Jump to content

CFI or oil rig IRs for helicopter career?


Recommended Posts

I am currently looking at the prospects of becoming a helicopter pilot.


I understand there are two main routes after acquiring a CPL, which in itself costs a bit but does not qualify a pilot for a job due to lack of experience.


The less expensive route I have heard of is that you acquire a CFI and hope to get a job as an instructor, however I have heard of people applying to every flight school in the UK and not getting one of these jobs due to lack of experience and the vast amount of available CFIs out there.


Then there is the opportunity of doing instrument ratings which qualify a pilot for working in the North Sea or for oil rig companies, I also understand there is a higher demand for pilots in this market and the salary is higher. However this of course costs considerably more in the first place.


If a pilot had access to the money for the extra IRs, should they do them and try and land a job in the oil market after graduating with a CPL, or is the best option for a graduate to just do the CFI and try to find work as an instructor? Also is there any other way to commercial success that I have not considered in this question?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the US there's only one route, becoming a CFI and teaching until you have 1500hrs or so, and most of our CFIs still need the instrument rating. We too have a problem with there being more applicants than jobs so I simpathise with you.

 

If I had that option I'd try for the North Sea. Our off shore companies wouldn't touch a new pilot with a ten meter cattle prod!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know anything about flying in the North Sea, but I would venture to guess that just getting your instrument rating isn't going to get you a job there. You probably need to do some serious research. Those are high paying jobs flying very complex twin engine helicopters. You arent going to get into one as a new pilot. If you do..... then God save the Queen Im on my way over!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know anything about flying in the North Sea, but I would venture to guess that just getting your instrument rating isn't going to get you a job there. You probably need to do some serious research. Those are high paying jobs flying very complex twin engine helicopters. You arent going to get into one as a new pilot. If you do..... then God save the Queen Im on my way over!

Save a piece of the Queen for me !

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.heli.com/prospective-student/7-success-stories.php

 

Lots of graduates went to the NS. In fact, more than any other flight school so this should be a no-brainer.........

I don't think thats what he was asking. He seemed to be asking "Do I become a CFI, or do I get my instrument rating and get a job in the North Sea" Implying that by getting the Instrument, he's going to bypass building time and land himself in an Super Puma.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think thats what he was asking. He seemed to be asking "Do I become a CFI, or do I get my instrument rating and get a job in the North Sea" Implying that by getting the Instrument, he's going to bypass building time and land himself in an Super Puma.

 

Yeah, but that’s not what I read….. What I read was, he doesn’t know anything about this business and he’d like to someday fly in the NS…. IMO, there is only one place that can answer those questions and it’s not here…….

Edited by Spike
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is in fact possible to get hired as a copilot in the NS with minimal hours and "just" the JAA instrument rating. I know people who have gone down that route successfully.

 

Catch:

 

- getting a JAA instrument rating isn't as easy as in the US. You have to do it on an actual IFR machine, and in Europe that means: Twin. Big dollars. And no, you can't just convert your FAA IFR, unless you already have the twin time (and even then it isn't straight forward)

 

- just like the CFI route in the US, it's still a gamble. I don't know how many applicants get hired, but it can't be that many. Having some hours (500+) increases your chances drastically.

 

- No PIC time, and no way to get any unless you switch jobs.

 

- For you 'mericans: You need a JAA license and a European passport to be legal to work there. The JAA license conversion involves something like 13 theory exams, $15,000+, and takes at least 6 months full time. The passport? You'll have to get married to a European....

Edited by lelebebbel
Link to post
Share on other sites

For you 'mericans: You need a JAA license and a European passport to be legal to work there. The JAA license conversion involves something like 13 theory exams, $15,000+, and takes at least 6 months full time. The passport? You'll have to get married to a European....

Circle of logic……..

 

This is correct; however, here in the US, there is only one school that has certificated more JAA pilots since JAA certification was allowed in the US and that would be Bristow……

 

HAI/Bristow became successful by offering European students an affordable alternative to achieving JAA certification…… This is no secret and hence my link to their success stories……

Link to post
Share on other sites

The two guys I know who got hired in the EU both came over and did their FAA/JAA here in the US and worked their way up in hours/experience in the US system first. One was an EMS guy who went to fly EMS and the other flew tours and got a North Sea SIC spot in his country of origin after years of greasing the wheels long distance. None of it sounded simple or probable but hey, they made it! At this point I know more EU (and elsewhere!) guys who came here to train, married an American, and just stayed here. Maybe it's the weather? ;)

 

I can't tell if Ricky is from the EU or just asking about working there? No EU passport=no EU job :/

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently looking at the prospects of becoming a helicopter pilot.

 

I understand there are two main routes after acquiring a CPL, which in itself costs a bit but does not qualify a pilot for a job due to lack of experience.

 

The less expensive route I have heard of is that you acquire a CFI and hope to get a job as an instructor, however I have heard of people applying to every flight school in the UK and not getting one of these jobs due to lack of experience and the vast amount of available CFIs out there.

 

Then there is the opportunity of doing instrument ratings which qualify a pilot for working in the North Sea or for oil rig companies, I also understand there is a higher demand for pilots in this market and the salary is higher. However this of course costs considerably more in the first place.

 

If a pilot had access to the money for the extra IRs, should they do them and try and land a job in the oil market after graduating with a CPL, or is the best option for a graduate to just do the CFI and try to find work as an instructor? Also is there any other way to commercial success that I have not considered in this question?

 

Most of the pilots here are graduates from bristow academy in FL. If you went through their faa/jaa"EASA" course and hold a EU passport they will take a look at you. If you went to a different flight school somewhere on this planet but have at least 500 hrs in multi engine helicopters with IR ticket , they will also take a look at you, if there is demand for more pilots. Preferably they hire their own graduates but they also hire outsiders with couple years or work experience.

 

I went the way route heligirl03 described. Went to the US, spent couple years there, went back to Europe to convert my license and got luck being hired by bristow. Oh and you need to move to the uk and they WONT pay to fly you home on your time off.

It's a great company to work for. bond and chc are also hiring pilots at this time.

 

Falko

Link to post
Share on other sites

So it sounds like going to bristow only gives you an advantage if you're from europe, or are ex military (the only pilots who would have 500hrs in a twin and still need civilian ratings)?

Edited by eagle5
Link to post
Share on other sites

So it sounds like going to bristow only gives you an advantage if you're from europe, or are ex military (the only pilots who would have 500hrs in a twin and still need civilian ratings)?

Bristow operates around the world. We European bristow pilots for example can't work for bristow in Australia , North America or South America due to work permit issues.

Most of the bristow pilots here in the North Sea started their flying career through sponsor ship of bristow in the UK " back in the days" or did their flight training in FL, paid for their EASA IR ticket and then got hired with + - 200 hours In the S92,EC225/AS332 ...etc.. as copilots.

 

As an American you can join bristow in the GOM with no twin turbine time but I guess you then need 1500-2000hrs to get in. The 500 hrs twine engine requiremt applies only in the North Sea.... Iam not sure what bristow requires for their Africa devision.

But yes, lots of former military drivers here in aberdeen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Elizabeth Hurley is sorta yesterday's news man..... I'm thinkin one of the spice girls. Wait. That was a while ago too huh?

 

 

At my age I can't go too young. Perhaps Keira Knightly is more to your liking? I'm not that familiar with British babes...and I ain't going any younger.

 

I think Adele would be an easier target. She's always yapping about being single!!

Link to post
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...
×
×
  • Create New...