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A Pilots life(tell me all about it)


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Hey,im new here and very interested in becoming a helio pilot and i have a ton of questions to ask. The first one is how often do you move around,i have heard that you could have been in 54 places in 4 months,what countrys do you often operate in? Also there is the question of taxes,what do you do about that? And where do live when your on a job and what about language barriers? All answers are appreciated

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I've worked for two companies......both less than an hour from my house. But, some move around quite a bit--especially during the hour building process. After that you can settle down in just about any area you want.

 

As far as taxes, I don't know how they work when you out of the country. But if you move around in the states, you can deduct your moving expenses plus write off any travel expenses for locations more than 50 miles from your house since it's a "temporary" location.

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Hey,im new here and very interested in becoming a helio pilot and i have a ton of questions to ask. The first one is how often do you move around,i have heard that you could have been in 54 places in 4 months,what countrys do you often operate in? Also there is the question of taxes,what do you do about that? And where do live when your on a job and what about language barriers? All answers are appreciated

I haven't checked in a couple years, but I've had more than 40 addresses since I started flying in '68. But only 3 moves since '92. 3 jobs since '84. Things settle down, after a while. But, I don't do utility, ag or fire work.

All civilian since '71, and all stateside. If they're hiring a "Yank", ask how the language thing will work on the job.

Pilots don't make enough money to "shelter" it, and certainly not enough to try cheating the tax man. You'd earn every penny, sweating...

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I had lots of addresses before I left the military, but only 2 since then. I lived in an apartment for a few months while we looked for a house, and have been in the same house for almost 25 years. The bad news is that I've spent far less than half the time at home. In the Gulf of Mexico, we theoretically work 7 days on/7 days off, but with the overtime, recurrent training, etc it works out to be much more than half the time in some godforsaken hole in south Louisiana. And any place in south Louisiana is a godforsaken hole, including New Orleans now. Parts of it are still underwater, and it's a sea of blue roofs when you fly over.

 

There is no set pattern to a pilot's life, it varies widely depending on the job and type of flying you do. Your question is really meaningless, because there is just no typical career.

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I haven't checked in a couple years, but I've had more than 40 addresses since I started flying in '68. But only 3 moves since '92. 3 jobs since '84. Things settle down, after a while. But, I don't do utility, ag or fire work.

All civilian since '71, and all stateside. If they're hiring a "Yank", ask how the language thing will work on the job.

Pilots don't make enough money to "shelter" it, and certainly not enough to try cheating the tax man. You'd earn every penny, sweating...

 

WOW more than 40 times!

 

Hey Wally, I'm curious to see where you've lived and some of your experiences.

 

I can't imagine moving that many times without my wife and kids not complaining, I'm certaintly reconsidering being a heli pilot.

 

Seems like you gotta move wherever the work is and also the income isn't very steady.

 

 

I had lots of addresses before I left the military, but only 2 since then. I lived in an apartment for a few months while we looked for a house, and have been in the same house for almost 25 years. The bad news is that I've spent far less than half the time at home. In the Gulf of Mexico, we theoretically work 7 days on/7 days off, but with the overtime, recurrent training, etc it works out to be much more than half the time in some godforsaken hole in south Louisiana. And any place in south Louisiana is a godforsaken hole, including New Orleans now. Parts of it are still underwater, and it's a sea of blue roofs when you fly over.

 

There is no set pattern to a pilot's life, it varies widely depending on the job and type of flying you do. Your question is really meaningless, because there is just no typical career.

 

How long were you in the military?

 

and what's the reasoning with the 7 days on and 7 days off?

As you've said it varies widely depending on the job and type of flying you do.

 

What did you do in the Gulf of Mexico?

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In all honesty, I was sorta "full of it" in my younger days. I came back from the Army with a real inclination to party. I'd work as little as possible- worked one job for two and a half days- I think that was my record min. One moves a bit when one has that attitude, and no sweat. She followed me, and things were a hoot- some pretty good times, if sobriety, fidelity, and fiscal considerations are ignored. Hint- the chicks who get off on your being a "pilot" aren't suitable for continual use. Most of those jobs weren't reusable, anyhow, so the tempory nature of address was mostly bringing her along.

That all changed with a family. I grew up and got all serious-like, eventually. Long story short, most helo jobs mean working in the boonies, and the family got tired of "Uncle Daddy's" always being gone, so after a half dozen more moves, she settled down and chucked my sorry self.

The next bit of my life involved serious poverty- support- and the help of some good friends, and a dozen or so more moves, same job.

Then '92, and things settled out. So far, so good. Second family, 5 years in EMS (much less money than the GoM), home every night- her jobs a bigger hassle.

 

I sat in a pilot shack once, BS-ing with the other on duty pilots, and everybody else was divorced at least once- 9 out of 10. I was the only one still with the first ex. I had a good friend who'd been married nine times before he was 35. He's a millionaire now, and not from aviation, if that needs saying. There are two types of people who do this for a living, and those who're ploddingly methodical and successful in both life and aviation are the minority. The ones who lack that trait in aviation, aren't around anymore, anyhow- it's a process of a self-selecting data-set: or evolution.

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Lots of pilots (perhaps most) suffer from AIDS. Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome. I've been married to the same woman for more than 30 years, but I married an uncommonly loyal one. It's very hard to be married and have your spouse gone for well over half the time. Make very sure you have a sound marriage, or at least don't mind getting out of the one you're in, before you jump into flying in the GOM.

 

The 7/7 schedule is standard throughout the GOM, for pilots, offshore workers, and everyone else. 14/14 is also fairly common, and some of the drilling rigs work 21/21. Standard schedules don't work, for a number of reasons. There are no weekends or holidays in the oil patch, the work goes on 24/7/365, every day, every week, every year. Nobody can work every day, and very few of us live at or near the hellholes where the docks and helicopter bases are. Operators have to hire enough pilots to man all the ships every day, and it's easier to do it on a one for one schedule, and most pilots would balk at anything else. There are a very limited number of 5/2 jobs, but the small extra pay isn't worth the extra time on the job.

 

What I do in the GOM is fly helicopters, now mostly the S76C+ as an IFR captain. I was in the military long enough to learn better, and to get enough flight time to get a civilian job. Back during the unpleasantness in Southeast Asia, Uncle Sam was very liberal in teaching young men to fly helicopters, because the turnover rate was very high.

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In all honesty, I was sorta "full of it" in my younger days. I came back from the Army with a real inclination to party. I'd work as little as possible- worked one job for two and a half days- I think that was my record min. One moves a bit when one has that attitude, and no sweat. She followed me, and things were a hoot- some pretty good times, if sobriety, fidelity, and fiscal considerations are ignored. Hint- the chicks who get off on your being a "pilot" aren't suitable for continual use. Most of those jobs weren't reusable, anyhow, so the tempory nature of address was mostly bringing her along.

That all changed with a family. I grew up and got all serious-like, eventually. Long story short, most helo jobs mean working in the boonies, and the family got tired of "Uncle Daddy's" always being gone, so after a half dozen more moves, she settled down and chucked my sorry self.

The next bit of my life involved serious poverty- support- and the help of some good friends, and a dozen or so more moves, same job.

Then '92, and things settled out. So far, so good. Second family, 5 years in EMS (much less money than the GoM), home every night- her jobs a bigger hassle.

 

I sat in a pilot shack once, BS-ing with the other on duty pilots, and everybody else was divorced at least once- 9 out of 10. I was the only one still with the first ex. I had a good friend who'd been married nine times before he was 35. He's a millionaire now, and not from aviation, if that needs saying. There are two types of people who do this for a living, and those who're ploddingly methodical and successful in both life and aviation are the minority. The ones who lack that trait in aviation, aren't around anymore, anyhow- it's a process of a self-selecting data-set: or evolution.

Well,let me see,where to begin.The first thing,i would not consider "ignoring" sobriety,and most certainly not fidelity(after all i would'nt want to be arrested for being drunk behind the stick B) ) but then again i have no interest in marriage where fidelity really belongs,not to forget engaged couples. And quite frankly i have no interest in "chicks",and if there ever is a day where i do become interested in "chicks",i hope to god i still have enough sanity to haul my littile rear end to a shrink,and if not, then i would be considered GAY!!! I realize that there are not many female pilots out there wondering around the world by themselves,but i really don't care. I am interested in being a helicopter pilot for two reasons,one,i'll be a pilot,two i'll be traveling the world in a way most people don't. Thanks to every one for the advice i did get.

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I also appreciate the honesty and experience of you guys.

 

After thinking about it, I'm not going to be a heli pilot.

 

At first I thought I wanted to do it but now it's not for me.

 

Had I not gone to that SSH seminar none of this would've happened.

 

It goes to show how easy it is for people to get conned and why people will always choose to believe what they want to hear instead of facing reality.

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Perception is reality, grasshopper. There are more helicopter pilots than there are people who should be helicopter pilots (that could be said for most vocations). Go somewhere that flies Bell 47 or 300CBi and treat yourself to an intro lesson, then come back here and ask more questions.

 

An aside - SSH does not represent the training industry nor the industry as a whole. Get a bigger picture!

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I'm not sure if I will be able to use this as a career or not but its a goal in life that I needed. And after my introductory lesson its something I want to pursue. Maybe I'll only end up with a private license but I'll hang on to the dream as long as I can. I have a decent if not wonderful job that pays pretty well so I won't starve if it doesn't work out. And I found a school 20 minutes from me that charges as I go rather than all at once. If I don't like it after a couple of lessons I can quit with no loss but what I have already put into it. But after the first flight I am hooked and can't wait until my next lesson tomorrow. And the one class of ground school so far has been fascinating, the topic was aerodynamics. I knew there was a lot going on but I had no idea how much.

 

How's that for enthusiasm. :lol:

 

Perception is reality, grasshopper. There are more helicopter pilots than there are people who should be helicopter pilots (that could be said for most vocations). Go somewhere that flies Bell 47 or 300CBi and treat yourself to an intro lesson, then come back here and ask more questions.

 

An aside - SSH does not represent the training industry nor the industry as a whole. Get a bigger picture!

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