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HeliHunter

Pushing the Pause Button

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Have a question for fellow pilots that I haven't really seen surface too much. If you have a job flying and decide to quit the job before moving on due to family reasons how hard can it be to get back in the game?

 

I know the more experience you have, the easier it will be. So for this case the pilot has about 1000hrs helicopter time, no turbine.

 

How about no flying after 6 months? A year? Having the right connections can void this problem; but, what about recentency? How common might the company have a policy of last "X" months of flying time? Any particular advice you would give?

 

Thanks in advance!

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I have taken a couple breaks in my flying career, the first for 10 years and the second for 4 years.

 

The first time was after leaving the Vietnam era Army with about 1500 hours, I took 10 years to be a 'normal' person, start a family. Completely new to civilian aviation and rusty as all heck, I took a few months and put myself through a refresher course at an established flight school. I took a CFI position after that.

 

The second break of 4 years was to be a stay-at-home Dad with my son. Not really comparable, I had an ATP and about 11,000 hours. No problems returning after that break, the mandatory 135 initial training was sufficient to update regs and bring control touch and eye back.

 

Remarks, perhaps useful-

After intervals of not flying for a couple weeks, I can see the difference from my personal critique.

I was also out for a couple months in my most active period to heal some bones, very rusty but safe when I returned to the office.

Six months or a year, I'd want a safety pilot at the very least along on the first flight. The eye and the fine muscle control take awhile to tune up.

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I had one break - after 39 years, I took a year off to establish a new house and settle into a new area.

 

After that year, I stepped into a B412 (never flown one before, but had some time in a B212 many years ago) and was up to speed inside an hour and a half. Spent another 6 years flying B412, R22 and B206, and stopped finally about 5 years ago.

 

Not missing it at all, and now I enjoy flying with somebody senior up the front, flight attendants serving me cocktails, while I am watching movies and sleeping.

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Getting the actual flying back shouldn't be too hard. Getting a job with 1000 hours, no turbine time and not current will be the hard part.

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