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UK Commercial Pilot Will work for free!

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Having finally got to the position I have dreamed of since being a boy. "Commercial Pilot", it now seems even with this very expensive piece of paper a job is not easy to find! Can anybody help a enthusiastic young(ish 29) pilot get into this exciting industry and finally realise his dream of flying for a living?

With 250 hrs total time.

175 hrs rotory (mainly R22 but with B206 rating)

JAR CPL(H), ATPL exams, Class 1 Medical.

75 hrs fixed (cessna 150 & piper cub)

Looking for experience in the UK.

Will work for free, (one week in four, allowing me to stay with current employer to pay bills), to gain necessary experience to become employable as a pilot.

Any advice or suggestions please email.

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Hi Frank, I can understand your point of view, it is bad to work for nothing as it does a man out of a job. The kind of opening I am after however, is more of a free ride, where I will help out an operator owner who needs an aircraft moving or relocating to a client. This costs him nothing and allows him to test run a potential employee, I get some experience and can log the time towards the an ATPL. Nobody is going to just give me a heli and just let me fly away so the pilot who would normally be being paid to do the job is still there getting paid, as a check pilot. Everyone wins. This is how I see the situation. But being a but green perhaps you can tell me different. Please expand on your comment, and tell me a bit about yourself so I can give your view the credit it deserves!
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To Sycamore_Jester,


I didn't mean to offend you. My comment was actually meant as a good advice.

First of all: you have worked hard to get your license and from what I read in between the lines you have also paid a lot of money for it.

All the employers around the world expect you to work hard and give the best you have to offer (sometimes even more than that) :;):

They want you to be a true professional with good airmanship, manager qualification etc. But how the hell do they expect you to give 100% if they don't respect you.

I'm not saying that you have to make a fortune on your very first job and I know that there aren't many flying jobs you can do all by yourself but even if your very first Boss has to put two pilots in one helicopter he should still be paying you some small amount to show you that he respects who you are and what you are doing.

Finally, I want to tell you a nice story about what happened to a guy who offered to work for free (he actually wrote a letter to almost every helicopter company in Germany (about 40).

My former Boss actually attached the letter to the wall opposite his desk, not to show us that there is somebody out there who will work for less (and keeping us motivated that way

:D ) but to remind him never ever to employ this guy without any backbone.


Secondly, yes, please think about your fellow collegues who have to feed their families. And don't forget, one of these days you will be on the other side of the road...


Good luck,



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Your a commercial pilot, whether you have 100, 1,000 or 10,000 hours show your professionalism and never work for free.



I completely agree with the "don't work for free" thing...


Of course, it does bring up an interesting point...  Just what exactly is a 250 hour commercial helicopter pilot supposed to do, short of becoming a CFI?


If no one will hire him, then you have yourself in a catch 22 situation.  Of course what most people do is become CFIs and do that for a year or two and build time.  That is a lousy solution as well, but it isn't likely to change any time soon.



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  • 2 months later...

>That is a lousy solution as well, but it isn't likely to change any time soon.


Hey what d'ya mean a lousy solution.  :(   I think it's a great solution. If you want to learn how to do something try to teach it to someone else. Sure you don't get a lot of hands on because the student is doing most of the flying but you sure do observe a lot (if you can stay awake) and in striving to help can pick apart the exercises and, with experience, make one comment that will solve whatever problem(s) the student is having. All this helps tremendously when you're doing the flying.


To the original post... Ya', DONT work for free, but by all means volunteer. After you've contacted a company and get a good feeling or some positive indications from them, visit them and hang around. If you see a broom in the hanger (if you get that far in) grab it and start you BR101 endorsement. (It's a solo checkout anyway). Ask an apprentice engineer or pilot hanging around in the hanger if they need some help or if you can muck out a machine, anything to get your name and face associated with "he's a great guy" sort of thing.


I know a few people who've got non-flying jobs by being this helpfull pest. People feel guilty you're doing all this hard work and eventually give you money. This eventually will turn into a flying post or at least some of the experience you were looking for anyway.


That's my 2p worth...   :oops:



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  • 1 month later...
Well you don't want to tell an employer that you will be willing to work for free, chances are it will not do you any good and since its a small industry, word could get around. Being a Flight Instructor is a good way to go, since all your time is in R-22's, you should not have much of a problem finding a job. You will have to look, and maybe work at it.
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