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Best way to begin my career


Trey
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Hi, I am new on this forum, I have had a dream to fly ever since I was a kid. One of my dads best friend has a private pilots license and when i was a kid he would take me up in a Cessna 152. He would let me take the controls and tell me how to turn... My dad and I have been building and flying R/C airplanes for the longest time, my dad has always dreamed of being a pilot but has never found time to get his private pilots license.

 

Last summer I was down in lake of the Ozarks, Mo, i flew in a helicopter for the first time in my life. It was a tourist flight that shows the highlights of the lake. I flew in a robinson R44, This is the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. I liked it so much I went back and flew with him just myself the next day, he told me all sorts of things about the helicopter, showing me some maneuvers and about manifold pressure, also how the governor works.

 

 

I am currently a senior in high school in Omaha, NE. I will be graduating on may 31st. I have applied to a few colleges and been accepted to University of Nebraska at Omaha, and southern Illinois carbon dale. I applied for Professional Flight and Aviation Administration majors at both colleges. I wanted to be a helicopter pilot, go to college and learn to fly at the same time. I didnt know that either of the schools only offered a auxiliary fixed wing flight training. This ruined my future plans.

 

One of my dads friends said if I want to be a professional helicopter pilot I need to learn how to fly and get every license and rating I can, I immediately started requesting information, pricing and financial aid information from the local Iowa flight schools. I am trying to explain to my parents I do not want to go to waist my time and money in college when as soon as I get out I will be attending a 70,000$ flight school. I would ultimately like to get all of my licenses and ratings, (Private, commercial, CFI, CFII, Instrument), then continue to be an instructor to build my hours, then apply for oil rigging companies near the gulf coast and Alaska. This is what I want to do in life, this is where my questioning comes in, Am I making the correct decision in attending a flight school and not college? I think my priority would be to get all of my licenses and ratings and build hours as soon as I can for as cheap as possible. I have been looking into WhirlyBird Helicopter school in Des Moines, IA, does anyone have experiences with this school or its Professional flight program?

 

 

Thanks a TON in advance!!! (sorry for the short story ^)

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As Knimer was saying, University of North Dakota has a very reputable helicopter flight program right at the university. To my knowledge, they hire their students to become their CFIs. I knew a couple Army officer pilots who attended UND, and had nothing but great things to say about the school and the flight program. Though I hear it gets EXTREMELY cold in the winter :|

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If you don't go to college you will be spending many, many, many, years working at McDonalds, and living in your car, while you look for work as a flight instructor. GO TO COLLEGE!!! Get a "real job" first, then pursue flying on the side.

 

There's a huge surplus of pilots, finding a job is more difficult than winning the lottery (without buying a ticket)! :o

 

One more thing, don't borrow money for training! Its really hard to make the payments while making dittly squat (especially if you're an instructor), one more reason to go to college!

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My parents are going to pay for all of the training from this helicopter school in place of college.

 

I would have to teach or fly tourists or something I would assume with minimal hours. I will leave this program with a total of 200 hours in a helicopter

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Trey, getting the training and certificates is the EASY part.

 

The hard part is getting from the 200 hour CFI/II to 1500 hours and 'widely employable' while keeping body and soul together- that's killer. Luck plays a large part in success doing that, even for hard chargers without a significant debt tail to pull. One might hear stories about new pilots with 500 hours being hired in the past. They were few and far between, and those days are gone for the foreseeable future.

 

Education expands possibilities, and is always yours. Put the plan in place to make a degree happen and fly around that.

Edited by Wally
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Ok, Well I think I might enroll in a local college for a professional flight program. This really sucks, my parents will pay for either college or flight school, not both. This is the problem i am running into..

 

I can either go to college, get a professional flight degree and have no licensing or ratings and go into a career i have no real interest in so far.

 

Or I can go to flight school, paid for, get all of my ratings and licenses, 200 hours, and work as a flight instructor under a recruitment plan that this whirlybird helicopter schools offers until I have built enough hours to apply for a real job. I will try my hardest to land a job with minimal hours to start a more successful living.

 

If i do the former option I feel like its going to take years to do the career of my dreams and possibly it would never happen.

 

Also If I was to go to flight school and have it paid for it would most likely cheaper to then get an associates or a bachelors afterwords...

 

I hope this makes sense, the situation in is hard. I am still unsure what to do. My school councelor is no help as she has no knowledge of flying or flight schools.

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Check out Kansas State. They offer a professional helicopter program. It sounds like the prices for UND are a little high, even for helicopter training. Are you sure you understood them correctly? Might want to double check. I am enrolled at Utah Valley University right now (kicking my ass) and it is only about $2500 a semester + flight training (the really expensive part). I have asked my mom for help financing the flight training and she is having a hard time committing to it. Your parents are willing to spend $80k - $100k on a very iffy future career but don't want to spend the extra $15 - $20k on college to hedge their bet? Sounds like you may just have begun talking to them about it, be fair to them and make sure they are fully informed. Also, GO TO COLLEGE, you will be F'ing yourself in the long run if you don't. A) if you do have trouble getting the pilot job, you can still get a good job to pay the bills. B) If anything medically ever happens and you could no longer fly, you will have a secondary skill set. I remember how long "forever" was at your age. I am now 35 with four kids, no college degree, and no money and let me tell you, 4 more years of living off your parents money is by no stretch of the imagination "forever". Good luck my friend.

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The best way to begin your carreer?

 

1. Go to college and get a degree

2. Get a good paying job

3. Earn and save money

4. Avoid taking a loan for flight school like the plague

5. And have a freaking plan B!!!

 

You chose the worst time to start, especially if you don't have ANY security or a save job to fall back on if everything goes out the window!

And take your time to compare flight schools and options. There are many more options if you are willing to move.

 

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by Hawkeye0001
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Errr... NOOOO, not quite :blink:

Let's try that again. You have three guesses and the first two don't count.

And let me help you by giving you a small hint:

 

Go to college. Flying will still be there when you graduate.
College won't be a waste [link]. Go do it first, get a career that you can pursue in parallel, jump into flying when the timing is better.
If you don't go to college you will be spending many, many, many, years working at McDonalds, and living in your car, while you look for work as a flight instructor. GO TO COLLEGE!!! Get a "real job" first, then pursue flying on the side.

...finding a job is more difficult than winning the lottery (without buying a ticket)!

Its really hard to make the payments while making dittly squat (especially if you're an instructor), one more reason to go to college!

getting the training and certificates is the EASY part.

The hard part is getting from the 200 hour CFI/II to 1500 hours and 'widely employable' while keeping body and soul together- that's killer. Luck plays a large part in success doing that

Your parents are willing to spend $80k - $100k on a very iffy future career but don't want to spend the extra $15 - $20k on college to hedge their bet?

Also, GO TO COLLEGE, you will be F'ing yourself in the long run if you don't. A) if you do have trouble getting the pilot job, you can still get a good job to pay the bills. B) If anything medically ever happens and you could no longer fly, you will have a secondary skill set.

You chose the worst time to start, especially if you don't have ANY security or a save job to fall back on if everything goes out the window!

 

We all don't want to talk you out of it. But what we are saying is: Get a real job first! Don't waste your parents money, they only pay once. And money is finite. Again: times are tough, don't assume you are the one who's gonna make it.

I simply can't get rid of the feeling that you are a bit too enthusiastic and in a hurry to start. Your excitement about getting into flying asap is fully understandable, but please don't rush. You are young, you have time and you really don't want to end up behind a McDonalds counter.

Consider that you MIGHT fail like so many before you.

If you want to do it, go for it buddy. But be objective and don't lose your common sense.

 

Got it? :unsure:

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Yes, I do agree, I am going to persue college before flight school.

 

I want to be a professional heli pilot as soon as possible, but I want to have stability in my future. What field can I work in that will pay enough to get me through flight school as well...

 

This has definatly changed my future plans! I want to work around helicopters. I would love to work at an airport, this would be awesome, networking is a wonderful thing as well.

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You could try a job as an air traffic controller. I don't know what they make, but I've heard they need people, due to experienced ones retireing. Of course I heard that about pilots too :o , so be careful! :huh:

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Yea haha, I fell for the whole be a heli pilot, there in shortage....

 

You dont need hours for atc but you might need airport experience...

 

I am also very interested in the aviation maintenance field. I have been working on cars with my dad ever since I was a kid, Numerous camaros and firebirds. I know being a mechanic would be a relatively simple job for me. Well, conceptually simple... Turbines and fly by wire systems are a whole different ball game...

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I looked into being an A&P. The program was about two years long, and very intense, and from what I've read on previous posts, you'd probably make more money as an auto mechanic.

 

If I could do college over again, I would chose something in either Business or Computers, then by now I could have bought my own helicopter, and said the hell with all this crap! <_<

 

Its very hard doing something you like for a living. Some things are better left to the hobby pile.

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The A&P idea is a nice one. I'm not quite sure how the job demands and prospects are, but it can't be worse than the outlook for pilots.

You are around helicopters all the time, you get to know your machines inside out and when the day comes that you start looking for your first helicopter pilot job you might have a big advantage being dual rated as pilot & mechanic.

I know an instructor who started out as mechanic first and while he was working in the maintenance department he started to take flight lessons. Step by step all the way, from zero to CFII. Took him three years but during that time he was fully employed, made ends meet and didn't have to pay back a humongous loan. And of course, he got a job as CFI right away by the time he finished. Very knowledgeable guy.

Another example where the A&P thing might come in handy: If you take a look on the tuna boat flying industry you might even make a double salary (lots of interesting threads on pprune or see Francis Meyrik, writersharbor.com).

 

The idea of being an ATC controller isn't a bad one either.

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