Jump to content


MountainRidgeHeliVRFT468UpperLimit468VRFTForumFRASCA FT200Helicopter Academy
Photo
- - - - -

What to do after Commercial Add-On


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Aphelion79

Aphelion79

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 16 February 2011 - 20:41

Hello all! Newbie to the forums here, let me first give you some background story about myself:
I've been flying since 2004, I have 250 hours of flight time and am just about to get my fixed wing commercial certificate. I'm Instrument rated, complex, and high performance endorsed (the latter two are with commercial, so not -quite- yet lol)

However, I recently found I can get a rotorcraft add-on for about 35-50 hours of flight time. I think I may have found a school that has 200/hr solo and 230/hr dual instruction in an R22. Which is REALLY cheap as the school I first looked into helicopter flight a few years ago had an R22 for 275/hr solo 305/hr dual!

------
Thus leads into my question: Flying the R22, I see the FAA requires 200 hours of flight time in the bird in order to become a CFI in it. I really don't want to be a CFI, but given the choice between being a CFI for fixed wing or helicopters I really have more of a passion for teaching others how to fly choppers!

What -is- there out there for potential helicopter jobs? My *BIGGEST* concern right now are some short term, (fresh out of the add-on rating) entry level jobs.
Entry Level Ideas:
  • Tour Flights
  • Photo Flights
  • Pipeline Inspection

Long Term Ideas:
  • Flight Instruction Civilian/Military
  • EMS
  • Long Lining
  • Police Helicopter



What ideas do you folks have for potential career ideas? (Please focus mostly on the entry level jobs as that's what I'm going to be facing the biggest bottleneck on!)

#2 rick1128

rick1128

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 796 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas
  • Company working for:looking

Posted 20 February 2011 - 16:51

Hello all! Newbie to the forums here, let me first give you some background story about myself:
I've been flying since 2004, I have 250 hours of flight time and am just about to get my fixed wing commercial certificate. I'm Instrument rated, complex, and high performance endorsed (the latter two are with commercial, so not -quite- yet lol)

However, I recently found I can get a rotorcraft add-on for about 35-50 hours of flight time. I think I may have found a school that has 200/hr solo and 230/hr dual instruction in an R22. Which is REALLY cheap as the school I first looked into helicopter flight a few years ago had an R22 for 275/hr solo 305/hr dual!

------
Thus leads into my question: Flying the R22, I see the FAA requires 200 hours of flight time in the bird in order to become a CFI in it. I really don't want to be a CFI, but given the choice between being a CFI for fixed wing or helicopters I really have more of a passion for teaching others how to fly choppers!

What -is- there out there for potential helicopter jobs? My *BIGGEST* concern right now are some short term, (fresh out of the add-on rating) entry level jobs.
Entry Level Ideas:

  • Tour Flights
  • Photo Flights
  • Pipeline Inspection

Long Term Ideas:
  • Flight Instruction Civilian/Military
  • EMS
  • Long Lining
  • Police Helicopter



What ideas do you folks have for potential career ideas? (Please focus mostly on the entry level jobs as that's what I'm going to be facing the biggest bottleneck on!)


First of all the SFAR 73 requirement is 200 hours of helicopter time and 50 make and model to instruct. Pipeline and powerline work require more experience as there is a higher risk factor in that type of work. So there is always instructing in a 300 or Enstrom. It is a little bit more difficult to find that job but not impossible.

#3 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 923 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:The comments expressed here are not a complaint about the pilot's inability to find work, but merely opinions based on his own experiences,...your experience may differ!

    "Get to da choppa!" :)

Posted 20 February 2011 - 18:37

...I really don't want to be a CFI,...

What -is- there out there for potential helicopter jobs? My *BIGGEST* concern right now are some short term, (fresh out of the add-on rating) entry level jobs...

...(Please focus mostly on the entry level jobs as that's what I'm going to be facing the biggest bottleneck on!)


I hate to break this to you, but,...the only entry-level job is flight instruction! (and its not "short term") :(

Once you get to about 1500hrs, you can then "apply" to a few others, and, of course, there is a HUGE bottleneck between 200hr CFIs and 1500hrs!
:)

Edited by r22butters, 20 February 2011 - 18:39.

  • kodoz likes this

#4 Helibear

Helibear

    CFI Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Portland, OR

Posted 22 February 2011 - 23:52

However, I recently found I can get a rotorcraft add-on for about 35-50 hours of flight time.
Entry Level Ideas:

  • Tour Flights
  • Photo Flights
  • Pipeline Inspection


Hmmm add-on with 35-50 hrs, legally - yes, practical - most likely not.
Of course nobody knows, but all add-on students if have seen so far needed almost the same flight time as 0 hr newbies. I would recommend to calculate at least 100 hrs(mostly with CFI) to be proficient for the checkride.

Unless you have a really good personal relationship(like your dad own's a helicopter tour company), chances to sneak by the CFI job are very small.

I don't want to disencourage you to come to the dark side, Helicopters are way more fun. It is just a huge project.

#5 Oil Pilot

Oil Pilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 86 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gulf Coast

Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:35

I agree with Helibear. While it's legal to get an add on in 35-50 hours, it's not realistic. Helicopters are a completely different animal than fixed wing and the first ten hours or so are going to be spent just breaking your bad fixed wing habits and even then they'll creep up again later on.

Going from a helicopter to a fixed wing is easy. The other way not so much.

Not that it's not worth it, but you deserve to be told the truth so you can realistically plan for the actual cost.

#6 AIRWOLF4LIFE

AIRWOLF4LIFE

    Student Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas
  • Interests:Airwolf and helicopters
    airplanes too.....

Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:41

I did my helicopter add-on and finished right around 40 hours coming from fixed wing. While I felt safe in the machine, I waited till I had more time before taking someone with me as a PAX and didn't feel comfortable like I do in a airplane until I had around 100hrs of helicopter time.

I hope I don't get stoned for saying this, but I believe microsoft flight sim and learning to fly radio control helicopters helped a little bit. I used the flight sim to practice procedures (emergency, startup, shutdowns, etc.) It may have helped with learning to hover, but I think the helicopter flight dynamics of the simulator are nowhere near as good as the airplane dynamics.

The RC helicopter is difficult to hover like the real thing. I believe it tought me a great deal about over correcting and smothness with the control inputs. It also taught me about setteling with power and how expensive helicopters can be in general (real/RC) can be ;-)

I never had anything that carried over from the fixed wing training to hamper my rotocraft training apart from flying the 10 degree approach angle vs 3 in airplane. But when I went back to fixed wing, I struggled for a little bit on keeping airspeed in on final and not wanting to come to a hover at the numbers :)

As for skipping the CFI thing, I've seen people do it... but in the end they never really got anywhere far/fast until they actually got their CFI. It's kind of like the pilots who got their fixed wing commercial and just flew skydivers/misc, they eventually moved on... but those who got their CFI moved on alot quicker (just my personal observation).

#7 Oil Pilot

Oil Pilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 86 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gulf Coast

Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:40

did my helicopter add-on and finished right around 40 hours coming from fixed wing. While I felt safe in the machine, I waited till I had more time before taking someone with me as a PAX and didn't feel comfortable like I do in a airplane until I had around 100hrs of helicopter time.


Private or commercial add-on?

In my experience teaching, fixed wingers often had trouble giving up airspeed during approaches and especially during autos. They also have a tendency to try and turn with their pedals. It's been a while since I was an instructor, but I'm sure there are more the more recent guys can tell you about.

#8 Shaun

Shaun

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN
  • Interests:Rock climbing.
  • Company working for:Club Jet

Posted 23 February 2011 - 13:41

I completed my commercial add-on with 50 hours. People always point out the one or two negative transfers for some reason but there are so many more important positive ones.

I do not see any scenario, however, where a company is going to give someone a machine worth several hundred thousand dollars when that person has 50 helicopter hours, even with nepotism involved.

Especially when there are 1,000 hour pilots looking for work.
  • Rogue likes this

#9 Goldy

Goldy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,723 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Crescenta-VNY, CA
  • Interests:uuuh? flying helicopers maybe?
  • Company working for:Hey I didn't know you could loop an R22 ???

Posted 31 March 2011 - 22:50

OK, I made a huge post listing all the times I have seen first hand, a pilot with less than 300 hours land their first job in the helo biz. I lost that post and I dont feel like re-typing 20 minutes of stuff, so let me just re-type the last paragraph.

I attended a local event last Saturday.There were 45 helo pilots there, about 5 Chief Pilots, about 5 owners of local operators, the local FAA FSDO guy and a couple DPE's. If you live within 100 miles of Los Angeles and you weren't there, I can only shake my head.

In my day job I hire and interview all the time. I'm looking for someone that represents me and my company well. I'm looking for someone who presents themselves well, who has energy, who has personality. Then I look for those that can do the job, that have either experience, training, or just do so well that I'm willing to train and bring them up to speed.

So, if you want that entry first job. I have to ask...how many Chief Pilots have you met in the last year? How many owners of helo operations? How many have you met 3 times in the last year?

Owners already know this....they hire 90% of their people based on relationships and recommendations...not based on resumes and interviews. Yet the new pilot is putting all their hopes into those resumes and interviews. What a formula for failure.

Stop whining, and start building relationships.

(This is not meant at any one poster, just a generic response to those that insist there is nothing out there)
  • PlatoNC likes this
Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44R1,RII,R44Clipper, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, what next?

FAA Aircraft Dealer
http://www.bestaerialphoto.com
http://www.phpa.org
http://www.rotorcraftpro.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuX9SO5uCno

#10 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 923 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:The comments expressed here are not a complaint about the pilot's inability to find work, but merely opinions based on his own experiences,...your experience may differ!

    "Get to da choppa!" :)

Posted 31 March 2011 - 23:26

So, if you want that entry first job. I have to ask...how many Chief Pilots have you met in the last year? How many owners of helo operations? How many have you met 3 times in the last year?


And how much Chap-stick have you gone through? :lol:

All kidding aside. When an employer doesn't return your e-mails or phone calls, should you still try to talk to them in person, or just take the hint? :huh:

#11 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 923 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:The comments expressed here are not a complaint about the pilot's inability to find work, but merely opinions based on his own experiences,...your experience may differ!

    "Get to da choppa!" :)

Posted 31 March 2011 - 23:57

....they hire 90% of their people based on relationships and recommendations...not based on resumes and interviews. Yet the new pilot is putting all their hopes into those resumes and interviews. What a formula for failure.

Stop whining, and start building relationships.


This one actually reminds me of an experience I had recently at Heliexpo. I went into one of the small R44 operations I found in the area, and "tried" to strke up a conversation with the pilot there.

I'm not a natural "bullshitter", so this doesn't come easy to me, but I tried asking about the operation, made a few comments about the helicopters parked outside, and even mentioned the weather?

He couldn't have seemed less interested in talking with me. Finally I mentioned something about being a pilot, if he ever needed one. He responded, "you can just e-mail us a resume.". <_<

I could have just handed him one right there,(or even a business card) but he just seemed too uninterested, and, to be honest, I really felt like I was just bothering him.

I only mention this because it seems to be the 'standard' reaction when I've tried visiting places in person,...but as I've said, I'm just not that skilled in the art of "bullshitting",...so maybe its just me?
:huh:

#12 Spike

Spike

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,237 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 April 2011 - 19:32

What -is- there out there for potential helicopter jobs? My *BIGGEST* concern right now are some short term, (fresh out of the add-on rating) entry level jobs.
Entry Level Ideas:


Respectfully.

Hoping to gain any kind of helicopter employment with 30-50 hours of helicopter time is not a realistic expectation. This is coming for a person who is an optimist when it comes to getting a helicopter job. Simply put, you’re not considered even closely qualified with that level of experience. Plus, in my experience, helicopter companies don’t place much value on FW time…..

#13 Goldy

Goldy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,723 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Crescenta-VNY, CA
  • Interests:uuuh? flying helicopers maybe?
  • Company working for:Hey I didn't know you could loop an R22 ???

Posted 01 April 2011 - 21:27

Respectfully.

Hoping to gain any kind of helicopter employment with 30-50 hours of helicopter time is not a realistic expectation. This is coming for a person who is an optimist when it comes to getting a helicopter job. Simply put, you’re not considered even closely qualified with that level of experience. Plus, in my experience, helicopter companies don’t place much value on FW time…..


Absolutely, but keep hanging out, keep helping out and keep finding ways to fly. About the lowest time I have personally seen pilots get into a first job is at about 250 helo time.

To the OP- think agriculture!

Let's see cherry drying, rice farming, keeping citrus from freezing, and of course spraying. The first 3 seem to be low time entry spots, spraying is sorta a career in itself.

You already mentioned tours and photos...both good ones.

Edited by Goldy, 03 April 2011 - 18:49.

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44R1,RII,R44Clipper, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, what next?

FAA Aircraft Dealer
http://www.bestaerialphoto.com
http://www.phpa.org
http://www.rotorcraftpro.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuX9SO5uCno




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



JerryTrimbleTampaBayVRFT2012_200GuidanceVRFTForum200OdysseyFT200HeliAviationFT200UNDVRFTForum200702HeliVRFT200RPMN Mag Banner