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Schools in Europe?

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Hi, does anyone know of any good flight schools in Europe? There seems to be quite a lot but if anyone has had a good (or bad) experiences with one then that would help a lot. I live in Germany but don't necessarily need to stay here to do the training. Anywhere in Europe is fine.


Also, does anyone know how the job market is here? I'm still trying to decide whether or not to go for my commercial licence. Got no experience so far so its a pretty big decision to make, and just want to get some kind of an idea of what kind of jobs there are out there before I make any big commitments. How difficult is it to get a job after I get my licence? I would obviously have to travel - I don't mind that at all - but where would I be most likely to have to travel to? How many hours do you generally need to have to get a job flying offshore? Also, because I'm a girl, would that make it any harder for me to get a job or does it not matter at all? It seems like a pretty male-dominated industry thats all. So if there are any female pilots out there who would like to give me any advice that would be awesome.


Any advice on any of my questions would be really appreciated! Thanks guys!

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The big issue in Europe is the almost complete lack of jobs for beginners. This is the main reason so many Europeans train in the US on a work/student visa - they have a better chance of finding a "starter" job (as a flight instructor, crazy as that sounds) in the US while on that visa than they have in Europe.


Reason is that there are just a lot fewer helicopters in Europe in general, and most commercial operations require more experienced pilots and can't hire beginners there.


Training in Europe is also more expensive in general, probably by 20-50% depending on how you calculate it. Then again you might save some money on accommodation etc. if you train near your home. (Also, if you do train in the US and want to fly in Europe eventually, you will have to convert your license at some point, which easily costs EUR 15,000 and takes 6 months at least.)


But non of that matters if you can't get a job at the end of your training.


Once you have done your training in Europe, you no longer qualify for the US Visa (because they are only issued to students, and you would be considered a professional), so think about this carefully.


To get into offshore, you would need at least 500hrs, probably more like 1,000hrs of flight time (I know lots of scandinavians who fly offshore, they all went via the US to get that flight time). I have yet to find anyone who managed to get that kind of flight time in Europe without joining the army.


If the US route is an option for you, do some research on helicopter flight training in the US and visas. It is quite an involved process, costs a lot of money, and there is a high risk that you won't find a job before your visa expires. Nobody can make any guarantees, and those that do are lying to you.


All that being said, this method has worked for a lot of people, me included. Good luck.

Edited by lelebebbel
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  • 2 weeks later...

Do yourself a favor and go to the US for your training. I'm from Ireland and did my private there in 2006. I decided to move over and complete the rest of my training. It was almost have the price back then with exchange rates, etc. I went to Bristow Academy in Florida and got my European and FAA certs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for your advice! I'm definitely going to have a look into visas and schools in the US. Just one more question - If I do my training in Europe, does that make it really difficult if I then want to apply for any jobs in the US? If it costs around €15000 and 6 months to convert my licence to fly in Europe, I take it its the same the other way around too? And is there no other kind of visa for people who already have their licence?


Basically what I'm asking is, if I realistically ever want to get a job in the US, do I have to have done my training there?



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