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Career as a pilot


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Hello, everyone. I am new to this forum, and this site in general. This is the only Helo-based site that I could find a message board. I am considering becoming a pilot. I have always loved helicopters, and flown on several. (both R44's) Before I get any more serious, I had a few questions that are unanswered, and I would appreciate it if some of these could get answered. Thanks in advance! :lol:


How much does the average pilot make?:

How hard is it to find a job as a pilot?:

Can I get a private license in under a year?:

What type of fuel do most helo's take?:


Thanks again! (:

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Guest rookie101

The only helicopter message board you could find eh? Well, there are six that I know of (including this one)


verticalmag.com- more of a Canadian crowd but still very helpful


helitorque.com- more of a European crowd. Again, still helpful





As for your first question, it depends. If you check the FAQ-Career section you can find a few examples and you can also check the specific forums to find several examples as well. A PPL in under a year? That all depends on you, but all the students I have spoken to in here have gotten there's in under a year and the type of fuel helo's use, I think that would be Jet A, but that is only what I've read so don't quote me on it.

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Average salary for a pilot varies a lot... try using the search feature to look at all the different articles on it.


If you are willing to travel a lot, then my impression is that you can find a job without too much trouble, provided you have the appropriate number of hours for the job you are trying to get.


If you are flying at least once a week, which I as a student highly recommend, then you should be able to get your license in well under a year. Any flight school telling you otherwise would be suspect in my opinion. In fact, if you can manage it, I highly recommend flying almost every day for a week or two at the very beginning.


That's what I did and it has been invaluable. I just recently went flying after a month of the helo being grounded and I still retained all of my flying skills and I only have 35 hours. I was also able to learn things much faster because I flew so often at the beginning. Just my two cents on that note.


As for the type of fuel for most helo's... well one big consideration is whether it is a piston or turbine engine. I have only flown the R22 which is piston and it takes 100LL. But turbines are entirely different.


oh, and watch for wires...

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Most helicopters use JetA, or kerosene. Those with piston engines use avgas.


The average starting salary, after you manage to get 1000 hours flight time, is about US$30,000. That will go up as inflation kicks in, but there appears to be a move toward hiring pilots with much less time, but at greatly reduced salary. I've seen ads for pilots with the minimum required by FAR135, with an offered salary of about $20,000. I make just over $70,000, as a topped out IFR PIC with over 25 years seniority. I make more, with lots of overtime, but that's the base pay. That, too, will go up some, but I'll never get rich unless I can get the right 6 numbers on that slip of paper from the Stop 'N Go.

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