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Job Market after Iraq


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I am interested in a career as a helicopter pilot and I have been doing a lot of research. I know this has been brought up in another post, but I am looking for a more specific answer to a few questions about what the job market will be like in 2-3 years (after finishing flight school).

 

#1. Are there still pilots from Vietnam flying or have the majority already retired? Most schools claim this is a great reason to start a career as a pilot.

 

#2. How many helicopter pilots are currently flying in Iraq, and is this amount greater than the amount that are retiring from Vietnam? Are there any resources to check out the number of military pilots?

 

#3. With all of the flight schools out there, isn't the job market going to be flooded anyway, considering that every student has to train more students as a CFI to get 1000+ hours?

 

 

Thanks for your time with these questions. I really want to fly, but I can't afford to do it without a chance of being employed.

 

Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...
I am interested in a career as a helicopter pilot and I have been doing a lot of research. I know this has been brought up in another post, but I am looking for a more specific answer to a few questions about what the job market will be like in 2-3 years (after finishing flight school).

 

#1. Are there still pilots from Vietnam flying or have the majority already retired? Most schools claim this is a great reason to start a career as a pilot.

 

#2. How many helicopter pilots are currently flying in Iraq, and is this amount greater than the amount that are retiring from Vietnam? Are there any resources to check out the number of military pilots?

 

#3. With all of the flight schools out there, isn't the job market going to be flooded anyway, considering that every student has to train more students as a CFI to get 1000+ hours?

Thanks for your time with these questions. I really want to fly, but I can't afford to do it without a chance of being employed.

 

Steve

 

Here ya go, both sides of the issue in the same thread:

 

http://originalforum.justhelicopters.com/D...M=384915#384915

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In my opinion...

 

1. I'm sure there are still 'Nam pilots flying. The reason schools push this so much is because it sounds good. I have never seen any evidence of an imminent shortage due to a mass exodus of Vietnam era pilots, however that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

 

2. Not sure of an exact number but don't worry, the army is holding on to it's pilots longer so there isn't a huge flood of pilots coming in to the civilian side. The ones that do come out are too underqualified for most civilian jobs anyway. (Flame on service guys but I just finished training a blackhawk driver who did 2 tours in Iraq, only had 800 hours, and couldn't hold an OGE hover to save his life.)

 

3. You bring up an interesting point, but consider the number of students who quit or never make it past PPL. Of all the students you train as an instructor, very few go all the way to CPL and try to enter the job market. According to the AOPA the total number of new pilots (all catagories) is down over the last few years. Flying a helicopter professionally is like anything else; If you want it and you are willing to make some sacrifices to get it, you will.

 

Good luck in whatever you choose.

Edited by tvman345
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tvman,

 

One UH-60 pilot and you know everything about service pilots...Amazing! I personally know three pilots that exited the service after 1 tour in Iraq and they moved right into industry flying jobs, and I'd fly with any one of them. Individual capability does not determine the rule, of course, anyone would sour after sucking on a lemon.

 

Rotor & Wing reports in the July 2006 Rotorcraft Report:

Operators Warn of Pilot Shortage

 

With flight activity up in most sectors, helicopter operators are bemoaning the lack of qualified pilots to replace retiring Vietnam-era fliers and urging changes to close that gap and prevent future ones...

 

--Source

The same issue is being expressed in the phyxed-wing arena. If you do the math on the timeframe of the Vietnam war, the best-case scenario for a pilot starting out at the end of the war has only about 10 years before the FAA's age-limit for commercial flight. (hint: It's been something like 32 years since the last helicopters left Vietnam) So, it doesn't look like it originates with the schools, just that the schools are taking advantage of the situation and using it for their marketing and recruiting.

 

The current reality is that the Army is not minting as many pilots and doesn't operate quite as many aircraft as it did during Vietnam. Additionally, the Army has many more opportunities for pilots to enter career status in the short term and the pay is better than the industry standard for the amount of experience.

 

(Edited for spelling)

Edited by Linc
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I didn't claim to know everything about service pilots Linc, and I'm certainly not knocking them. I as a civilian pilot would have to change my shorts after getting shot at while landing in a terrorist's front yard, those guys have balls. But in my opinion (which you should not take as a generalization) the recent service pilots that have come to me looking for ENG jobs are not qualified.

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Thanks for all the info.

 

I finally got to fly for the first time two days ago... It is extremely challenging. I flew at Broomfield, CO. I think I am hooked.

 

BTW, it seems like the more people I talk to the more it seems that nobody is too worried about competition from military pilots, simply because the military wants to keep its pilots.

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I didn't claim to know everything about service pilots Linc, and I'm certainly not knocking them. I as a civilian pilot would have to change my shorts after getting shot at while landing in a terrorist's front yard, those guys have balls. But in my opinion (which you should not take as a generalization) the recent service pilots that have come to me looking for ENG jobs are not qualified.
tvman,

 

No problem, it was a reaction to the way I perceived you presenting it. Don't think we're all supermen/women, either. Getting shot at is a shorts-changing event (life changing too). It certainly doesn't automatically make us better pilots than those who haven't been to combat, although I know some would paint it that way.

 

Sending you a PM.

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