Jump to content

Planes or Helicopters/


Recommended Posts

I've been wrestling with this question lately, if i want to fly planes or helicopters. I did four years in the Navy, worked a couple of them on the flight deck, just graduated college. I've been mainly considering helicopters lately, it seems like they both have strengths and weaknesses, from the research that i've done so far it appears that...

 

Planes Advantage:

*Less cost to train

*It appears that you can make more money

*Working for a major, you can travel pretty much anywhere for free.

*I hear you get hotels, rental cars etc. cheap

*i hear you only work about 15 days a month,

*you can live anywhere and commute to work.

*SO SOME Definate advantages to consider.

 

Helicopter advantages:

*Seems like more of an adventure, it would be cool to drop skiers off on a snow capped peak somewhere, or fly for fire or medical.

*You can land anywhere, (i'd use the example you can land next to some waterfall in the mountains that most people can't even hike to etc)

*Some people i heard in the military flying said that flying civilian in the majors is like driving a bus in the sky, not as exciting.

*For some reason i think i'd enjoy flying low over things a lot more, taking in the view etc.

 

So that's what i have gathered so far... it would be interesting to hear your opinions on what i wrote though. Pay and travel privledges are important to me, but so is adventure and fun.

 

ME: Worked a few years on the flight deck in the Navy, flew in a SH-60 Seahawk once ( in that back seat thats it) Took two fixed wing intro flights a year or so back, i was just trying to get through colllege, didn't have the money to start training, just wanted to check it out. Now i'm just trying to figure things out. I used all of my funds associated with my G.I. Bill in college, so that's not an option. Also is there a minimum amount of money i would need to make from my job a year to qualify for a Sallie Mae loan? Cause i do not have to many people i would like to ask to cosign. Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can definitely train cheaper in a plane. And you can probably make more money flying them. Much better cost/benefit ratios....really just one problem.

 

They are really boring to fly !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even if you have no GI Bill dollars available, try looking for a military flying club. The training rates are quite a bit cheaper than the outside world. There is one here at NAS Jacksonville and one at NAS North Island. Unfortunately, they only do fixed wing training.

 

If flying low is your thing, choose helicopters. You won't fly low in airplanes (professionally) unless you do flight instruction, pipeline, or some other "odd" job. By "odd" I mean not flying for the airlines, regional or major. Some of the most boring flights in the SH-60B I had were flying airways back and forth between Mayport, FL and Norfolk, VA. Flying airways in ANYTHING is boring. That is what you will do the most of flying for the airlines.

 

Some helo jobs, like EMS(medical) are not entry level flying jobs. Here in Jacksonville, the guys are mostly ex Vietnam vets. They look for a minimum of 1500 to 2000 helo hours. It will take awhile to get enough time to do that.

 

Being able to land anywhere is a positive, but in my experience it hasn't happened often. For your own pleasure you will need to buy your own helo or rent one. Either is expensive. On the other hand you can rent a Seneca I twin for $160 an hour at our club at NAS Jacksonville. The Cessna 172s are $75 an hour. You can fly to some airports that have restaurants or go away for a weekend. Many places that do rent helicopters will not rent one to you unless you have learned through their school. Some still won't rent one unless it is for training. The same can be said for twin engine airplanes. Expect to pay about $195 + per hour to rent an R-22 helo.

 

Bottom line? Fixed wing is more practical. Rotary wing is more fun. It isn't necessarily the aircraft so much as it is the mission. If I had my choice I would own one or two of both. If I had to do one for a living outside the military I would pick helo flying.

 

ME: Former SH-60B Navy pilot, currently a full-time software developer and part-time fixed wing flight instructor, and soon to be UH-60 Blackhawk pilot in the National Guard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been wrestling with this question lately, if i want to fly planes or helicopters. I did four years in the Navy, worked a couple of them on the flight deck, just graduated college. I've been mainly considering helicopters lately, it seems like they both have strengths and weaknesses, from the research that i've done so far it appears that...

 

Planes Advantage:

*Less cost to train

*It appears that you can make more money

*Working for a major, you can travel pretty much anywhere for free.

*I hear you get hotels, rental cars etc. cheap

*i hear you only work about 15 days a month,

*you can live anywhere and commute to work.

*SO SOME Definate advantages to consider.

 

Helicopter advantages:

*Seems like more of an adventure, it would be cool to drop skiers off on a snow capped peak somewhere, or fly for fire or medical.

*You can land anywhere, (i'd use the example you can land next to some waterfall in the mountains that most people can't even hike to etc)

*Some people i heard in the military flying said that flying civilian in the majors is like driving a bus in the sky, not as exciting.

*For some reason i think i'd enjoy flying low over things a lot more, taking in the view etc.

 

So that's what i have gathered so far... it would be interesting to hear your opinions on what i wrote though. Pay and travel privledges are important to me, but so is adventure and fun.

 

ME: Worked a few years on the flight deck in the Navy, flew in a SH-60 Seahawk once ( in that back seat thats it) Took two fixed wing intro flights a year or so back, i was just trying to get through colllege, didn't have the money to start training, just wanted to check it out. Now i'm just trying to figure things out. I used all of my funds associated with my G.I. Bill in college, so that's not an option. Also is there a minimum amount of money i would need to make from my job a year to qualify for a Sallie Mae loan? Cause i do not have to many people i would like to ask to cosign. Thanks

 

 

 

well considering the pay, days on and off, and the travel discounts, flying airplanes is definetly where it is at. my uncle trains pilots to fly 727's for DHL. Like fed ex, they ship everything from crocodiles, bumble bees, dead bodies to rubber dog crap. He flies anywhere he wants for free now that he is with a reputable company. it has taken many years to get there and now he works about a week a month or even less at some times, and makes the same amt of money. Ya they do put you up in hotels and pay for your meals if you have a stay over, most reputable companies do. but it is not as glamourous as it looks. staying in a hotel, away from home and your family, only to turn around and fly the same route home the next day. you could request a week off, lets say in new york, but it becomes just a job like everything else. his immediate family travels for like half off and he makes great money for what he does.

you can work a great deal of places and some of them you will be able to commute to, but you better make sure you are there on time and early, cause if you ground a plane, cause you are not their to fly it, you get an automatic two week unpaid vacation for you first offense. ( in some cases ) try that stunt again and I think you will be looking for a new job without a good word from your former employer. you will make more money in planes, but the initial training is about the same, 50,000 plus, because you have to log atleast 250 for your commercial and you have to get so many different ratings.

 

Sallie mae loans are hard to get, cause they are giving you an unsecured loan. they want great credit and usually two or three cosigners if you credit and income are not top notch. then if you take the loan with them, the interest rate is anywhere from 8.50% to like 16% interest. not very good at all. you would be better off in most cases to put the flight training on the cc..

 

it all just depends on what you really want to do. there is no easy way to figure this out. you are already on the right track. but just like previous poster said, flying airways from point a to b is always borring. getting on with law enforcement might be fun cause they fly alot and train alot, but it is not always easy getting there and most want you to be an officer for two years before they will consider you for air operations. then you have better gotten atleast your private, to show them that you are really seroius, cause the days of them picking you up and paying for all of your flight training is over..

 

i suggest you take three or four lessons in both planes and helicopters ... so you can get a better feel for it... good luck in whatever you choose to doo......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to fly- helicopters! If you want to travel- airplanes. The third choice, in the same line, is "Go Greyhound"!

 

Airplanes are, undoubtedly, where the money is for the 1% who get to the top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a 20 year airline capt. with a major carrier. I am at the top in terms of experience, money, senority, and everything else.

 

But I am taking helicopter lessons now. This is because I want to dump it in 4 1/2 years, retire and do what I always wanted to do in the first place.

 

FLY HELICOPTERS!

 

When I was about to graduate college, I applied to go to pilot training with every service. I really wanted the Army so I could be a helicopter pilot. But the Air Force called first. I figured that you went with the first offer you got. So I went to Air Force UPT and flew the C-130 for about eight years.

 

I don't regret it. And the money in the airlines is much better than almost every helicopter job. But I am having more fun flying a 300CBi than I ever had in any fixed wing aircraft.

 

By the way, I just has my third and forth solo flight today. Total of 2.5 solo now! Only about 997.5 more hours to go until I can get a chopper job!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

There are a LOT of factors to consider, but let me post a few real quick.

  • You may reach a higher salary eventually in the airlines, but you start out very low. Like $20k and below.
  • Your first years in the airilnes will not be fun. You'll be making little money, you'll be on reserve, and you'll be flying little turbo-props or small regional jets.
  • Airlines require you to have a first class medical. If you lose it, you're done flying in the airlines. Many or most helicopter flying jobs require a second class medical.
  • Airlines have a mandatory retirement of age 60 (may be 65 now)
  • In the airlines, you'll spend a lot of time working and traveling for work and not getting paid for it.

Now, there are bad sides to helicopter flying as well. You'll most likely have to move to employment. The top of the pay range isn't always as high as that of the airlines, but you'll start out making twice as much money as your first airline job. Helicopter flying is more dangerous. So in the end, it really does just comes down to what kind of flying you want to do. Would you rather have an office at 35,000 feet where you can see forever? Or would you rather fly low and slow, landing in interesting and challenging places? Would you find more pride in moving many, many people to their destinations? Or would you rather fly smaller loads for law enforcement, to oil rigs, or to save lives?

 

Remember, you can always do one professionally and the other recreationally. Personally, I have a huge passion for both fixed wing and rotor. My decision to fly helicopters is based on the fact that, although it would be very cool at first, I think the view from 35,000ft would get boring.

 

Would you rather be able to say "I'm an airline pilot" or "I'm a helicopter pilot"?

 

If you ask me, airlines are out. I'd have a harder decision between flying helicopters or flying private jets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...