Jump to content


Frasca VRForum468Helicopter AcademyVOLO_VRGeneral468TigerTugsVRForumGen468
Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Should I make the move?


  • Please log in to reply
51 replies to this topic

#1 Scyther

Scyther

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Professional Wannabe Pilot
  • Company working for:Firefighter

Posted 14 December 2017 - 16:43

Alright mates?

 

It's been a while since I've posted on here. I blame it on life and lack of flying.

 

ANWAY, I'm back for more advice from those "in the know". 

 

Some of you may remember me (probably not) but here's a quick little reminder... I'm an American working as a firefighter in the UK. I genuinely love my job. 

 

BUT

 

I feel lonely as ever and quite out of place living the UK. I've spent most of my 20s here and yes I've made friends but when it comes down to it, I just don't feel very settled. I also feel like I've peaked in my job since being posted to the busiest station... I love being on the back or driving the fire engine and that's it- going up in the ranks would take those positions away from me. I'm not in it for the money but we simply aren't paid anywhere near enough to fly as a hobby or even to live in the actual city we serve.

 

So as you can see it's complicated... I genuinely love my job- it would be very tough to leave but at the same time I feel pretty  lonely/miserable in my personal life and I can't afford to fly as a hobby... Not regularly enough to take care of that itch anyway! 

 

I know this is helicopter forums and ideally I'd like to fly helicopters but I've been reading a lot about fixed wing being the more lucrative path at the moment. Apparently the bachelors degree thing is no longer an essential prerequisite either- this was a massive thing that put me off from going fixed wing. I personally have zero interest in going to college for anything and for four years of my life plus with what extra money on top of what I've saved for flight training?!... 

 

So say you were in my situation, a 28/yo with maybe around $50k in your pocket- would you ship yourself back over to the states and enroll in something like the $70k ATP airline career pilot program? I'll definitely need a loan to get through the whole thing! OR would you do a few more years at one of the busiest fire stations in the world and then come over with a more comfortable amount of money to start flying with? My thinking is It might be too late by then and I ain't getting any younger. Also, keep in mind I would like to start a family one day so changing careers earlier on may be better in the long run. 

 

Isn't life overly complicated?! Oh no, I meant FUN... Isn't life FUN!!! 

 

Thanks in advance. 


  • TomPPL likes this

#2 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,733 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pluto,...at least until the next election :) ,...damn the wifi here is unbelievable!
  • Interests:Admiring the city lights and coastal sunsets from a thousand feet,...when I have the dough. :)

    ,...oh' yeah, and boobs!
    😕+🍟+🚁+🌃=☺
    .
  • Company working for:Just a happy casual renter! :)

Posted 14 December 2017 - 17:34

Well I'm 46 and yesterday I had my first anal probe. It sucked! Didn't even get to see the spacecship, bastards made me come to them, AND wait in the lobby for an hour and a half,...lazy aliens!

If I were 28 with fifty-kaye burning a hole in my wallet (knowing what I know now about life) I'd spend the next two years living it up on cruise ships, then on my 30th birthday I'd walk the plank and head for Davy Jones' Locker! Yeah, seems the older I get the more I appreciate the movie Logan's Run,...they really had a great idea there!

"I genuinely love my job", hmmm, never felt that way myself. Maybe you should hold onto it?
  • TomPPL and Scyther like this
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fifteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#3 Jaybee

Jaybee

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 363 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 December 2017 - 19:04

Can't really help you with the personal side of your life. I mean I could give you advice having been there myself but at the end of the day you got to figure it out yourself if you are going to be truly happy with yourself. To that end, try everything ! Scuba diving, sky diving, rock climbing, flying, whatever. Don't confuse your personal with your professional. If you enjoy your work then just enjoy it. If you think you need to pursue a more lucrative career then pursue it. If the everyday grind is becoming a grind then change things up. No one here gets out alive and as far as I know you only get once shot at this.


  • TomPPL and Scyther like this
"In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks." — Wilbur Wright in a letter to his father, September 1900. 
 
"The foot rests have a profound impact on the outcome of today's flight ending safely" - My flight instructor.

#4 Eric Hunt

Eric Hunt

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 678 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Near the beach

Posted 14 December 2017 - 20:43

If you want a lucrative career, starting on helicopters is not the way to go. You will need to be in the industry full-time, working up through the system for maybe 10 to 15 years to land a job that pays well. You will be very hungry during that time. And if you get married, then beware of the AIDS epidemic - Aviation-Induced Divorce Syndrome. VERY common.

 

It is easy to get disheartened (see Butters post above). Keep in the fire business (there are always fires to put out, you won't be replaced by a robot anytime soon) and save your money. Go for helicopter joyrides and trial flights, have a pole on the controls, you might find it isn't as addictive as you expected.


  • Wally, TomPPL, Jaybee and 1 other like this

#5 avbug

avbug

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,348 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:34

 

I know this is helicopter forums and ideally I'd like to fly helicopters but I've been reading a lot about fixed wing being the more lucrative path at the moment. Apparently the bachelors degree thing is no longer an essential prerequisite either- this was a massive thing that put me off from going fixed wing. I personally have zero interest in going to college for anything and for four years of my life plus with what extra money on top of what I've saved for flight training?!... 

 

 

 

A four year degree is not necessary for some areas in fixed wing outside of the airlines, and presently not at the regionals.  You'll find it nearly impossible to get hired with a major if you lack a four year degree, however.

 

You don't need to take four years out of your life to go do college, however; you can do it while you live your life, by doing it online.  A lot of pilots do.  In fact, a lot use their professional certification toward come of the credit.  It's quite common today.

 

If I were in your shoes, I absolutely would not give up a good job to go to flight school, but you can certainly do your flight training at the same time.  You'll find it considerably more arduous and expensive to do it in Europe, however, so if you intend to go that route, you'll be better off locating a position in the US where you can work and do your flight training.  Far more good weather days, much, much lower cost, and greater opportunities.  

 

Don't quit your day job.


  • Wally, TomPPL and Scyther like this

#6 Scyther

Scyther

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Professional Wannabe Pilot
  • Company working for:Firefighter

Posted 15 December 2017 - 15:57

I appreciate the great advice!

 

I see life as a big adventure...that's why I went to the UK in the first place. I'd spent the first twenty years of my life in the same place and wanted to experience something different. Now I've spent nearly eight years in the UK so maybe it's time to try something new and have another adventure.

 

It would be ideal if I could work and fly but that's just not going to happen in the UK (as a few of you already stated). It would also be great if I could become a firefighter in the states but I don't think that's a very realistic goal especially when combined with the ultimate goal of becoming a pilot. Most fire departments don't take previous experience into account and many of them require state specific medic qualifications/college credits/age restrictions etc. etc. In other words,  either I come to the states to become a firefighter OR to become a pilot. I probably can't accomplish both. 

 

To be more specific, it's not a question of SHOULD I become a pilot. It's should I do it now or can I put it off for a few more years? Becoming a pilot has been a life long dream, it's something that I need to try otherwise I will always regret it. There's no question in my mind about it, flying for a living is something I've wanted to do since I was little! 

 

Btw divorce and lack of money is quite common in the UK fire service. "It is what it is" or "If you don't like it, leave"- as they say in the job. 


  • TomPPL likes this

#7 Azhigher

Azhigher

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 484 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 December 2017 - 18:18

Come back, go fixed wing, done. If you want to be more responsible: Work/save for another year, then follow my plan. 1 more year won't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.


  • TomPPL and Scyther like this

#8 DizzyD

DizzyD

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 82 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 18:34

IMHO If it were me..I'd come back and plug into a 0-ATP program just don't plunk all your cash down up front.  Get on with a regional pay off the loan with the signing bonus, and soon college degrees will not be a necessity to get hired at the big legacy air carriers.  Soon you'll make enough to do your helicopter add-on ratings on the side, and have enough time off to instruct if you are not getting your fill of aviation at the airline.  You've had one adventure, life is short why keep reliving the same dream? Good luck to you.


  • TomPPL and Scyther like this

#9 Wally

Wally

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,573 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jefferson, GA
  • Interests:Reading's high on the list.
  • Company working for:none

Posted 16 December 2017 - 16:42

When I was instructing (a long time ago) a lot, if not most of our students were foreign getting basics done in the US. Europe, Asia, South America, even a "Kiwi". The economics were such (in 1982) it was cheaper to come here, learn to fly, and have a 'vacay'. I think Lufthansa still does this, so the numbers might be interesting.

Get an introductory flight if you haven't already. If you still need to scratch that helo itch and can get a few weeks, pick the best school in the US you can find near a place you want to visit. Jump in the shallow end of the pool, as it were, but don't bet everything on it until you have some idea. If it still looks good, save up and do it again and again until you get tired of it or grow up...

It is WORK, the fun moments become scarcer and scarcer. It also takes years to become a widely employable 'journeyman'. And then the money isn't "huge", although after 30 years I was doing better than some physicians I know. But some did way, way, magnitudes better... Anyhow- The sharpest young pilots I know took 3-5 years from zero to hero- er, professional.
  • TomPPL and Scyther like this

Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#10 Scyther

Scyther

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Professional Wannabe Pilot
  • Company working for:Firefighter

Posted 16 December 2017 - 19:49

So if I waited a few more years I shouldnt miss out on this current airline pilot hiring boom? I know no one has a crystal ball but Im trying to make an informed decision based off knowledge obtained by those in the industry.

I popped by a local flight school today and the CFIs I spoke to reckon it should continue like this well into the next decade... Something about all the pilots that stayed on until 65 are now retiring. They said its even gotten to the point were flights are getting cancelled due to lack of crewing.

Ideally, id like to do a few more years at my current fire station and have a bit more money saved up. Its tempting to jack it all in now so I can live somewhere new and start flying right away BUT the grass isnt always greener. I think Id regret it if I left now. Man is it tempting though!

Btw Im pretty sure Id be making more $$$ in my first year at a regional than what Im currently on. It aint all about the money but I know I wont regret leaving the fire service on that front.
  • TomPPL likes this

#11 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,733 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pluto,...at least until the next election :) ,...damn the wifi here is unbelievable!
  • Interests:Admiring the city lights and coastal sunsets from a thousand feet,...when I have the dough. :)

    ,...oh' yeah, and boobs!
    😕+🍟+🚁+🌃=☺
    .
  • Company working for:Just a happy casual renter! :)

Posted 16 December 2017 - 21:04

... Something about all the pilots that stayed on until 65 are now retiring...


Hmmm, there's something awfully familiar about this statement,...?
  • TomPPL likes this
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fifteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#12 Scyther

Scyther

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Professional Wannabe Pilot
  • Company working for:Firefighter

Posted 16 December 2017 - 22:32

What do you mean by that Butters? 



#13 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,733 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pluto,...at least until the next election :) ,...damn the wifi here is unbelievable!
  • Interests:Admiring the city lights and coastal sunsets from a thousand feet,...when I have the dough. :)

    ,...oh' yeah, and boobs!
    😕+🍟+🚁+🌃=☺
    .
  • Company working for:Just a happy casual renter! :)

Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:23

Found this in an old thread which sums it up pretty well.

Posted 12 June 2009 - 22:28

We have 5 pilots in our company. We mainly do firefighting and utility. 3 of our pilots are from the "Vietnam Era"...

I went through flight training in 1993 and heard the same line about retiring Vietnam Pilots and here I am 16 years later with 3 "Vietnam" Pilots and 3 Vietnam Mechanics/Ground support on my payroll...


I first heard of their retirement myself in 2003 when I got my Private in helicopters. However, in 1995 I attended Embry Riddle for a semester (back when I thought I was interested in a career flying those weird looking contraptions where the wings don't spin around) and was given the same line about the old airline guys were all retiring so NOW is the time to get in!

Its a common hook used by flight schools. I suppose one of these days its bound to become true,...?
  • TomPPL likes this
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fifteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#14 Jaybee

Jaybee

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 363 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:20

Pt 121 Airlines have mandatory retirements. It was extended from age 60 to 65, hence the delay and current state of affairs. Helicopter & Pt 91/135 have no such mandatory retirement rules. If you look at the the mandatory retirement numbers on Airline Pilot Central under Profiles just between Delta, American, United, Fed Ex and UPS there are more mandatory retirements than their are available pilots per the FAAs published numbers. You still have 121 Cargo carriers and LCCs and ULCCs such as SouthWest, JetBlue, Atlas, Kalitta, Alaska, Hawaiian, Spirit, etc, etc, etc that are all in different states of flux with hiring and retirements. Lots of foreign carriers offering huge bucks trying to attract talent as well. As long as nothing like Post 9/11 happens where people were being furloughed the current available opportunities are like no other period in history. 

 

Two cents worth.

 

Examine the facts and make your own interpretation of the possibilities though.


Edited by Jaybee, 17 December 2017 - 12:21.

  • TomPPL likes this
"In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks." — Wilbur Wright in a letter to his father, September 1900. 
 
"The foot rests have a profound impact on the outcome of today's flight ending safely" - My flight instructor.

#15 Wally

Wally

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,573 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jefferson, GA
  • Interests:Reading's high on the list.
  • Company working for:none

Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:29

So if I waited a few more years I shouldnt miss out on this current airline pilot hiring boom? I know no one has a crystal ball but Im trying to make an informed decision based off knowledge obtained by those in the industry.

I popped by a local flight school today and the CFIs I spoke to reckon it should continue like this well into the next decade... Something about all the pilots that stayed on until 65 are now retiring. They said its even gotten to the point were flights are getting cancelled due to lack of crewing.

Ideally, id like to do a few more years at my current fire station and have a bit more money saved up. Its tempting to jack it all in now so I can live somewhere new and start flying right away BUT the grass isnt always greener. I think Id regret it if I left now. Man is it tempting though!

Btw Im pretty sure Id be making more $$$ in my first year at a regional than what Im currently on. It aint all about the money but I know I wont regret leaving the fire service on that front.

 

If you are aiming at an airline career don't waste time and money with helicopters, do airplanes.  


  • TomPPL and SBuzzkill like this

Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#16 Scyther

Scyther

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Professional Wannabe Pilot
  • Company working for:Firefighter

Posted 17 December 2017 - 19:56

Ah well I appreciate the comments! Having taken things into consideration, I feel Id be better off staying where I am for a good few more years. Im quite comfortable with the idea of working my way up the aviation industry over my 30s. I dont have such a specific goal where I need to achieve a particular rank/aircraft/pay grade by a certain age. Heck, maybe Ill end up as a firefighting or bush pilot?! Im a firm believer that if you want something enough, it will happen- but patience is a virtue. As long as the robots dont take over!!!
  • TomPPL likes this

#17 mike0331

mike0331

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 223 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Massachusetts
  • Interests:Freedom & 'Merica
  • Company working for:Prior USMC Infantry, Law Student

Posted 21 December 2017 - 23:45

What about military? You say you like adventures. I'm 28 and just graduating law school this sprinf and trying to get the national guard to "hire" me and send me to flight school. If that doesn't work I may go active duty. You only live once, do it with no regrets. Not sure how FD pays in the UK but I have some friends living pretty well here in the northeast as firefighters. Great hours, work, and benefits. And you can own guns, cause 'Merica.

If you want something enough only you can make it happen. But it takes drive and tenacity. It won't fall into your lap. If it does, go buy a lottery ticket.

Best of luck
  • TomPPL likes this

#18 Scyther

Scyther

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Professional Wannabe Pilot
  • Company working for:Firefighter

Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:00

Sorry for the late reply Mike. I was on holiday with family in the states and have still been thinking about what I want to do next. You're definitely right about needing drive and tenacity to make dreams happen. What I lacked was belief in myself but now I feel like I have the right support in my new step-dad and his family. Im not sure on my chances but I will dedicate this year to making myself into a top notch WOFT candidate. As my ultimate dream was always to be a military aviator. Flying to serve sounds awesome!!!
  • TomPPL likes this

#19 Thedude

Thedude

    CFI Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 41 posts

Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:10

Sorry for the late reply Mike. I was on holiday with family in the states and have still been thinking about what I want to do next. You're definitely right about needing drive and tenacity to make dreams happen. What I lacked was belief in myself but now I feel like I have the right support in my new step-dad and his family. Im not sure on my chances but I will dedicate this year to making myself into a top notch WOFT candidate. As my ultimate dream was always to be a military aviator. Flying to serve sounds awesome!!!


The flying is fun, it’s just everything else that can make the job suck. You’ll spend well less than half your time as an aviator actually doing anything related to aviation.
  • TomPPL and mike0331 like this

#20 500E

500E

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,193 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Company working for:Owner 50 + years

Posted 02 January 2018 - 09:53

Reading your posts it seems to me you do not really know what you want, listen to Erick & Wally.

Still what do I know, only been flying 15 years as private owner, watched people come & go a lot like Butters disillusioned or worse, Broke & in deep debt.

As Wally said it's Work! maybe fun as well, but bottom line it is Work.

I have worked for my self for the last 57 years in different businesses,  a lot of worry, some real good times some real bad times, the one good thing through it all was a good wife we have been married 50+ years & I can say if I had not had that support it would have gone to rat s**t.

You enjoy what you are doing there are a lot of people who would just settle for that,are you Greater London if so can understand living problem, is it impossible to get FF position in US & would it be any better ?


  • TomPPL likes this
Fly the dream fly 500




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



NFCVRGeneral200PrecisionVRForumGeneral200HeliHelmetsDevoreGeneral200Able_VRGeneral200ColoradoHeliOpsGeneral200Genesys VRForum200_GeneralSpectrum_VRGeneral468MaunaLoaSoftwareVRGeneral200