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getting a ppl

new pilot ppl helicopters training flying lessons private pilot license

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#1 mtmathes



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Posted 13 May 2018 - 16:00

I'm trying to start a career as a helicopter pilot. I'm at a job right now that i hate, but it pays enough for me to get lessons. I've been doing research, and I've seen that getting an airplane ppl will save you money when getting your helicopter ppl. Has anyone gone this route starting off, and could they tell me if it was worth doing?


I'm also in the army reserves, and I've debated going active duty as a helicopter pilot. I talked to a WO recruiter and he said the best route would be going active duty. The trouble with that is it's not a guarantee I'll make the warrant officer position, and if i can't re-class I'll have an mos i wouldn't want to be active with. I meet all the requirements of the WO position otherwise.


Any feedback would be much appreciated.

#2 overtorque


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Posted 14 May 2018 - 12:33

It would be cheaper and easier to get one or the other.

#3 RisePilot


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Posted 14 May 2018 - 12:39

If you want to fly helicopters, take helicopter lessons (not some half-assed route via fixed wing PPL and "working the system").

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#4 r22butters


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Posted 14 May 2018 - 13:03

Getting the airplane ppl first will give you a head start the day you decide flying helicopters commercially sucks and want to jump ship for the airlines,...like so many HAAP's seem to be doing right now!
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#5 Nearly Retired

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 14:39

Heh, Butters has a point.  Doing it as a combination of airplane and helicopter instruction *can* save money...IF you're pretty talented.  Airplanes and helicopters are pretty different.


But the real answer is: It depends.


Once you get your ratings and you're far enough down the road to be looking for a job, there's an issue to deal with.  Employers are going to be looking at your total HELICOPTER time.  If you have, say, 1,000 hours but only 300 of that is in helicopters...well...you ain't a-gonna be getting any helicopter jobs.  So yeah, it's fine to get your ratings using the fixed-wing "shortcut."  But if you're going after a helicopter job, then you need to pump up the helicopter volume as fast as possible.


But please realize that there really aren't any shortcuts.  No guarantees.  No sure-things.  Not even any, "he did it that way so *I* can do it that way" things.  Nope.  You'll be blazing your own trail and whether it works or not will depend on a mixture of timing, luck, dedication, desperation and stupidity.  Maybe not in that order.

Good luck!

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#6 AkAr


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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:39

Are you just looking at the minimum required hours? I think the vast majority take more than the minimum to finish A PPL, so factor that in.

#7 mike0331


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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:12

Check out the military helicopter section of the board. You can contract for aviation. It seems in the rare event people fail out they are usually let out of their contracts. Also Guard (and less so, reserves) is an option.


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: new pilot, ppl, helicopters, training, flying lessons, private pilot license

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