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Life of a heli pilot?


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I am 20 years old and living in alberta canada. I'm very close to signing up for flight school in october but am just wondering what type of life I can expect as a pilot in canada. The school I'm looking at hires their trainees at the end of the course so finding a job is not a problem. I am wondering about what the wage is like, at first, after a few years and later in the career. I'm also wondering about time out in the field. I've heard that most pilots are away from home 10 months of the year. If this is true how do pilots have any sort of family life? What are the chances of ever receiving a ems/law enforcement position where u could be close to home? Any insight into these topics would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

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I've heard that most pilots are away from home 10 months of the year. If this is true how do pilots have any sort of family life? What are the chances of ever receiving a ems/law enforcement position where u could be close to home? Any insight into these topics would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

I believe the Canadian Market is similar to us here in Alaska: mostly seasonal work with time away from home averaging around 6 to 8 months if you are a field pilot. Family life does suffer if you are addicted to field work. Personally, I am shying away from 100% field work and have only been doing relief and more managerial duties.

 

In the US, EMS jobs are getting easier to find as long as you have the Instrument Rating and over 2,500 hours (about 4 to 6 years of flying experience).

 

You are very wise to first consider how getting your helicopter license will change your life. It will!

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I don't mean to steer you away from here, this is a GREAT site! ...but, the Canadian helicopter crowd is mostly at Vertical Magazine Forums

 

"The school I'm looking at hires their trainees at the end of the course so
finding a job is not a problem
."

Has anyone other than the school (marketing) told you this?! :blink: :lol: It is VERY difficult to get started in the industry in Canada, much more so than the US where low timers can teach after getting their CFI (Certified Flight Instructor in US as opposed to Chief FI in Canada) to build that first 1000 hrs. No school can (should?) guarantee they will hire all their students. If they are, GET IT IN WRITING!

 

There is a huge over-supply of low time pilots in Canada. There is a demand for experienced (>1500 hrs) pilots. If you were to concurrently take your Gas Plant Operator's certificate from SAIT (available as a one-year online course) you would stand a MUCH better chance of getting on as a pilot/operator, one of the few positions open to low time pilots in Canada. ;)

 

Most pilots are away from home a lot. Some decrease those periods to a few months at a time by flying contracts instead of steady employment, after 1500 hrs experience.

 

The chances of EMS/LE are fewer in Canada and currently require ~3000 hrs experience.

 

I don't mean to throw a wet rag on your dream, but take a good look and do your homework before signing. Which school, GSH??

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If its a school like great slave heli or bighorn, than thay do hire from there students but only the top few students from the class. As for me i went to a small school with one machine and 2 other students and i have waited 3 years before someone gave me a chance to fly again. Now i'm working a crappy job and doing recurrent training with a company in my spare time and hoping that they will like me and hire me on. If you dont get hired on by the company you went to school with you will have a lot of time to think about your career plans before they take off.

 

Of course thats only my personal experience.

Results may vary

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