Jump to content

New guy....well maybe not that new.


Zurban
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been following this blog on and off for about a year now and have to give out an initial thanks to all you Veteran posters who constantly spend the time responding to all the newbie questions and for making all the guides. I can assure any other newbies that if you spend the TIME (not minutes but hours) going through posts and using the search bar you will find everything you need.

 

I am going to skip over all the yadidas (yes that's a Zurban certified word) of how i came into finding out i absolutely love helicopters and just talk about the present (or close to it.)

 

After completely realizing that I definitely wanted to become a helicopter pilot last year, i happened upon this site and research what it would take. A lot of money, a lot of determination, and some starving days. I guess that's pretty much the guideline for achieving any dream.

 

I first tried the WOFT route, however that route just didn't seem to match up for me when things were all said and done. In summary, it just was not for me. I am also a resident becoming a citizen and that pushing everything back started to become tedious along with the recruiters pushing me to take another path. (FYI a big shoutout to linsdey, youre posts really helped me get my packet fully completed.)

 

After realizing that route wasn't going to work i went ahead and pushed myself for a year, working two jobs to get current on all my debts and continuing with my ERAU degree. Finally, a year later, I am at the point where I can look at schools seriously and come to choosing one, which is where i need help.

 

I live in Orange County and so far the obvious choice seems to be helistream. Their reputation seems to be great however I am concerned that they don't really even hint at helping with the job hunt other than to provide recommendations. Should I worry about this? Is it better to go with a smaller school that I could form a tighter bond with the employees? Or do i go with the reputation?

 

Do any of you use any OC based or LA based schools? Seems like everyone is from Colorado! For me i'm really looking for somewhere where i can create a bond with the owners and so on as I would really just like to be a CFI/II at the school I was trained. (Is that even realistic)

 

Like lindsey's story i wrote a lot of emails last year and had only one school respond with advice. Unfortunately i have long deleted that email and dont remember which one it was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I live in Orange County and so far the obvious choice seems to be helistream. Their reputation seems to be great however I am concerned that they don't really even hint at helping with the job hunt other than to provide recommendations. Should I worry about this?

 

 

In my humble opinion, the schools that you should watch out are the ones who do offer guaranteed jobs, or job placement. With a little bit of searching in the forums here you should quickly realize that any school that does is one in a million, or full of crap. A good school reputation can help with the job after your CFI, but the most likely keys to finding that next job will be flexibility, determination, and personality. Flight schools cannot help with that.

 

My two cents.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in Orange County .......Do any of you use any OC based or LA based schools?

 

First off, you just missed a great local networking opportunity last Saturday. Second there are a couple schools I know in the LA area. Realize there are many schools out there, but two in LA that I will mention. LA Helicopters in Long Beach and Elite Helicopters in Van Nuys. Go take a demo flight and see how you like the atmosphere and more importantly, your future CFI. Both are in busy LA airspace which will make you a much better pilot! Little hairy at first on a busy frequency buy you'll get used to it.

 

Good luck out there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome!

 

As for the starving part, you're dead on! Even after 14 years in the wonderful helicopter world, there are still times I'm enjoying ramen and hot dogs! But that's not why we do it! Nothing beats it in the world if you're willing to sacrafice for years to get what you want!

 

After years on the road or living in some hell-hole where your spouse won't go, I'm finally home everyday (night), and wouldn't change a thing!

 

Good luck to ya!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been following this blog on and off for about a year now and have to give out an initial thanks to all you Veteran posters who constantly spend the time responding to all the newbie questions and for making all the guides. I can assure any other newbies that if you spend the TIME (not minutes but hours) going through posts and using the search bar you will find everything you need.

 

I am going to skip over all the yadidas (yes that's a Zurban certified word) of how i came into finding out i absolutely love helicopters and just talk about the present (or close to it.)

 

After completely realizing that I definitely wanted to become a helicopter pilot last year, i happened upon this site and research what it would take. A lot of money, a lot of determination, and some starving days. I guess that's pretty much the guideline for achieving any dream.

 

I first tried the WOFT route, however that route just didn't seem to match up for me when things were all said and done. In summary, it just was not for me. I am also a resident becoming a citizen and that pushing everything back started to become tedious along with the recruiters pushing me to take another path. (FYI a big shoutout to linsdey, youre posts really helped me get my packet fully completed.)

 

After realizing that route wasn't going to work i went ahead and pushed myself for a year, working two jobs to get current on all my debts and continuing with my ERAU degree. Finally, a year later, I am at the point where I can look at schools seriously and come to choosing one, which is where i need help.

 

I live in Orange County and so far the obvious choice seems to be helistream. Their reputation seems to be great however I am concerned that they don't really even hint at helping with the job hunt other than to provide recommendations. Should I worry about this? Is it better to go with a smaller school that I could form a tighter bond with the employees? Or do i go with the reputation?

 

Do any of you use any OC based or LA based schools? Seems like everyone is from Colorado! For me i'm really looking for somewhere where i can create a bond with the owners and so on as I would really just like to be a CFI/II at the school I was trained. (Is that even realistic)

 

Like lindsey's story i wrote a lot of emails last year and had only one school respond with advice. Unfortunately i have long deleted that email and dont remember which one it was.

 

This is a business decision, not a budding long term relationship or friendship.

 

Quality of instruction and maintenance, reliable scheduling, and options available are the criteria you want to use. Secondary considerations are networking outside the school staff, and convenience. I would move, or arrange short term lodging when necessary, to use the best school available- You would MOVE to 'Oxbidge' if there where you decided to learn, yes?

Edited by Wally
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zurban-

 

Ok, I'm one of the resident Helistream Alums here, along with several other gents, some of which were, until recently, EAGLE1 with NPD/CMPD (just to clarify, I'm involved with something completely different and wasn't part of that unit, but knew many who trained at Helistream either before or after me and were there). Rod and Barbara have an excellent operation and unlike many schools, they have a steady contract with Customs for recurrent training, and they also do the recurrent training for Riverside Sheriff, Ontario PD and so on - so they focus on all elements of flight training, not just as a fill-in. Rod is also the resident examiner, so you're going to get trained to high standards automatically, as you'll prolly be getten 'xamined by him. In my opinion, He is the definition of fair, firm and professional. They are tight with Robinson (and have been since day 1), evidenced by Helistream being the launch customer for the '66. Rod and Tim Tucker are very close friends. Nuf said.

As far as post-training job placement, Rod and Bar still have good eyes and ears when it comes to making additions to the Helistream staff; I personally wouldn't "count" on any promises to get hired, even if I was was their son or daughter...express your interests, have initiative and understand how the slots open. And that would go for almost every operation, maybe an exception being Bristow. In the current economy, many of the instructors are not rolling out of the good flight schools once they hit 1-1.5k hours, like they used to. Be prepared to possibly wait. There are even some here that will be happy to 'pay' you to fly their photo flights after you pay them a really big chunk of change. I'm neither advocating or criticizing the practice, but that is another choice. Helistream does advance their instructors into the turbines fairly consistently, some faster 'n the seat than others. They also have a SWEEEET B205. The rooftop heliport is a blast to fly in to, and you'll learn how to be very safe and efficient, especially as the typical mid-day operations get moving at a pretty good clip and there is not a lot of unused real estate (or room for error, either). A double edged sword at first, but I felt that my departure & arrival decisions and reactions were developed and enhanced unlike any other experiences than if it was just a "normal" ground level ramp. Not sure if the additional 30' will help getting accommodated to rigs in the patch, but maybe. Pay by the lesson or block time. I still have a good chunk of change on account there and have no concerns that they're gonna be walking away with it. They've been around for a long time and they are staying put. Just so I demonstrate I'm not biased (too much), here's are some other options:

 

I would strongly recommend looking into Western Ops (Rialto) with Bob and Pete...my choice for mountain and long line. Also, check out Civic Helicopters with Chin (Carlsbad), he was a prod. test pilot with Hughes (269/360/AH-64), USA Flight Academy with Johan Nurmi (French Valley), he done the Robbie world good with his team record flights, and I'd second LA Helicopters (Long Beach, who have a good long line program and can get you a head start into Erickson & Columbia, if you want to fly the lines, and Elite (Van Nuys), just 'cause of Goldy.

 

Like Goldy stated, get involved with PHPA here in the LA basin- it's an excellent organization for learning and networking and has A LOT of known names and talent; stop by Los Alamitos on Oct 23 for the wings, wheels and rotors airshow, they'll be there.

 

Your controls.

 

 

-WATCH FOR THE PATTERNS, WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hah, i just realized i called this a blog and not a forum..yikes!

 

Pohi - In regards to the comment about schools that guarantee job slots all i really meant was that helistream doesn't really have a "student success" page. Probably because they don't need to have one. I was only concerned about this as i know that networking will be ever so important to me especially if i train at a school that is likely to not hire me as a CFI/CFII

 

Goldy - How do i find out more about local meetings and such? I know about PHPA and also about the Helisuccess conference (which i am not sure i should go to.) It would be great to know what's going on as i would definitely start networking from now if it is appropriate.

 

Wally - Valid point. Especially on the fact that this is a business decision. Though i would consider moving and some people have suggested i have really taken on to the fact that i do not want to accumulate more than 50% debt (vs my income) and moving would definitely put me in a riiiiisssky spot.

 

Arotrhd - ill pm you!

 

OH and with all these schools..im guessing i should get a bike and not worry about the commute then..hah!

 

Thanks again. Ill make sure to post progress

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Zurban! Thanks for all the compliments, but i didn't do much! You're flattering me. ;) Glad things are starting up for you -- good work on paying off your debts ( :unsure: ). I don't know much about the schools you're asking about, but give me a few months and hopefully by then I'll be a CFI and can give you a little tour of Seattle's airspace if you're ever in town.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Zurban! Thanks for all the compliments, but i didn't do much! You're flattering me. ;) Glad things are starting up for you -- good work on paying off your debts ( :unsure: ). I don't know much about the schools you're asking about, but give me a few months and hopefully by then I'll be a CFI and can give you a little tour of Seattle's airspace if you're ever in town.

 

No Problem! And trust me, i would have never been able to finish my WOFT packet if you didnt help people out so much. My recruiters knew diddly squat about it and everything online more vague than i could have imagined. Will you be at Heli-success?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...