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Do Not Become A Helicopter Pilot

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If you have the money to buy a license, it would be much better spent on a University education, emerging preferably with a Masters. It is a lot of work but will be the foundation of the rest of your life.

Once you are an established professional in your late twenty's with a guarenteed source of income and a family, weekends at the club lifestyle to fall back on, then is a good time to become a helicopter pilot. You would be a well-educated individual seasoned in life, and with a bit of experience you would make vice president with CHC.

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After a year or so of lurking, I feel compelled to wade in on this one. The posts on this site have been useful, enlightening, and often entertaining. Occasionally, there are some negative rants and raves, but they're mostly harmless. However, I wanted to offer my experiences for those fellow low-timers out there looking for a glimmer of hope.


After getting my B.Sc. degree, I worked furiously until I had acquired all the trappings of a 'successful' life in the conventional sense. Big house, nice cars, lots of toys ... Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every second of the journey, but another calling that had been with me since childhood started getting louder and louder. Not being complete dreamer, I started my training while still working full-time, just in case I discovered that I wasn't going to be as good a pilot as I was determined to be. Plus, I wasn't exactly rolling in it despite the lifestyle, and saving enough for each stage took time and careful planning (I'm still on the hook for a pretty big chunk). Once it looked like my instructor might actually make a competent driver out of me, it was decision time.


Now, I had grown up on the periphery of the industry in a few of the more notable resort locations North of 60, so I was aware of the life in store for me. It was time to leave it all behind and hit the road. Which brings me to the point: anybody that gets into this racket for the money best take a moment to reevaluate ... it's about passion. Yes, you will have to accept that there will be several years of the unofficial apprenticeship on the ground, doing some heavy lifting and working on things that seem unrelated to The Goal, perhaps even for little or no compensation, or for an hour here and there of air time. This period will be (for me, it still is!) a test of your resolve, but there are lessons to be learned along the way that will serve you well later. I did a season as a swamper, and this year I have been fortunate enough to get some significant time logged. Along the way, I was introduced to a community rife with petty politics, infighting, and some of the most genuine, loyal, and down-to-earth people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. If you know in your guts that you could endure anything for those moments that make it all worth it, that you're not destined for the conventional life (at least not for a while), then living in a bush camp for months, dealing with the odd chucklehead here and there, working your butt off, and not having penny to your name seems a fair price.


Be realistic, but be tenacious - if you want it, it will happen.

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Well said CGS...your story is so familiar for many in this form! I just landed and thought I'd see what has been transpiring through the day here at our favorite chat room and your thoughts brought back some perspective for me even when the flight might seem boring or mundane.....it is what we chose to do and sacrifce for........Bleedvalve I'm not sure why I'm even bothering with you but I have a stronge feeling that many people coast to coast wished you gave it a rest and you :up:used your last phone call to phone a friend before you get voted off the island........enough is enough with the self pitty..........


Later all



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For some time there has been a concern about what is and what is not a positive attitude and what role it should play in determining who is or is not employed in this fine industry of ours?


Canadians as Citizens are afforded rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms signed under the authority of PE Trudeau in 1981 and passed into law. So these concepts are relatively new, to Canada 23 years old. Even today many of the countries laws are still bieng ammended to reflect Charter values.


The question of attitude is a question of opinion, and this right too is protected under section 2 sebsection B. of the Charter. In so far as it does not violate or bring into disrepute the the administration of Justice or a process undertaken to administer Justice.


Section 24.(1) and subsections enforces the Charter.


So as long as you are not in violation of the Charter it must be assumed that "attitude" should have absolutely no bearing in determining or giving cause to justify a violation under 6(2) of the Charter.


Just thought I would clear that up!



Visit http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/

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We've all had our bad days, bad months and bad years in this business called aviation. It applies to the engineering fraternity also. There comes a day though and it could be some Wednesday afternoon for example, when the sun is shining, the winds are just great and the aircraft is purring like a kitten.......all's right with the world. You look down at people going and coming and think to yourself...."I wouldn't change places with any of those poor buggars for anything". THAT'S what aviation is all about and when it isn't like that anymore, then "hang'em up", move on and make room for someone that does think like that......and they aren't necessarily a "newbie" either. Those that call us "husband", "Dad" or "sweetheart" get the short-end of the stick also many times because sometimes we don't always "close the hangar door" when we arrive home......be it positive in nature or negative.


Our jobs are not like a host of others out there. Whether we are engineer or pilot, when we have an accident it ends up in the headlines of some paper or on Page 2, It will probably make the radio and TV and announce to all that we made that mistake. Many, many other trades and professions that make more money than us or make less than us, don't have their mistakes anounced to all publicly. Many of those trades and professions can make mistakes and it doesn't cost lives or cause great material damage. It was once said to me that pilots and engineers in aviation are like real good drill instructors or teachers.......they are born to it.......not made.


Those that don't or have never had "that Wednesday afternoon", I feel very sorry for because life is too short to be in a profession or trade you dislike.......and there are thousands of poor souls like you.

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Bravo Cap,

Another well written, nail on the head comment. This business is about passion. And if you dont have it you shouldnt be here. I get really dissapointed when guys tell me they are thinking of moving on to another career. I understand that people change and values change but if your heart isnt in it move along and let someone else live the dream. Just my 2 cents.

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...Canadians as Citizens are afforded rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms signed under the authority of PE Trudeau in 1981 and passed into law. So these concepts are relatively new, to Canada 23 years old...

Come on now leadingedge... there were many, many, many laws that guaranteed rights for Canadians prior to 1982... so these "concepts" are not new. The Bill of Rights of 1960, for example, guaranteed basic rights and freedoms. However, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Constitution, and therefore has been cemented into place in a far more permanent and unassailable way.




P.S. Tell your buddy bleedvalve he shouldn't be quaffing rum at such an early hour on a Sunday...

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Believe it not Bleedvalve, many others have been in your same position or worse. The "industry" now owes me approximately $20,000, not counting inflation over the years, for 3 particular companies going bankrupt. Those workinhg in HQ had the ability to run quickly down to the bank when they were issued their paycheques, but yours truly was "you know where" in a bloody tent. "Sh*t happens" and one gotta move on. You may forgive, but you don't forget. Then one day someone says you got lots of experience and you smile because you realize that there are many elements that make up that experience. Some guys have been in the business a long time and this business has cost them 2-3 wives and families. The cost comes high, but you stay or you get out ........in either case you try to keep the moaning down to a dull roar because the guy standing next to you got his own story also that may make yours "pale in comparison".

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