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Well, today was 'Careers in aviation 2007' at my high school and flight school.


After listening to a couple lectures and ultimately one from Tim at CHL here in Penticton, I also happend to talk to a loans officer from my bank.


So Im finding myself in the eternal struggle and thought it perhaps wise to request some more advice from all of you hard working passionate individuals. Basically, after seeing 2 or 3 jet rangers and an R22 take off I talked to the loans officer. I recieved some really interesting information from said officer and basically worked it out that it is quite possible to get a very low interest, low (with 'balooning') payment Loan/LOC that would make it viable to attend flight school THIS fall (Essentially I would have to pay the minimum payment every month which she said to plan for [include 6 months payments in the principal] but if I came across some money (found a flying job and managed to raise some extra funds) paying down the debt would be benefitial.)


So obviously the question boils down to "Sooner or later" The window of oppertunity to get into my school of choice is closing with or without me and a timely decision is necessary.


The circumstances-

Option A.)

-Work from now until november and build AS MUCH coin as possible to put towards school

-Enrole for the fall 2007 class

-Take out a rather large loan, low interest (in fact, none until I am no longer a full time student), Low payments (Minimum, no maximum)

-Finish school

-Pound doors down until both my knuckles and their ears are bleeding

-Pay down debt with every spare penny that comes my way, do whatever is necessary to survive (My schedual this week (on top of full time highschool) is approximately 38 hours, long hours and hard work do not phase me)

-All other lowtime pilot inclusives


Option B.)

-Work from now until November 2008

-Enrole for Fall 2008 class

-Take out rather large loan minus one years net pay (now, should I stay in penticton and work at a mill (have some connections) my cost of living would be signifigantly reduced)

-Same as above


Now, my plans basically work out to a 100 hour course on the S300 and possibly a 206 endorsement after.


Here are the Pro's and Con's Ive figured out (if youve read alot of my posts this is kinda something some see recurring time and time again, just a way to figure stuff out for me, feel free to add to id)


Option A


-Fresh out of highschool ready to learn and still in a mental state to study alot.

-Will not miss out on any hiring oppertunities that ay arise in the 2008 season

-Will get to do what i am most passionate about immediately after graduation.

-Take advantage of relentless attempts that have finnally succeded to getting a really great deal from the loans office (let ya in on a little secret, when you compare yourself to other people your age you are bound to win, yesterday I happend to be in the exact right place at the EXACT right time. I walked into the loan officer's office just as she finalized a deal for a $65000 loan for an SUV for someone that has much less work experience then me. PERFECT TIMING All I did for fourty five minutes was keep throwing the fact that someone just got a loan for more money then I want for something that cannot possibly reproduce that kind of revenue onto the table and then when we met today she layed out some shocking numbers that I will gladly share with you all once they are finalized.)

-Get the oppertunity to work with the most passionate individuals in the country

-Get the oppertunity to BE one of the most passionate individuals in the country

-Fly helicopters!

-If I do'nt succeed in the 2008 hiring season (which WILL NOT HAPPEN, I WILL be employed in the industry at the soonest and best oppertunity) I can entertain one of many options put forward that would earn back the loan quite quickly



-Minimum payments could provide a problem if I am not careful (which im sure will not be a problem with maticulous planning and preparation)

-The 'To young, not enough life experience' argument (There is some merrit to this side of things, but im certain that I can change the mind of at least one cheif pilot or ops manager with extensive effort in proving myself. I also have a few friends that are now flying and have less life experience then I do (FIRST JOB ever was ones groundcrew, proving in some cases it may not be what you know, but who you know)

-Black hole jobs in high cost of living enviroments (Should my first job be somewhere in a high rent area, footing both personal bills as well as loan payments could be hard) (solution- I don't believe in the word impossible... like I said, taking on 2 or 3 jobs to cover costs is nothing new to me... just ask my wallet!)

-The loan its self (looking at quite a large loan, its my understanding that the government may forgive quite alot of the debt, in fact appearently its not uncommon for them to forgive as much as 8000 in grants etc. I can also accept some funds given by family members etc that will suppress the loan more so. A fixed wing pilot friend of mine that did his commercial training here in yyf has taken care of quite alot of bills with various EI and Government loopholes, more on that later)


Option B


-More of the initial cost will be taken care of

-More endorsements are possible because of the increase in funds.

-More 'life experience' (though the job I would be taking would be much the same as the work I am doing now, so in essense I would be in the same place 'life experience' wise.



-Having to wait to complete my greatest goal

-Possibly not having a great deal of money in a year anyway

-The debt load will not be gone, payments will be exactly the same if not more due to larger interest rates

-Missing the 2008 hiring season (If I have my license for the 08 season and hapen to get a job, great, if i dont get a job, I have all of 2008 until the 09 season to work and pay down the debt, I would be more then willing to accept a rough neck position on an oil rig on the hopes it would completely pay off the loan. Where as if I work through the 08 season that is 12 months I could have spent chipping away at getting into the seat full time. Kinda like having your bucket out while it rains, if you dont have your bucket out, you cant catch any water.



So my head is leaning towards biting the bullet, accepting the loan deal, and becoming a helicopter pilot this winter. If I dont get hired I will do whatever it takes to pay down the loan asap. If I do, good for me, the minimum payments seem very manageable after tax and the cost of living are completed.


That being said, Its now 1:12 local and I should probably get some shut eye.


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You like to ask this question every few months don't you? :) I can understand why, it's a big decision to be making but I think you've tapped out all the advice you'll get from this place regarding your situation. It's now up to you to make a BIG decision.


The common theme in this post along and all the others you've written just like it is that you want to start training ASAP. So quit talkin' 'bout it and git 'er dun! If you need someone to back your decision to finance your dream then I'll gladly do that for you.


Get the loan!

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As one who has done it many times before - when life hands you an opportunity, take it!


I wouldn't worry about endorsements or life experience - a year won't make much difference one way or another unless you spent it in the foreign legion, and even then you will forget! :)


One tip: When you get the hours in, take your Private ticket so you can make use of any ferry flights. Many schools don't give you anything until you get your commercial hours in.


Good luck!



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hey Cole,

if you want to do it, go for it! now or later? the sooner the better, the sooner you can start paying off the loan, the sooner you can get a job and best of all, the sooner you will fly. As time goes by the coarse gets more expensive and oppritunities go by. If you want it get it! either way you are going to have a big loan. once the licence is in your hand see if you want to go make money somwhere else, or do what you love.....fly. 300 will work fine for training however, why not train on a robinson and familiarize yourself with robinson products, there are alot of 44 jobs out there, Gemini took 6 guy's-44, airborne has lots of low timers and 44's, Bighorn flightschool has several radio 44 contracts. As much as I love turbine, the bottom line is a Robinson 44 is the most common low time-get flying machine out there! and a easy step to the 206. I don't see any 300's working and a job on a jet box right away is slim, even more slim in penticton with mountains.. the point is make everything in your control as easy as possible because it is hard enough to get a job.....I trained at Bighorn R22-R44_206, I wasn't to keen on the 44, however it was the best move I made....flew right out of school God speed man you'll love it!

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Huvrluvr- Not trying to be 'that guy' Im just trying to ensure im not 'that guy' who lays down all that money and doesnt see some angle that will catch him off gaurd and blow the whole thing up in his face.


Kyle- Its not EXACTLY the same post every few months... but if I wasnt tapping into every resource I had to be sure Im doing the thing thats right for me I wouldnt forgive myself.


Everyone- First of all, thanks... Theres been a loooong time of leading up to this (how long have I been on the forums... something like 3 years?) and now its my turn to fly.


Basically I was going over and over all the details in my head last night and decided to go for it. As you can see (and re-reading it, I can now to) I obviously had the idea in my head and wrote the whole message with the pretense that Id already decided to go, and I have.

The main reason for posting was just in case certain (intellegent) people always seem to find the weakest point in my plans, but even they have left me PM's saying go for it!


So here we go... Hopefully this isnt the part where I pick up the phone, call the school, and find out theyre full for this year haha :(


Thanks again for the support. The plan is 90-100 hours on the S300 and 10-20 hours on the R44 or B206 (leaning toward the 44 as reading many testimonies that state its the way to go now).


Cole B) :blur:

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Get the license, dont get the extra's, the company that is going to hire you will bring you up they way they want you to be, doesnt matter what you train on! flying is flying. the jump from a 300 to a 44 is not a big deal, find the school with the cheapest rate. less money to borrow from the friendly banker lol

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I understand your motives Cole. Input gained here is invaluable as I myself have stated many times. I was just pokin ya in tha ribs. The indusrty is in an excellent position for entry-level pilots rite now. Who knows what will happen in the next couple years, when will it stagnate and have a downturn? Who knows. But our industry, reliant on other industry markets, can change in a second. Knowing how you feel about the matter, if a person were to wait that extra year where would it be. Strike while the irons hot.

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