Jump to content


TigerTugsVRForumGen468Helicopter AcademyVOLO_VRGeneral468Frasca VRForum468
Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

At what height and weight is too big?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 MoneyMike111

MoneyMike111

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 07 March 2019 - 22:22

Well, I am thinking about it again - not that I have the money just yet, but am wondering if this is something Id like to save for.

 

But...

 

I am 6'3 240lbs at 30 years old. At what point am I too big to fly PROFESSIONALLY? Now? Another 20 pounds?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

EDIT - Also, I wear contacts and glasses and have been debating whether or not to get LASIK for years now. Would getting it affect me in any way in regards to being a Professional career pilot down the road?



#2 Eric Hunt

Eric Hunt

    VR Veteran Poster

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

Posted 08 March 2019 - 04:22

You will have big trouble with an R22. Perhaps the R44 cadet or pay big bux and move up to a B206.

 

(Why do you want to put on another 20lb??)


  • TomPPL likes this

#3 Wally

Wally

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,667 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jefferson, GA
  • Interests:Reading's high on the list.
  • Company working for:none

Posted 08 March 2019 - 08:53

I had corrective eye surgery a couple years ago, after i retired- don't wait anymore.


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


#4 klas

klas

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 374 posts

Posted 08 March 2019 - 16:55

EDIT - Also, I wear contacts and glasses and have been debating whether or not to get LASIK for years now. Would getting it affect me in any way in regards to being a Professional career pilot down the road?

 

I had Lasik and regret it.  If I had choice, i would go back and not do it.  It has created halo's and starbursts around lights at night, and actually made one eye worse.  And with it being worse it has become weaker than the other.  Too much risk, I think, for a pilot.



#5 cryesis

cryesis

    VR Veteran Poster

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

Posted 08 March 2019 - 22:58

How long ago did you have the lasik?



#6 Hand_Grenade_Pilot

Hand_Grenade_Pilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 163 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Company working for:GoM

Posted 09 March 2019 - 00:29

Well, I am thinking about it again - not that I have the money just yet, but am wondering if this is something Id like to save for.
 
But...
 
I am 6'3 240lbs at 30 years old. At what point am I too big to fly PROFESSIONALLY? Now? Another 20 pounds?
 
Thank you in advance.
 
 
EDIT - Also, I wear contacts and glasses and have been debating whether or not to get LASIK for years now. Would getting it affect me in any way in regards to being a Professional career pilot down the road?

Body weight being a limiting factor largely depends on part of the industry you are in (and the size of the aircraft). Aside from reducing useful load, having a big gut can also restrict aft cyclic travel (which is a significant hazard that some companies choose to overlook).

As a CFI in the R22 / S300, just about every company will want you under 200 lbs.

To fly HEMS, flight weight of 230 lbs or less.

Versus the offshore industry... its almost a job requirement to be a lard ass. Ive worked with numerous pilots that were 280+ lbs (whether they admitted it or not is another story).

Eye surgery... wouldnt risk it, but that is my personal opinion. I wear contacts and it has never been an issue. Soft disposable lenses are great; not like the hard lenses from back in the day. But if your surgery is compromised.... now you risk not flying at all.

Finally, in regards to career choice. I would seriously advise pursuing a career on the fixed wing side. Helicopters are incredible machines, but most jobs as a helicopter pilot either have horrible pay, require you to fly in a horrible location, or have a significantly elevated level of risk/liability. Ive been flying professionally for eight years and am employed with highly reputable company; it still sucks. Flying over open ocean, transporting a bunch of high school drop outs to oil platforms is absolutely soul crushing. HEMS pay is garbage. Utility flying pays well (compared to other helicopter jobs) but is not worth the risk involved. If all goes according to plan, Ill be doing RTP in 1-2 years.
  • TomPPL likes this
Aviation is a cruel mistress. When she's not taking your money, she's coming up with creative ways to kill you.

#7 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 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 09 March 2019 - 11:15

...Flying over open ocean, transporting a bunch of high school drop outs to oil platforms is absolutely soul crushing.

...If all goes according to plan, Ill be doing RTP in 1-2 years.

If you find being a shuttle driver to high school dropouts in the GOM "soul crushing" what makes you think flying a bus full of joe sweatsocks off to Raleigh Durham (in a two pilot cockipit no less) any better?
  • TomPPL and WolftalonID like this
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#8 Hand_Grenade_Pilot

Hand_Grenade_Pilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 163 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Company working for:GoM

Posted 09 March 2019 - 13:19

If you find being a shuttle driver to high school dropouts in the GOM "soul crushing" what makes you think flying a bus full of joe sweatsocks off to Raleigh Durham (in a two pilot cockipit no less) any better?

To elaborate on offshore flying. The soul crushing part, for me anyways, is not being bored while flying a dual pilot aircraft. I can handle boredom just fine, as long as Im compensated and treated well. The problem is all of the BS you have to deal with on the side. Being based in southern LA with the Cajun culture in mind-numbing. After a day of flying, depending on the company/base, you live with room mates in an apartment (best case), modular home or POS trailer. You are constantly dealing with ignorant, uneducated customers who cannot handle the simplest of logistics and are repeatedly changing plans.

Previously, being a medium or heavy Offshore pilot could be a cushy job; wasnt unusual to have a half day of flying and be done, with some days where you did not fly at all. The new trend is to pimp out pilots to fill scheduling gaps and special discount flights. An S76 pilot can find themself spending just as much time in the 407. Getting shuffled between bases is becoming the norm as well; repeatedly packing up your car and driving hours on some of the worst highway in the US.

Flying light helicopters over the ocean, even worse. VFR only, limited/no weather data enroute, no air conditioning (except Era and maybe Panther) and the constant risk of getting stuck somewhere you dont want to be. Ive had numerous mx issues over the years that have left me stuck (start/gen fail, FADEC fail, etc). Some light helicopter contracts are relatively cushy, though many involve long flying hours to unmanned platforms plastered in bird crap. Always a great feeling being stuck in a hot, cramped aircraft for 7 hours that reeks of bird crap. Offshore contracts mostly suck too. Best case, you get your own room with a twin sized bed. And a buffet of disgusting fried food every day. Depending on the company/customer there are offshore jobs where you sleep in bunks. Because it doesnt matter if the pilot is well rested when $$$ is involved. My first offshore job was living on a decrepit platform that was loaded with esbestos. But dont worry, there were warning signs saying not to disturb the ceiling...

Managment at all of the offshore helicopter companies is a hot mess. Constantly looking to take as much as they can while giving the pilots and mechanics as little as possible. Two have unions; they are both essentially useless.

Flying for the regionals will suck, theres no denying that. Flying for a LCC or a legacy airline does not. Going fixed wing at least provides a path to something great. If Im going to spend a career flying IFR, might as well stay in a hotel instead of a trailer, have minimal customer interaction and get paid 50-60% more with travel benefits.
  • TomPPL and SBuzzkill like this
Aviation is a cruel mistress. When she's not taking your money, she's coming up with creative ways to kill you.

#9 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 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 09 March 2019 - 14:49

You make me so happy I never made it!
  • TomPPL likes this
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#10 Nearly Retired

Nearly Retired

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 613 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pensacola, FL
  • Interests:Well, obviously flying and anything aviation...but motorcycling as well. And drinking (when I'm not riding of course!). Oh, and Facebook. Always on Facebook (Bob Barbanes).
  • Company working for:Golden Wings Aviation, Brewster, WA (part-time)

Posted 09 March 2019 - 18:39

It is funny that my experience as a GOM pilot differs so markedly from H-G-P's.  I started my career in New York City, flying the ultra-rich around in the time before the "an S-76 in every garage" days, when they used to charter LongRangers and Twinstars.  I didn't mind the rich; their poop stinks just as bad as mine.  They just pretended it doesn't.

 

I came down from NYC to PHI and did not expect to like the south, southerners, or the work.  I'd been flying fixed-wing for the previous year and needed to get helicopter current again.  I figured I'd stay at PHI for six months or so and then find another job flying helicopters up north.  Instead I found that I really enjoyed it down here and stuck around.  For fourteen years.

 

I spent nine years as a "field ship" pilot based offshore.  We did eat a lot of fried food, but there was always salad and non-fried stuff, and you could eat healthily if you so desired.  Few did.  Were the conditions austere, spartan?  Oh yeah.  But I expected that, not a Hilton hotel.  Did the bird occasionally smell like birdshit?  Most definitely!  You did not walk in your house with your work shoes on. 

 

After my first year, I worked for Shell Oil continuously until the end in 2001, and they treated their people well.  No, not every passenger was Charley Rose or George Will, but does everyone have to be?  I never looked down on my passengers (coworkers, really) for being uneducated, mainly because I try not to feel superior to anyone.  YMMV.  I found the people I worked with (both offshore and at the onshore PHI bases to be really good, generous and honest.  If they liked you they treated you great.  If you acted like you were better than them they could make your life hell.

 

After a while, we all got to recognize which new-hires would make it and which ones wouldn't last six months.  Profiling was easy.  Obviously, GOM life is not for everyone.  But I'm sure I can speak for Wally when I say that many of us did not find it soul-crushing.  To those who do, there are plenty of other flying jobs out there.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Then again, I'm sure there are many who would attest that I have no soul to begin with ;-)


Edited by Nearly Retired, 09 March 2019 - 18:40.

  • Wally, TomPPL and WolftalonID like this

#11 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,074 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 09 March 2019 - 19:15

Well, I am thinking about it again - not that I have the money just yet, but am wondering if this is something Id like to save for.
 
But...
 
I am 6'3 240lbs at 30 years old. At what point am I too big to fly PROFESSIONALLY?..


Every job that my logbook is fat enough for, my ass is too fat for,...I'm 205 lbs. Another one just popped up today, makes at least half a dozen so far this hiring season.

What is it with R44 operators and 190 lbs?
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#12 WolftalonID

WolftalonID

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 589 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Meadows, ID
  • Interests:Flying, helicopters, back country, archery elk hunting, wood working!
  • Company working for:Mildly experienced stick wiggler/rookie expert

Posted 10 March 2019 - 10:26

In the offshore world you find two types of helicopter drivers.
(1) Pilots. Love what they do. Can master the toughest jobs. Build customer service around the most unique people. Enjoy being the pilot for the guys who need them there. Make friends easy. Have enough intelligence to understand what they are getting into before they get there. Can handle the task at hand with professional poise and grace.

(2) Bitches. No explanation required.

I personally live offshore with my guys. Love it. Food has a mix of things to eat, and you can choose what to eat. Room is nice for its age. Never once saw a sign for esbestos...but maybe if they print a sign for asbestos in spanish it might read that way. Having a degree, helps me read though.

I spent nearly 20 years working construction, framing, siding, roofing, building cabinets, trim. Worked in mines, ran heavy equipment...all alongside those with and without educations....most were honest, hard working tough mother f&*#+s who could kick your ass if out of line and back yours up when it wasnt. You earned respect there...never entitled to it.

Now I switch careers and bust my ass to climb the ladder...over the top of the shoulders of those who went before me...Pilots...and Bitches...and along the way have discovered...Offshore piloting...same same as my previous life...just a bit more awesome...because I get to fly helicopters.

My advise...listen to everyone...suceed with those who can show you their passion....walk away from those who regret their choices. Get on weight watchers...drop some weight. I am 6 foot 2 inches and went sub 200 easlily enough to get through school. Keeping it there takes as much effort as getting there, and helps keep your mind and body sharp..you need that to fly.

Edited to make me 6 foot 2 inches....not 62..haha...god not yet..not yet.

Edited by WolftalonID, 10 March 2019 - 15:16.

  • superstallion6113 likes this
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#13 Wally

Wally

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,667 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jefferson, GA
  • Interests:Reading's high on the list.
  • Company working for:none

Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:32

I'll reinforce "Nearly Retired's" enthusiasm for the Gulf O'Mexico flying- a quarter century ago.

 

But- I spent almost all my 13, 14 years on offshore jobs and was very fortunate in being assigned a relatively 'cush' job at a little better than two years in.  I was my own boss within company and contract terms.  I flew Twinstars (I hated Twinstars eventually, the only reason I bid up to IFR) for a pipeline company, they worked 0700 to 1900 when the days were that long and whatever daylight available after 0700 when the days were shorter.

Good accomodations, mostly good crew, only a couple psychopaths (one field boss), treated me well overall.

 

It was only a 4 or 5 day a shift contract, so I was a pool pilot for 2 or 3 days, so I had variety in jobs and some in airframes- I've flown straight 355Fs, F1s and F2s and all the 206s but no 407 time, often going back and forth in airframes on the same day.

 

I intensely disliked beach bases and company politics.  One was at the whim of whoever was running the base that day, the lead pilot, base/area manager or whoever was on the dispatch desk.

 

The training provided by the training department was the best I ever had- instructors were required to fly the line, and took respected line pilot input.  Most of the company instructional staff went on to be management in the company and others.

 

As to the 'critters'- I am biased, I liked Cajuns, hung out with them.  I get along everywhere I go, I like beer joints, whatever is on offer, wherever I am- I just want to pass a good time, me, yeah.  The crews were generally a lot more educated and entrepreneurial than obvious at a casual glance.  That's 'company' crew, the contract hands were a much more diverse bunch and might well be highs school dropouts or whatever.  Talk to'em and you might discover that D&C (Danos and Curole, the major labor contractor where and when) hand was educated, ambitious and working towards a Chevron, whatever job- much better money and bennies, long term security and a week, two weeks on and off.

 

Life, the job is what you make it.  You can be as miserable or as happy as you want, just be willing to do the job and/or shine it on when you get tired of it.  I still hate Twinstars.


  • TomPPL likes this

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


#14 Hand_Grenade_Pilot

Hand_Grenade_Pilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 163 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Company working for:GoM

Posted 10 March 2019 - 12:13

In the offshore world you find two types of helicopter drivers.
(1) Pilots. Love what they do. Can master the toughest jobs. Build customer service around the most unique people. Enjoy being the pilot for the guys who need them there. Make friends easy. Have enough intelligence to understand what they are getting into before they get there. Can handle the task at hand with professional poise and grace.

(2) Bitches. No explanation required.

I personally live offshore with my guys. Love it. Food has a mix of things to eat, and you can choose what to eat. Room is nice for its age. Never once saw a sign for esbestos...but maybe if they print a sign for asbestos in spanish it might read that way. Having a degree, helps me read though.

I spent nearly 20 years working construction, framing, siding, roofing, building cabinets, trim. Worked in mines, ran heavy equipment...all alongside those with and without educations....most were honest, hard working tough mother f&*#+s who could kick your ass if out of line and back yours up when it wasnt. You earned respect there...never entitled to it.

Now I switch careers and bust my ass to climb the ladder...over the top of the shoulders of those who went before me...Pilots...and Bitches...and along the way have discovered...Offshore piloting...same same as my previous life...just a bit more awesome...because I get to fly helicopters.

My advise...listen to everyone...suceed with those who can show you their passion....walk away from those who regret their choices. Get on weight watchers...drop some weight. I am 62 and went sub 200 easlily enough to get through school. Keeping it there takes as much effort as getting there, and helps keep your mind and body sharp..you need that to fly.

For what its worth, I would have agreed with you 100% two years ago. I actually enjoyed flying offshore at first and just laughed off all the BS that I am complaining about now. It has only been recently that it has really started to grind my gears. I hope you continue enjoy it for the long run.

And, in all fairness, there are plenty of outstanding men (and women) who work in the offshore industry; it was not fair of me to bash all of them.
  • WolftalonID likes this
Aviation is a cruel mistress. When she's not taking your money, she's coming up with creative ways to kill you.

#15 Nearly Retired

Nearly Retired

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 613 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pensacola, FL
  • Interests:Well, obviously flying and anything aviation...but motorcycling as well. And drinking (when I'm not riding of course!). Oh, and Facebook. Always on Facebook (Bob Barbanes).
  • Company working for:Golden Wings Aviation, Brewster, WA (part-time)

Posted 10 March 2019 - 13:47

EDIT:  My bad, I was actually responding to Hand_Grenade_Pilot here.  So sorry.  Post edited to reflect it.

 

It takes a big man to say what you did, H_G_P.  Not that I would ever know, never having done it. 

 

But you bring up an interesting point: Wally and my experience in the GOM was some time ago.  I left PHI in 2001, and that was...geez-wow, nearly twenty years ago!  So I'll admit that things might have changed a bit.  The "majors" (Shell, Exxon, Mobil, Unocal...) have all but abandoned the shallow water stuff to focus on the more lucrative deep-water ops.  And with their departure went all of the offshore-based "small ship" jobs that were so sought after by old-timers looking for a place to "park" and not have to deal with the drama and b.s. of the shore bases. 

 

Gradually, the "shelf" platforms were sold off and companies that specialized in merely operating the platforms like Island Operators were formed (likely by former oil company employees who'd been laid-off).  The pilot's status dropped down a couple of notches.

 

My first year in the GOM was spent working for Tenneco Oil, which ultimately got absorbed into Chevron.  I flew my ass off (75 to 100 landings EVERY damn day) but I have to say that they treated me very, very well.  Then I got a Shell job and thought I died and went to heaven.

 

Like Wally, I too worked for Shell Pipeline onshore.  The pipeline guys were 5&2, which left the pilots open to be farmed-out for "specials" on the weekends.

 

The GOM is not for everyone, and there's no telling who will enjoy it and who won't.  When I left PHI in 2001 there were still plenty of guys there who'd been with the company since the 1970s.  So there's got to be something to like about it for some people.


Edited by Nearly Retired, 10 March 2019 - 16:06.

  • TomPPL and WolftalonID like this

#16 WolftalonID

WolftalonID

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 589 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Meadows, ID
  • Interests:Flying, helicopters, back country, archery elk hunting, wood working!
  • Company working for:Mildly experienced stick wiggler/rookie expert

Posted 10 March 2019 - 15:13

Well ok then...consensus says I was harsh...who would expect anything different from me by now. I spoke how I felt based on personal observations.

When I graduated highschool way back in the 90’s I dreamed of being an aviator...I had an instructor who showed so much passion he pulled the same right out from me. He moved on in his success and I moved away. Years went by and I once more pursued the dream. I spoke with some older helicopter pilots...as I had originally pursued fixed wing. Back then fixed wingers struggled to make a buck while rotor wing made some cash faster in the ranks. All the old salts I spoke to were drowning in self misery and made it purposeful to pass that along to me...so I steered away and went to find a new fixed wing school.

My luck...the instructor I found at a small school was more bored than an emo kid at church. I walked away again. Fast forward a decade....and I had grown wiser, with much more perspectives to draw from, and wisdom to see how protrayed opinion was vs who was doing the portraying.

I went on the hunt again...found plenty of misery and a few optimistic success stories. I listened. I read. Sometimes people even spoke incite to my naïve mind.

I had a dream, a passion, and knew that passion is not built on misery. I followed those who emanated their own passion. With wisdom and determination I succeeded. Many do not. Many who do succeed do it without passion and result in misery.

My point is this. If your perspective of success is not in what you pursue...then chalk it up as maybe it wasnt for you. But to forcast that consequence onto a dreamer looking to follow a possible passion is wrong.

Pull from them their passion by building it with some of your own. Give them wisdom to success from knowledge only you have. Do not destroy a passion from your own regrets. Aviation is not for everyone...even for some spending years doing it to figure it out.

Even at PHI...not everyone enjoys what it is I enjoy. I fly a shallow water field contract in a 407, no a/c, 30-50 landings a day and I live offshore, 14 days on then 14 days off, making the work load more than a cush deep water heavy job would.

When I was interviewed the manager layed out the job details.
He said can you handle flying 6-8 hours a day? Can you handle doing 30-60 take offs and landings a day? Can you handle 100* heat with 110% humidity and no a/c, doors on conditions? Can you handle a rather rough around the edges customer who demands retarded stuff without concerns of aviation safety and stay professional and focused? Can you handle flying 14 days away from family at a time?

I replied...let me get this straight..
You are going to pay me X amount of money to take 13 vacations a year, then when I am exhausted from those vacations, I get one more? And I can fly helicopters the rest of the time?

Both were accurate perspectives.....like anything we see out there..which channel do you find your passion from.

John
  • TomPPL likes this
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



Spectrum_VRGeneral468FreeFlight_General200HeliHelmetsLakeSuperiorGeneral200MaunaLoaSoftwareVRGeneral200PrecisionVRForumGeneral200Genesys VRForum200_GeneralBLR Gen 200