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Are "hours required" for jobs rising?


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So every time I look through the helicopter jobs section and I see job postings for jobs like offshore but all of the requirements are always 3000 hours total or 2500 but every time I read posts about the jobs you will be looking at getting after being an instructor someone always seems to say offshore but everyone always says you need 1000 hours but I have never really seen a job posting only requiring a 1000 hours. So I was wondering is it because of insurance requirements? If not why are the total hours required for this job always in the 2500-3000 range?

Edited by ridethewind
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As long as there are more pilots looking for work than jobs available, you will need ridiculously high amounts of flight time for entry-level jobs! <_<

 

As for insurance, I would not believe anyone who tells you its an insurance issue. I mean,… lets be honest,… which is more dangerous?… a 150hr. Commercial Pilot flying a group of workers out to an oil rig (or a boat load of tourists around in a circle for 15min., for that matter) :huh: , or… a 200hr. Cfi handing the controls over to some schmuck who doesn’t know a cyclic from a cucumber, with the hope that he can grab the controls fast enough to recover the aircraft before they crash, when the student makes a mistake? :o

 

If insurance were truly the issue, you would need 1000hrs just to teach!

 

When I heard about those offshore jobs they were only 500hrs. There were also SIC jobs at 500hrs as well. Every SIC job I have ever seen has been at least 1500hrs!

 

There may have, at one time, been one or two jobs like those for “low-timers”, but in reality those were always the exception, not the rule!

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news my friend, but you’ve just entered AN EXTREMELY OVERCROWDED INDUSTRY! :(

 

There’s a good article about this in an old issue of Rotorcraft Pro, entitled something like,…“Congrats Kid You’re a Pilot,…Now What?”

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As for insurance, I would not believe anyone who tells you its an insurance issue. I mean,… lets be honest,… which is more dangerous?… a 150hr. Commercial Pilot flying a group of workers out to an oil rig (or a boat load of tourists around in a circle for 15min., for that matter) :huh: , or… a 200hr. Cfi handing the controls over to some schmuck who doesn’t know a cyclic from a cucumber, with the hope that he can grab the controls fast enough to recover the aircraft before they crash, when the student makes a mistake?

 

 

There is a difference between the two and is a simple case of mathematics.

 

A million dollar aircraft with multiple soles on onboard equals a large amount of liability exposure.

 

A two hundred thousand dollar aircraft with two soles onboard equals far less liability exposure.

 

The increased liability exposure is mitigated by simply putting experience folks behind the controls and trying to stack the chips in the favor of a positive outcome if something bad were to happen….

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The minimums to get a job are absolutely increasing, no doubt about it. As you stated, the "magical 1000 hours" was the threshold that indicated you were marketable as something other than a CFI. And those 500 hour SIC jobs DID exist circa 2004/2005 when operators in the Gulf of Mexico were desperate for pilots.

 

Of course, things have changed. Generally, the only jobs you can get right now with a 1000 hrs are as a tour pilot for Temsco or Papillon.

 

A year ago, the "magical 1000 hours" changed into the "magical 1500 hours", and now, you almost need 2000 hours and some turbine time to be considered for that first turbine job.

 

However, this is not permanent. The fluctuations you are seeing in the minimums are a reflection of the hiring practices of the helicopter companies. In a perfect world, when the companies needed a pilot, they would decide what qualifications they wanted and post an ad listing the pay. If a certain pay level did not attract any applicants, then they would raise the pay to commensurate with the level of experience required. As you might have guessed, though, this is not how it works with helicopters.

 

Lets say a company in the Gulf of Mexico wants an IFR Second-in-Command to fly their S-76. They would of course prefer someone with more experience, maybe around 2000 hrs total time, hours in multi-engine helicopters, and lots of time in actual IMC.

 

However, when no one accepts their job offers at a certain pay level, the strategy the companies use now is to lower their minimums till someone bites. What they are doing is opening the job up to people who are perhaps a little more desperate to get into the industry, and will accept lower pay temporarily to move up.

 

Long reply, but the essence of the answer to your question is that helicopter pilots are a dime a dozen right now, and companies can now afford to be a little more selective. Will this pilot surplus last? I don't know, but I wouldn't be holding my breath; things might be getting worse before they get better.

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I agree with eggbeater. The word associated with the aviation industry is "cyclical" In fact, I'm almost tired of hearing it. Of course, with so many people out of work right now (in and out of aviation) you can hardly hold a grudge.

 

A number of things go into the labor supply/demand, and almost none of them are controllable by you. I feel especially bad for the training sector. I know too may pilots who have put forth the (very big) commitment to get their ratings and instruct, only to wait years to find an opening at a school. The "pipeline" is backed up to be sure. (And YES, Silver State contributed to that. But, it's not like it was the instructors' fault.)

 

Of course, everything will eventually bounce back, but it may take some time. Until then, you can find me swinging on the brass pole to pay rent. :D

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Sorry for the format but these are reasonably current postings (July 13) & (July 30th) for two of the big guy's in the GOM. Some planning thru your ratings and starting as a CFII, makes it doable. I always thought I would continue instructing from 1000 to 1400 minimum. After 1000 I would assume you could actually be passing on some knowledgeable information and skills to new and even rated pilots. Actually in a perfect world 7/7 or 14/14 schedule I might even try to work PT for the school (teach & pay down student loan). Keep an eye on JS firm website usually some decent jobs there.

 

 

 

support of the offshore oil and gas industry within the Gulf of Mexico. Our minimum application requirements include: 1200 hours total helicopter time, 500 hours helicopter PIC time, FAA Commerical Rotorcraft Rating, FAA Helicopter Instrument Rating, and a Class II Medical Certificate. In the event that you are over 40 years of age, you will be required to successfully complete an EKG exam on an annual basis.

 

 

 

 

# Requirements: Pilots are required to have a minimum of 1,000 hours Pilot-in-Command time in helicopters AND 200 hours instrument (actual or simulated)OR 1500 hours Pilot in Command Time in Helicopters.

# 100 hours of night preferred, 75 hours of night minimum

# Hold an FAA Commercial Helicopter certificate with a helicopter instrument rating.

# Additionally, a current FAA Class II medical Certificate is required. Applicant must be legal residents of the United States or have a valid work visa.

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I always thought I would continue instructing from 1000 to 1400 minimum. After 1000 I would assume you could actually be passing on some knowledgeable information and skills to new and even rated pilots.

 

There isn't much difference between a 600-700 hour instructor and a 1000-1200 instructor. Especially when all they have been doing is instructing.

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One good point here though is what kind of time do you have? I may go out today and fly around for two hours, but I may not be able to say any of that is CC time, or CC-PIC time.

 

I could plan a flight to a couple different airports and then I get to say its CC-PIC time. If I had a CFI along anyway, why not put on some foggles and call it CC-PIC-Simulated Instrument time? The cost is the same!

 

Or if I did the exact same flight at night, the cost for the flight is the same, but now its CC-PIC-Night flight, which most companies want to see.

 

I guess what I am saying to students and time builders is depending on what your goals are, you may want to fly less day cruising around and more night CC-PIC. That night PIC time could influence an employer and make you more marketable against the next guy.....and you don't spend a dime more for it.

 

Fly safe,

 

Goldy

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I'm not certain the jobs will rebound appreciably this time. Yeah, us Vietnam era guys are becoming few and heading out the job market door, somebody's gotta take those seats. But, the US economy isn't the dominant force anymore, and probably won't be again. Things will improve after the recession (whenever that 'after the recession' comes) but it won't ever be boom times again.

 

"Minimums to apply" as stated in ads isn't always indicative of level of experience to be competitive in a buyers market. I've seen hot rock low-timers successful against very experienced journeyman, but it's exceptional. The cull will be brutal in the next few years.

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"Minimums to apply" as stated in ads isn't always indicative of level of experience to be competitive in a buyers market. I've seen hot rock low-timers successful against very experienced journeyman, but it's exceptional. The cull will be brutal in the next few years.

 

 

Absolutely, I was just about to write this as a response to TimW68's post. The second ad he listed is for our company, and it lists 1500 PIC as the minimum if you don't have 200 hours of simulated/actual instrument.

 

HOWEVER after to talking to some of the new guys hired here into the Bell 206 as VFR Captains, none of them had even close to the minimums. They either had lots more PIC time or some other experience that made them stand out (like 500 hours of turbine time or 200 hours in a Bell 206).

 

Someone correct me if they had a different experience recently, but that is the trend that I have been noticing. As Wally stated, just because you have the minimums doesn't mean that you are competitive. When you get the minimums for the job, apply, but expect to spend some more time building time as an instructor.

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