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My questions as newbie.


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Recently exploring the thought flying helicopters as carrier I have come across many sites on the web.

This site seems to explore many opinions of schools available throughout the nation.

 

The more I explore, I have started to wonder how much dedication it takes to be where you want to be as a helicopter pilot.

 

Then I think about all the options that are available. So many different companies to fly different helicopters for. :blink:

 

How long have you flown?

Do you truly still enjoy flying the same as when you first started?

What were or are your pro’s and con’s of the industry?

 

Have many fields have you worked in, meaning as a heli ski, police heli, etc….?

How long were you in each field?

 

In general how long should it take for a person to be able work commercially, working a full time job and going to school to learn to fly?

 

What have you paid to get you through school and to work commercially in the field that you are in?

What are good school in WA. State and Phoenix AZ.?

 

Any answer is a good answer.

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>How long have you flown?<

I started in 1968, the Army. I've had periods since when I was doing other things. I prefer to fly.

 

>Do you truly still enjoy flying the same as when you first started?<

Even more.

 

>What were or are your pro’s and con’s of the industry?<

"Past performance does not indicate..." The industry's changing even as we speak. It used to be that a new pilot moved often and worked short-term, for a pittance, and counted oneself lucky if you didn't pay for every minute flying. You'll probably still hustle as hard or harder, but the eventual career-type jobs will actually hire nearer their stated minimums than in the past- and perhaps sometimes, less.

The VietNam era glut is diminishng as the industry expands. This is the a better time to start than the Viet Nam era was, although it won't be any easier.

 

>Have many fields have you worked in, meaning as a heli ski, police heli, etc….?<

Flight instruction, 2 years. Also did power line patrols and rides while teaching.

Army, 2 1/2 years, 1 in Viet Nam.

Gulf of Mexico (PHI) 13 years, 12 offshore based assignments; 2 years in the 206 series, and 10 in Twinstars; finally SIC in IFR/mediums.

 

>In general how long should it take for a person to be able work commercially, working a full time job and going to school to learn to fly?<

That's very like asking "How high is the sky?" Some factors-

How "full-time" is your full-time job?

What resources will you have to accomplish this?

What can you do to make things happen?

IF I was able to start again with unlimited funds and the benefit of hindsight, I'd allow a year of full time work to aquire professional certification- Professional Pilot, CFI, and whatever else I needed to work in my chosen field- Aerial application, IFR training, external, etc. After that, it's all you and "luck"... I know people who've never been out of work, and I know people still stuggling years later.

LUCK is preparation, plannning, and FINDING the opportunity, or making it happen.

 

>What have you paid to get you through school and to work commercially in the field> that you are in?<

The Army asks for a time commitment that I can't factor. How much is 2, 4 or 6 years of your life worth, wewighed against that "free training?" Their training, with some polishing on my part, allowed me to spend approximately $10,000 over the years for instructional training, instrument refresher course, and finally an ATP check ride. Well taught, from the beginning, will pay off in the end- you will fly as you were taught. And when the world turns fecal in flight, you're the only one you can count on. You may hear voices offering suggestions, or you may do it without witnesses, but you will be the who handles that life and death situation- nobody can do it for you.

Finally, well learned (communication requires effort from both parties) is half of good instruction.

I'm in an EMS job, and as wide an experience base as you can get is beneficial. Heavy on the list- people skills, followed by people skills, and finally, people skills. Gotta be instrument rated and have significant night experience too.

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Sorry to ask a stupid question here but I keep hearing about people skills and how they are so important but I wonder how this helps. I thought hours of flying and skills make the big difference in getting jobs as that is what they see when they consider you. What are the oppurtunities that people skills pay off in? I have a ton of people skills but have yet to get my Helicopter training and I'm encouraged by this need you talk about.

Can you please explain?

 

Thanks

Nick

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Sorry to ask a stupid question here but I keep hearing about people skills and how they are so important but I wonder how this helps. I thought hours of flying and skills make the big difference in getting jobs as that is what they see when they consider you. What are the oppurtunities that people skills pay off in? I have a ton of people skills but have yet to get my Helicopter training and I'm encouraged by this need you talk about.

Can you please explain?

 

Thanks

Nick

Nick,

An EMS crew is supposed to work as a team. I'm PIC and ultimately responsible for all aviation decisions, so I have to walk a fine line- I have to consider all input and opinion from any member of the team without argument or conflict, or appearing to over-ride and minimize somebody's opinion. It can never be my ego- I can explain why and how we could take the run, but if they say no- it's no. On the other hand, if I say no, I should be able to explain the why, without argument, also. Having facts at hand, explaining why I felt that the run couldn't be accomplished safely and non-confrontationally, and perhaps teaching, a little.

You can be the Bob Hoover of helicopters, but if you make the medical crew uneasy, your work situation will be unhappy. On the other hand, even if most of your landings jar teeth loose, if you exercise obvious judgement and inspire the crew with confidence of your abilities, they'll bring you breakfast in bed.

All our pilots can fly, they're professionals with years of demonstrated success in aviation. Not every pilot who tries EMS can make every run a team effort, but that's what the industry wants.

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That makes since actually, I love a good team effort so I think this fits my personality. When I was in the military I loved the squad tactics exercises and always excelled at them. Hopefully this will make a difference in my future Helicopter career. As for Bob Hoover I have seen him fly many times and I hope to fly HALF as good as Bob, the man is incredible.

 

Nick

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