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jas600

Pilot Training

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Just to throw in a comparison for guys starting out. (not to get into the best/worst company to start out with debate/rant)

 

I started flying 25 years ago through the military route. I was an Officer Cadet. They are currently paid $1487/month. From my pay they deducted room and board and taxes, etc... (I remember having about 450$/month disposable income which paid for my car and weekend beer.)

 

At that time it took 2 years to finish my training (about 100 hours on a 206), then I got to be a copilot, and I got a raise. I then was obligated to serve a minimum of 5 years to pay back my training cost debt (now its 7 years). Most of the pilots attain about 1500 hours after that 7 years which is barely employable by many companies today. After about year 4 the pay is now equivalent to about 75K/yr about 95K at the option to get out point (7 years on duty).

 

You get stability, IFR and equipment paid for BUT you don't get vertical reference, seismic, fire revenue chasing experiences nor allot of hours like they use to in the 80s early 90s.

 

I throw that out for reference only.

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This has been an informative tread.

I feel for any of you low timers looking for work. Its a tough go, and only seems to be getting worse.

A few years ago I was a company training pilot for a large company and I can say it DOES matter what school you pick. I 100% agree with the guys who say learn from an experienced instructor, and by experienced, i mean operationally experienced. At the time when I was a training pilot I could have told you the schools to stay away from. However, because I've been away from that environment for a couple of years I feel it unfair to comment. So i won't. A pattern that I noticed at the time was the new 100 pilots that trained with "simulated" operation experience did the best. They new how to handle a helicopter at gross weight and various other loads. They also knew how to put on winter covers and how to get the fuel from a drum to the helicopter. Some guys didn't know how to open the drum let alone hook up a pump and transfer fuel. Don't be swayed by Jetranger/ turbine time. Getting the endorsement, and enough hours to be comfortable and familiar is enough. Anymore than that, you're wasting your money. By the time you actually work for a customer that cares that you have 50+ hours on a 206, you'll have 50+ hours on a 206. The small training helicopters teach you finesse and power management, important tools for your level.

Now if you're reading this and flight schools are something you're thinking about in the future, its never too soon to start building that resume. Look for summer jobs that will look good on your future resume. Ex forest fire fighters and farm kids seem to do very well in the helicopter industry. Maybe that should be a new thread topic, what employers like to see on low timers resumes.

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This has been an informative tread.

I feel for any of you low timers looking for work. Its a tough go, and only seems to be getting worse.

A few years ago I was a company training pilot for a large company and I can say it DOES matter what school you pick. I 100% agree with the guys who say learn from an experienced instructor, and by experienced, i mean operationally experienced. At the time when I was a training pilot I could have told you the schools to stay away from. However, because I've been away from that environment for a couple of years I feel it unfair to comment. So i won't. A pattern that I noticed at the time was the new 100 pilots that trained with "simulated" operation experience did the best. They new how to handle a helicopter at gross weight and various other loads. They also knew how to put on winter covers and how to get the fuel from a drum to the helicopter. Some guys didn't know how to open the drum let alone hook up a pump and transfer fuel. Don't be swayed by Jetranger/ turbine time. Getting the endorsement, and enough hours to be comfortable and familiar is enough. Anymore than that, you're wasting your money. By the time you actually work for a customer that cares that you have 50+ hours on a 206, you'll have 50+ hours on a 206. The small training helicopters teach you finesse and power management, important tools for your level.

Now if you're reading this and flight schools are something you're thinking about in the future, its never too soon to start building that resume. Look for summer jobs that will look good on your future resume. Ex forest fire fighters and farm kids seem to do very well in the helicopter industry. Maybe that should be a new thread topic, what employers like to see on low timers resumes.

 

 

Nice post Skidmark.

 

I am not a training pilot...just bush. I found that the time I spent in my previous lifetimes was ultimately more valuable on a day by day basis because I already knew what my customers wanted. I was a heli-logger, could run a saw, rappel fire-fighter (out of a 206), roughneck/derrick hand etc etc, and even 214 seat-meat (from which I actually did learn alot). I found that because I had good working knowledge of what was trying to be accomplished by my clients I could strictly focus on the flying at hand. It's kinda funny how some fire-fighters/loggers/surveyors keep wanting to try the same things some times. Made my PDM alot easier because I knew it didn't work very well when I asked the exact same thing of the pilot flying me around back then. LOL

 

As for where I went trainning, I'll just say that it was all done in sub-zero temps with very focused operational value. Considering where I've spent the majority of my career...boy did that help.

 

Fly Safe all

 

Zazu

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