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Getting back in the cockpit after 12 years

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Hello everyone, Ive been digging around this forum for a few days and this is my first post.


I have my commercial and instrument rating, but havent been in a helicopter in 12 years. Long story short I started at 19, got my commercial at 21, but never finished my CFI. Life look me down another path, and I pursued a different opportunity. Now Im 33 ready to finish what I started. My logbook has 180 TT all in the R22.


Obviously its going to take quite a few hours of training just to get myself back to commercial standards, much less be ready to instruct. Then there is the issue of actually getting hired when its all over. The ultimate goal would be to get hired where I train.


Im fortunate to have had some financial success during my hiatus, so money isnt really the issue. Although, that doesnt mean I want to pay for hours in excess of what I need. I dont just want my CFI rating I want to be the best pilot I can be so I can build a rapport and a reputation at my school. If that means paying for extra time so be it. How many hours should I realistically need? Any other advice for someone getting back in the game? Thanks

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Personally I think you'll be surprised how quickly you will catch back up. With a good CFI especially. I haven't gone 12 years but I have gone over 3 years. Last year I got myself checkride ready in 8 flight hours for my CFII. So don't be hard on yourself the first couple flights, but I really do think you'll catch up quicker than you're expecting. Good luck!

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I've had real jobs over my 50+ working years where I didn't fly for a decade once, and then for 4 years. I had 1400 hours when I left the seat the first time, it took 20 hours or so to get back up to teaching speed again.

The 4 year break came 8000 hours and an ATP later. That break only cost 5 hours ro feel good.


A side note- an instructor/check airman at PHI told me that they'd fly with aviators who'd been out of the seat for 10, 15 or more years on their initial intrview/evaluations and could identify those who'd padded their logbooks or probably weren't up to the the course. Pick the best, most experiencd CFI you can find for your first hop and then pick his brain. If you get an accptable estimate from that...

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