Should have been a helicopter pilot.......

Photoflight

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According to a radio ad played here all weekend in DFW. Theres a massive shortage of helicopter pilots. In just a few short months I could have my COMMERCIAL HELICOPTER PILOTS LICENSE and be making 50-100K. I would have no payments for loans until after I started my career and its cheaper than college. I knew there was no future in fixed wing.
 

onthebeach

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That's funny.

That ad has about as much credibility as Saddam Hussein at a Bar Mitzvah.

Trust me on this one.
 

fletch717

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No doubt the ad came from kit darby and air inc, he's branching out. Next up, shortage for banner tow pilots. I can hear the ad now."live near the beach, no night flying, always VFR."
 

Dizel8

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Huh?
That is "VFR" as in Very Few Rubles.
 

Whirlwind

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onthebeach said:
That ad has about as much credibility as Saddam Hussein at a Bar Mitzvah.

Trust me on this one.
LOL! :D

Now, now... They aren't THAT bad... My paycheck clears the bank every two weeks. ;)
 

Fly_Chick

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Photoflight - do you remember which school was advertising the commercial helo pilots?
 

ShadowFlight

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I started my career flying helicopters; received my CFI-H in the early 90's and then promptly spent the next two years looking for a full-time CFI position. A year later, with the economy still in recession, I went back and received my airplane ratings (no airplane CFI).

I still think of flying helicopters but now fly for a 121 regional. Way back when, two high-time helicopter pilots whom I respected gave some wise advice. They both, to a man, said if they had to do it all over again, they'd fly airplanes. Both then clarified their comments and said if they truly started over again, they wouldn't fly anything professionally.

The helicopter world doesn't offer as wide of available career options. Start as a CFI, move onto offshore work, then maybe move onto EMS or ENG flying. Maybe a season or two in Alaska. Flying helicopters is a very hard to make a living. Offshore and EMS are the two most dangerous options. ENT is boring - hovering OGE all day while dealing with a pompous, arrogant TV reporter (I used to fly traffic watch - same theory).

I truly love helicopter flying. To this day, I still remember more about helicopter flying and aerodynamics than airplane-related stuff.

As for this quote...

onthebeach said:
The helicopter industry is not for everyone. It's a true statement to say that most people in general would be far better off staying away from aviation, and equally true that most people in aviation who are contemplating going into the helicopter field would be best advised to take a couple of aspirin and lie down until the feeling passes.
There's a lot of wisdom written there.

I believe we should all pursue our goals. If nothing else, you can say you tried!

Good luck!

Peace

SF
 

Photoflight

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I'm not sure of the helicopter company but surely there cant be that many in the DFW area. I do feel sorry for the people who fall prey to this ad, especially those who opt for this instead of college.
 

atlcrashpad

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Helicopter Jobs

I started out as an Army UH-1H "Huey" pilot. I got my fixed wing later, due to shortage of Helo jobs. Ended up getting my first civilian flying job as an ENG pilot Bell 206B3.

I flew for a local NBC affiliate and had a blast. It was their first helicopter and they wanted me to fly everywhere and for everything. I ended up getting a CE550 copilot gig because the Capt BS'd with me everyday and the owner thought it was cool that I could fly both F/W and R/W. That lead to a BE58P job then BE90F and finally a 121 Regional airline. Been there over 6 yrs now. It has been a wonderful ride.

I still fly helicopters (AH-64A) in the Guard. Except for a tour in Iraq (getting shot at is no fun) it is a blast. As a Regional Capt and a very senior Warrant Officer in the Guard, I make a good living.
 

say again

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Photoflight said:
According to a radio ad played here all weekend in DFW. Theres a massive shortage of helicopter pilots. In just a few short months I could have my COMMERCIAL HELICOPTER PILOTS LICENSE and be making 50-100K. I would have no payments for loans until after I started my career and its cheaper than college. I knew there was no future in fixed wing.
I heard the same ad looking for COMMERCIAL AIRLINE PILOTS!!!:erm: Strange coincidence if you ask me!!:beer:
 

Checks

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Flying large, twin turbine helicopters since 1992 and I make nowhere near 100K.

GO FIXED WING!
 

DC-8_FR8

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That is a Joke!! As I remember the Army has more aircraft than the Air Force. I could count on one hand the number of Buds with helo jobs now. Most guys, myself included, went regional and then up. Don't give it a second thought.
 

Dangerkitty

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Not trying sound like psysicx here but I really am curious about this.

How much does your average EMS (I guess that is a hospital Medevac pilot) make and what is the schedule? Is it like a 7 on 7 off type schedule?

Is there a big demand for EMS pilots?
 

onthebeach

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Helicopter EMS Work

>>How much does your average EMS (I guess that is a hospital Medevac pilot) make and what is the schedule? Is it like a 7 on 7 off type schedule?

Is there a big demand for EMS pilots?<<

EMS pay right now is generally considered lousy. That's because this segment of the industry is just in the first stages of union organization. When CBAs get done, expect the pay to rise, just as it did in the Gulf when the unions succeeded in getting contracts.

Current EMS starting pay runs from the high 30's to the mid 50's. Generally there are periodic COL raises, but not much real movement over the years. Again, the union will change that.

The lower paying jobs tend to be with the small companies, in rural areas. That's not always true though, as one outfit with a well-deserved reputation as a bottom-feeder pays the pilots fairly well to start...it's the only way they can attract pilots. Anyone with any familiarity with the industry knows who I'm talking about.

The majority of people who are able to make a comfortable living on this pay do it by putting in a lot of overtime, working in a rural base area where COL is low, having a part time job or business on the side, or having a military retiree pension coming in....or some combination of these.

There is an identifiable shortage of EMS pilots right now. Most operators have open positions they have trouble filling. This is partly because many of the jobs are in areas people consider undesirable for QOL, but mainly due to a shortage of experienced pilots.

EMS takes quite a bit of experience, judgment, and maturity. People skills and emotional stability are a must due to the nature of this business. It is slow-paced...around 200 hours a year, give or take...yet demands the ability to react rapidly and make sound decisions under stressful flight conditions. These qualities generally take some time to develop in a pilot. And, many otherwise qualified pilots either fly in some other segment of the industry or quit flying altogether because of the low pay and generally high level of stress regarding working conditions that this business seems to generate.

The spotlight is on EMS in many ways nowadays, chiefly due to the high accident rate. The FAA is currently examining all EMS programs nationwide. Probably no effective changes will come of this effort, because the factors leading to the accident rate...although simple and well-known...will be very expensive to correct.
 

Anais Nin

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It's likely Silverstate Helicopters. They advertise like crazy, set up shop, get a ton of students signed up and financed. They train in R-22's. It's pumping an enormous amount of 500-hour helo pilots into the system, and most are unable to find jobs. They will promise the world at their seminars.......go and listen for yourself, it's a kick! Trust me....I've been!
 

rcbullock

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Anais Nin said:
It's likely Silverstate Helicopters. They advertise like crazy, set up shop, get a ton of students signed up and financed. They train in R-22's.
And they're all over the place at IWA. Always flying. Anyone else from Willy on this piece?
 

semperfido

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every chopper pilot i have known wanted to be a jet jock :)
 
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