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Any truck drivers in here looking to get into helicopters?


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I've been driving semi trucks off and on for about 10 years now.

While I've never been concentrated on any, one particular career goal, this pays the bills considering I went into it off a whim.

 

Any who, flying helicopters is something I became interested in after high school.

Over the years I've looked into the various paths of getting into it which would suit me and I would follow through on.

 

The army WOFT path seemed nice, but after reading up on the various takes on that, the military lifestyle would ultimately not work well with me.

So that pretty much leaves the private schooling option and we all know the costs of that route.

So I'm wondering, could one obtain a private and then use that to build up time piecemeal?

 

Or is it necessary to stick with the same school and staff for the hours required for a commercial?

 

I only ask this because I don't intend on sticking around in the same place for too long.

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Best advice I ever got I got right here on this very site and it was - "Pay cash for your Private and reevaluate when you get there" Now I never for a second, in pursuit of that life long dream, would have regretted it in the least bit bad if I achieved my Private and called it quits. Plenty of times along the way I had to think long and hard about if I wanted to do this for a career or not. As NR would say "Its a Jay Oh Bee - JOB" Its one thing to go up on the weekend, 5 kt head wind, puffy white clouds in the sky, green grass below... its quite another to pick up at max gross at high density altitude with a 10 knot gust spread with the only thing below to make an autorotation to is solid blocks of granite and Ponderosa PInes because its your job.

 

But yea you can do it piecemeal. You will have to relearn the muscle memory and it may slow progress a bit but the more you do it the faster it comes back to you when you been away. I farted around for 4 years getting from Private to Commercial.

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I'm not and never have been a truck driver, but I suspect that flying helicopters has a lot more in common with that than is commonly acknowledged.

I love what I do and always have, except when I really, really hate it. Do this 14 hours a day (and sometime longer), day after day in every weather situation your boss requires and your skill allows and you will be hot, cold, wet, dry, confused, lost, scared, challenged, bored and ecstatic at various times. But, there are times when i wouldn't be anywhere else; and there are times when I would give anyfreaking thing to be anywhere else. LIke any job, you occasionally hate your boss (mostly long distance spite) and more often than not, you don't want to attend to all the boring detail and don't really want to do that last minute seat cramper flight... just like any job, and it is a job,i do it to be paid and I work hard at it to be paid more.

 

I think the advice to pay cash at least through your private (And get your feet wet) is very sound. Try to your flight instruction in the biggest contigous blocks you can.

Edited by Wally
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I actually drive locally and haul milk now.
But there's times where we might have to do an "over-nighter" and of course deal with snow, wind, and icy roads that could have the entire vehicle spinning in directions you didn't really want to go.
So, you're probably right in thinking the work environments could be similar.

Anywho, I took a few flights back in 2012, one in Rialto during an airshow and the other one an actual "discovery flight" at this school at Double Eagle II airport in Albuquerque.
While the experience was exhilirating and eye opening, it also put me into this "think long and hard" mode about getting into it.
Two, nearly three years later, it's come across my mind again as I'm making a bit more money on this particular job than I first started.
And that whole question of "have I sat around and done nothing this long, really?" comes into play.
Then of course the school's about 220 miles away up in Albuquerque and I'm over here in Clovis.

However, I have conveniently been saving up some money for a time to get at least a bulk set of lessons taken care of.
Figure once I hit that goal, I'll hit the private license all in one punch and go from there.

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I'm not and never have been a truck driver, but I suspect that flying helicopters has a lot more in common with that than is commonly acknowledged.

 

 

 

 

Driving a truck like flying?,...well lets see...

 

You do have to "pre-flight" the truck (although you're not allowed to use a checklist for the test :huh: ), and I suppose the air brake test could be considered a "start-up" proceedure? While driving around you do have to "watch your tail" as to not hit anything with it! The days can be long and you may have to pee in a bottle.

 

I guess the biggest difference is that in trucking your first job will be in the biggest / longest truck they have,...kinda like a 150hr Commercial newbie getting his first job flying an S92, then after just a month or two of dual on the job training, he starts flying it solo! :blink:

 

Now if one of those low paying R-44 tour jobs lets you sleep in the back of the helicopter when your shift is done,...then its really like trucking! :lol:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Funnily enough, when I was instructing fixed wing and helicopters, I found myself asking new students the following question:

 

"Have you ever driven a truck, a motorcycle, or ridden a horse?"

 

Most people had done at least one of the three. Some had done none, and almost invariably, those students struggled the most. Now, here's the rub: If a student told me that they had driven trucks, invariably... they made great handling pilots. Airplane or helicopter. Some struggled with exams and academic knowledge, and had to be helped along, but invariably, the truckers were excellent, natural born "flying machine" handlers. Plus fun to teach.

 

When you think of it, truckers have great experience with eye to hand coordination. They are not frightened of taking charge ("Captaincy"), and generally are eager and willing.

 

I would hugely encourage your proposed venture into helicopters. I'm sure you would enjoy it.

 

;)

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... but invariably, the truckers were excellent, natural born "flying machine" handlers....

 

When you think of it, truckers have great experience with eye to hand coordination. They are not frightened of taking charge ("Captaincy"), and generally are eager and willing.

 

 

 

;)

 

 

Oh that's gold Moggy,...gold! :wub:

 

In fact, I'm putting it on my resume,...the pilot one. :)

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@ R22 margarine

 

I've got a funny-quirky-scary-petrifying story to go write up one day about a super intelligent bank clerk. Super nice guy. But he answered "no", "no" and "no" to the three Magic Questions (any CFI should ask) I mention above. Sure enough, trouble. BIG trouble. (shivers) His problem?

 

"Captaincy".

 

Seriously. Most fixed wing dudes I got off onto a good solo (never a rush, or you start cutting corners) after about 12 to 13 hours dual. Helicopters, about an average of 20. For a good, well prepared first solo. One-eighty auto's to a good standard, the lot. It's NOT a race. This dude.... 20 hours, and I was still getting:

"Will I turn downwind?"

And I would say:

"What do YOU think?"

And he would go into a cold sweat.

A few minutes later....

"Will I turn base here...? Will I put the flaps down now...?"

And I would say:

"I dunno. What do YOU think...?"

And he would go into a cold sweat.

 

Well....

 

I did send him solo, finally, at about 23 hours TT. In a Piper Warrior PA 28. Some instinct make me hold him back. I was right. Damn... right.

What happened on that first solo is indelibly burned into my tiny mind. :unsure: :wacko: :blink: :rolleyes: :huh:

And that of several dozen flabbergasted (to this day, I'm sure) onlookers. The issue was some kind of student meltdown. A "Captaincy" and "taking charge" issue. Something of an issue that a good old, gritty, tanned, tobacco chewing trucker, gun toting, God fearing, constitution loving, Liberal BS hating, 20 ton of frozen boxed chickens, 500 miles to Philadelphia, round the Walmart and back of Best Buy, ain't EVER going to have.

 

I promise, I'll write it up. One day. It's one of a million yarns that's been nibbling at my frontal lobe. Like: Write me, sumb##ch! Like when my cat looks at me, all disgusted: "Feed me! Moron! NOW!"

 

Truckers are cool people. Of course, I was one. And a bar tender, ditch digger, toilet cleaner, existing sewer extender... etc, etc. :rolleyes: All excellent preparation to be a... helicopter jockey!

 

:D

Edited by Francis Meyrick
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Well, no horses for me, but trucks and motorcycles I definitely learned to operate in hands-on, real-world approach.
The helicopter simulator thing just doesn't seem to be too appealing to me.
If I didn't learn with a simulator for those two things, then dual instruction in the actual helicopter, right off the bat, would be the only way to go.

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