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Hand_Grenade_Pilot

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  1. 1.) Look into doing a keto / carnivore diet. Cutting out carbs has numerous health benefits, and you will lose a substantial amount of body fat. Outside of flight training, body weight usually isn't a deal breaker. The exception is HAA; most of those jobs have a 230 lbs duty weight limit. 2.) Part time training is definitely possible, although it will take up all of your free time. Stacking up on night flying will be valuable; you'll need 100 hours at night for an ATP cert, and not many helicopter jobs operate at night. So do a couple night flights per week after work. Dedicate the entire weekend to studying/flying. Consistency is very important. Don't train one week, and then skip a week. Long breaks in between training will waste a lot of time/money. 3.) While required by many fixed wing jobs, a college degree is rarely expected within the helicopter industry. If you pursue a career on the fixed wing side instead, your finance degree will check that box. 4.) Possibly. Many things in life are more enjoyable as hobby. I love cooking, but would hate working as a chef (low pay, long hours, insanely fast work tempo, etc). Flying helicopters is an amazing experience, but doing it for a living isn't always glamourous. Building flight time often times involves working for mediocre pay at a company with questionable practices. Even the largest corporations in the industry have problems; often times management is completely out of touch with what the job entails, and company culture/politics ruins an otherwise great job. Pay overall is decent, but substantially lower than the fixed wing side. Tour/ENG pilots earn $60-70k annually. HAA and VFR offshore pilots earn between $70-90k a year. More is possible if you work extra shifts. An IFR offshore captain can earn $100-140k. Working an international assignment pays more. Utility/ag/corporate pays the most. Can potentially earn $140k+ in those industries. If you decide to pursue aviation recreationally, I'd advise going the fixed wing route instead. It is much more affordable, and the rental market for planes is much more accessible. Renting a helicopter from a flight school is very expensive/restrictive. Don't expect to be able to land off airport with it or take it on a multi-day trip. Planes provide a wide variety of experiences as well. Can use a high-wing aircraft for sightseeing, float plane for fishing, a bush-plane for hunting excursions, an aerobatic plane for joy-riding, etc. Hope this helps.
  2. Very insightful; thank you for yet another highly objective and well-written post. The guy is burnt out with his career and wants to fly, without taking out loans. If law enforcement is a good fit for his personality, and something he has an interest in, it could be a good career move. While it’s obviously not a guarantee, there is at least an opportunity to achieve his goal in that scenario. That possibility doesn’t exist at all if he continues his career as a teacher.
  3. Another option to consider is law enforcement. Large departments like LAPD, CHP and NYPD have huge air units. Full disclosure, I am not an LE pilot, so I am only familiar with that career track in a general sense. My understanding is with these LE departments, you must start off as a patrol officer, with no guarantee of being a pilot. To be competitive for the air unit, you should have at least a helicopter or fixed wing private pilot certificate (which would cost you about $5-10k). If accepted into the program, the department pays for commercial, instrument and aircraft specific training. However, it could take 3-5 years on patrol before having an opportunity to go into the air unit.
  4. You’re partially correct, but it’s not due to dissymmetry of lift. Keep in mind that in a no wind hover, there is no difference in the advancing vs retreating blade. Lateral tilt to the mast is to compensate for translating tendency (tail rotor drift). Without that tilt, you would have to apply cyclic to compensate. One example is the S300; no tilt on the mast, but has an extra degree of lateral cyclic to one side.
  5. Many helicopters have a forward tilt on the mast to create a more level cruise attitude (more comfortable for crew & passengers). Otherwise you would fly around nose low. A negative effect of this though is that the helicopter will hover with a nose high attitude.
  6. Find a different school. I’m assuming they’re using an R44 for flight training if they quoted you $30k. Do your training in a small, 2 seat helicopter like the R22.
  7. Hello,

    You provided useful information on my post "Experience Hour Gap"  I would like to touch base with you privately to run a plan of mine by you and obtain your feedback.  Would you be open to an offline discussion?  It would greatly help with my progress in this industry.

    Regards,

    Rudy

  8. A lot of tour operators hot fuel/load. So you could still find yourself in a situation where you are expected to complete multiple flights without shutting down. Offshore flying could be an option. The small helicopters generally fly a bunch of legs, but shorter in duration. Shutting down, taking a piss over the edge of the helideck and cranking back up takes hardly any time. The large helicopters generally fly 1-1.5 hour legs; after landing a crew member gets out to supervise loading and refueling, which also gives you an opportunity for a bathroom break. Something to keep in mind though is you fly IFR in these aircraft, and if you have to go missed could end up with a 2-2.5 hour flight. So you might find yourself wearing a diaper for peace of mind. I wouldn’t let it hold you back though. Certainly an inconvenience, but by no means a career killer. What I would be more concerned about is the current state of the job market and future outlook. But that has been covered in numerous other threads.
  9. If you haven’t already, check out RLC. They’re one of the main companies providing offshore support in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil/gas industry isn’t doing too great right now, but traditionally RLC has been a good place to gain experience and hires pilots at your experience level. I don’t know if they are currently hiring; if not keep following up with them and eventually a position will open up. https://www.rlcllc.com/
  10. Care to share your views on the subject? Single pilot airlines is debatable. As for the current state of the HAA, offshore and tour industries... it is very straight forward. Not sure what you disagree with there?
  11. I agree with what Spike said; the helicopter market overall is contracting. The three largest helicopter markets are HAA, offshore support and tourism. HAA has been expanding rapidly, but is now in serious jeopardy of additional government regulation. Charging patients $30,000 for a medevac flight, with almost no compensation from insurance companies, cannot continue unchecked. Once the government starts regulating pricing, the market will have to contract; fewer operators / bases/ jobs covering the same area. Meanwhile, offshore support has decreased substantially over the last couple decades. In the earlier days of offshore oil, a massive number of platforms were in proximity to the coastline and serviced by a huge fleet of light helicopters. As it stands today, the shallow water regions are mostly tapped out and major oil companies have transitioned to deep water drilling. Which means fewer flights, fewer aircraft and using heavy airframes (S92, AW139) rather than numerous light aircraft (B206/407). Which ultimately means less jobs. Tourism is facing ever growing noise abatement problems. It already hurt the market in NYC. Tours over the Hudson River were reduced substantially due to complaints from NYC residents. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hawaii is hit next by extra restrictions. And even if tourism were to remain a strong market, very few pilots aspire to spend their career entertaining tourists... Meanwhile, markets like aerial survey and ENG will be completely replaced by UAV’s. Drone technology is rapidly evolving, and will provide the same benefits for the fraction of the cost of a helicopter. I am also expecting police departments and US Customs / Border Patrol to transition heavily into drones. There will be some situations where helicopters are needed, but surveillance can be handled by drones. I also believe the agriculture market will transition to either drones or unmanned helicopters. Pilots are expensive (and prone to making costly mistakes)... using a drone with highly reliable software would provide extremely high levels of precision and relatively low operating costs. Any job market article from a flight school should go straight in the trash; the ‘Vietnam shortage’ has been mindlessly regurgitated for over a decade. Any Vietnam pilots retiring can be replaced by Iraq/Afghanistan veterans (or a seemingly endless number of civilian CFI/tour pilots). The ‘airline shortage’ is a fallacy as well. There will be times of increased demand, but never a true shortage. Prior to Covid, we saw demand increase. But not enough to make regional airlines a desirable career. Rather than renegotiating labor contracts and offering desirable salaries, the airlines opted to keep salaries low and attract low hour pilots with one time training and new hire bonuses. None of the rotor transition pilots went to the regionals planning to make a career with them... they saw it as a pathway to a major airline or cargo. The plan was to take the training money, take a substantial pay cut and live frugally, until getting a cushy job with a major in a few years. Then they would be making more money than would ever be possible in the helicopter market. I almost went for the carrot myself. Why bother flying heavy helicopters IFR when I could be doing a very similar type of flying for a major airline, making double the money? It only takes a short while on the airlinepilotcentral forums to see the problem with this. Many regional pilots will not make it to the majors. There are numerous stories of pilots with years of Part 121 experience, a college degree, clean record, etc being stuck at their regional. And then when a ‘black swan’ event like 9/11 or Covid occurs, the entire market gets devastated. Some get lucky and avoid the furloughs, airline bankruptcy, and career limbo; they earn a fortune over a glamorous career and can honestly say it was the best job in the world. Many of them, however, get stuck chasing the carrot and it ends up being a not so great career. Airline crews went from 4 positions (PIC, SIC, engineer, navigator) down to 3 (PIC, SIC, engineer) down to 2 (PIC & SIC). The next logical step is a single pilot airliner, with auto-land capability and remote control from a ground station if the pilot is incapacitated. The technology isn’t there just yet, but they are very close. It’s already been implemented in light GA aircraft. And in a society that revolves around making $$$ for executives and investors, you better believe that every effort will be made to slash labor/training costs by using one pilot for Part 121 ops. The airlines (and their investors) stand to make a fortune utilizing single pilot aircraft. I realize this is a lot of doom-and-gloom talk, but I feel it is very important to have realistic expectations. Unlike an industry such as healthcare (which will continue to expand rapidly with lots of jobs available in every state), the helicopter industry will continue contract. It will remain a very competitive market, which unfortunately translates to lower salaries, unfavorable work conditions, and a gypsy lifestyle... constantly moving to where the work is (or long distance commuting).
  12. Typically people come to the USA to train and time-build on a work visa, not the other way around. Short of having personal connections, I can’t imagine there being any international time building opportunities for a US based pilot fresh out of flight school. If such an opportunity were to come up though, I would make sure that every flight is thoroughly documented in your logbook, especially if you’re flying for a small operator or a personal aircraft. Keep photos, notes, flight planning... whatever documents you can to back up your logbook entries. Those hours would be under a lot more scrutiny than someone who worked at a well recognized flight school where it is very easy to verify their resume / logbook.
  13. The Facebook group ‘Helicopter Pilot Network’ will have a lot more info; plenty of pilots there that are familiar with those programs. Unfortunately, this forum has become pretty inactive over the past few years. Just be prepared for a bit rough humor and jabs. Lots of strong personalities, so to speak...
  14. Check out ‘The Little Book of Autorotations’ by Shawn Coyle. May help shed some light on why certain things are happening during the maneuver that are catching you off guard. https://www.amazon.com/Little-Autorotations-print-Shawn-Coyle/dp/0979263840/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?adgrpid=68500088836&dchild=1&gclid=Cj0KCQiAifz-BRDjARIsAEElyGLv--etrODdA-8g4VEe4RIyRQ2dHVAr1xPWZXbbsMxw-3JOaq4Q3nAaAgNeEALw_wcB&hvadid=340539598314&hvdev=m&hvlocphy=9030821&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=16861370329450453177&hvtargid=kwd-377921814196&hydadcr=29005_10734947&keywords=little+book+of+autorotations&qid=1608503455&sr=8-3&tag=hydsma-20 Cycling instructors for maneuvers training is always a good idea too. Stick with it, you’ll get it. We all had at least one maneuver that gave us trouble. For me, it was holding a constant orbit and assessing approach / departure paths w/ confined areas. It’s a really simple thing to do, but as a student I had a heck of a time compensating for wind drift and flying a clean orbit. Eventually the ‘lightbulb moment’ happened.
  15. Yes, you can log the time as dual received as long as your colleague’s rotorcraft CFI cert is current. Pax onboard is a non-issue. Wouldn’t be legal under a Part 135 operation, but as you said that’s not applicable to your situation. Hope you enjoy the time. Haven’t flown the 212 yet, but it looks like a bad ass machine.
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