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Hi,

I was wondering if anyone here is a working helicopter pilot with bladder pain syndrome or interstitial cystitis? My research shows that the condition itself isn't disqualifying but many of the traditional treatments/medications can be. Since sitting for long periods of time can exacerbate the problem, I'm wondering what helicopter flights tend to be of a shorter duration? I'm thinking tours or EMS may fit the bill but those are only my personal guess.  

I'm not willing to give up on my dream to fly professionally; so my best bet is to manage this condition with diet, Homeopathic remedies and find a flying job where I'm not having to sit for hours on end!  

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  • Claymore changed the title to Can’t sit for long....

Trust me, Claymore, if you become a helicopter pilot, you will not have to sit for "hours on end."  That's for fixed-wing pilots.  Some fixed-wing pilots are lucky enough to have bathrooms onboard, which would be a necessity if I ever decided to pursue that side of aviation.

That said, some tour operators will get pissed (sorry for the bad pun) if you have to periodically get out to pee.  And if you're an EMS pilot at a site landing in a populated area, finding a secluded spot to relieve yourself could be a problem.  Helicopters draw crowds. 

"What's that man doing, mommy?" 

"Uhh, what?  Oh Lord, nothing, honey.  Just don't look, sweetie." 

"But mommy, he has a penis that's smaller than mine!"

"Well, he *is* a helicopter pilot, dear."

"But mommy, isn't daddy a helicopter pilot too?"

"Yes, he is, dear."  (Huge sigh)  "Yes, he is."

If the situation is chronic and you cannot go for at least a couple of hours without having to pee (or worse), then perhaps aviation is not the career for you.

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Haha great replies!

It seems to be chronic unfortunately, but luckily I don't have the frequency issue. I just start to feel a bit sore and irritated down there if sat down for too long. It also depends on what I'm doing, so being busier is better. 

I've wanted to be a pilot my whole life and this little problem reared its ugly head right around the time I was planning on going to flight school. So yeah, I'm really not willing to give up on my life's dream because my stupid bladder decided to become really sensitive all of a sudden. I mean, there's people out there flying with one eye and I'm not going to be a pilot because of my bladder... I just can't justify that in my head. Especially when I really don't want to do anything else in life! Maybe I just need to toughen up! 

 

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Umm, I hate to break this to you, Clay...I mean, I don't know how old or young you are...but there is a lesson we all must learn at some point in our lives: The universe really doesn't care about you.  It doesn't care if you've wanted to do something all your life.  It doesn't care how badly you want something, nor for how long you've wanted it.  Life ain't fair.  Nobody ever said it was or should be.  That is an assumption *we* make.

Yes, there are apparently one-eyed pilots out there flying.  I would not hire one, personally.  My depth perception is bad enough, and I've got *two* eyes!  (But they're really beady and really close together, so I might as well have monocular vision.  The best pilot I know is my buddy Brandon.  He's got a head like a frog...eyes waaaay out at the corners of his head, moving in different directions at different times.  The guy's a maniac with a long-line!

That doesn't mean you *can't* become a pilot.  The last gig I had, the helicopter had a fuel endurance of 1.5 hours.  Other ships in our fleet had tanks with enough fuel for 4.0.  They kept asking me if I wanted one with a longer endurance (fewer stops to refuel), and I was, like, "No, thank you!"  I was glad I had one with the "little tank" because anything more than 1.5 would be a problem.  I'd have to have a copilot to hold the controls while I...well...(ahem) hung it out the window.   And I would hate to have to embarrass a copilot in such a way.

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Is the issue that you cannot sit for a long time, or that you cannot go without peeing for a long time?  Because if it is the latter I would just get myself some adult diapers and go for it dude.  

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Are there enough jobs out there that only utilize shorter endurance (1.5hr was mentioned) helicopters? Well, I mean, I know there are barely any flying jobs out there in the first place but assuming that there were. Would I be right in assuming that tours would be my best option? Any other suggestions? 

If diapers were the only way I could be in the sky then trust me, I'd do it. You only live once! 

 

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On 1/20/2021 at 4:49 PM, Claymore said:

Are there enough jobs out there that only utilize shorter endurance (1.5hr was mentioned) helicopters? Well, I mean, I know there are barely any flying jobs out there in the first place but assuming that there were. Would I be right in assuming that tours would be my best option? Any other suggestions? 

If diapers were the only way I could be in the sky then trust me, I'd do it. You only live once! 

 

A lot of tour operators hot fuel/load. So you could still find yourself in a situation where you are expected to complete multiple flights without shutting down.

Offshore flying could be an option. The small helicopters generally fly a bunch of legs, but shorter in duration. Shutting down, taking a piss over the edge of the helideck and cranking back up takes hardly any time.

The large helicopters generally fly 1-1.5 hour legs; after landing a crew member gets out to supervise loading and refueling, which also gives you an opportunity for a bathroom break. Something to keep in mind though is you fly IFR in these aircraft, and if you have to go missed could end up with a 2-2.5 hour flight. So you might find yourself wearing a diaper for peace of mind.

I wouldn’t let it hold you back though. Certainly an inconvenience, but by no means a career killer. What I would be more concerned about is the current state of the job market and future outlook. But that has been covered in numerous other threads.

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