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HeliTorque Forum Index » Wannabes

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New Direction
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: New Direction Reply with quote

Hi, I've been reading the Wannabes section of this forum for some time now as I've decided to undertake some Heli training. I have no clue where to start. I might add that I've taken the decision to fly for a living. I've not taken it lightly at all and I'm prepared to go the distance whatever the cost.

I'm no spring chicken and I've been recently given the opportunity for a life changing career move. That is to say I've been offered voluntary redundancy after 10 years in the print industry but don't worry I'm still under 40. It's now or never.

After weeks of trawling through different options including training Stateside I'm considering doing my PPL(H) here in Blighty and then seeing about the CPL(H) however in order to do the CPL I'm going to need those hours. How do I get them? What do you do to build hours without going bankrupt?
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WindSwept
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well sounds like your making a big decision but im sure you will love flying!

Well as you might already know the minimum to hold your PPL(H) is 45 hours but thats no the UK average, it might take you more hours, it depends entirely on how good you are and how much effort you put in. As for the CPL(H) you need 155 hours total and i believe its 50 pilot in command hours. You also need a Class 1 medical.

I know that Helicentre do a great careers seminar on the steps to becoming a commercial pilot, there may be others in your area. It takes place up at Coventry airport so whats that an hours drive from Blighty?

As for the hours building, you can do it in many ways, i recently did a trip with Helicentre down to the Pyranees in 3 R22's and an R44 and that was a good 18 hours flying time logged! so organised trips are good because your achieving or going somewhere when your flying, rather than flying circuits around an airfield (like fixed wing!) but basically its just self fly hire, once you have your PPL you hire a helicopter of the flying school and just go places! build your hours, take a friend up etc etc... Its always going to be beneficial though to get as much experience as you can out of those hours building, so do varied things, its going to look much better on your log book that you went and flew to a large number of different airfields rather than just flying in and out of your own if you see what i mean. Also perhaps the school you select gives positioning flights to PPL holders, i.e. they need to move a helicopter from their airfield to the maintenance shop at another airfield they can sometimes ask you to do it for them at a reduced rate.

Theres many options but careers seminar was the way i went and it made it all possible!
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.

I have indeed booked myself onto the next seminar. I officially finish up work on the 31st of this month and I'm driving to Coventry for the seminar the very next day.

What about full time courses? Does anybody do those in this country? or is it all modular?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh good good! well im sure you will enjoy it, its very interesting and informative. And i shall hope to see you around!

As for the full time course i do believe there are a couple running in the UK but since i don't have the time to devote full time i didn't look into it. I do know there are alot that go on in the US, Bristow have a flight academy over there. Not sure about england tho...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: New Direction Reply with quote

Chickenhawk wrote:
.... might add that I've taken the decision to fly for a living. I've not taken it lightly at all and I'm prepared to go the distance whatever the cost..I'm no spring chicken . How do I get them? What do you do to build hours without going bankrupt?


Ok, firstly you have made the "decision to fly helicopter. That is the best start you can have. It is not cheap, and there are few ways to easy the burden except in knowing that the effort and cost is worthwhile.
Age is no barrier as long as you keep the desire, and work hard.

I agree that in your situation, training close to home is best.

Building time is usually self-hire/rental unless you make friends with someone who has a helicopter and will let you fly along.

No matter. You have taken the first baby step.....now you will learn to walk.

Good luck.
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Afterburner. Baby steps it is. I've just called Bristow Academy in Florida and the next course they have available for JAA is Jan 2011!!!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with the full time training, my school (im attending in jan) runs a 4 month CPL(H) course! It is very expensive as i have to sell my car and take a loan along with some help from my parents and their RESP that i share with my brother! Im sure full time has its pro's and con's but to be flying practically every day and being exposed to the material constantly likely helps those who are willing to sacrifice alot of time and money! Really it comes down to what works the best for an individual based on the time they have available to them! im 20 and living at home, so based on my situation im lucky compared to someone who has to support a family and maintain a job! one way or another you'll get to where you want to be, only difference is the time it takes to get there based on the time you have available!
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm 38, I've got no kids but a very understanding wife. Understanding in so far as she has permitted me to take this adventure as long as I can earn some money at the end of it. She doesn't see the point in flying for fun (I do though).

Because I've got no job now but enough money to get me properly started I'm not going to waste time.

Every day I ask myself over and over 'am I out of my mind?' but the answer is always the same and it's definitely a 'no'. I'd be out of my mind if I didn't at least try this when I've got the chance albeit relatively late in life.
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Logan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its awesome to see what someone who's this dedicated has to say! You have the bug aswell and i doubt i need to care before saying this, but im sure everyone who wants to be or is a heli pilot can agree that it doesnt matter what people say about it! its all about how amazing the feeling is to be flying! awesome decision chickenhawk! welcome to the club and hope all goes well with the training! are you going down to florida or staying where you are and will wait for 2011?
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not waiting until 2011. There's a way to do this and I'm going to find it. It may be here in the UK or it may be in the USA I've just got to figure it out.
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afterburner
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Training Reply with quote

Chickenhawk,
Quote:
She doesn't see the point in flying for fun (I do though).


So do we! Laughing

Quote:
Because I've got no job now but enough money to get me properly started .....


Look for a lineman job at a nearby field. Maybe you won't make much, but it will put you where you want to be.....in aviation. Fueling aircraft, cleaning windows and moving aircraft offers opportunity.

Quote:
Every day I ask myself over and over 'am I out of my mind?'


Well, if you are, then we got there before you......
Ain't it great! Laughing
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fendersim
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chickenhawk wrote:
Thanks Afterburner. Baby steps it is. I've just called Bristow Academy in Florida and the next course they have available for JAA is Jan 2011!!!


Get yourself on the waiting list mate! My 'official' start date was September 2009 but I have been offered starts in May, and September this year. I have just accepted the Jan 2009 start, as my circumstances meant I couldn't start before then.
If you're really interested keep nagging (nicely) Anisha at Bristow as she's very helpful and you may get a place sooner than you think.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Chickenhawk
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took your advice fendersim and I've got myself on the waiting list for 2009. What with the credit crunch and all maybe someone will have to postpone their plans at Bristow and create and opening.

So that's one possible route now all I have to do is find a few more options.
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