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Do people like their flying jobs?

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#21 crashed_05


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Posted 02 January 2017 - 15:53


You worried about three takeoffs and landings?

I'm not worried about 3 t/o landings.  Depending on the employer, some may require that you've flown so many hours in helicopters commercially in the last 12 months.

#22 SBuzzkill


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Posted 03 January 2017 - 15:07

I like it!  I'll even tell you about it because I'm a pilot so naturally I love talking about myself. 


According to my parents and my memories I've loved anything that has moved wind since I was a toddler.  Standing out in the yard with flags and pinwheels looking up at birds and planes.  Growing up I knew I'd end up flying.  I spent every penny earned during my summer jobs on model planes.  Lots of hours spent in the airplane section of the library reading books and looking at pictures.  I did science fair projects on airplanes and played Flight Simulator on the computer.


Eventually, girls, snowboarding, and cars distracted me for a few years.  But 11 years ago an airshow and a movie got me back into the swing of things and I decided to take my first flying lesson.  I got a job at the airport as a line guy, I spent every penny on flight training, I tried to get a degree so that I could get an airline job.


Eventually, I gave up on it after spending too much money and becoming overwhelmed with trying to work full time while also going to school full time, with nothing left over for flying.  The Army took me and I've been flying choppers for them ever since.  I've flown all over the U.S., flown in two foreign countries, in combat, in peacetime, good weather and bad.  It's been awesome.


Pulling off the sleeping bag, shaving out of a canteen cup, then walking out of the wood line to the bird and pulling pitch to leave it all behind for a few hours is a wonderful feeling. 


But, while I love the flying, I'm tired of the Army.  Some people thrive in the service, I feel drained by it.  It's time to fly for someone other than Uncle Sam.  I can't say whether I will enjoy it or not, or if I will even find success in a new job.  I have obligations to my family and myself that may eventually draw me away from flying helicopters professionally.  I hope not, I hope to continue my career and be able to make it fit in with the other parts of my life.  When I left home on this adventure I had a goal in mind to return someday and fly airlift helicopters over Puget Sound.  That's still my goal.  But marriage, kids, and family have a larger pull than spinning rotors.


Yes, I like my flying job.

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#23 mudkow60


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Posted 21 February 2017 - 11:16

My most recent, and final case flying with the Coast Guard.  This part of the job will be hard to leave behind.



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#24 Carmelscene



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Posted 11 July 2017 - 17:12

Flying helicopters has been an absolutely incredible experience and taken me on the adventure of a lifetime. It has given me the opportunity to live in CA, FL, NY, HI and LA. Flying in the GoM now allows me to travel all over the US and internationally w/ a 14/14 schedule. I really enjoy the lifestyle that flying in the GoM offers. I have a good time w/ the guys I fly around offshore. When the weather is good and everything is running smoothly it can feel monotonous, but there are enough bad weather days and last minutes changes to keep things interesting.

It hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows, though. Working as a flight instructor was absolutely brutal to say the least. I was exhausted every day. While I enjoyed teaching, the long hours and low pay created a very toxic lifestyle. After 2 years I felt I was reaching my breaking point. It lead to a slightly better paying job flying R44s in HI, which seemed like it would provide some financial relief and the opportunity to live in paradise. I loved living in Hawaii, but was still struggling financially. I also discovered that the role of a tour pilot was a terrible fit for my personality. I was bitter and depressed, and it weighed heavily on my relationship. While I can't place all of the blame on my career, it was certainly a factor. I ended up getting divorced. After the divorce I got a job w/ one of the big companies in HI and was finally making a real paycheck. It allowed me to live very comfortably, do all sorts of cool activities and have quite a bit of fun outside of work. At that time though I still struggled emotionally w/ the divorce, and despised being a tour guide. Once again, I found myself burnt out and questioning my decision to fly professionally. Switching from tours into the GoM was a monumental turning point in my career. For the first time, I felt that I had everything I wanted; financial stability, free time and a job that is a 'good fit'.

It took 5 years flying professionally to get that job. Was it worth it? Hell yeah! All those rough patches aside, I've been able to experience so many amazing things that a 'normal' 9-5 desk job could never offer. I love flying helicopters and cherish my time in the air and the places I've lived. Not to mention all of the incredible people I've met along the way. Cant imagine doing anything else.


did you find that leaving the good paying operator in HI caused you to make less money in the GOM  for a few years when you were first hired till you got upgraded into bigger aircraft making better money?

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