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Hey everyone; I write this post to ask for some outside opinions on my current situation. Let me start with the story.


I am still in the stages of Senior Schooling, and since i was about 12, I have wanted to become a helicopter pilot. My dad once took me on a ride when we were on vaccation once. Since then, it has been the most memorable experience in my life, thus far.


Now, as my school years come to a close, I am placed into a position where I need to look towards Uni, where I want to work, part time jobs, etc.


I have made it clear (to my parents) that I want to be a Helicopter Pilot, but they refuse to see the 'dream' from my perspective. They adhere to the idea that i should try to get money to support the family, through property development or becoming a plumber, (both well paying jobs).


However, as selfish as this may sound, I want to do what makes me happy. I have read in other forum posts about people who regretted sitting in an office for 10+ years, when they finally wanted to become a pilot.


I understand the cons of entering this particular field of work; High competition to get a job, low pay(in some cases, not all), etc.


So I call to the members of this forum, and request them to help me understand how I should/could proceed from here. It would be invaluable to me if someone who has been in the 'industry' gave their opinion. Nonetheless, all opinions are welcomed.


Thankyou in advance.



This was one forum post I took a long hard look at before making my own.


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First and foremost, do what is right for YOU. It's YOUR life, not your parents. Make your own decisions.




You are right that getting into this industry is tough and you will need to pay for your training somehow. Sometimes ten years at a desk job (or plumbing, in your case) is what it takes to acquire the money to achieve your real goal. Two things will happen in 10 years. You will be 10 years older, and you will have 10 years worth of perspective on the real world. With a lot of hard work, and some luck, you might have your head on straight. I know for a fact that when I was out of high school I did not have what it took to make it as a career pilot. But I charged forward just the same. Made some stupid decisions along the way. I am much better off now and am continuing to pursue my dream with what I consider to be moderate success. I don't recommend digging yourself in a hole financially at the tender age of 18 unless you have a steady job that affords making your payments. Flight instructor pay (if you get that first job) is not enough to cover the debt you will incur and still live comfortably.


Give yourself a good baseline first. Keep your eyes on the prize. It might not take you 10 years. And you can always do it in increments. I just don't recommend diving head first into all that debt.


Just my .02. I am sure there are MANY people that will disagree with me.

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I doubt anyone would lend money to someone rght out of high school, therefore without your parents paying for it, seems like your only option (strait away) is the military.


However, I would suggest that you take whatever money you make at your current job and get your PPL. After high school ends, go to college, get a good paying job, and then work on the rest of your flight training (instrument, commercial, cfi, cfii) in your spare time.


Then work as a part-time flight instructor while continuing with your "real" job. Perhaps in 10yrs or so, you'll be able to move into a full-time flying position?


If that other thread didn't spell it out for you, there's a supply and demand issue in aviation (the supply of pilots is way high, therefore the need for them is way low)!


Don't go into this risking all, rushing in all guns a blazin'. Take your time. You don't want to end up 40yrs old, unemployed, moving back in with your parents!

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It seems to me that this is again one of the cases that somebody has already made a choice, and is now asking some "advice", which actually is just some extra motive... but as I said, the choice has been already taken.


I agree with what nightsta1ker and eagle5 said. You say it is your dream. If it truly and really is your dream, nobody should, nor has any right to, steer you away from it. You have been also told that the chance you might end up jobless in the end is more than considerable... So here you go, you have almost all the cards in front of you, it is you that have to make that decision.


Of course, money can make that decision easier for you. And unfortunately that means that if you do not have the money (roughly 70 to $80k) to do it right away, then there isn't really much of an option. But what eagle5 suggested sounds like the safest way. Get a job, and try to do your training on the side, little by little.


This will actually be a good indicator of how much of a dream this is for you. For example, if you can skip a vacation trip, or settle with a crap car to save money and throw it towards your ratings... If you are trying to save pennies and singles, to go and spend them by the hundreds, for a single hour of flight..


Now, if your parents have the financial ability to support your training, then you even have a chance to prove to them if you are serious about it, and if it's really worth paying for your ratings. Right of the bat, you will have to study, and take a test (your PPL written). You can negotiate that if you get 90% or more on your writtens, they will continue the financing, or else you stop... Being a pilot is not just holding a couple of sticks, and doing cowboy rides... it takes a lot of bottomless and endless reading...


It is too much of a responsibility for all of us here to just say wise words and advice, that might affect a young person's life, to the better or to the worse.


You can also go and do an introductory lesson, just to see if you still like it or not.


Also, if the military is an option for you, you can definitely go that way...


In any case, Good Luck with whatever you choose!


p.s. don't worry, if it is your dream, you will do it, no matter how old you get...

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Don't get the idea of your dream as being the description of your motivations. What you describe is more fantasy and daydreaming than anything. If you really think you mean this obsession is a dream, you can tell by how hard you are willing to work for it, how often you will endure financial, emotional, and other beatings, only to get back up and shake it off and continue on. If you are willing to endure hardship after hardship, sacrifice just about anything towards your goal, and nothing deters or discourages you, that would be the test. Passing all that with flying colors might just leave you with the conclusion that what you assert is your dream, is actually your dream.

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No, I have no idea what the job market in Australia is either. It may be worse. It was a legitimate question because I've never heard anyone in the US talk about "Senior Schooling" and "Uni," so I'm guessing US-based advice won't be relevant to his situation.

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From what I hear, Australia is pretty tight on helicopter jobs as well. In fact, I think it is going to get harder to get ratings and jobs there because I understand they intend to mirror JAA regulations.


Someone correct me if I am mistaken, this is all stuff I have gotten from a friend down there who is NOT a pilot, but works on training simulators.

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