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edspilot last won the day on August 24 2011

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  1. LB: I think the format is fine. Like the Pro Pilot online version and the rest of the online versions of other professional issues. Good choice, well done. Dean
  2. First off: If you are just wanting to build time for the commercial, then stick to the fixed-wing. Yes, a limited number of the copter hours will count but, will be of little benefit to your skill development overall. 2nd: As mentioned above, the cost will be at least double and maybe triple to fixed-wing. 3rd: The skill set for the first 20 hours will not transfer to the airplane at all. Your "resolve" will be tried, tested, and retried again and again. I would stick to getting your commercial finished first. Learning to fly one craft takes enough dedication without the distraction of anything much less something as difficult as a helicopter. Just my 2 cents . Good Luck with your training. Dean
  3. Another thought: "Life, is what happens after, you make plans!" Be safe, edspilot
  4. Retirement: Plan, Plan & Execution! Having said that, now the action must take place to have any chance at it. Option 1: Do nothing. Sadly, the most used.... Option 2: Work for a company that has a 401k w/matching of some % and put at least the amount matched. (doubles your money) Save some extra in something that you can get to in case something happens. If you are lucky and never need it, great, more saved. Option 3: Fly for a government agency (Fed, State, County, City) that has a defined retirement system. These are good jobs that pay good, not the best but are secure with good other benefits. Understand, like military, during your career, you may have to get out of flying from time to time, to "move" in the organization in order to secure a better retirement. Then return to flying after retirement from that position. Option 4: Work (not fly) for a government agency or company that has a good mixture of what you might want in your future. (retirement, schedule, location, job function...) Then you maybe could fly on the side or part-time to stay in aviation. the money will probably be better here and you can do more of the "pick & choose" flying. With Options 3 & 4, when you do retire, you could maybe fly full-time again. Understand, that in today's world, you will be seeing less & less of the definded pensions and probably only with the governments. So, in short, it is like others have said, it is up to you! A twist on the old 6 Ps. 5 Ps & R...... Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Retirement Good Luck, edspilot
  5. As a general rule, employers are not interviewed for secret as long as the time lines match up in your dates. Any gaps more than 30 days must be explained, (between schools, employment and the like). Employers will be emailed or mailed a verification letter to just verify the approximate dates and title of position. If your dates match their info then nothing more is done. Criminal history is important to make sure you are complete. They will be checked in every state you have lived and if you lived in a major city, the city will be checked too. If anything comes up as a "red flag" then more in depth looking is done. Remember, the investigator is not trying to "trick" you or to have your package dis-approved. They are just a finder of fact and someone else is going to make the assessment as to your fitness for the clearance. Probably the most "fear or concern" comes in two areas, credit and ex-spouses. First the credit, always disclose the negative in your credit history because, they will find that out. If you have late pays on your history, have a reason ready for it and how you handled it. Bankruptcy is not a disqualifier alone, as long as you disclose it. Disclose, disclose and disclose, always. Ex-spouses, first,, the investigators know that the "ex" is usually one-sided More than likely 90 % negative. The adjudicators also know this and the "weight" is considered. Having said this, there can be no domestic abuse as this is very negative and will be looked at extensively. Like I have said, be honest, complete and forthright in all of your answers and you will do fine. I hope this helps. Any specific questions, feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to offer answer. Be safe, edspilot
  6. The best way for me to explain the current process is, "nothing is normal" anymore. Ever since the Snowden event(s) everything changes from year-to-year even month-to-month. It is to the point if you see something negative on tv, something in the personnel security will change. Having said this, generally you are correct but, it is an election year,,, politics and image is everything. Be safe, edspilot
  7. Burner_605: As a rule the in-person interview is at the beginning of the process. This is for the investigator to meet you and to verify that you are the person that they have the paperwork (SF-86) on. The investigator will check your ID, and go over the basic sections of the SF-86 to make sure it is complete. You will possibility have to initial each page in the bottom right corner to verify each page as being accurate and complete. Once that is done, then they set out to actually do the gathering of your information such as, college transcripts, marriage &/or divorce papers, professional licenses, bankruptcy (if any) and any other items that they are required to get themselves. Some of these they may have actually already gathered before coming to meet you. Yes, you may have already provided these items, but some are required that they get independent of you. You are free to ask the person questions about the process and to add anything that you might have missed putting onto the form. They will ask about past addresses to make sure they have all of them because, they or others will conduct neighborhood interviews where you have lived. Better you tell them vs them finding it out. That is pretty much it, very relaxed and just to verify stuff. Done. Now later in the process, if they have to return to clarify something or some "red flag" comes out the the investigation, then they will return for another interview. This could be done by the same person but, most likely will be by another person. In the background investigation world it is called a "spin" interview. To clear up any loose ends. Then the completed package is certified complete in the system and your package goes before the "adjudication board." This board has the final say as to you receiving your clearance or not. If unfavorable, there are some appeal rights but that is for another post. Main thing is, like mentioned before, be honest, complete and forthright and you should have no problems. Hope this gives some insight. Good luck, edspilot
  8. My $0.02 worth. As has been mentioned, if you start out from zero and go thru both programs you will have about the same amount of money invested to become employable in either. Around $50 to 60,000.00. That now gives you the required "certificates and ratings." Now you will need "experience" in each, basically the same. Probably teach, aerial surveillance type, charter/135 or the like. Like mentioned above, most will NOT care about the "time" in the other category of aircraft. So now let us look at the job availablility or the sheer numbers of positions you will be competing for. Positions in airplanes far, far, far out number those in helicopters. Did I mention the there are many more in airplanes…. :-) In mid-1973, I was exactly where you were now. I only wanted to fly helicopters, period. I went to a place in PA, then called AgRotors, the only helicopter school in the mid-atlantic at the time. The old gentleman that owned the school said this. "Son timing is not on your side right now and here is why." "The war (Vietnam) is ending and the Army is set to dump thousands of helicopter pilot into the market, this year." "I can teach you but,,,, you will NOT be able to compete for any position because those pilots will be here taking all of the jobs before I can train you to be competitive." "I will take your money but not without you knowing the truth about your opportunities once you are finished." "If you want to fly, then go airplanes and then transition in less than 10 years to helicopters, no longer than 10." I thought and talked to a lot of people,, and then that is exactly what I did. Finished all of my fixed rating in fall of 1975 and started teaching/charter/mail/corporate. In 1983 transitioned to rotorcraft and started at the bottom in helicopters teaching/pipeline/LE. I say all of this to let you know that yes, you can do it. Having said this, the times and conditions are different, very different now. In today's time and setting, you have to decide if you want to "fly" or if you "have to fly helicopters?" When you answer that question, then I can tell you the best way to proceed. Because if you say, I am ok with "flying anything," then I say, fly airplanes and "play for fun in helicopters." But, if you say, I have to fly helicopters" then I say, go for helicopters and devote your time, money and life to helicopters. It is as simple and as complex as that. This advice to you is from 40+ years of being in this industry and seeing myself and others make some good and bad choices throughout. Currently, I fly as a Co-Captain on a 2004 Citation Bravo. Why airplanes now, you may ask,,,,, because: more opportunities, more money & less stress. I wish you the very best! Fly safe, edspilot
  9. As far as CBP (Customs & Border Protection) formerly (ICE) formerly (U.S. Customs Service Aviation Program) is concerned only hires "professional" pilots. That is defined as having 1500 hours in either fixed-wing or rotorcraft. Additionally, there are a few specific requirements within the 1500 but most pilots meet them by the time they get the 1500 hours. Now as stated above, as long as there are plenty of pilot applicants with dual-rated and 1500 hours, that will be what they recruit. When that group dries up then, they will relax and not ask for dual-rated. The big requirement is age, you must be "hired" before reaching your 37th birthday. As mentioned above, this is a federal law and almost NEVER is changed. All federal law enforcement, firefighters and air traffic control fall under this retirement plan of mandatory retirement at 57. CBP wants professional pilots and will train them to be law enforcement agents. Where DEA, FBI, USSS and others hire persons to be agents and then as the needs of the agency requires, will let you fly. CBP is by far the largest federal law enforcement aviation agency since the March 2003 with the merger of the 21 federal law enforcement agencies into DHS/ICE, later the air side was moved to DHS/CBP. That merger brought together U.S Customs Aviation Program and Border Patrol Aviation to form what is now CBP Air Program with over 300 aircraft and 700 pilots. Now this is a history of the federal side of the industry and I will let others explain about the state and local. Except to say that each agency can and does it differently but, all will do it one of the above ways, or use contractors, as have been mentioned. Sorry for the long history lesson, but figured I'd fully explain. Fly safe, edspilot
  10. Wow! I would guess the over-weight issue would be the least of the worries. How about having to sleep in this helicopter? http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AlaskaScienceForum/article/scientists-endure-nights-mountaintop-perch edspilot
  11. Dennis: Thanks for posting. However, you should now put down the camera and pick up a wrench and help with the assembly! Looks like they may need some help. Oh no, forget that,,,,, we want to see more. Keep them coming. Have fun, edspilot
  12. Sorry, I know of none. The R22 is a little under-powered for that elevation and temp, airport is 3962'. There are the Franklin Mountains in the El Paso city limits that are over 6000'. I lived there for 8 years, 5 months and 8 days and never saw an R22 except, those stopping to buy fuel being delivered from the factory, headed east. edspilot
  13. What dp said. It is/will be coming to an operation near you, if it has not already. Let me remind you of a saying, I like to use when the "winds of change" maybe coming: "It better you pick and choose vs relying on the benevolence of someone that may not like you!" Having been in aviation safety since 1982, a M.S Degree in Aviation Safety, graduate of the USC Aviation Safety Management Degree Program, and an NTSB trained accident investigator the SMS is NOT going anywhere. Nor should it. mikemv, go for it. Be safe, edspilot
  14. Lyn: Listened to the Jan 12 show, yesterday. Great job! Great publicity for Rotorcraft Pro too. Maybe you could be a "monthly regular" on there. Continued success this year. Safe flying, edspilot
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