Jump to content

Notice: Effective July 1, 2024, Vertical Forums will be officially shut down. As a result, all forum activity will be permanently removed. We understand that this news may come as a disappointment, but we would like to thank everyone for being a part of our community for so many years.

If you are interested in taking over this Forum, please contact us prior to July 1.

Insurance Companies

Recommended Posts

I posted this topic over at the "other"  forum and got some great replies.. thought I''d stir the pot yet again by posting it here... might be a bit of a ramble and vent .. but here goes...


Insurance companies seem to be making it so much harder for low time pilots to break into the  helicopter industry.

 I fully understand the logic as to why  but it''s getting to the point where noone,  not even larger companies will be able to afford to hire a low timer. I''ve heard stories where  premiums  increased as much as 400%    when a company hired a low time pilot!


I guess  what bothers me most is that given the  mythological pilot shortage.. what will happen when  the experienced guys run out? How can companies afford to hire  the new guys .? How can new guys  break in when the odds are being stacked higher and higher against them finding a flying job??? I know for sure that I can''t afford to continue paying for more and more flying to

satisfy either customer demands or insurable minimum hours. It''s  frustrating to  constantly hear the same story time and time again  from both the folks looking for that one big chance.. and from the operators who''d love to give the new guys that chance.. 

New guys will have to be given an opportunity eventually... There''s no fountain of youth for  experienced high time pilots.. maybe it''s time to just suck up the costs  to prevent chaos later on down the line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when i started out 15 odd years ago the story was EXACTLY the same. there were no jobs. nobody wanted a lowtime pilot.


same again was the "what about when the experienced pilots disappear?" line. well, like another pilot and myself were just discussing last night, WE are now the experienced pilots.


bottom line, if you want it bad enough, you''ll find something. don''t give up and i would say don''t go spending alot of extra money on "time". a company will hire you with 105 hours just as easy as 120 or 150 ect. there are companies that hire low time pilots. find them and camp out at their door. oh, and NEVER tell your travel plans to other low time pilots as i remember my "friends" being at the door ahead of me after telling them of a "lead".


all my friends that i went to school with and that had good attitudes and the drive to find that job are working today. just off the cuff i can think of classmates in africa, until recently in iraq, logging, you name it so DON''T GIVE UP!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The red ink makes me think that your writing your post in blood, it scares me.

If nothing else you have a good grasp of what''s going on in the insustry as far as the insurance goes, but you kind of answered your own question. I''ve said this before, so if you''ve herd it, bare with me. Your right, high timers don''t grow on trees, everybody got a start somewhere and that''s not going to change, no matter what the insurance companies want. When you first got into this game I''m sure that you were told that it was going to be tough and it is.

The helicopter biz isn''t going to fold up shop once the old school starts to hang it up. Low time pilots (you?) will find a way in, somewhere, somehow. I don''t know anybody that has a story that says they got a licence and strolled into a flying gig the next day, so now''s the time that you get to prove that your in it for the long haul. Don''t get too bent out of shape, people are getting hired on. It''s like the lottery, if you don''t play, you''ll never win.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been out of the loop for a while with respect to helicopter ops so bear with me. What is considered low time in the helo industry these days? I seem to remember 600 hours to work on fires, but I don't know where that number comes from. It's probably from the same region of gray matter as this; No smoking within 40 hours of the airplane and no drinking within 8 feet - right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to tell you this but insurance companies do not charge up to 400% for low time pilots - it is a myth. It is unfortunately the helicopter companies that simply do not want a heap of high risk / low time /low experience people on their bank roll.


If you were an operator with millions of dollars worth of assets, trying to break even or hopefully make a profit, get the job done with minimal risk, would you put low timers / low experienced people in your aircraft.


Alot of clients don't want low time people on their jobs.


Alot of operators do not have the means to train people.


The operators may tell you that it is an insurance thing but believe me it isn't - it's an excuse. An excuse that has been used for years. Phone an insurance company that specialises in aviation and ask the question. It is an unfortunate thing but hopefully it makes us strive to getting the hours somehow and out of the low time pilot syndrome.


Thank you for listening, no further comment... 2.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What makes me scratch my head is that operators always are discussing their clients. Having worked on the ground for 3 years I do understand that clients want an experienced pilot when they put their employees in the machine. However what ever happens to those jobs that low timers could do such as aerial seeding, spraying or ferrying. The majority of this type of work requires no minimums and I believe that the pilot would only need hull insurance to do this work. Don''t get me wrong I do understand the need for high time pilots, I just would like to see some lowtimers get a little time in here and there for their efforts. Even if the time was dual with an experienced pilot. Afterall those of us newbies who love flying and helicopters stick around with little pay and its difficult for us to keep current let alone feed ourselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Whirlygirl!

Am on the same ride as you are right now.

I have been hired by the school that I trained at as i was pretty good on the ground stuff so am teaching ground school. (Who says all the years studying before I started flying were a waste!) With this job though I fly when ever there is a blade sweep, a test flight or even when they just let me. If you can find someone that can use you on the ground and keep you around a machine you are doing well.

As one of my instructors said. " If going to work everyday involves being around helicopters, you are going in the right direction." I have built up 250 hours just "being around" for the last year. Unfortunately as it is a school, there is no chance for moving up before moving on so as comfortable as it is, I will head back on the road April 1st.

If we keep plugging away they will find us!

Good hunting this spring.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...