Jump to content

First post with a question for mechanics


Recommended Posts

First off i'd like to say what i nice a website this is and all the info on here.

A little about myself.

I live in Las vegas NV and about 4 years ago I started training in a schweizer 300c through AirWork LLC, but couldn't go on after 8hr of flight do to cost. So I saved up for the next two years and earned my PPL in a cessna 172, and I took my first BFR the begining of the year.

 

I really want to fly helicopters for a living but what i have learned is it's a hard life to get where I want to be, and I can't go Military do to medical.

I also didn't want to get a loan and be 60k+ in debt and not be able to pay it off for a long time.

 

So what I have decided to do is go to Georgia Northwestern Technical College and take their two year A&P program, this way I have a backup job still and aviation. My plan as of now after school is to try to be a heli mechanic for some company and later take flight lessons.

 

My question.

After I earn my A&P cert would it be best to go to Robinson helicoper or Bell helicopters(maybe both) and go through their factory training corse? Because all the Jobs offered i've seen is that you need to be factory trained. Would this be a good idea or can i get a heli mechanic job with out factory training?

 

Thank you all for your advise and for taking the time to read this long post. :D

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not the most experienced guy here, but since no one else has responded to this yet: Here's my advice. Get your A&P, then try and find a job. Don't be picky. Experience is experience. Get the best job you can right away, while your A&P school is still fresh in your mind, even if it's not on helicopters. Then at least you are employed while you look for something better. Everyone out there wants a mechanic that has a factory course or 5+ years of experience, but that does not mean they won't hire you. Then again, it doesn't necessarily mean that they WILL hire you either. Continue looking for the job that will satisfy your needs (pay, location, experience, aircraft type). If you find that you HAVE to be factory certified to get the job you want, make that decision then. The optimal scenario would be to get hired and get the factory course on the company's dime. Keep in mind that might not be possible. Keep looking, and don't write a place off permanently either, the market is constantly fluctuating and a company that won't hire you one month might hire you the next (but try not to be a pest, a polite inquiry occasionally should be fine, unless they tell you to stop calling :/ ). If a company won't hire you, try and find out what would give you the edge you need, then work towards that.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice. I think thats what i'll end up doing. Work on planks for a while and earn my fix-wing certs and then move over to helicopters.

 

 

Thanks again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure what you mean by "planks," but if you mean fixed wing aircraft, try to keep in mind that by far the majority of employment in aviation maintenance is in fixed wing aircraft. Rotor wing maintenance is a speciality. That said, there's a lot of commonality between rotor maintenance and fixed wing maintenance. A structure is a structure. You won't be balancing a rotor while working on fixed wing, but you'll do almost everything else. The hardware is the same. Turbines are the same, and while you will work off the same general principles, you still need experience on each powerplant, on each airframe, to work for a given employer. Come to the table with a solid maintenance background (not something you get in school), and the employer will pay to train you on the equipment if you're worth the money.

 

School doesn't do anything more than give you a general smattering of exposure to general subjects; the learning, just like in flying, begins when you start work.

 

When you come out of school, you're not qualified to do anything but learn. Keep that firmly in mind, and you're ready to begin.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I would normally agree with the posters above, the Robinson maintenance course cost is low enough (at $450) to make yourself standout among the crowd. Plus it covers all the Robinson models. Unlike Bell where they have a three different courses for each model and a lot more expensive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Rick. For a relatively small amount of money you can get hired somewhere to work on Robbies. Granted, as a newly minted A&P, even with the RHC Maintenance course you might have to move to find work, and you probably won't be paid very well for your first few years, but at least you will be working.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest problem with most mechanic employers, is that they want experience. Even the small flight schools. Especially the small flight schools. So having something like the Robinson factory school, it will help you maybe get that first job. You might have to work out in the field and probability have to move to get that first job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard that if you have your A & P and you're a pilot, that you can get on with a tuna boat. I don't know if they only hire experienced people (probably do) but you never know?

 

Only downside to that is that you have to work off a tuna boat... :blink:

 

But... I can't say i'd turn the offer down if it would get me some time in a 500D or the like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard that if you have your A & P and you're a pilot, that you can get on with a tuna boat. I don't know if they only hire experienced people (probably do) but you never know?

 

Just like anything else in this business, it’s not a given. Mind you, it’s not for everyone. From the ad’s posted in the recent past they wanted 1000 hrs. Years ago, they told me the same thing yet hired me at 800 hrs. Therefore, if you have both tickets and you play you’re cards right, then it’s possible.

 

BTW, working off a tuna boat is no different than any other “bush” type gig…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone wants experience. Employers want pilots with 10,000 hours and mechanics with 20 years experience. What they want and what they are willing to hire are not always the same thing. It all comes down to supply and demand - always has, always will. Given the choice of someone with 20 years and someone with one year of experience, employers always prefer the 20 year guy. But if all they can find are new guys, those are what they will hire. OTOH, new guys will usually work for a lot less, so they may get hired if the employer is cheap. Even prudent employers will hire a mix of experience levels if possible.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even prudent employers will hire a mix of experience levels if possible.

 

Yep, have the experienced guys mentor the new ones. As the old guys retire, which they eventually will, it leaves room for growth within the company and a mix of experience levels over time. Any large operator is going to have a program like this. It's the smaller operations that might not be willing to settle for someone with no experience. Inexperienced mechanics can do a lot of damage if not properly mentored and supervised. Getting your A&P, just like getting your pilot ratings, is a license to learn. You won't be turning wrenches on million dollar aircraft by yourself right out the door, which is just as well because I can guarantee you won't be qualified to do so. I have heard a great place for brand new A&Ps is actually SkyWest. They prefer guys right out of school and have a very good program with lots of room for growth (and decent pay too). And as long as you don't mind working nights, it's not a bad place to work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

thanks guys for the helpful tipss. A few of my R/C flying friends are mechanics on gulfstream and they said once i get my A&P they would try and help get my on with comapy my friends work with. Time will tell so we will see what happens in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

whats up guys.

 

It has been a while since i've posted do to time, moving(long drive), and now going to school. So I finished my first term of A&P school yahoo! The school is at the Rome airport in Georgia and so far seems to be a nice school other than some of the fellow students O_0 but hay i'm not one to complain I am just happy I can go to school.. I knew getting my A&P was going to be but as long as I keep focused and my head in the books I'm doing okay so far. Heck i'm on break and i'm trying to read ahead and learn in my general text book. I think I'm going to buy myself the ASA prepware for Christmas to help with test taking.

 

Interested in what you guys have heard about this school good or bad let me know.

 

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advice is to find a helicopter mechanic to work with. Most A&P schools are generally concentrated in fixed wing. Like everyone says you need experience. Nobody is going to hire a fresh grad to take care of thousands if not millions of dollars of equipment. Sry.

 

Plus fresh grads do not know anything. You need to know more than you think, such as wood finishing, welding electrical, turbines, pistons, list goes on forever. I have worked with a couple of fresh grads the only thing they are good for is cleaning and safety wiring. Sometimes not even that.

 

Best way to do it is work under an A&P for 3 yrs and get the sign off. It is cheaper and you learn a lot more. So far I have 1 yr signed off getting paid to do it as well as I fly and getting time baby.;

 

Good Luck. Your going to need it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Luck. Your going to need it.

 

He's going to need a good work ethic and razor-like focus. Not luck. Luck has very little to do with it. A few years back, my company hired a guy fresh out of school. He was pretty good right out of the gate. Methodical, diligent, had his nose in the books, got to know the air frames, and now he is our go-to guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think its just a matter of timing. I was a a 5 yr uh-60 mechanic with an a&p and i was going to flight school for the kansas army national guard. I had my resume on js firm and i got a few bites and a couple phone interviews but nothing ever materialized. I needed a job after flight school because being an officer promoted me out of my full time DOD employment. I ended up getting another full time DOD job after i graduated flight school. I never got a single job offer From any company (phi, dyncorp, afs) I Applied for uh-60 mechanic jobs as a uh-60 pilot and army trained uh-60 mechanic and still didnt get hired because 5 years experience isnt much. What i would suggest is going to a recruiter like aerotech or planetechs and telling them you will take anything anywhere. They can usually get you hired on within 2-3 weeks sometimes quicker than that. They get paid to find mechanics work and they make a cut on everything so they are very helpful getting your foot in the door. I still have recruiters calling me to start work "next week". Hope that helps with some of your questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Well i'll be done with school the beginning of August. Last Christmas I passed my General and Airframe oral and practical test. So now all I have to worry about is the powerplant oral and practical.

Starting to do some job searching but there isn't much unless I drive 1.5 to 2 hours which is fine with me. heck I wouldn't care if I had to move at this point.

 

Thanks for all the opinions and suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is aviation. You go where the work is; anywhere it is, if you're serious about finding work.

 

If you restrict yourself to local work, or even geographical work, you're eliminating most of your possibilities.

 

Your school should have a placement service.

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...