed in the wool aviation perverts (aerosexuals) that occasionally enhabit this site. they are easily identified as such by the fact that have obviously spent their entire working lives doing nothing but living for flying itself. Unfortunately, when their time comes to retire, as it does for everyone, they realise they have very little else that they are interested in and then find themselves in a huge void. Bit sad really.

If after getting as solid an education as you can and you still have the flying bug REALLY badly then get on the bottom rung of the ladder (normally some form of hangar rat) and start climbing. Some times it can be a hard climb and sometimes easy. Some people even fall off the ladder completely and never get back onto it. Talk to the right people and avoid the tossers if you can. The Gold Coast is knee deep in chopper pilots so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding some good guys and also quite a few tossers.

Think about the big picture mate it's a big world outside the cockpit. Good luck.

Last edited by floatsarmed; 1st Feb 2012 at 10:23. Reason: typo
Old 2nd Feb 2012, 20:40
  #23 (permalink)  
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The thing is there are far more helicopters around than ever before and their breeding % seems better than a rabbit factory. Someone told me that there is probably as many heli-pilots in the world now as there are people living in Chicago.

Whether we all have the same fascination for bank robbery and Thompson machine guns is sometimes a debateable subject. I say go for it.
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Old 3rd Feb 2012, 10:28
  #24 (permalink)  
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Wow, I'm astonished by the huge amount of responses and views.

Thanks everyone, Thank you all so very very much! All of you made things alot clearer for me. Aswell I've shared this thread to almost everyone I know interested so more people can benefit from this!

In regards to doing something else before helicopters, Sure have. I'm starting a Pre uni course in YR12 now for small business, then after that I'm going to do a 3 year course in Business/IT in Uni. (all paid by the Australian government! )

But I know for sure flying helicopters will always beat owning a business. My DREAM is to fly helicopters for tourists in snow covered areas. Like dropping off the pros at the summit of a mountain. Or simply flying tourist around, surrounded by those graceful white giants.

I now understand it is going to be tuff getting there. But I would do anything to talk to somebody who has experience in this type of flying. Asking how can I get there? whats something you would do instead to make it getting there easier? How much experience is requited? and is it good enough pay to just have the single job?

To answer some more questions, I am a hangar rat for helibiz (the largest helicopter training company cold coast)

So yes, I'm certainly going to go through with this! At least I know what I'm going to be hit with, and now I have ALOT of great ideas and tactics to help me more so.

and again, thank you guys so much. As I've learnt so much!
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 23:43
  #25 (permalink)  
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Being a pilot

My friend asked me to talk to her niece about becoming a pilot (Helicopter) and the first thing I asked the niece was,"when an aeroplane or helicopter passes by overhead, do you look up?" She looked at me in complete confusion and said,"no". My reply was,"well, that is your first clue!" My point is that you will seldom see a pilot not look up to check what it is, even if it is just a quick look and that indicates excitement and passion for flying. We just cannot help but look up, it is the natural thing. Money is not the motivator at all!

You have to have the passion for it...period! If you forsake the military, then you are giving yourself a tough path to follow financially. But,if ,like me, you had no money to start, then the military is the poor man's leg up in life. You can use it wisely and equip yourself with the necessary skills to pursue that dream! I miss my military time. It was a time full of comraderie and pride and it focuses your mind somewhat. People these days avoid potential failure or hardship, but as a helicopter pilot you need to be prepared for it as it is not a path for the faint hearted. And as you live in Australia, let me tell you that there is no excuse not to be a pilot. However, you may have to choose a path that is initially,not of your liking. But the end is what you have to look at!

Just so you know, I was trained in the Zimbabwean military and was the only "white" guy on my course and i received a good base from them. I went on to fly in the tourist industry and then moved to Canada and have flown in almost every province and territory as well as the Caribbean. So, if I, a poor white guy from Africa can do it, then there is no reason for you to fail. You just have to the chuztpah to go for it and ignore all the naysayers. And you know what, if you fail, so what. You tried and that is more than so many people do these days, don't be scared of failure. After all, success is getting up one more time than you fell down. Good luck with your career choice!!

Here is a link to show you that failure is not the end. You will be surpised at how much one can overcome!

Famous Failures Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan and More
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Old 9th Jul 2013, 13:35
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Nicely said. Cheers !
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 09:49
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My ten pen'orth

You get one shot at this life. Also consider choosing a career that could lead to a far greater income potential than working for somebody else.

You might then ultimately achieve your own personal machine and fly purely when you want to. Terrific fun always and never a chore.

Flying helicopters commercially sounds great but as the highly experienced contributors on this forum point out, you might end up with a flying job you really don't like, and earning cr@p money.

Your own machine, in your own hangar at home is an amazing privilege. Set yourself that target instead?!

Just my ten pen'orth.

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Old 13th Jul 2013, 10:03
  #28 (permalink)  
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Is it really worth being a helicopter pilot now?
Depends what you're in it for.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 13:12
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It almost beats being on the Dole....alas the hours are not as good although on some jobs the pay is about comparable.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 00:28
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"develop a certain type of outgoing personality, in the military!"
Put the crack pipe down gnow.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 15:03
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"Find something you love doing and get someone to pay you for it, you'll never work a day in your life."

Becoming a pilot is full of ups and downs, good times and bad, but it sure beats the h3ll out of working for a living.
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 04:03
  #32 (permalink)  
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Don't do it

Don't do it. Helicopter jobs all begin where the road ends. That means if you want to make any cash at all, you'll have to be somewhere like a camp in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, or somewhere like that. The jobs in nice cities don't pay and those cities are expensive to live in. Jobs are infrequent and cyclical. You can go 1 1/2 years looking for work with lots of experience. The "love" wears off after a while. Once you've done any job for a year, you have no more challenge and its the same old thing so don't kid yourself about love. Get into something with a good future from a university degree. Make good money. Buy yourself something to fly around in the weekends in. You'll be a lot happier when you reach 65.
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 07:30
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Do It

During the past twenty years I've flown law enforcement in MD500's/530's/407's and fire fighting/rescue in 205's. Now that I'm retired I'm doing primary instruction in 300C's. Each are rewarding in their own ways and neither are making me rich. However, people are alive today due to something my crew and I did and I'm now helping people achieve their dream of becoming helicopter pilots. Some may think I'm daft but some of my fondest memories revolve around helicopters.
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 17:49
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Not sure that flying a piston is less rewarding than a twin turbine ! Best fun is EOL's in training, bet you don't do too many in your twin turbine. Flown 355's A109's Puma's quite frankly a 341 or a 500 are far more fun to fly !!!!!
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 18:23
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Do it#2

I've done the military (17yrs) and currently working the North Sea for Oil & Gas. Both are great jobs and enjoyable/challenging in different ways. There is a huge amount of bolleaux spouted about working the North Sea (including by some notable, or not so, posters on here) and from the perspective of someone who is doing it right now, rather than someone who has never flown here, it's a damn good job with far more upsides than downsides.

Don't let the naysayers and bitter old twunts put you off. Just about any job in aviation beats sitting in an office somewhere wishing you had got that CPL after all
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 18:33
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Horses for courses. I had 18 years in mil aviation, now I work for six months of the year and have the likes of SimonK in his rubber bag as my chauffeur. It isn't so much the job, but what you get out of life as a result of that job.
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Old 20th Apr 2014, 18:50
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When I was at school all I wanted was to become a pilot. The long and short was my father refused to let me do a scholarship with BA and I had to do medicine.

I am now in a job that pays far more than flying, does not require a medical, and everyone I know who isnt a pilot says how right my father was. I have even been able to fly rotary.

Given the chance again, I would fly without any hesitation, and not a day goes by when I wouldn't give up everything to fly full time.

If you believe you would feel the same, go fly. If you have doubts dont. flying for a career is about passion over common sense. And yes I look up every time I hear a plane
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Old 21st Apr 2014, 08:37
  #38 (permalink)  
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Smile Thanks everyone

Hey, Original poster here. And Wow. I'm Surprised this thread is still going after all those years. There were some really helpful comments in this thread that really made me comfortable in deciding not to pursue piloting as a career. I think It took me about a month or so after I created this thread that I decided it would be a decision I would regret pursuing a career in Aviation. Sadly most of you guys are right. Excluding the military, there's just way too much personal and financial sacrifice/risk to make piloting helicopters a good career choice. Which is a shame, but sticking true to my passion I do fly fixed wing aircraft when I can afford to.

I've shared this thread to friends of mine that wanted to pursue a career in Aviation. I Was surprised how many of them didn't really understand what it would take for them to get to their dream job in aviation. Some of them also decided to focus on something else instead, some of them are still sticking to it today.

thanks for all of those who shared their experiences and all the helpful comments again. Going to be a few less jobless pilots thanks to this thread . I'm still pursuing my business career. Right now I'm just about getting started in studying in business school.
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Old 23rd Apr 2014, 16:21
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Flying helicopters for a living is like crack addiction.

Despite all the good advice from people not to you try it anyway and that first experience is just like you had always imagined only better. The next couple of years disappear in a black hole of experimentation whilst also losing your house, all your possessions and most of your friends. Ten years later you wake up broke, morally bankrupt and miserable in a strange place where you can't speak the language. You are surrounded by people who are just like you all talking about how they are going to get out of the life and start fresh but never actually doing anything about it with the only consolation being that if they are not as f%&ked up as you then they are not far behind.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 02:14
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Bwaaah! Love it 2leftskids. Funny cuz it's true.

I'm sick of the "never work a day in your life", "gosh gee whiz I can't believe I get paid to fly a helicopter" Pollyanna crap regurgitated by those with financial interests in the helicopter training industry.

Good to see some acknowledgement of the social toll the mercenary drive to compete and achieve in the industry can take on ones life.
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