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what's the cause of students dropping out/not making it?


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I felt my first post got out of hand so I'm reposting it trying to get at the point. (much shorter this time) :P

 

I'm looking for people have walked the walk (flown the flight?) - gone through the process of getting their civilian commercial certification (not military training) and succeeded, and I need to know about people who have not and WHY. :blink: (oh.. and if you wouldn't mind an interview, on the phone, preferably, send me a pm saying you're willing to talk)

 

Possible reasons:

- don't have the money

- not enough motivation

- family/marriage in the way

- bad attitude

- don't have the time

- can't seem to land a CFI job (or any other job)

 

Which are true, which aren't?

 

What is NOT the Issue:

 

- financing

- motivation

- temperment/judgement (at least I don't think so)

- how hard mentally it is to learn everything from the classroom to inflight (I guess I really wont know that till I'm there anyway)

 

The Issue:

 

- "Are there realistic opportunities available to student pilots or is training people to be commercial helicopter pilots pretty much a scam." (My dad speaking of course. I personally feel that question was answered before.)

- which things keep a student from succeeding as stated above

 

 

Thanks again everyone. Cheers!

~emm

 

If anyone has statistics, that'd be great. I've tried searching before, but maybe in the wrong areas.

 

editted -[not trying to sound mean to anyone, what i don't need is "go for your dream" because i'm already doing that... i'm only delayed]-

Edited by emm
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Emily,

 

I am a CFII in both helicopters and airplanes. And I did all my training civilian. The hardest part about learning to fly a helicopter is hovering. It can be very frustrating, making you feel like dropping out altogether. As long as you're making the ever-so-slightest progress, you have to stick with it. Once it "clicks", the hard part is over. The rest of the training is relatively straight-forward as long as you and your instructor don't have any conflict-type issues. The ground training is just that--ground training. It is interesting to learn new things. However, the regulations, while important to know, can be kind of bland material to study. I hope I've addressed your concerns. Please feel free to contact me if you need further info.

 

Jeff

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I am one pilot that is making it. I was taught by a woman cfi and she was a great instructor. Stacia if your out there, thanks!

 

When I started my flight training there were 5 other people who wanted to start at the excact same time. I don't know what has happened to all of them since then, but I do know that I was the only one to go through with the program at that time. One of the people I have stayed in close contact with. His major obstacle was the money. If he had been able to get the financing he would have been there. He also has a family and if he didn't, he probably could and would pay as he goes.

 

After I got my private pilots license, the helicopter left and I had to find another flight school. The closest R22 school was 4 hours away. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to continue on even when all of life was happening around me. Got into a motorcycle accident and welcomed my daughter into the world between the time I started and the time I finished. I also had to move several times and did what ever work on the side so I wouldn't have to use borrowed money to live on. I started in the end of 2003 and ended the begining of 2006. After I was finished I had to move again to get a job. Flying helicopters is a nomadic life as many people here would agree. There are those jobs that you can stay at though. It's your choice.

 

Aside from that, I know a girl who also wanted to be a professional pilot. What happened to her happens to many women and it is not something that should be frowned on in my opinion. She met a guy and fell in love. The reality is, many women start college or whatever and then meet a guy and get married. This is life and it happens. I personnally believe it is a beautiful thing when a woman takes raising a family seriously. It is a very hard job that to do successfully requires a lot of learning and sacrifice. My wife is incredible, she is constantly learning new things to keep us healthy and living life to the fullest. She works hard and does a great job. Of course, all of this is not saying that you can't get married and be a helicopter pilot, but this is what happens to many people. Also, many guys that are helicopter pilots end up getting a divorce from what I hear. I am not one of them so, for me it's working out.

 

As Fry will tell you, if your not a working helicopter pilot by the time you are done investing upwards of $60,000 then you have a very very expensive license that is effectively unusable. If you ever want to get married and start a family then consider if you want to have a $60,000 loan that must be paid off. If you end up staying home with the kids then the training is worthless. Maybe your husband would stay home, I don't know. I do know a guy who does stay at home and his wife works, so it is possible.

 

As far as finding a job, I personally believe that if you were a compentent pilot and knew your stuff fairly well that you would not have any problem getting a job as an instructor. You MUST be willing to move though. Right now there has been around 1 job opening per day for low time pilots. (Check the job postings on this site.) If you call the school looking for a job I dare say that the fact that you are a girl would give you an advantage. It would certanly make you stand out because there a very very few women pilots and even fewer women helicopter pilots.

 

I hope this is helpful and maybe if Stacia is out there she could let you know how it is working for her.

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Hi EMM

 

I have not completed the walk but working on it. I might have a few answers for you anyway.

 

When I was at my previous school (SSH) we started with 40 students at the beginning with six leaving after ground school was completed. The main reason was due to time and family they just couldn't get both to work together. They had no problem with financing or motivation it just didn't work.

 

When you start class there will be allot to know and understand, but at some point to witch you will not know it will all come together and it gets easier and easier from than on.

 

You might remember from your earlier post I wrote about my CFI. While I was writing these I ask him how much time he has built up. He is 20 and started at 17 and has built up 1500hrs. That’s enough time to get employed at a variety of companies. So it's not a scam.

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Thanks everyone. Your answers have all been very helpful! Keep 'em coming!

 

Cheers! ^_^

-emm

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emm,

I fall into the "not going to finish civilian training" camp--by design. I'm in the National Guard and am putting in an application for Warrant Officer Flight Training. I wanted to get some flight training to put on my resume. I should solo in the next few hours, and then I'm calling that good--between 13 and 15 hours. I'm probably a fairly unique case, but it shows that the reasons peopled don't go through to the end are as varied as the people themselves.

 

z

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According to this site:[guidance helicopters]

 

They say there are currently 26,000 active helo pilots in the US, according to the FAA. I would take that as yes, it is possible to get civilan training & make a living - I don't think all those were military trained.

 

How do you get from a statistic used as part of a flight school's marketing to the conclusion that "it is possible to get civilan training & make a living"? I mean, of course it is "possible", somewhere, someone has certainly done it...but that statistic doesn't support that conclusion. Kindava big leap don't ya think?

 

In fact, where does that statistice even come from? According to the FAA website in 2006 there were estimated to be 10,690 RW only "active pilots".

 

(http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/aviation/aerospace_forecasts/2007-2020/media/Web%20GA%2007%20Tab.xls)

 

Since an "active pilot" is defined as "a person with a pilot certificate and a valid medical certificate", that 10,690 would appear to include RW pilots who are not engaged in commercial operations...i.e., recreational pilots without a commercial rating; commercial rated pilots who are retired or otherwise not engaged in flying for a living; and, those RW pilots who are only employed as flight instructors. That number would appear not to include dual rated pilots. Because the number of dual rated pilots is likely to be significantly less than those not engaged commercially, it would appear that the population pilots "making a living" is something less than 10,690 and certainly not "26,000".

 

You know what's been said about marketing, "Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it." (Stephen Leacock)

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before I started training I asked many of the same questions, specifically about statistics. You'd be best off asking that question specifically to the schools you're looking at. (I'm sure that statement will illicit stories of lying and obfuscation from the cynics but accredited schools wont) I went to HAI in fl, when I went to check 'em out i had sam pull out the data for their graduation rates. Over 85% of people who started the prof. pilot program had jobs after a year. I think its because if you're willing to go through the b.s. to get started (ie. moving, loans, family, etc.) you probably have what it takes to succeed.

In response to your dad's comment...who does he think is perpetuating his 'scam' theory if there are no opportunities for new pilots?? trust me, most pilots get sick of students trying to kill them or not being the one flying most of the time or getting paid for about 1/3 of the actual work they do enough to want to move on with their careers.

Due diligence is the only weapon you have with which to protect yourself. keep using it and you wont get screwed.

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85% eh? Seems a bit high from all the things I've heard from pilots I've talked to. Does that sound right to you Fry? You seem to be pretty good with math.

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My $.02

 

If money is not an issue for you...which you have clearly stated...and money is probably the biggest reason for many not completing their schooling and subsequently landing a helicopter job/career. Then you are in a great situation. However...in a sense...money is an issue for you...because it is not your money...it is your parents. So you must persuade them to agree.

 

Your desire to fly is obvious...However I believe you and/or your father are looking for an elusive statistic. Why others drop-out is as personal a question as it gets. I know stats will help and are important...I just think that your love for the profession and desire to succeed will make the diffference between making it and not making it.

 

Other than certain schools...the last thing I think of when I think "pyramid scheme" is the helicopter industry. I've been involved in pyramid like situations before...I've also been burned by them. Maybe your Dad has been too. He's lookin' out for his little girl and his investment...(both very honorable causes). However...there are obviously helicopter jobs available in today's world. It is a career that requires a highly specialized skill, continous training, learning and honing...and in my opinion it is one of the most expensive training programs (without a guarantee to fly professionally) out there.

 

These are negatives that statistics will not cancel...Almost anything else you train for will land you some position...somewhere in the field you have trained for...Not exactly the norm for helicopters.

 

Bottom line...there may not be any statistical support for your argument...but you still have an argument...because someone is flying the helicopters we all see everyday...and all of those pilots had to start with "flight training" one way or the other.

 

I hope you get to do what you love...keep pushin'...from experience I can tell you that Dad's want to provide support and eventual happiness to their children. Your fervent pursuit may be what triggers his decision in your favor after all...

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I'd say the majority of people who quit their training do so due to a lack of money or the inability to sustain their motivation for the duration of their training.

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The statistics for active or inactive or commercial or private rotary wing pilots has nothing to do with the job market. Unless you know how many helicopters there are and how many pilots are employed to fly each one (which is impossible to know) these statistics are meaningless to quote to someone interested in becoming a pilot.

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OK, this whole "pyramid scheme" idea...first of all, this post really does relate to the helicopter industry, but you'll probably have to follow through to the end.

 

Most people refer to multi-level marketing schemes as pyramid schemes, and they are distinctly different. The Federal Trade Commission has in-depth explanations of the differences. In actuality, many multi-level marketing plans actually can work if you work them. The reasons most people fail at them are numerous:

  • lack of real motivation and persistence
  • not handling rejection well
  • not wanting to take advantage of people you know
  • not wanting to walk on the edge of deceiving people to make it work
  • a lack of ability or desire to be a salesman (no matter what they tell you, you have to be a master salesman)
  • etc., etc., etc.

None of which have anything to do with whether the there are enough "slots"(people) to make it work.

 

Likewise, I'm sure that the reasons most people start helicopter training and end up not having a career in the industry have very little to do with the fact that there simply aren't enough slots. Are there some of those cases? Sure. In those cases, if the person had persevered and refused to fail, would they eventually get a job? Probably in a lot of instances. I submit that you can look at success/failure rates until your pets' heads fall off, and you still won't find the real answer you're looking for, because of a couple of reasons:

  • The people who have failed aren't available to give their input
  • When people fail at something, there are generally two reasons why: a)the one that they tell you and b)the real reason.

Having had some experience in a multi-level marketing scheme during my younger years, I can tell you again that they can indeed work for people who put in the effort the way they're taught. The problem is that somewhere around 98% of people simply aren't, and never will be, willing and able to force themselves to be master salesmen. Likewise, I'd bet a couple of paychecks that many of the ~15% that start out to become helicopter pilots and never land a job (according to previously quoted statistics), fall into a similar scenario--for whatever reason, they weren't willing to do whatever it took to see it to the end. In a MLM business, the success/failure rate itself doesn't really tell you anything. The correct question to ask is, "What does it really take to succeed?" Most of the time you won't get a straight answer, because being told that one needs to be a great salesman will turn off almost everyone. Same with the helicopter industry--the real question isn't "What is the success rate?", or even, "Why do people fail?" but "What does it take to make it a viable career?" Make sure you're asking the right question. You need to find out what it really takes and decide if you're willing to pay the price. The difference here is that you're very likely to get the straight answer.

 

Maybe a bit of a rant, but hopefully I was able to get my point across.

 

z

Edited by zcat
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Well said zcat.

 

 

Soo...does anyone have some answers to his questions? I think I've pretty much found all the information I can get, but more never hurts.

 

 

Thanks everyone,

 

-emm

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...these statistics are meaningless to quote to someone interested in becoming a pilot.

 

Agreed...so why do prospective students accept statistics when they are quoted by the people who are selling flight training?

 

E.g., "there are more helicopters being built than there are pilots to fly them"..."VN era pilots will be retiring shortly and this will create a demand for pilots to replace them"..."...there are currently 26,000 active helo pilots in the US, according to the FAA. I would take that as yes, it is possible to get civilan training & make a living."

 

"Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions." (Evan Esar)

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"Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions." (Evan Esar)

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, d@m* lies and statistics." (Mark Twain)

"If you torture statistics long enough, they'll confess to anything" (Unknown)

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I think I've pretty much found all the information I can get...

 

RENO, Nev. – Nevada last year ranked 46th in the nation when it comes to the number of adults per capital (sic) who have earned two- and four-year college degrees, according to a new report.

 

According to Jane Nichols, vice chancellor of academic affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education, “What we're up against is not just in Nevada. Seven nations lead us in degree attainment. We rank among the top five countries for the proportion of young people who are enrolled in college, but we rank 16th for those students who finish college.”

 

To remain competitive globally, the U.S. will need an additional 15.6 million graduates who have associates or baccalaureate degrees by 2025, she said.

 

“We are the only developed country where the younger population is less educated than the older population,” Nichols told regents during a presentation last month.

 

The problem is nationwide, she said.

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Agreed...so why do prospective students accept statistics when they are quoted by the people who are selling flight training?

 

E.g., "there are more helicopters being built than there are pilots to fly them"..."VN era pilots will be retiring shortly and this will create a demand for pilots to replace them"..."...there are currently 26,000 active helo pilots in the US, according to the FAA. I would take that as yes, it is possible to get civilan training & make a living."

 

"Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions." (Evan Esar)

 

 

You people need to relax re: statistics - I provided them to illustrate to the person that originated this thread to show that, because there were so many helo pilots that it was impossible that ALL of them were military trained, and that yes, you can become a pilot earning a living through the civilian route. That fact is undeniable. How many people here earn a living from being a pilot earned through the non-military route?

 

So, FRY - are you a helo pilot?

 

RENO, Nev. – Nevada last year ranked 46th in the nation when it comes to the number of adults per capital (sic) who have earned two- and four-year college degrees, according to a new report.

 

According to Jane Nichols, vice chancellor of academic affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education, “What we're up against is not just in Nevada. Seven nations lead us in degree attainment. We rank among the top five countries for the proportion of young people who are enrolled in college, but we rank 16th for those students who finish college.”

 

To remain competitive globally, the U.S. will need an additional 15.6 million graduates who have associates or baccalaureate degrees by 2025, she said.

 

“We are the only developed country where the younger population is less educated than the older population,” Nichols told regents during a presentation last month.

 

The problem is nationwide, she said.

 

 

Gee - now YOU are using statistics?

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Agreed...so why do prospective students accept statistics when they are quoted by the people who are selling flight training?

 

E.g., "there are more helicopters being built than there are pilots to fly them"..."VN era pilots will be retiring shortly and this will create a demand for pilots to replace them"..."...there are currently 26,000 active helo pilots in the US, according to the FAA. I would take that as yes, it is possible to get civilan training & make a living."

 

"Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions." (Evan Esar)

 

 

Fry...

 

I think it boils down to the Evan Esar quote...the statistics cater to those who will be influenced by them one way or the other...just like "chase your dream" appeals to the emotional side of people. It's kinda like deer hunting...if the deer confirms that the hunter is in the vicinity with 2 or more of it's senses (e.g. sight and smell) then the deer will most likely run off before you take the shot. In a similar way, the more appealing (or appaling) a person can "paint" a tough decision, the more influenced they are to make the decision based on statistics, morality, emotionalism...etc.

 

I still maintain that there is one way in to this industry (correct me if I'm wrong) and that is...Flight Training.

 

Ridiculoously expensive? YES --- Guarantees? NOPE --- Time consuming? YES

 

However, anyone who wants to be a professional helicopter pilot must take this road...who you choose to "guide" you down this road (school/CFI)...is another decision. One which is very important and full of pitfalls.

 

BTW...Fry...I'd also like to know if you are a helicopter pilot????

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One cfii puts out 4to5 cfii's in one year, or two,then moves on. This will let one of you have a job, not all of you.

The war was over in 1975 , That puts thes guys in thear 50's. not 60's So you can't count them out yet.

It can be done, but thears only space for a very few. If I had it to do over I would not.

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anyone have a range about how many students a cfi usually ends up having? (assuming they're only going to be a cfi till they have 1000 hours)

Edited by emm
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