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Thanks for your reply .

 

In all honesty , I haven't decided against a career as a pilot , and will most likely never work in the mines . My old man worked in the mines along with many familly members and friends .... it's not my kind of work . I was just using the mines as an example to spark a discussion as to why someone should become a helicopter pilot ( hoping the get all the PROs out , because I've read a lot of the CONs in this discussion).

 

I've done the college route for a couple of years and have a Civil Engineering paper but it's time for something different .

 

At 24, I was hoping to go back to school this fall ( or next fall) and attend Canadore College in North Bay . I was looking at the Rotary program that they offer and was also looking at the Aviation Maintenance program . I've gotten the info from Gateway about the Heli training .... $65 000 and am still waiting to visit the Campus to check out the Maintenance program ( approx $3000) .

 

I know you should always do something you love first and money should be 2nd , but is mopping floors and re-shingling ( examples given in this thread) doing something you love? I know there's dues to be paid ... I've done them with jobs I've held ... but they were always job related.

 

So I guess what I'm saying , is that I'm looking for the POSITIVE remarks to becoming a helicopter pilot ... because 99% of what's been posted has been negative ( divorce , no OT pay, excessive long hours , unrelated job tasks).

Why do you want to become a helicopter pilot??

Have you ever been in one?

Talking positively, flying is, for me, the most satisfying, enjoyable job I could ever imagine. The looks on peoples faces when you take a newbie up, or the hoots of joy from the heli-skiers or even the nod of a job well done from the dirty diamond driller. Not to mention the actual flying part. All these things and countless others are positives. If you are looking at the "negative stuff" That would be very short sighted, every job has dues to be paid, with Helicopters it's long for some a quite streamlined for others. In the end, once you're flying fulltime and loving life. It all is worth it. But ya know, i never considered it " paying my dues" It was interesting work from the get go, lot's of new lingo, ops etc to learn. We are (mostly) a professional bunch flying everyone from tree planters to billionaires. You're average joe can't just jump in the chair with 101 hrs and expect to succesfully get er done.

 

It also seems to me that maybe it's not for someone who questions the negative stuff, there has to be no doubt in your mind and if someone says "it's a tough road, you might not make it". You shouldn't care at all what he says. You know you will be a heli pilot. I'm sure most of us out there were like that

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Bryan ..."If you have to ask why you should be a pilot. I suggest you look into something else. I'm sure most pilots out there, never asked anyone why i should be a pilot. If you have to ask someone why you should do something, it just might not be right for you."

 

You've never questioned a career choice before?!?!? <_< Here's the thing .. I've enjoyed planes and helicopters since I was a kid ... but have never flown one ( like anyone else before they got their license or training) ... so naturally I'm going to question it. It's good to hear the views of many different people about the industry and those that are in the business before going and spending tens of thousands of dollars in training ... only to have the repo man comming down the road a few months later looking to collect overdue cash because apparently that " dream job" of a pilot has you painting the boss' house. Understand what I'm getting at? Money might not bring happiness , but it sure as heck beats being in the poor house.

 

But thank you , and the others for some very contructive critisism... it's appreciated. :)

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Quad18star I'll give it to you straight. Since you are 24 and have "done the college route for a couple of years" I'm assuming your actual job experiences are minimal. I'm 24 myself and started working full time right out of High School, and have done some of the sh*ttiest jobs out there. But whatever job I was doing (most I didn't like) I would give it my all, whatever needed to be done I did it... even if it wasn't what I was hired to do. My bosses took notice and gave me training, promotions and pay raises. To date I have close to 10k worth of tickets, licences and training for doing more than just "what I was being payed for". Paying my dues really payed off.

 

Due to both insurance and customer demands low hour pilots are usually looked at as expensive investments to the operator, this is why those willing to go above and beyond are given the opportunities over those who aren't.

 

I was making pretty good money at my last job but I wasn't happy. My dream has always been to fly helicopters ever since I took my first ride as a kid. I finally decided to go for it and took my training... I've never been happier! All the pilots here are flying because they couldn't imaging doing anything else... that is the only PRO needed.

 

As for the helicopter industry itself, it is a slow moving antiquated beast. (I know I'll pay for that :shock: ) Compared to the HUGE money mining makes, helicopters are a high cost low profit business, as such heli drivers are payed less than those working in the mines or in the oil patch. Most of the training is on the job for heavy equipment drivers and cost per hour is so much cheaper than helicopters, that's why the cost difference is so high.

 

The reason I decided to be a helicopter pilot wasn't for the money, or the incredible places I'd see, it was because when I took my second ride 2 years ago I couldn't stop smiling for a week. I knew that no matter the cost of training or the hard work ahead, the ability to fly for a living would keep that smile on my face!

 

Wishing you a bright future,

Earp

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I’m with Earp on this one

 

When you get the flying bug, nothing will stand in your way to getting behind the controls.

I think I got the bug from being flown into the hills hunting as a teenager, I would save up for one trip a year to jump into an old 500C and love every minute of the flight, and I could only dream of ever being able to fly one, at the time I never would have thought I would eventually fly one.

It took a while to be able to afford the licence, but I just wanted to fly so much that the cost was only an obstacle to over come, not a reason not to do it.

I never got into flying for the money, the joy of flying was the only reason for me, every one is obviously different and have there own reasons for doing it, but I agree that if you have to ask ‘why should I be a pilot’ then it may be the wrong choice, but that is my opinion.

It can be a long road, I was lucky and got a break straight after getting my license, but the money is only now starting to be more of an issue to me, but more importantly to me is the job satisfaction, and that to me is putting a long line on and testing your self. (Not so keen on the tourist thing)

Now I can use my job to travel the world and see a lot of interesting places with a birds eye view, and get paid to do it, just a bonus of the job.

Attitude is every thing!

I was on a job a couple of days ago, and there was a 100hr guy who worked for another company running around ‘paying his dues’ hooking loads and refuelling their helicopter, he, without being asked to, would come and refuel me and hook my loads on also, he was keen and he will go places because people take notice of the ones who really want to fly.

He could of just sat on his but and did the minimal required but then he wouldn’t be noticed, so painting, cleaning, pulling weeds etc has nothing to do with flying but has a lot to do with attitude!

 

My $2.00 worth….After a couple of Honey Browns.http://www.verticalmag.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/wacko.gif

http://www.verticalmag.com/forums/style_em...fault/wacko.gif

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btw, Quad, I'm sure you realize that Gateway (Canadore) is BY FAR the most expensive school in Canada!

 

 

Ya I've come to realize that . I could save a few thousand by taking the course through Gateway here in Sudbury , but there's a few extra benefits to taking it at Canadore ( maps , flight suit , helmet , different courses all paid for and a College certificate at the end of it all ). I've read and heard over the years that Canadore has a great program and has made a great name for itself in the industry and is known as one of the best in the country . Seeing they just spent multi-millions of dollars on their Aviation Campus and the fact that Nippissing University is nearby ( Teachers College for my girlfriend) , North Bay and Canadore/Gateway seems like the best option for me. I also liked the fact that it is set in a landscape that I would like to fly in ( bush) , as compared to downtown Toronto .

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Quad18star I'll give it to you straight. Since you are 24 and have "done the college route for a couple of years" I'm assuming your actual job experiences are minimal. I'm 24 myself and started working full time right out of High School, and have done some of the sh*ttiest jobs out there. But whatever job I was doing (most I didn't like) I would give it my all, whatever needed to be done I did it... even if it wasn't what I was hired to do. My bosses took notice and gave me training, promotions and pay raises. To date I have close to 10k worth of tickets, licences and training for doing more than just "what I was being payed for". Paying my dues really payed off.

 

Due to both insurance and customer demands low hour pilots are usually looked at as expensive investments to the operator, this is why those willing to go above and beyond are given the opportunities over those who aren't.

 

I was making pretty good money at my last job but I wasn't happy. My dream has always been to fly helicopters ever since I took my first ride as a kid. I finally decided to go for it and took my training... I've never been happier! All the pilots here are flying because they couldn't imaging doing anything else... that is the only PRO needed.

 

As for the helicopter industry itself, it is a slow moving antiquated beast. (I know I'll pay for that :shock: ) Compared to the HUGE money mining makes, helicopters are a high cost low profit business, as such heli drivers are payed less than those working in the mines or in the oil patch. Most of the training is on the job for heavy equipment drivers and cost per hour is so much cheaper than helicopters, that's why the cost difference is so high.

 

The reason I decided to be a helicopter pilot wasn't for the money, or the incredible places I'd see, it was because when I took my second ride 2 years ago I couldn't stop smiling for a week. I knew that no matter the cost of training or the hard work ahead, the ability to fly for a living would keep that smile on my face!

 

Wishing you a bright future,

Earp

 

Thanks for the info .

 

I know that any job , you have to pay your dues and put in that little extra that gets noticed ... I've been there and done it. I've done jobs that I've hated ( slinging horse crap in stables) and I've done jobs that I've enjoyed ( working with the Ministry of Natural Resources here in Ontario) . In a little more than 2 years I went from a part-timer to upper management with a large Aftermarket Snowmobile parts company here in Canada . I put in the extra hours at work and gave that little extra to get the jobs done , but if I was ever told to work without paid overtime or to go cut the owners grass , I'd have told them to shove their job. I mean there's a line to be drawn between giving an extra effort and being taken advantage of. But I guess that's just me. ;)

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Hi Quad18star,

Let me share some more of my low timer exp in this industry with you,

After, spring summer season, it gets very slow as the weather changes. As a low timer you will most likely get layed off for the winter, this is usual for low timers. On the off season, instead of going to Baha to work on my tan and surf. I went to work on a drilling rig for only the winter months and made some serious money, I paid off my debts and I managed to save etc. May I suggest if you start your career in the helicopter industry,,,, on the off season go work in what you do in mining, make the money you were taliking about and then spring comes along and go back to the low-timer helicopter pilot life (just don’t do it for the money). You may need to do this for about 4 years or so, until you have accumulated enough hours to be a full time pilot (insurable pilot). For your information and from what I have seen... helicopter pilots do not only fly. I think that’s nice your flight school gives you souvenirs like a flight suite, from what I have seen in the real world,, most professional pilots were wearing rubber boots for more practical reason .did i say there is allot mud? you said, “that you will not do work pulling weeds” etc.. I will let you know that when I was cutting the grass and pulling weeds, or power washing ops gear for example,, it is sometimes contagious,, next thing you know, an AME or a Pilot with years of experience, when they are not busy, more often than not, help you out, or just have conversations with you. You learn allot from conversations, stories of real work related experiences that they share with you, also one becomes less shy to ask questions that answered will help you in the future.

By the way did I mention in my last post that over the spring summer season when I was hammering shingles it was with the owner of the company that I worked for, I was shampooing carpets with his partner and Painting decks with the chief pilot.

 

Good luck man.

 

Cheers, Alon

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If you were an instructor or owned a flight training school , how would you sell the job to prospective students ?? Legitimate question ( atleast I think) .

 

Don't make the mistake of thinking that schools care a diddly squat about your career. They are there to take your money and teach you how to fly a helicopter. Period. Sure they recommend, promise, go the extra mile to try and help you out, but when you have reached 100.0 hours, they are done.

 

Granted some do it better, and some instructors (maybe most) will try and prepare you the best they can, but when you walk into the hangar, waving your new license around, and then park your self in the corner to await the "dream job", boy are you going to be surprised!

 

Just because you can drive a cat that moves about 5MPH, don't be thinking you can fly a helicopter in ANY kind of a productive manner. When something goes wrong with the cat you just stop. When something goes wrong with the helicopter, the last thing you can do is stop. Because if you do, someone is going to die.

 

30 years flying, 8 years bending wrenches before that. Seen and done some ugly things and places, but wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

Pay your dues? You had better be prepared to do so.

 

And if that doesn't excite you, do us all a favor and head for the mines.

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I'm not a pilot (yet), but I will share my opinion which has probably been voiced many times.

 

I've enjoyed planes and helicopters since I was a kid ... but have never flown one ( like anyone else before they got their license or training)

 

Untrue. I don't have my license however I've flown twice. There called intro flights and every school or company you visit will give you one..for a price. I wen't to Gateway a few months ago and the tuition this year was $69,700. They said it will most likely be going up for next year. Their intro flight costed me $250 for a half an hour. Well worth it! Best time of my life. I would suggest you take one, probably at Gateway because that's where you want to go, and see what you think. When you get up there you may decide you don't even like it. On the other hand, you may not like the way they teach you. Some people just don't mix (as seen on these forums:o) It's for you to decide, after all it is YOUR money.

 

Why would you want to paint a house, clean a yard, etc? Well for starters, it shows your boss your work ethic. It may not around helicopters as we would obviously like. But, your saying to him/her: Look, I'm willing to get a little dirty, I want to prove myself to you. Doing that will allow them to judge whether you should be flying there machines. Put yourself in their shoes, if you owned a $100,000 helicopter or anything else expensive. Would you let anyone jump in and gun it? I would hope not. They need to get to know you, examine you if you will.

 

I personally would be EXTREMELY happy if they even hired me! Why? Because as you probably already know it's very hard to break into the industry. Some people don't even get to work for them at all, atleast not for quite some time. I would settle for painting a house if it means I'm that much closer to flying.

 

If I was a pilot trying to sell my career to kids. I'd probably saying something along the lines of:

 

Have you ever been in a helicopter? If not go for a ride, or at the very least buy Flight Simulator. If you get that rush, that feeling that makes you wan't more! and when your trying to sleep at night but can't because all you can think about is flying for yourself and MAKING money while doing it. Then perhaps it's the right career path. Pilot's for the most part (that I've heard/seen) do it because they love it. Some do it for the money (although that comes quite some time after), some do it for the lifestyle sure.. But personally you will only be truely happy if your doing something you LOVE.

 

To conclude and like I said but will restate, do whatever makes you happy! And don't look back! Good luck to you sir.

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