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Aspiring pilot advice thread

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Just to add and update to what some of Crusty said with respect to military piloting.

Initial enrollment requires you to agree to 10 years post wings so quite a commitment. Degrees are still required to be a pilot in the CAF, if you don’t have one they’ll pay for it but then you owe more time.

I assume Crusty flew in a different community then I do because in the Tactical Aviation community we rarely fly real IFR due to the limitations of the Bell 412. No lack of bad weather flying opportunities (I don’t consider this a good thing though). Definitely requires creativity and thinking outside of the box too

I agree that we fly less and our skills don’t necessarily translate to the vfr world though. IFR, offshore and fixed-wing airlines are probably a better fit in civilian flying transitions. I’ve found that flying variety, different work opportunities and deployments are the advantages. 

As a family man now sometimes I can’t help but think and laugh how airlines would have been so much easier. Not advocating for it though, probably even more boring than I imagine.

Good luck.

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13yrs in the industry.   Grew up around american IFR offshore pilots so had VERY skewed expectations when I got my license and started out in the Canadian industry.   

Be prepared to give 100% into the industry or don't even try.   Have a backup plan and learn to live with extreme frugality for the first few years.  Very few guys that get their license ever make a career of it.  If you're ambitious and have a good work ethic you can make a great life of it.   I'm currently loving life in mediums, working for a company that keeps me as busy as I want to be.   I've flown in Africa, Europe, across the US, Canada, and the ugly side of the Caribbean.  I'm had beers with high ranking political figures, TV and Movie stars, been shot at, arrested,  hospitalized more then once.  It's been a fantastic ride, but not without it's sacrifices.  You'll work with amazing people, at both ends of the scale.  You'll burn through friends and lovers at a pace thar usually mirrors your long shifts away.  You'll miss birthday's, furnerals, and many other events people consider significant.    It gets better the longer you're in, but the first few years are rough.

Visit helicopter companies, talk to pilots and engineers.  Believe nothing you read on the internet or are told by flight schools.

 

Good luck!

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Hey all I'm new to the forum been reading here for a bit but decided to post tonight as this topic is right where my life is kinda sitting. First off, I hope everyone is enjoying some type of break for the holidays. I'm 38, looking to become a pilot, I've to a few pilots online, and in person and one operator and one chief pilot at a helo school. Everyone but the school told me to turn and run lol, seems to be a theme. Others have told me to go fixed wing, the wife actually bought me a flight for xmas, it will be tomorrow if the weather holds. 

Anyway the main thing I am wondering is are all the avenues of rotary flight just as bad as you have all described it? The focus seems to be around long lining, pipeline, mountain and up "up North" type work. But what about tourism? and medevac? I don't seem to be hear to much about those two avenues. Are they different? Worse? 

 

On a side note, I think the original poster asked about military? to my knowledge (about 2 months ago) boards will be sitting for pilot this coming Feb, positions are likely closed until May/June 2020. you can expect flight training to take 3-4 years, if you don't have a degree put 4 years in front of that + officer training, 53% of all candidates will be selected for rotary (in the military fixed wing is the golden prize) after you get your wings the current delay is about 1 year for the Griffon and 2 years for the Chinook, after that as the other CF member stated you will be an FO for many years building courses and quals and not flying a whole lot until you are finally deployable. All those timelines are of course estimates, courses can always be delayed for any number of reasons. 

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Apparently we were wrong in our responses. It’s great go for it 100% chance of employment, great employers, high pay, positive professional atmosphere, sometimes though you will here guys try and lie to you about the cons but they are just whiners. Most companies you see advertising for jobs month after month are the ones you really want to work for, you get to expand your world views and see different cultures and how they pencil whip their vast experiences. 
Or you could take the flight schools word for it and miss out on all the fast cars and easy women in exotic places.

 

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Hahahaha. shakey why did you tell him. Now I could lose my feeble career. haha

On 12/19/2019 at 6:16 PM, GrayHorizons said:

And remember, some guys are so protective of their feeble careers they will try to steer you astray for their own protection.

 

 

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15 hours ago, TwinOtterFan said:

 

Anyway the main thing I am wondering is are all the avenues of rotary flight just as bad as you have all described it? The focus seems to be around long lining, pipeline, mountain and up "up North" type work. But what about tourism? and medevac? I don't seem to be hear to much about those two avenues. Are they different? Worse? 

 

 

Medivac and Tourism are the smallest (by a large margin) segments of the Canadian industry.  Tourism is just about cost prohibitive, and there are very very few medivac operations.   

 

A very important lesson to learn when researching Pilot careers is to immediately dismiss any information that comes from south of the border.  The Canadian helicopter industry is on another planet.   

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1 hour ago, Amphibious said:

A very important lesson to learn when researching Pilot careers is to immediately dismiss any information that comes from south of the border.  The Canadian helicopter industry is on another planet.   

On a better planet? I apologize for my ignorance, I'm not in the aviation industry yet. Currently wrapping up my 10th year of service in the CF (medical sector) I have been in the back of many aircraft but wish to fly them. I love rotary, hence the questions and would love to eventually fly medivac, I've spent a decade in emergency medicine I don't want to see patients directly anymore but would love to combine flying and medicine. 

No need to sugar coat either ladies and gents, I'm okay with it being not obtainable. I am older, and I do have a wife and kids, from a logical/financial standpoint fixed wing does look like the right choice for someone on my position. But I figured I would at least jump in on this post and see if I was leaning in the right direction or not.

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19 hours ago, shakey said:

Apparently we were wrong in our responses. It’s great go for it 100% chance of employment, great employers, high pay, positive professional atmosphere, sometimes though you will here guys try and lie to you about the cons but they are just whiners. Most companies you see advertising for jobs month after month are the ones you really want to work for, you get to expand your world views and see different cultures and how they pencil whip their vast experiences. 
Or you could take the flight schools word for it and miss out on all the fast cars and easy women in exotic places.

 

from one extreme to the other. (i hope everyone knows this is your laying on the couch after feasting on too much turkey voice and you probably have cramps)

 

the real truth lies in the middle somewhere. The extremes balance out. There's some terrible operations, some amazing ones too, and a whole lot in the middle that make up the backbone of a great industry most of us enjoy. (most is emphasized)

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21 hours ago, shakey said:

Apparently we were wrong in our responses. It’s great go for it 100% chance of employment, great employers, high pay, positive professional atmosphere, sometimes though you will here guys try and lie to you about the cons but they are just whiners. Most companies you see advertising for jobs month after month are the ones you really want to work for, you get to expand your world views and see different cultures and how they pencil whip their vast experiences. 
Or you could take the flight schools word for it and miss out on all the fast cars and easy women in exotic places.

 

Ok true, but at 38 with a wife and kid would you encourage a guy to go into this industry at this moment? I sure wouldn't. Unless he's a trust fund kid and a few years of grinding it out won't hurt him financially or he's not really that fond of his wife. 

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