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Low-timer Looking For Advice From You High-timers


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I know you guys probably get asked this question all the time, but here goes:


Us newbies (I've had my licence for almost a year and I'm just about to break 150 hrs) are always caught in the vicious circle of no job = no experience and no experience = no job. How can one break out of this pattern ? I know, I know, I hear it all the time: "don't give up, be persistent. yada yada...". Short of buying hours (which basically comes down to paying to work) or buying a helicopter or share thereof, what other ways are there to build time ?


I hang around the hangar 5 days a week, buy hours when I can afford to, and hope to get scraps when none of the regular pilots or wealthier guys who buy hours aren't available, but that doesn't amount to much. At this rate I'll be ready to retire before I hit 500 hours !


Don't get me wrong, I knew what I was getting into when I decided to become a helicopter driver, and nothing will deter me from reaching that goal (getting to a point where I can make a living from it, that is...). I just thought someone might have some insight or tips to pass on...


Thx guys...

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Your post says so much that is good.

Yes, be persistent, keep knocking on doors, and hang in there.

Don't expect a job at this time of year, even high-timers are looking for work now.


If you aren't getting to fly at the hangar you are spending time at, go on a road trip just to meet some guys in the business. The contacts will be useful when the "real" road trip comes up in the spring-time.


Don't buy hours just to build time......a few extra hours won't matter to a potential employer. Spend your money wisely on quality time.......a turbine endorsement, some slinging, recurrency just before a road trip etc.


One year is not long to wait, compared to many guys that were in your position.

The job-search dilemna (and depression) sort the men from the boys (the wanna-bes from the gonna-bes). It will prepare you for some tough situations and decision-making in your future career.


Smile, act professional, and keep at it.

Good luck.

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Skidz --------first of all your position is exactly the same as your cousins in the F/W world. Secondly, right from the start now and for the rest of your career, you'll will enounter the expression "in the right place at the right time". This will come into play even once you have found that ideal position you desire and comes into play with check-outs or certain positions or flying area that you desire. Thirdly, the vast majority of positions in F/W and R/W are never advertised and basically are "word of mouth". The most valuable ally that you might have is another friend in the same position as you that had found work and has been there for some time. Companies tend to want to hire those that they know or, barring that, someone that is recommended by one of their employees.


The advice you have already been given may have already been heard by you, but is excellent advice. I'm passing my little "tidbit" on to you as supplement to that information only. In otherwards, there are many things that you will do to acquire that first job, that you will encounter again during your career. The difference is that over time you will acquire a reputation, good or bad, and that will ease or hinder your search for a position. Again, once you have that position, being "in the right place at the right time" will come into play on many, many occasions. This little advice here won't get you a job tomorrow morning, but it can help in the "attitude department" and that department is the one you want to pay special attention to because it will carry you far in this business.

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i went four years between hour 100 and hour 101... with a wife and two young 'uns to support, i wasn't as mobile as i SHOULD have been... my advice to you is simple...





...close to helicopters





and out of jail!


keep yer stick on the ice...

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Sell your car.


Buy a much cheaper, smaller car.


Sell everything you own.


Buy lots of cereal


Place cereal in new small car.


Sell house/TV/XBox/Children.


Live in Car.


And remember, your doing this cause you love it, if it was easy, everyone would do it.


thats my 1.5 cents



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Thanks for the advice and encouragement guys. I appreciate the wisdom, although in all honesty, I didn't hear anything new.


In response to tDawe:


-I ditched the gf when I started training (she said "it's either flying or me", no brainer...;-) and I've steered clear of any commitments with anything that doesn't have a rotor.


-I sold the house


-I sold my truck and bought a Diesel Jetta (55 MPG)


-I've liquidated most of my possessions


-I've "invested" in a couple of endorsements: I trained on HU30, got rated on RH22, RH44 and just finished my 206 rating today. I've got a couple hours to go for my NVFR. I got my PPC last Feb. (needed that so I could "work" and I'm keeping a little money aside to do a little float time and VR/Bambi time in the spring.



need I say more ???


Oh - I moved back in with dad to save on rent (D-OH!)


I guess you could say I'm "committed" (most of my friends actually tell me I should be committed for making the leap...)


I now have more questions:


I'm planning on taking a roadtrip sometime in February. Starting on the East Coast and heading west. I'll be due for my VPC just before I go, so I'll be fresh. What's the best approach ? Should I go with a list of every commercial operator under my arm and cold-call ? Should I spend a few days calling them on the phone to line up "interviews" before I leave ? How much time should I spend "squeeking" at one operator's base before moving on ?


Chief pilots must get harassed by low-timers all the time. How do I get them to even take a glance at my cv and focus on me for a second or two ? (instead of looking more interested at what they're excavating out of their noses, which is pretty much what I've gotten at the two places I've visited here)...


Are there specific areas (especially in AB and BC) where operators are more likely to hire low-timers (even if 90% of the work is ground crew related) ? Should I visit remote bases or concentrate on main operations bases ?


I've heard that operators won't even look at you out west if you don't have a mountain flying course. Looking at the Penticton school's syllabus, 23 hours of 206 time at say, 700$ (I know, I'm dreaming), still works out to over 16k !!!


Well, I'd love to stay and ask 1001 more questions, but I've got a flight at 1130Z, so I'd better hit the sack.


Just keep the advice coming guys !

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