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No Hope...No Need..


Vindicated0721
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This past May I graduated college top of my class. I never really wanted to go to college nor did I really enjoy it, but it was something I was told that I had to do. I was told it would lead to a better life and a better job, but in reality, like many others, I am working the same job i've been working in since I graduated High School. With not as much as a peep from job applications I contemplated going back for my Masters. But about a month ago my current boss, a really smart guy, asked me what I always wanted to do in life. I told him I always wanted to fly and be a pilot. He said to me, then why are you standing here, go fly.

 

Three weeks ago my life long dream (like many others life long dreams) came true. I took off in a R22 helicopter for my first demo flight. It was one of the greatest experiences that I have every experienced and I couldn't wait to go back up.

 

Now I am only a few hours in to my flight training and i'm enjoying every second of it. My instructors are awesome and I truly enjoy flying a helicopter. Nothing makes me happier now. Yet the percieved path to becoming a helicopter pilot seems to be a daunting and nearly impossible one;

 

First, the seemingly very long and very expensive 200 hours to become a CFI appear to be light years away. Then once I get there it seems that getting a job as a CFI is a myth or some type of fairy tale because everone talks like it never happens. Then after I don't get a job as a CFI I need to rack up atleast 1500 hours if a entry level job will even look at my application. Then there is endless talks on forums and websites about the hopelessness of getting a job as a pilot. So even after my 1500 hours, which people make it seem will be impossible to get, I still won't be able to find a job in the market. So here I am in NJ in the present, only 3 weeks in, struggling to get a hour or two of flight time a week because of all the crazy snow storms.

 

There seems to be no hope for me actually becoming a professional pilot, but I don't care. I don't need any hope, because as soon as the main rotor starts spinning and I get light on the skids, none of that matters any more, flying is all that matters.

 

So to all the new guys like me who feel like it is a hopeless path. I know how you feel.

 

I am brand new to this forum and just felt like posting my thoughts as a new guy for my first post.

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Welcome to the addiction.

 

A lot of people here seem to be very negative when it comes to jobs. I can't really say. I was given a job by the school I attended. Don't let it get you down. Focus on doing well. If you perservere through the tough stuff, you will come out well in the end.

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I could not agree with you more. It is great to know I'm not the only one feeling this.

 

The feeling of flying overcomes the feeling of hopelessness for a lifelong dream. I know it isn't easy to find a job, but I believe if you want it bad enough you will get it.

 

We all share a common interest: flying helicopters. I won't let negativity ruin my dreams.

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Nothing that is worth having, and keeping, is easy to get.

 

Finding a CFI job might be hard, but with some hard work and the right attitude you will find a CFI job. Getting your next job will be hard as well, but hard work and the right attitude will find you an entry level job. The cycle keeps repeating, and the common tune is hard work and a good attitude. Doesn't only apply to aviation either.

 

If you've realized, and accepted, that it won't be easy you are already a step ahead. Just don't loose sight of your goals (difficult, I know) and you WILL succeed.

 

Out of curiosity, what school are you going to?

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Welcome to the addiction. It's a blast, to be sure. For me, it's coming down to priorities. At what personal cost will I continue the path to become a professional helicopter pilot? Right now, for me anyway, there are no job prospects anywhere. Period. But I still fly when I can, and I'm focusing on finishing my BS and thinking about an MBA sometime down the road. That way, next time I fall flat on my face, I'll have some type of backup plan in place.

 

This is a tough journey, and you probably realize you're at the bottom of a very steep and slippery slope. But man, it's worth it. Bob Muse, at RHC, once said that all helicopter pilots are calculated risk takers. We don't go blindly into something. We evaluate the risks and rewards involved. If there is a reasonable expectation of success, we'll probably do it. Make this a calculated risk.

 

Not that it's any of my business, but did you get a loan?

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I understand your attitude, flying helicopters is awesome! I've got only 91hrs of helo time. (1300 TTL) but I wouldn't trade a second of the heli time for anything.

 

I'm chipping away at hours and will get there nothing is going to stop me! And I urge you to just keep plugging away at it. You will get there!

 

Kandace

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Not that it's any of my business, but did you get a loan?

 

I have a small revolving home equity loan that my father set up awhile back for me from College. I did not use it all so what is left I am putting towards flight training now and just trying to continually pay it off so I can at least get to my private license before I have to figure out if I would need to get another loan.

 

Also I just learned there is a multi quote button, so sorry for the two posts i could have made in to one.

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If I had focused on the cold hard facts when I started I probably would have given up. That would have been the worst mistake of my life. I knew I could make it work because it was something I loved. There have been bumps on the road but I have been moving up the career ladder steadily since finishing my training. Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done.

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"The more things change, the more they stay the same." I don't know who said it, but it's still true in spite of the differences. In 1967-68, it took me several months to get into the Army's WORWAC, in spite of the fact of an immense need for Army helo pilots. I finally took the what-ever-you call it test, with ten other guys, three qualified, I don't know how many were discouraged/culled before that point. Still couldn't get a slot. One day, I hit the right button- the sergeant sitting across the desk said I couldn't get in a class, but I could opt for the first opening... I raised my right hand that day, and was on the way to BCT and flight school one month after high school.

Very few of my classmates are still flying. Those that are become fewer every day. All those seats are being filled by younger pilots. Somebody will fill my seat this year, next year, someday, when I hang it up. They will be the one of dozens who started the process years ago.

 

You can't get there from here... Especially if you don't GO. Nothing worse than wishing you hadn't let an opportunity go by.

Edited by Wally
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If I had focused on the cold hard facts when I started I probably would have given up. That would have been the worst mistake of my life. I knew I could make it work because it was something I loved. There have been bumps on the road but I have been moving up the career ladder steadily since finishing my training. Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done.

 

That's right, same here. I wanted to do this since I can remember, and told myself that I was going to and that was it.

 

It is absolutely tougher right now than it was a couple years ago, but I believe it will improve soon enough. The good news is that you have an education and a backup. I couldn't afford college and flying, so I went all in with flying.

 

There are a lot of people out there with bad attitudes right now, but it is the entire economy that sucks not just aviation. Some people seem to forget that. Those who have the poor attitudes and start to give up won't make it. That means those who are persistent (and have money to keep training) will succeed. You have the right attitude, just don't go broke!

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Hope is the greatest of all evils, for it prolongs the torments of man. --F Nietzsche

 

Gotta balance a good attitude and determination with reality if you're going to manage your expectations and make rational choices. It's part of the decision-making and risk assessment process. Plenty of accidents and incidents are attributable to overconfidence, unrealistic optimism, and hope despite evidence to the contrary. Would we be telling a pilot who turned back to the airport in MVFR that he had a bad attitude and lacked determination?

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I can guarantee it's not an easy road. I got my private pilot's license spending my money and tax returns as much as I could on flying. I literally kept enough to live on. When friends or family wanted to go out and have dinner, or go to a bar, i'd say no and I'd save my money and study. It's hard, and I am still struggling, but if you keep to it, there's so much reward in it. I've had some of the most amazing experiences of my life when I was getting my PPL and when I kept continuoing on for my commercial. And i've met some helicopter buddies, off this forum in fact, who are great! It's rough, but you can do it. I went into this knowing how hard it would be to get a job, which is why I didn't take out a loan. It's taking me longer, but there's no huge rush.

 

I'm personally going to be getting married in 2 weeks now (yikes!) and will be continuing my commercial flying soon after.

 

Welcome aboard!

Edited by Chopperjess
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Agent Smith: "WHY WHY WHY? WHY DO YOU PERSIST MR. ANDERSON?

Neo: "Because I choose to."

 

Kinda corny to quote a movie but that's what i remember when I'm working at Burger King trying to pick up a job. Keep your head up and the world will turn. I like your attitude Vindicated, keep it up

 

I'd much rather be fired, being able to go home to my family and looking for a new job than to be severly injured or dead.

 

Steve

 

Amen to that brother, I've said no to a few employers. I've walked out on one of them and never looked back. The other respected me for my decision and respects my judgment no matter how hard he tries to push me.

 

Kodos, good seeing you at the expo!

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