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Bristow Academy...really added value for job later?

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Bristow Academy...really added value for job later?

Old 11th Oct 2012, 11:18
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Bristow Academy...really added value for job later?

Hy Guys,

I hope this thread will be by itself and not moved in "you want to be a pilot" since i am asking something a little bit different.

Bristow Academy is today Known world-over as one of the best helicopter school.

BUT, how much this help AFTER graduation in finding a job? Is their name recognized by the operators as an added value?
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 12:32
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I would very much like to know as well. Is there a difference between the BA marketing material and the real world? I suspect there might be
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 14:28
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I do know of one chap who got hired fresh from BA recently (2-3 weeks ago). Fresh out of his IR in the UK (CPL in Florida prior to that), interview then direct to Puma Type Rating.
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 20:00
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Garfs - big congratulations to him! Do you know what company hired him? Bristow north sea operations?
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 20:37
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It didn't hurt
You will make a LOT of connections at Bristow Academy. You might not realize it at the time but it will help you a few years down the road for sure. I'm going so far as to say that in most companies around the globe there is a good chance you'll bump into someone who trained at Bristow / Helicopter Adventures to help you out one way or another.
The training is absolutely top-notch and high standard (too high?) and the JAA-sideof the school influences the FAA-training in a very positive way. Your groundschool (esp. IFR) goes way beyond FAA-standards, even Crew Ressource Management (i.e. SRM) is part of your initial PPL already.

That being said:
  • Bristow doesn't guarantee you a CFI-job and if you don't get one you won't get one there (their selection starts with day one of your PPL)
  • Bristow doesn't give a dime about you once you've finished your training
  • Bristow doesn't help you find a job in this industry
  • Bristow is a big school and it's easy to become a number. Even though they try not too, it comes with the big amount of students
  • There are many other great schools in the US. Particularly when it comes to high-altitude training (some particularly good ones in Colorado & Utah)
So do not count on Bristow after you graduate. You're left on your own to achieve your goal and find your place in the industry. But their name and the training sure does help along the way once you found your first job.

P.S.: In the name of decency I might add that I got 2 of my 3 jobs because I went there

Last edited by Hawkeye0001; 11th Oct 2012 at 20:40.
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 22:39
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They do their best to give you that impression. This is not the public school system, and they really want you money. But like said above, it won´t hurt. I do belive the contact you (might) make can be more beneficial that the name of the school. There are people from around the globe training there, and it will give you som insight as to where to look for that first job.

I did PPL to CLP there, then I did the IR elsewhere, and my impression is that the instructors there are really just young chaps without any REAL experience. When I did my IR i CA I flew with an ex-military Chinook-pilot, and that was night and day. Truly NIGHT and DAY.

I got the impression that the instructors at BA were really jumpy, never taking their hands of the collective and made inputs all the time when you were flying. That is bad for your training in my opinion.

There are other issues though. The availability of helicopters. As an FAA student, you are their last priority. Money rules, and the EASA and South American military pilots get to book copter in advance, then you get whats left.

Also, flying in FL is extremely boring. The after doing the course and flying in hilly terrain, it will feel like you have never flown before. It is a big difference for sure.
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Old 12th Oct 2012, 03:49
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Agreed with most of the above;

I was fortunate enough to work at Bristow after my CFI, however that said, out of a class of approx 15 CFI students there were only 2 of us employed. Granted, it really depends on the need for instructors at the time - that was 2009 when economically things were going down the pot - not sure the stats on how many folks get hired nowadays per class.

Bristow is good for the brand, no doubt about that and it does work, provided you put the effort in and dont treat it as a kindergarden school and expect people to chase you up all the time and then wonder why you never got a job after that. I think it really does start from day 1 of you at the school - so strive to be as professional as you can, even as a student pilot, impressions go a long way.

However, they are a business at the end of the day and if they applied a personal touch to everyone and took pity on everyone to give jobs, they wouldnt have they brand name that they do. With so many students going through there per year, you cant expect a very high number of people to get a job, simply because there are just so many students.

I think if you want a solid training program and have the buck to support it, Bristow is the best. Even if you dont get a job immediately, it's always nice that an employer knows you came from Bristow Academy ( a well known, standardised school with good safety ethos) than say 'Fred in the Shed's Helicopters'.

It's a tough one, but to answer your question, I think it does help - it probably got me my job!
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Old 12th Oct 2012, 08:01
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I second that with Mauna Loa, and I know Alan Olden and the guys at BA do a good job on the ground.

phil

Last edited by paco; 12th Oct 2012 at 08:02.
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Old 12th Oct 2012, 11:25
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If you want to know if having done the training in Bristow Academy is useful, just look at the number of HAI/BA graduates now working in Nigeria either for Pan African or Bristow, quite a few who have now also gotten into training jobs with those companies in Nigeria.

As a number of other posters have said, the big advantages of BA are the contacts you make while there (and then the growing network of contacts that will lead to over the years) and the quality of the groundschool, particularly the EASA ground school.

In many Bristow operations, even if you apply years down the road after the initial training, "Bristow Trained" on your CV undoubtedly helps when it comes to being considered for a job. A number of Bristow trained pilots who left are also now in senior positions in other companies, both rotary wing and fixed wing.
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Old 14th Oct 2012, 04:42
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Can't but agree with Mamaput, as I am myself one of the ex HAI CFIs that are now working in Nigeria...for Pan African.

I have HAI to thank for every single job I've had the last 11 years.
Not only for the image the school has across the world (Job #1) but also for the all important network you build by working there...(all the other jobs)

Chances are that in every company you can think of applying for a job with, someone from HAI / BA either works there or knows someone working there.
Easy to get a reference for sure. Got my other jobs through former room mates, students and of course Patrick Corr himself.

I can honestly say I wouldn't have had my career progression if it wasn't for HAI. That being said, there is no guarantee of anything...you have to work hard, be professional...and be lucky. Don't underestimate luck. A lot of very good pilots from my time at HAI are no longer working as pilots...


Ken
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Old 16th Oct 2012, 15:24
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I would hire a guy/gal who had HAI or Bristow Academy on their resume over Joe Blow's Flight School.

Last edited by OffshoreHeli-Mgr; 16th Oct 2012 at 15:25.
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Old 16th Oct 2012, 16:19
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I would hire a guy/gal who had HAI or Bristow Academy on their resume over Joe Blow's Flight School.
What a statement

What if Joe's instructors are former HAI/BA graduates...?
Or are you saying the instructors not hired within BA itself are not good enough?
It comes down to the individual, even within BA there are undesireables.

And then there is management. The school was a better place when run by Patrick and Camyllus, I stand by that.
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Old 16th Oct 2012, 16:19
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Of all the pilots I flew with there was a distinct difference between HAI/Bristow grads and others.

Standarisation is second to none, and you know what you get with a HAI/Bristow grad.

So bottomline I don't really bother with others than HAI/Bristow grads.
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 07:40
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So bottomline I don't really bother with others than HAI/Bristow grads.
In my view this is a ridiculous statement, my experience tells me that a good pilot can come from any background, I have seen brilliant PPL's and rubbish CPL's

It depends on the person not where they trained IMO
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Old 17th Oct 2012, 18:55
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I've seen the 500hrs ME or "be a Bristow graduate" requirement for a north sea copilot job, too. The OGP guidelines would also allow for graduates of other schools, so this requirement indeed sounds like marketing for their academy.

As far as the quality of graduates is concerned: I've met some very good BA guys, but also some who I'd never give a job if I'd be an employer.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 12:39
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It's the name that will get you contacts and possible jobs....However, ANY school where a student can keep paying for more and more training and testing until they pass has MAJOR pitfalls...and the school will not say, enough is enough, maybe you should think of another career, they have no morals WHATSOEVER and are a business afterall. BA does have a good groundschool, and as mentioned the name is what will get you a job, but remember this is not the Bristow training school of old, being trained by EXPERIENCED pilots, that can really teach and pass on knowledge/experience etc, most of the instuctors have NO experience, so as an employer I would find out where and who trained my prospective employee, and I don't care if it was at the BA or not! There are other flight schools,(someone mentioned above) where the instructors are ex military or experienced pilots etc and I would rather employ from one of these than the BA. (again, depends who the students instructor was, how many hours they took to gain a PPL and CPL etc)
The BA does produce good pilots too, but, I have also seen some ex BA pilots now flying after getting a position JUST because they went through BA, and the only reason they are still flying today is because the captains they fly with have NOT LET THEM CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is not the job of a captain to come to work and have their workload trebled by having to watch everything these co-jos do...they are meant to be part of the crew not a hindrance to it...they are meant to be PROFESSIONALS!!!!!!!!! If you cannot fly then have the decency to get another job before you KILL someone!!!!!!!!!!!
Rant over..........................
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 15:22
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The only advantage to attending a large school is the contacts you'll make and may keep with other grads. After a few jobs, nobody could care less where you went to school. Every job has a CP with his own expectations of how business should be done and this may be very different to your primacy training.
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