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The Life of a helicopter pilot

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The Life of a Helicopter Pilot:


Grand canyon tour:

Get up at 4.30AM, drive 90 miles to the ditch, have 5th cup of coffee, preflight, pee, get in start up, load up the midwestern beefeaters, fly for 30 minutes, fly for 30 minutes, fly for 30 minutes, fly for an hour, fly for 30 minutes, fly for an hour. Can I have a break? No, ok, fly for 30 minutes, fly for 30 minutes, fly for 30 minutes, fly for 30 minutes. fly for 30 minutes, fly for 30 minutes, fly for an hour, get out tie down, PEE, drive 90 miles home,eat, sleep, repeat.


Hawaii tour:

See above but get to wear funky hawaii shirt and shorts...


Offshore Oil:

See above but the tourists smell bad and the river is a lot bigger...


Tuna Boat:

See above, but you get to chant: Where da fish, where da fish...


Powerline patrol:

See above but you get to say: tower one, tower two, tower 3, tower 4, tower 5......tower 496, tower 497, etc...


Pipeline patrol:

See above but you get to say: yup it's a pipeline. yup it's a pipeline, yup it's a pipeline, yup it's a pipeline. yup it's a pipeline,.....Sh# theres a wire, ok, yup it's a pipeline, yup it's a pipeline, yup it's a pipeline....



Get to work, have 7th cup of coffee, preflight, pee,news, eat, sleep,eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat, sleep, BEEP BEEP BEEP, motorcycle vrs a big rig, fly 20 minutes, load patient, Yuuuuuuko!!! That looks like it hurts, fly 20 minutes, off-load, debrief, eat, sleep, eat sleep, eat, sleep, go home...



Get up at 5, have 3rd cup of coffee, preflight, comin up, log, log, log, log, log, log, log, log, log, log, log,log, Wipe up CP's puke,log,log,log,log,log,log,log,log,log,log,etc.. .Shut down go home drink a massive amounts of beer with hookers.



Get up at 4 AM, drive an hour, have 9th cup of coffee, mission plan, you want to WHAT? Put on bucket go to fire. OH! big fire! Up down, turn around, fetch a pail of water, repeat 160 times. Shut down, wait untill 14 hours is over. Out of duty time, find tent, eat at base camp, visit little blue room, sleep up again, at 5am repeat...



Get in at 9am, have 10 cups of coffee, 3 cigs,and wait for no shows, Non english speaking student shows up, preflight, flight, SCREAM: I HAVE THE CONTROLS!!, repeat 20 times, After hour flight, clean short, repeat 5 times, go home knowing your the pilot god that saved the R22 from the clutches of the student pilot, get on PC and re-type resume, yup getting 252.4 hours. look for way to get turbine time job with out flight time, go to sleep thinking how great it would be working as a real pilot!


(Missing is some mention of the small paychecks and the large loan payments.)

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Guest rookie101

thought that sounded familar.




I would rather be repeating tasks sitting in a helicopter seat and having the time of my life (however long or short it may be because of flying) instead of packing doors and tools around a job site for $10 bucks an hour, even though I did kinda of put myself there :unsure: ah well :D.

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The Life of an IT professional:


Wake up at 6am. Drive one hour (2 miles) to work. Go to cafeteria and get breakfast, get coffee, stare at computer. Ask "what's for lunch" every 20 minutes after staring outside. Go to lunch, come back, write pointless document for boss who doesn't know what you do, even after repeatedly telling him. Call user, tell them the same thing you told them before. Repeat 5 days a week 52 weeks a year, get told "3% is all we can give you", realize every new employee is hired at a rate above yours.


Oh yeah, once a month, come in Saturday night to patch servers, crash at least one, work till 10am Sunday morning fixing it, come in Monday and get yelled at for crashing server...


As fry so often points out "Get a real job and fly for fun." I quoted those exact words 10 years ago, and guess what, I still am not flying for fun. If you want to make money you either get into upper management, own your business/patents etc, or get lucky... It's great if it works, but how many working wealthy fly their own chopper? I guess I'm just bitter today. ;)


Anyway, the Helicopter ones are funny, no matter how true they are.

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Go to work, pre flight, drink several cups of coffee, get call to fly, fly to area, circle area while observer uses flir system to find bad guy and direct ground officers to spot, fly back to hanger, paperwork, and record video. Wait, wait, wait. Call to fly, fly on car chase, watch them crash and bail out running, direct them to hiding spot. Then, paper work, paper work. Fly around for fun looking for stashed stolen cars, or surprise officers by being overhead and there to help before they ask. Every day is a little different and challenging.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Life of a car hauler for seven years:

Get up at 3 am to beat the traffic and the heat in the summertime, drive 30 min to work, get paper work and plan your loads and the order your going to do them.


Warm up the semi. Once the air brake system is pressurized, go out to BIG GIGANTIC parking area and park, pull load skids, set up the decks, grab paperwork and start walking between 20 to 1000 yards to get the car you need, drive to and put on the truck, repeat till top loaded, raise them all up, go underneath and tie cars down with chains and pry bar.

Go out for the lower level cars, now crawl around on or near the ground and get dirty from hydraulic oil and road grime on the frame work of truck as you tie down the the lower level of cars.

Lower down the upper decks without hitting the roof of the lower cars, while still being the legal height , and not too high to hit a bridge with that 47k Dodge dually diesel truck on top. Pin all the decks. Walk around one more time.


Get in truck, drive thru town, getting flipped off by people who do not now that you as the guy on the freeway already have the right of way, yet they merge onto the freeway 30 mph slower than your 79,000 lb truck weighs and you stand up off the seat on the brake to keep from killing that little old lady, or soccer mom on the cell phone with those little kids in the back and get flipped off because you came close to them while trying no to kill them.


Get stuck in 5-20 mph rush hour traffic and your left thigh gets tired pushing in and out that 35 lb heavy duty clutch for 15 miles while every impatient moron cuts in front of you because they believe being 10 feet in front of you will get them to work faster than an additional 10 seconds because they never went to truck driving school and learned all the stats you did about how you do not save that much time.


While trying get to the dealership you are making sure you avoid all the trees the city will not trim that grow out over the street and are trimmed by box semi's at 13 feet 6 inches, but you are legal up to 14' 2" so those branches will scratch that 47k dollar truck plus the 3 others up there and since you have a 1,500 dollar deductible insurance per vehicle you must really avoid those dog gone trees.


Now since you had to stratal the yellow line and be in 2 lanes a few times to do so, and people ignore your blinkers all together you kinda had to just move over into their lane and cut them off, you again are flipped off or yelled at or both because they again are in there own little ignorant world and have no idea you have on your truck the car they are gonna buy in 3 days and you want them to get it without having to wait 2 weeks for the dealers paint and body shop to fix the scratches you'd have gotten had you not gone in there lane.

Not to mention again, you have to pay 1,500 dollars out of your own pocket for damages before your insurance will pay for damages and that is per vehicle, so if you do 1,200 in damages for 8 vehicles on your truck, you will pay $9,600 out of pocket to deliver a load that paid $275.


(That is a really bad case and has happened to others. To be fair, 98% of your loads you will deliver damage free, but my last year I got 8k in damages total, all but 2k of which were little stuff that was somehow missed during inspection, the rest was gravel from the road chipping a windshield stuff like that. I delivered a 300M SRT8 that had a chipped wheel on the inside of the rim, where it could only be seen when up on a car lift, and it cost me 650 bucks for the new rim with labor etc. Yeah I was not happy. )


Anyway, continuing on....

So, now you arrive at a car dealership who, when they built it kinda forgot about the fact that they needed to make the place suitable for a 75 foot long semi to get into to deliver their cars to. So you must now try and thread a needle between shiny new cars to get to the spot on the lot where they want you to unload, or you are forced to park about 300 yards away and have to shuttle each car in and walk back to your truck, mind you, you are paid by the load, not by the hour, so while that truck is running, and it must to operate the hydraulics system, you burning up money since you are an owner operator, this is why traffic really bugs, and you don't take lunches etc etc.


You are greeted as if you are trying to drop off blankets infected with the plague and you are an inconvenience to the people there. You now have to find the guy who is supposed to check the cars in and he always is the one guy with 47 duties to do at the dealership, so now you raise up all the decks, break the chains loose and unload the bottom, then drop down the top and break chains, and unload, wait around for inspection of cars, have to pay for any scratches you missed while inspecting with a flashlight, he now has the sunlight and caught that scratch at just the right angle to the sun that will cost you 50 to 700 bucks to fix, so now if the damage was more than 250 bucks, hey that load you delivered for free!


Get back in truck after waiting, carefully maneuver your 75 foot truck that a minivan driving person would have a hard time not hitting the cars on the lot, but you do it because, yeah you are really that good. Drive back thru town again it is still before 9 am so back thru stop and go traffic, man my leg is tired, and go back and get another load and do this again for a total of 4-5 loads that day. Tomorrow you repeat, same cars day in day out, the only difference is the day you have to drive 400 miles to get to the dealership, and then 400 back empty, and that is all you got to do in 12 hours, more if you have to stop for fuel at a truck stop and even more if you decide and actually stop for lunch, something I have not done for the last 17 years of my working life, taken an actual stop and eat lunch break.


It is different if you are a long haul over the road driver, which was 10 hrs of just sitting behind a wheel going down the highway, crawl into the sleeper and repeat.

So I'll take what is described above for a Heli pilot GLADLY! compared to what I did as a truck driver, and since I won't have all kinds off traffic to stress me out because the skies are not that crowded, I'll be even that much happier thank you very much! ;) :lol:

Edited by captkirkyota
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It's funny, no matter what you do, no matter how interesting and fun it seems, at the end of the day it will still be work.


I used to work as a sports photographer, and during my first internship, going to NFL and MLB games, being on the field, flirting with the cheerleaders, all that seemed like so much fun. How could anyone consider that a job!?


2-3 years in, and the deadlines (you want the photos when!?!), bad food (got anything other than hotdogs?), bad pay (when clients would actually pay), expensive gear ($4k for a camera, $2k for a new laptop, $9k for a lens, etc, etc, ever month it seemed I was buying something new, or replacing or repairing some other equipment), carrying around 40lbs of gear while chasing Tiger around the golf course in 95 degree weather, and all of a sudden, it felt like any other job.


Unless you have a different job every day of the week, your job will always be repetative and boring. The key is to make the most of it, and enjoy what you do the most you can, and do what you think will make you as happy as possible.


For me, that wasn't photography. Everyone thought it was the coolest job, and I think I stuck with it for a few years extra past when I should have, because of the "cool factor".


I am sure flying will get boring and repetative as well, but I know I have wanted to be a pilot since I was a little kid. And life is too short not to do what you always wanted to do.


I know I won't get rich doing it, but I will be able to support my family, and I will get time off to spend with them, and I will get to do something I have always wanted to do.


Sure beats doing data entry. :D

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