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HeliTorque Forum Index » Employment

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Heli Training or not?
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Fireheli
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Heli Training or not? Reply with quote

Hi, 1st time on the forum for me. I'm 43 years old & ultimately in an ideal world I would like the chance to pilot an air ambulance. I completed a flight experience day last year & thoroughly enjoyed myself. My question to more qualified people than myself is, 'would the investment needed be wisely spent for someone of my age with no experience'? What would the chances be of someone like myself actually getting to fulfill my ambition. Any advice that anyone can give me would be gratefully taken on board. Thank-you. Confused
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LoachBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome!

That's a hard question to answer....... my ambition is just the same, but I've always tempered my sights with simply wanting to make enough money to live okay, not really get a return on investment.

I came to helicopters 15 years later than planned, so also won't have a whole career to recoup costs.

Factor in also, that most HEMS now want Instrument Ratings and your investment already runs well into six figures (ignoring the hours of experience they will ask for).

My aim then would be for HEMS pilot, one day, but satisfied with general commercial flying & instructing otherwise!
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Fireheli
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for your time & reply LB.
I know if I could get the necessary qualifications that I would certainly enjoy any sort of flying employment in the helicopter industry as its something I've been interested in & hooked on since a very early age. If I could guarantee to at least break even then it may make the decision to invest slightly easier, but being married & having 2 young children its extremely difficult to justify the massive expenditure. I suppose the best course of action for the time being is to keep talking to people like yourself to gain as much insight into the industry & pilot job availablity before deciding 1 way or another. Once again thanks for your warm welcome, time & reply.
Stay safe.
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Hughes500
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fireheli
Dont wish to shoot your hopes down but here is a slice of reality
Devon hems needed a pilot, I applied, wasnt given an interview dispite the following qualifications

5000 hours, instructor, examiner and twin rating. Didnt quite have enough twin time ( requirement 500 hours twin)
Loach boys advice the best
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that is a hefty slice of reality!

Can you give us an insight into how you built up all that experience?
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Boecopter
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand...

The company I work for (major player) recently took on a "mostly Robinson experience" chap for the EC135....but obviously he had all the other requirements inc the 500 twin.

And we don't need you to have an IR already, you'd get trained up in-house and asked to sign a bond...you don't pay any money but if you leave before 2 years have passed then you have to pay back a proportion of the training costs.

It can be done, just needs lots of luck, lots of right place/right time, lots of hard work and a recruiter who doesn't concentrate wholly on ex-military pilots.

I came from the military, but for the civil route, getting in with a company like PDG in Scotland would be a great stepping stone (and has been for others in the past) - lots of low level, load lifting, single and twin turbine time.

Dion't expect an easy ride, as the others have said, but it's not impossible.

p.s. HEMS is fun
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Fireheli
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much 2 all that have put in advice & suggestions, it's gud 2 receive it from people who r in the know. I knew that it wouldn't b a walk in the park but in the present climate it does sound quite a difficult profession 2 b involved in. I have 9 years left as a firefighter & was looking 2 this as an option 4 further employment. Its 1 of those that I wish I'd of looked at long ago. Who knows, maybe my ambition of being a helicopter pilot will come 2 fruition 1 day, I certainly hope so.
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drrotorhead
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To give valid advice we need to know more about your present situation and what you like to do.
A single guy with 22 should go for his dream. If you are 43 and with responsibilities e.g wife or kids you will suffer. Because you will compete with the 22 year old. I can tell you first hand it is difficuld. I am over 40 and overqualifyed
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Fireheli
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:44 pm    Post subject: Heli Training or not? Reply with quote

Hi drrotorhead,
Thanks for your time. I'm a 43 year old Firefighter who retires in just over 8 years. I'm married with 2 young children, 7 & 5. After doing a flight experience day about a year & half ago which involved some basic ground school & approx 2 1/2 hours flight time I can well & truly say that I was bitten by the bug. Its something I've looked at doing several times over a long period, about 20 years but always found it to be too expensive, not to say that its cheap now. My idea was to try & gain my PPL, CPL & then instructors & try to build up as many hours as possible to be able to move onto the air ambulance at some point in the future, obviously this would be the ideal scenario although I know that it is often a case of right place, right time, with the correct qualifications & experience behind you. I'm starting to think that as much as want this to happen, its not going to due to the sums involved. I think it is definately a case of leaving it too late to be able to get a return on any kind of investment, not that I want to go into it to make massive amounts of money, it is just something that I've always wanted to do. All advice at the mo seems to tell me that its too late. We can all live in hope.
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Forest4ever
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fireheli,

I've just turned 40 and sofar flown around 40 hrs towards my PPL, last 2 outings solo in the circuit which was a pretty cool experience! I'm kind of like you, looking at an alternative career path so not sure if I'll really make it in terms of cost for PPL to CPL to FI...From the great advice I've found on this forum, then am a bit more laidback and realistic about my goals. 'Worse' case I get my PPL and enjoy pleasure flying. Best case I make something of it all and eventually enough dosh to live on, but probably would not recuperate my investment in terms of payback....but hey it's better than a Porsche!

Enjoy!
Forest4ever
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forest4ever,

Your last comment struck a chord......"it's better than a Porsche".

Being a PetrolheadI have always wanted a Ferrari 308 GT4 but also loved the thought of flying and so had the dilemma of which to choose...........in the end rightly or wrongly I decided to put the money in to the PPL (H), so far so good BUT i'd still love that 308!
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Forest4ever
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....yes I can understand....for me it's an Aston Martin, Vantage or DB9......One of my fellow students at the flying school , turned up the other day in a white DB9.....my instructor thought it was a Mazda....
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LoachBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forest4ever wrote:
....yes I can understand....for me it's an Aston Martin, Vantage or DB9......One of my fellow students at the flying school , turned up the other day in a white DB9.....my instructor thought it was a Mazda....


DB9? Mazda??? Shocked

If I was feeling unkind (and as it's a Friday, I'm not..... really), I would ask if your instructor's eyesight is quite what it ought to be???

Wink
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