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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 24th Apr 2014, 09:50
  #41 (permalink)  
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Yeah mate I have massive financial interest in the helicopter training industry, muppet!

Before you start with the Pollyanna insults pal you should try asking a few questions. I spent 20 years in a job I hated because I believed the hype and chased the rainbows. Luckily for me I had a career ending accident and retrained to be a helicopter pilot. Now I fly for a living and even on the 5hit days it's better than pushing a broom or sitting in my tin coffin for 4 hrs a days to get to the job I hated.

So up yours mate! Flying is better than working for a living yes it is like a crack addiction but I still get up every morning and go to work glad I'm going to be flying
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 19:14
  #42 (permalink)  
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Good day ET,

You seem a little testy for a man experiencing the freedom and serenity of never having to work another day in his life. Perhaps more the composure of a buckin bronc with his nuts in a wrap?

Yup all the kids and onlookers should know that will be the likely plight they are in as a helicopter pilot paying the bills. Get used to being a YES man as there are legions of up and comers willing to take your job and very few options to escape poor employment conditions. A muppet being led around by the desire to quench an addiction. Let's just hope you don't have too many dependants.....Get used to having the political power of a gnat in a hurricane.

Now about chasing rainbows and carrots and things that are shiny and flitter , NO, NO that never happens in the helicopter industry. Bwaaaah!!!!!

Grab that broom and look busy.
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 22:59
  #43 (permalink)  
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As I suspected, just another troll
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 01:00
  #44 (permalink)  
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Here's a new perspective. I'm 51, in a stable very well paid government job but hate it. It's stressful, boring and I have to deal with idiots all day.

I'm financially set up to the point where I almost don't have to work any more and could retire in about 7 years.

I have loved flying all my life and am currently undertaking a fixed wing PPL. I am very very tempted to drop everything and take up flying helicopters for a living. I'm not really too concerned about the dollars but would like to achieve something meaningful before being forced to retire. I'm healthy enough to work till 70 and would do that if it was something I enjoyed. Question is - is it worth pursuing at my age?

And noone has actually mentioned - how much does the average chopper pilot earn??

Apologies for the hijack.
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 09:34
  #45 (permalink)  
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And here's another perspective... I'm an ex-military pilot with 2.000 hours in Superpuma an I'm looking for a job and all I have found is the following:

- Companys looking for AW139 type rated pilots (who can pay an AW139 t/r??!!!).
- Companys that NEVER reply to an application.
- Flight Academys saying that if you take this or that course, you'll be hired. But it never happens...
- Countries with hundreds of job positions and making every effort to avoid people from abroad to apply for them.

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Old 29th Jul 2014, 09:51
  #46 (permalink)  
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Baldrick - roughly 40K, give or take.

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Old 29th Jul 2014, 11:31
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To get a helicopter CPL and enough hours to be employable, it may take you another 3 years. Although not allowed to be ageist, most larger companies may not be prepared to invest in your training which could limit your ability to achieve.

I would take the retirement option unless you can afford to do a helicopter CPL and then not work much?
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 12:08
  #48 (permalink)  
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And there's the age 60 rule in many countries.
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 13:07
  #49 (permalink)  
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My Two Cents worth of advice.

Stay at your miserable job but find yourself a really nice Glider, get stuck in doing that kind of flying, enjoy every minute of it, do your PPL and rent an airplane when you want, maybe even get to towing Gliders when you are able to do so.

At age 51, you would be throwing good money after bad to start a career flying Helicopters for a Living.

If you think your current job is stressful and requires you to deal with Idiots, I can assure you launching off into a new career flying helicopters professionally will just be the same but with far less pay and benefits than you have now.

Live your passion but do it in a manner that you fly when you want to, where you want to, with the people you want to do it with, in the weather you want to do it in, be your own Boss while doing it. You will be much happier in the long run.
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 13:22
  #50 (permalink)  

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I agree with BB. if you had tried to change tack even ten years younger it would be risky. You are likely to find yourself in similar circumstances but a lot poorer than you thought.
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 03:01
  #51 (permalink)  
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Baldrick110. I would like to say if you want to fly helicopters then do it. EXCEPT keep working in your day to day job. Fly helicopters at the weekend and slowly over the years get your ppl, cpl and then flight instructor. Still keep working in your day to day job and at the weekend go and be a flight instructor, it may take a good few years to do, but you will still have a steady income and enjoy your weekends with an end goal in sight. Also when you decide to retire from your job, you will be able to instruct for a bit of income.

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Old 30th Jul 2014, 04:58
  #52 (permalink)  
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Thanks everyone for the replies. You are pretty much telling me what I know in the back of my mind anyway.

One thing that made me wonder - I have worked in the Antarctic a few times and always been jealous of the chopper pilots who fly down there. Last time I was there they had trouble finding anyone, we had pilots from NZ, Canada, all old blokes (older than me)!
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Old 30th Jul 2014, 07:53
  #53 (permalink)  
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Baldrick, I have stopped flying after 45 years of it. Reason? I got sick of dealing with d1ckhead students and demanding bosses and having to make decisions about weather, alternates, fuel, recency, serviceability, health, fitness, blah bluddy blah but I still miss the money. Grumpy old blokes make a reasonable living these days, not like I had to put up with until about 2001. If you are about 40 now with around 6000 hrs, you have to opportunity to put away enough to properly retire.

The best path for you is: suck it up, stay in the well-paying job. Make a bucket of money, then tell them to stick it.

Fly for fun. Enjoy it. But you are most likely too old to get the experience necessary to become a commercial pilot and get a well-paying job before you hit 60, and your health will then start playing a larger part in the overall scheme of things.
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 06:07
  #54 (permalink)  
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Jobs for Retired Naval Helicopter Pilots

Hi Elder Brethren
I am a retired Indian naval helicopter pilot with 1900 hours of flying (600+ deck landings). I am 34 years old. I am looking for job opportunities. Which is the best country to aim for to pursue my aviation career.... Please give some information in this regard.
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 23:29
  #55 (permalink)  
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This thread has been somewhat of an eyeopener for me - as I quite like flying and have been drawn to the rotary side of things simply because of the "land anywhere" capabilities ( don't jump on me for that one as I'm well aware of the rules against). The trouble with me is - that I "like" quite a lot of things and I feel what we are dealing with here is PASSION!

As others have said - if you find yourself NOT doing all the #hi##y stuff, hangar cleaning, long hours,low or no pay for years just for the chance to feel the disc lift off with YOU in control...... then it's not for you. I reckon the same could be said for other callings too for I never have understood folk who say they hate the job they do or just tolerate it for the sake of the money.

Suffice it to say that despite seeing normal retirement age fly passed a few years back I never did continue with my 2 hours tuition on the R22 but have accumulated 25,000 sitting on various horses and at least 17,000 of them on one particularly amazing beast - and I can honestly say that even though some of jobs around horses are deep in do-do - I used to go to my mare like a kid let out of school. And whereas most folk will let you get away with talking to a horse ( mine understood every word, of course!) a helicopter will only ever be a machine - even if a rather capricous one.
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Old 19th Mar 2015, 10:31
  #56 (permalink)  
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Rotary flying

As the original thread is gently running out of steam ... I'd like to close with my pennorth, and add a few personal words of encouragement and actuality for industry newcomers.

Helicopter aviation isn't all bad ... (in fact for 95% of the time it is unbelievably good) and, as already mentioned here, to any young guy or gal who cannot resist 'looking up' when there's an aircraft passing overhead ... I'd say "do whatever becomes necessary to earn your living in the air." Being an ex-Royal Air Force fast jet man. Meteor, Vampire, Hunter, Canberra, Valiant and even Avro's trusty old Lincoln ... I joined civilian aviation in 1970 where to date, I've managed around 75 fixed wing types and 33 helicopters. (and for TC, quite a few with a useless second engine!) Coat at the ready!

Over a 45-year period. I flew helicopter sales demonstration, Air taxi, crop spraying, aerial photography and feature film work, police work, power and pipeline inspection AND best of all: flying training as an FI and examiner and as a display pilot. Through those years, I managed some 3,500 hours in fixed wing plus another 14,500 hours rotary. On the debit side, and as many will know, I sadly experienced an horrendous family loss.

As a COF*, and as many Pruners will know, 2015 will see me past my 83rd birthday. But just five months ago, I was invited to display an MD530F at an air show in South Africa. There, I was surrounded by the nicest and most dedicated bunch of aviation people it has been my pleasure to meet. Having flown three or four display sorties a day ... at the end of the week before my BA flight home, I sat down in my hotel room and wrote the following in my diary. "I think this week has been the most enjoyable ... the most satisfying and the most rewarding, (not financial) of my flying career."

Five months later, I haven't changed a word. That sort of experience is worth diamonds.

On this forum, newcomers will find an unparalleled cross-section of aviation experience. rotary and fixed wing. (Someone should produce the total flying hours ... double figure millions perhaps) I've so enjoyed taking on board their personal and often contentious views. It seems to me we have a great industry, chock full of knowledgeable, highly experienced and mostly charismatic helicopter pilots you'll be proud to enter. Yes, it IS a difficult club to join and not always properly rewarded, but I've lost count of the number of youngsters who've approached me in the past for career guidance ... and who are now whisking about, 2000 feet above me in the latest S-76s and AW-139s. And has been said elsewhere ... my flying gloves have to be hung up at some time. Another vacancy along with the other COFs. Good luck to all you guys. (M & F) Jump in, the water's fine. Dennis K.

* Crusty Old Fart.
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