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Mad Dog

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About Mad Dog

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    PVT Poster

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  • Company working for
    Novictor Aviation

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  • Interests
    science, mountains, ocean activites, Travel, gliders, airplanes, aerobatics, helicopters
  1. I paid for half my training with savings and half with a student loan from Sallie Mae. I had a previous career before becoming a helicopter pilot so I took out my retirement savings very early and took out a loan for the rest. I have a great credit score but Sallie Mae told me I did not have the history to get a loan. My Mom cosigned and I was disapproved a few times before finally being approved despite her literally almost perfect credit score. We did have to reapply several times but eventually got it. I would venture to guess you will need a cosigner if you want to go with Sallie Mae. I paid off interest while in flight school and for a while after that before starting to pay off the actual principal. I am very happy with my choice to take out a loan rather than wait and save up more money or pay as I go (but remember, I had about half of it already). I finally have a reasonable paying job flying now and can pay off interest plus some principal, pay my bills, have fun, and save some money for some upcoming adventures. It took time and effort (and some luck) to get to this point and it was painful at times but I just kept moving forward one step at a time and will continue this process while having fun the whole way through! I also have a friend who took out a Sallie Mae loan for all of his training (he had a very good cosigner), didn't get a flying related job for over a year after graduating and then finally got an internship that paid very little to do ground work and management at a helicopter company with the benefit of flight hours and time building. He worked/works really really really hard and always has an amazing positive attitude despite some of the 'bad luck' he has had in the industry. He has now gained enough hours to move into a flying position at that company which he is about to start doing just that soon (almost 2 years after graduating). He was always happy with his choices. Margot
  2. My hours per month has changed drastically depending on the job. As a CFI It was anywhere from 40-70 a month. Now as a Hawaii tour pilot I fly over 100 hours each month and it has been increasing fast because the company is growing a lot. I think it will be 110 for the last 30 days and level off at either that or maybe a little more (120 or so per month). I don't ever get tired of it! But I do also LOVE my time off! Much of the time I show up to work to see a helicopter sitting there and I am suddenly extremely surprised and delighted that helicopters exist! So crazy to think that we exist at the same time as flying machines. Every time I fly around the island I am like, 'OMGosh I am in a helicopter and they are paying me and I actually know how to fly this thing!?' Yay! That is awesome. Congratulations!!!! I am also rated in gliders. First was gliders, then airplanes, then helicopters. Helicopters are sexy and airplanes are convenient and fun, but gliders are amazing and beautiful and so elegant. One day I will fly balloons. Working on paragliders now. :-)
  3. Indeed. 6-8 weeks is not long at all. Seems pretty strange to me. I am guessing there is some kind of story behind them putting the requirement in... I wish I knew what it was. Good luck on getting the job!
  4. No helicopter wife for me. When I am back home, my man makes me a smoothie every morning; with fresh Mangos when they are in season. Though I guess Helicopter husbands/wives/boyfriends/girlfriends are disliked by some employers. What is with this job ad? Seriously!? It says, "Must be single (no girlfriend, boyfriend ect.)" http://www.helijobs.net/2014/04/cherry-drying-pilot-washington/ Do some Helicopter wives/husbands out there go crazy, and call the employer? Has anyone ever seen such a requirement for a helicopter pilot?
  5. Good career choice? Hmm... I am not really sure what that means or what one would want in order to consider a career choice "good." I think a good career choice should result in happiness. In that case there are two choices in life. 1. Find a career that will pay a lot. Get money. Attempt to convert money to happiness during the times when you are not working. 2. Be a helicopter pilot. This bypasses the whole money step and results in direct happiness.
  6. iChris, Thanks! Yep, I am working at Hanseo. It is a pretty cool job. It has its quarks but I am really enjoying Korea and teaching the students here. The flight school has been here a while but the helicopter department started about 5 years ago. Right now there is just one other helicopter CFI here and we have 24 students. The airplane department however is significantly larger and there are more airplane CFIs than I can count. The Bachelors degree is indeed required for the visa but I doubt the school cares what it is in. Thanks again, Margot
  7. Brussellsprouts, Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed the post. As for going for both ratings in both, I have also heard it makes one more marketable but I have no first hand experience. It sounds like Flying Pig has that experience though. One thing I would say, though being marketable is of course important, always remember to also do what you love. I have also thought about getting my CFI for airplanes but, for me, airplanes are a hobby, helicopters are my career. So I guess it just depends on what you want. Good luck with ever path you choose. Margot
  8. We have all lost our minds, we are helicopter pilots. Life is better this way. Before helicopters entered my life: Worked as a scientist on Kauai. Lived with awesome boyfriend. Both have good jobs. Take awesome international 1 month vacations every year, spend weekends adventuring in mountains or canyons or surfing. Have my own Cessna 170a to go island hopping with. Sounds like a pretty good life to me. Until... December 7th 2011: Got to go up in Hughes 500D. First time in helicopter. Instantly obsessed. This resulted in the following: withdrew all savings + retirement savings (not much in my 20s) so I had to take out loan as well. Total career change. Boyfriend very supportive. Feb 1st 2012: Started helicopter school. Dec 7th 2012: (just under 1 year from Hughes 500D experience) Graduated from Mauna Loa Helicopters with CFI and CFI-I January 2013: Saw job posting for CFI job in Korea. The application process and Visa took some time but... July 2013: Moved to Korea to work as a CFI at a University Now I am far from home but I love love love it here. My boyfriend is still on Kauai and we have dates on google+ (similar to skype) and travel to see each other and have various Asia adventures coming up such as going to Malaysia together this December... or maybe Cambodia.... who knows. Anyhow, this is the coolest job ever and I miss Hawaii but love Korea. One day I will come back to Hawaii (long term goal of doing utility work on Kauai) but for now, life does not suck. Margot
  9. I worked in a different field before switching careers to helicopter pilot. In that field of work I have a degree (astrophysics). Interestingly my current helicopter position requires a degree but I am in a very unique situation. I am working as a CFI at a University in Korea and the visa requires a bachelors degree. Thus the job requires it. I do not even think my boss knows what my degree is in nor does he likely care. That being said, I have not seen many job ads that require a degree (maybe 2). From everything I have seen and heard, most employees do not care, but I am not an employer so I can't answer the question first hand. I would go for the degree if it is something you truly would like to have for reasons beyond a line on your resume. I am glad I have my degree because of what I learned, because I may use it later, and because I loved the experience. Aloha, Margot
  10. Hi. I only recently starting actually working as a helicopter pilot but I am greatly enjoying it. I am a flight instructor in Korea. Being a flight instructor is very stressful and a lot of responsibility, but I am absolutely delighted that I am doing so! I really enjoy teaching a lot more then I ever thought I would. Seeing students learn is pretty cool. There is always flute music playing and birds chirping, but it is hard to stop and listen to it when one is so focused on making sure the student isn't going to kill us. But it is still a blast. I learn a ton working as a flight instructor. It is amazing how much better of a pilot one becomes from teaching. I changed careers from a fun career as a scientist to a helicopter pilot. The pay and hours are comparatively worse, but that is fine with me and I don't worry or think about it because I love doing what I am doing. I trained at Mauna Loa Helicopters in Hawaii. It is a great school. Very professional, Very good training, very good training environment (valleys, high altitude, flights between islands, class B airspace, and beautiful). Have fun and enjoy school! Training is a blast. Margot
  11. Not to be harsh but you must work on your grammar. Also, if English is your second language you should have someone you know proof read your cover letter. If it has grammar errors you will not get a response. Grammar aside, it is hard to find a CFI job. Keep looking though. Have you inquired for CFI jobs in person?
  12. Rogue, Thanks. Nope, there is not supposed to be sound. Not sure if I should try and do voice overs or not. I was hoping to try and make it visual enough that it does not need sound but maybe that is not the best thing to do. As for it being clear and then blurry... on my computer it looks fine, but after I uploaded it, youtube did recommend doing something different when I create my video file. I wonder if it has to do with a combination of bandwidth and the way it is compressed? Either way I will implement youtube's suggestion on the next video and hopefully that will help. Thanks for your input. :-)
  13. Hello. LunarCat Labs has started to make some free youtube videos/graphical animations. (I have completed one as of this post). It is free on youtube for anyone to view. So far, my plan for the videos is to have them be supplements that help visually display the concepts being learned. I have started by making a video on Energy Management. I think I will do an SFAR intro next or some of the other SFAR topics.... Not sure yet. I am just now learning the software (blender) I used to make the animations so hopefully the videos will get better as I get better. Enjoy and feel free to comment.
  14. It is hard but doable. I went to a good Heli school but a very large number of students graduated at the same time as me and there was no need for new instructors at the time. In short, I was not hired where I graduated from. I did get a job offer from a school I did not graduate from. They do not produce their own CFIs. It was actually my top choice out of all the places I applied to and it was also the ONLY place that responded to my attempted contacts. The selection process took a little while but I am super excited about starting. My plan if I did not get chosen after the selection process... Fly to the mainland (I live in Hawaii) and drive around the country and knock on the doors of several schools in person. I think part of what helped me get my particular job was in way a strange form of luck. The number of people who were eligable was probably not too high. The job requires a bachelors degree. It is at a University in country I am not a citizen of where a degree is needed for the professor visa required to work there. I do know another person who went to school with me that got a job offer from Bristow right after graduating. Best of Luck.
  15. Sweet! All sorts of fun stuff. Thanks for posting. Wing suits are going to be my next thing once I make a dent in my helicopter training loans. :-)
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