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Hey guys i am currently 18 years old and have been accepted as a student to Embry-Riddle university. i have done a lot and a lot of research and have contacted many flight schools. So my question is should I go to ER and get a degree in Aeronautical Science and also attend a local flight school to get my ratings? What do you guys suggest I do ? do i even need a degree? I really want to get a degree and experience the college life though. So i guess basically what did you guys do ? probably through army huh? or what advice so you have for me......


Thank you very much for your time!!!!


Ross C.

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What part of the aviation industry do you want to work in? Airlines, Corporate, Military, ???


I graduated from ERAU in '95 from the Daytona campus with a BS in Aero. Sci.


ERAU is primarily an airline focused training school. While it may have changed, there was no RW flying there when I was a student. So if you are interested in a RW EMS career you may need to look elsewhere for your training and career start.


As an alum I have to tell you that the best thing you can do is to 'diversify' yourself. While I loved the material I learned there, I really wish I had gained another skill besides flying. Maybe getting the Maintenance Management (with A&P) and flown outside of Riddle. Or even a Business degree and flown outside of Riddle. Either way I would have been able to move away from the cockpit if needed.


You may find yourself unable to fly some day or worse; you may get furloughed and not have a fall back paycheck. Riddle is good at what they do but it will be more expensive than elsewhere. ERAU is and always will be a business first and foremost. You get a good education at ERAU but you can save money and get just as good flight training anywhere with a good CFI.


Also, can you enroll in the Aero Sci degree program and fly outside of Riddle? When I was there they made us fly there to credit the ratings to the degree.

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I do believe ERAU offers helicopter training as well. Either in house or in partnership with local flight schools. If you want another option, University of North Dakota offers such training along side with college.


I would think about a degree in something other than aviation. Or at the very least, if you decide to get a degree in aviation go for somthing that will set you up for a career outside of flying. An example would be FBO management or the like. This way you have a fall back. We pilots rely a lot on our medicals. Should something happen, then we won't be able to fly.


EMS flying can be easy some days and others difficult. I will post a link to a thread we recently had covering what it is EMS pilots do. It covers a lot of basic questions. EMS tends to demand more expierance so it's not s "starter" or entry level helicopter job. Typicaly, what will happen is this:


Flight school: PVT-CFII: several years

Flight Instruct: Again several years until about 1,000-1,500 hours of flight time

Tours, Gulf of Mexico offshore oil

After close to 2,500-3,000 hours with 150-300 at night you will be able to start looking at EMS.


So, remember it may well be 5 years before you can fly EMS but don't let that stop you. It took me about that long and I love my job. So just stay the path and focus hard on studying and being on time with a good attitude at school. Those things will go a long way.


Here is what I did and it wasn't easy. I worked full time in restaurants as a manager and went to flight school. After several years I finished and became a CFI. I flight instructed for another two years then flew charters, offshore oil and photo work in Los Angeles. After that I did tours in La Vegas before becoming an EMS pilot. It was hard and took dedication but in the end it has paid off. No real college as I couldn't afford to do both. I do have the hospitality industry as a back up since I have many years management in that area.


I got your PM and will write back. Hope this helps some.


click and visit here: A day as an EMS pilot thread

Edited by JDHelicopterPilot
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I'm Vietnam era Army trained.


Education is never wasted, get as much as you can when you can, and continue throughout your life. That said- Me, I'm not much on sending kids straight out of high school to college. Grow up a bit, travel, work, find out who you are, then work your butt off in school, get a degree for the life you want. Education isn't just classroom stuff... Nothing sadder than spending 4-9 years or more of your life training to work at a job you hate.


If you're a working pilot, then pretty much any degree is as good as another. In the real world, specific training, a degree in whatever you're doing is a good thing.


Aviation is a *harsh* task master, not everybody's suitable, so putting all your eggs into that one basket is not advisable until you know the cockpit's your calling. Even when you're a working pro, you're one wake-up from being unemployed, so having something else to put bread on the table is a good thing.

Edited by Wally
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I do believe ERAU offers helicopter training as well. Either in house or in partnership with local flight schools. If you want another option, University of North Dakota offers such training along side with college.


(In the most devious voice possible) Yes, yes, come to North Dakota, I'll train ya. Ha ha haaaa. Ok in all seriousness though, UND does have a very good program and we are expanding more every day, 6 H300's and 2 B206's. I'll help you out with any information I can, just let me know what you need. I also wrote a review of UND somewhere, Here it is.


Somethings have changed in the department since I wrote that, but it still gives you a pretty good idea.

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Retired from the Navy and received all of my training there. A degree is required for aviators in the Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.


Get your education! If you are interested in the military, ROTC is a great way to go. Whatever route minimizes your student loans because where you get your degree is not very important in the long run and you will probably spend plenty on flight training, especially RW training. Don't know where you live but out-of-state tuition can be very expensive, not to mention the expense of private schools.


The most important thing to consider for education is your interest. You should really like what you're studying. Most folks never work in a job related to their degree so unless you want to be a Dr., Lawyer, Nurse, or Engineer, go with your interests as far as majors go.


Just my .02


Good luck, wish I was 18 again :-)

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hey guys thanks for all the advice. i had a tour today with our local hospital and we checked out the Air Link Helicopter!! it was so cool because they got a call in the middle of talking to us about what goes on. So we watched what they did and the steps they have to take before they headed out off to Mt. Bachelor!!!

it was awesome.


but thank you guys very much!!

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