I'm looking to become a helicopter pilot, but I'm also interested in the mechanical side. I've been told it's useful especially for remote employers to have their pilots be A&Ps also, and I think that sounds really fun. At the moment though, I definitely don't have money to try to go through to schools at once. Seems like making money as an A&P is pretty guaranteed, but starting young as a pilot also seems important with lots of hour-building to do. I'm already almost 27. Should I start scraping funds together to pay for flight school now and try to get that going, or would it ok to push it back for 2 or 3 years while I get established as a mechanic?
Side note: I'm primarily interested in aviation maintenance as it relates to piloting helicopters, so I'm mostly interested in helicopter maintenance. Aviation Institute of Maintenance said fixed-wing a&p is 21 months, and for rotorcraft I'd have to go to a different city for 7 months as some kind of add-on certificate. (I'm in the Philadelphia area.) Is the helicopter program pretty different in most schools, or how does that work?
Thanks for any insight!