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I also think that was a great post heligirl.

 

Im a future helo pilot myself, and I don't think you could stress the TOTAL COMMITMENT part enough! From everything I have learned here I think that might be the knock-out punch. Gotta be 110% gung-ho about flying for a living and everything the job comes with. You better believe I am! : )

Edited by doanut99

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There is not a 100% success rate for ANY career training program, why are we trying to make helicopters the first? TOTAL COMMITMENT.

 

Good post. And while I don't agree with you on the value of a college education (it probably gave you the critical thinking skills to take the path you have), I do agree that the level of commitment you've described is what is required to succeed in this industry. It also appears you do not have a family which makes it possible for you to endure the relocations and low income and to have the single minded focus you do. But the pilot mills like SSH are targeting folks who aren't aware of the costs required and who aren't in a position and can't afford to make the kind of commitment you're making.

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fry...

 

I agree with your comment on the "pilot mills" and their targeting...cause they almost got me. Thanks to the wisdom posted by many on this site...I was able to avoid their financial arrangements and pursued training with a more reasonable financial arrangement.

Edited by zemogman

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Sorry folks, my first line about college was meant to be read with sarcasm. I should have known better; I'd be the first one to point out that spoken language and written language are completely different animals. I apologize for the misrepresentation of my thoughts... I most certainly appreciate every page of my university education (and ohhh there were lots!). It is worth every penny I'm still sending to them and I use it every day, even if it isn't obvious on my resume. I encourage anyone in a position to get a secondary education either before or concurrent with flight training to do it. I just took the long road...

 

Fry, you're right, I'm OINK. The non-spousal unit is off on his own 20/10 schedule 2/3rds of the time (check THAT math ;) ) and we don't even share expenses! So for all intents and purposes, I'm doing this by my lonesome + a half (can't forget the canine copilot). I am awed by anyone who can do it with a geographically anchored family! I think Southernweyr said he did... just, wow.

 

To digress further:

I completely agree that the most widespread advertising is preying on the naive and poorly informed. But this is a generic statement that is also true for a new car, bigger house, more credit, clothes, or anything else people dream about. It is an individual's responsibility to BECOME informed, regardless of the subject. I think that, while they can create a sad situation, they are not much different from any other capitalist venture and the pilot-mills do perform a function as filters. I know, personally, exactly 1 successful pilot-mill graduate. Unfortunately, they thrive on perpetuating unrealistic goals. They've devised a system where, by sheer numbers, they can afford to anger and lose students who would most likely have been gently nudged off the schedule at smaller, more dedicated facilities anyway. The mills play the numbers and they play them well. It's all in the numbers.

 

Jeesh, I think that's enough cynicism (realism??) for one day. :P

 

BTW, I think Fry offers a similar service; his tactics weed out tentative onlookers and save them and others the potentially gory aftermath. Yes, sometimes it's tedious to see "the math" yet AGAIN, but if you've made it or are making it, please come back and tell us about it! :wacko:

 

Thanks, Rotorwish!

 

~ Hovering is a helicopter's raison d'etre.

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BTW, I think Fry offers a similar service; his tactics weed out tentative onlookers and save them and others the potentially gory aftermath.

Did she just call fry the SSH of this board? You ROCK heligirl!

Edited by zcat

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I completely agree that the most widespread advertising is preying on the naive and poorly informed. But this is a generic statement that is also true for a new car, bigger house, more credit, clothes, or anything else people dream about.

 

The difference between those "dreams" and flight training is the cost-to-loss relationship. When small dollars and a small loss are involved (e.g.,a health club membership that never gets used) it is just written off to experience...there's little lasting impact. Even a too big house can be sold and the loss minimized. But flight training...at $70k plus interest...that does not lead to an eventual paycheck can be a life changing loss...especially for a family. It can represent the kids college education, a new home or a comfortable retirement. It's a lotta money.

 

Unfortunately, they thrive on perpetuating unrealistic goals. They've devised a system where, by sheer numbers, they can afford to anger and lose students who would most likely have been gently nudged off the schedule at smaller, more dedicated facilities anyway.

 

And SSH is the most egregious because they make sure they get as much of the student's money as possible before they "anger and lose" them. By first contracting the student into an arrangement charging 10% of the total price per month...regardless of the service provided...SSH ensures that when the student does eventually drop out they've got the bulk of that loan money from him.

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It seems that two separate issues have been mixed up into the same debate.

 

1. Whether it is possible to succede in helicopters.

 

2. Whether it is wise to take any sort of loan to launch a career in helicopters.

 

My answer to 1 has to be an overwhelming, "Yes". There are countless accounts of people being reaching their goals. This is where motivation and attitude come in. But then that's the same in any industry isn't it?

 

The answer to 2 is not so clear cut. From what I have read here, then it would seem that taking a loan for helicopter flight training is a poor investment. (Bolded to show Fry, I agree with him!)

 

Fry,

 

You bring many issues to the surface which are important for anyone starting out in helicopters to know regarding loans and certain schools and that sort of thing. That is good, when it is appropriate.

 

However, don't mix the two questions above. Rotorwish's first post in this thread was not about the pro's and con's of getting a loan, it was a celebration of his acheiving a goal. As was heligirl's post. You replied to both of them negatively, questioning Rotorwish's claims, and almost devaluing Heligirl's acheivments. No one mentioned SSH until you did.

 

Not every one here is asking whether they should get a loan. Some are simply talking about number 1 above....success or not? That's what this thread was about.

 

Joker

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Rotorwish's first post in this thread was not about the pro's and con's of getting a loan, it was a celebration of his acheiving a goal. As was heligirl's post. You replied to both of them negatively, questioning Rotorwish's claims, and almost devaluing Heligirl's acheivments. No one mentioned SSH until you did.

 

Not every one here is asking whether they should get a loan. Some are simply talking about number 1 above....success or not? That's what this thread was about.

 

What a sensitive group...inject a little of the real world into their "passion" and they circle the wagons. Of course it is "possible" to have an occupation flying helicopters...does that really warrant much discussion? But...what is the probability of getting there or, is it a smart thing to do given the costs...financial and otherwise? Those are questions worth exploring.

 

Or is there more to these "don't-rain-on-the-kids'-parade posts? Maybe those posts you mention are really just sales pitches from flight school operators or their employees (CFIs). They sure sound like it to me. Vague testimonials to how "You too can have a successful and exciting career as a professional pilot". So I questioned the facts. How much is his monthly loan payment ("$600"...which is only two-thirds of what is would be for a student starting today)? Or, how does someone with a family manage those payments on a CFI's income ("defer"...i.e., add even more to the loan balance)? Now these posters may not be salespeople but, their inital posts and their subsequent responses are exactly (and I mean "exactly") what the flight training salespeople do say to prospective students. So I run the numbers and post the links to the facts. If the facts are too "pessimistic" for you then all I can say is you'd better "toughen up". Given the nature of the work, professional pilots tend to be realists who put more weight on the facts of a situation than on "feelings".

 

PS: Although, I must say, if I were someone investigating flying helicopters as an occupation I would conclude from the posts in this thread that it should only be undertaken by someone with no other familial, geographical or financial restrictions whatsoever (e.g., someone very young or a gypsy). Which is basically what I think too.

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Fry, Fry, Fry...

 

And you call 'us' a sensitive bunch!

 

professional pilots tend to be realists who put more weight on the facts of a situation than on "feelings".

 

I love this one...are you suggesting that I am not a real pilot?

 

All I was saying was that you don't have to bring into EVERY discussion the 'distrust of the system' that you seem to have amassed over the last few months. That's all. Some threads just don't warrant it.

 

Why not celebrate the successes as well as the struggles? Or is it that you believe that they are not the norm, and therefore don't merit any place in our discussions.

 

OK, here's a suggestion.

 

Instead of telling people what 'not' to do, and which schools 'not' to go to, and which loans 'not' to take all the time (which as you would admit is a negative way of going about it), why don't you help those wannabe's by using a positive approach and telling them which schools to go to, loans to take and generally the path to success?

 

Just my random thoughts!

 

Right, now I'm going to play with some of Rey's new board toys...because I'm bored.

 

Joker

 

 

SAHWNMTD

 

$this_var = "Hello World!";

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

 

Some hidden text

 

 

 

Hmmm, not much luck with those!

Edited by joker

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PS: Although, I must say, if I were someone investigating flying helicopters as an occupation I would conclude from the posts in this thread that it should only be undertaken by someone with no other familial, geographical or financial restrictions whatsoever (e.g., someone very young or a gypsy). Which is basically what I think too.

 

 

OH NO - I think i'm going to suprise you, maybe even dissappoint you fry. Here is the short version. I have a University degree, paid for by loan, then a 10 year career in Sales and Marketing in the UK (I'm British you see) ending up in a $160K job with car, freebies, pension etc etc. Got married. Decided not to do Sales anymore. Had a child. Decided to go to America and learn to fly helicopters and make that my career. Had another child. When second child was only 4 weeks old we boarded the plane to florida having sold 2000sq. ft of new furniture, our house, our cars and quit the job. We left our friends and family in the UK. We knew noone. We moved into a $500 a month 2 bed wooden apartment in FL for 6 months and I worked 9-5 to do my licenses. My wife gave up work and has stayed with the kids - and is still there now, doing the mum thing god bless her. Then we moved to texas, and then 6 months later to New Jersey - all the time teaching and living - yes really living, all four of us on $25k a year. No one suffered, the kids still went to Sesame Place and Seaworld, we still eat normal food. For the best part of 3 years we did this, then the greencard came, and then I am able to start again in a career, only this time in Helicopters. Were there bills - hell yes -- ts not cheap moving around the country with a family. Did we have medical? Yup, did we have loans - that too. Did we budget, plan, and budget again - sure we did. Can I tell you how we did it - maybe - but mostly it's down to a partnership between you and your wife.

 

You ask in your posts why people would want to take on a loan for a helicopter career, you suggest that only the young or the essentially free can possibly cope - and I'm here to disprove the rule. I'm not picking on you, but I will tell you why you just have to do what you need for self fulfillment:

 

LIFE IS NOT A REHEARSEL

 

I knew this before I started - and when you have kids you realise it even more, and then when a close friend dies doing the same job you do, you become the firmest of believers. Money should never be the thing that stops you from realising your hopes, your dreams, or the block that stops you becoming an inspiration to your kids, your colleagues, your friends, or even the other anonymous posters on this board. Get out there - make it happen, live it now. Sure, if someone had written down what I just told you at the beginning and showed it to me before moved my family 2500 miles across the atlantic to live - would I have gone - well actually, damn right I would. It's not the money, the hardship, the cost - its the happiness, the thrill, the contentment, the pride and the knowledge that you are doing something that you love - and that shines through to your wife, your kids your friends and your board posters. If you let the loans get in the way and stop you doing what you want - you'll end up regretting it. So fry, don't get caught in the "glass is half empty" trap. Hard work, committment and a solid conviction that what you are doing is the right thing will actually pay all the bills. So if there are new pilots out there - get out there - borrow the damn money if you have to and pay it off eventually. Live your life as you want it - not as the rules dictate - 'cos someday there might not be such an opportunity.

Thanks for listening,

FFF :)

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Well said...FFF...

 

I'm in my third week of training now...with 4 kids...a happy wife and a blessed home. I can handle the financial aspect (not without a sacrifice in other areas...of course) but in my observation...I've been waiting too long to go after my dream of flying helicopters and waiting has gotten old...This site and many other people in my life have encouraged me and continue to do so...I also believe "one can do anything they really set their mind to"... as long as they have faith "mixed-in" with some wisdom...it can be done.

 

Your post has been added to my list of encouragements...thank you!!

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Yay! Now we're getting to what RW started: a success-thread! I don't think any of us with success stories intend to paint a perfect picture. THIS IS NOT EASY. We just want others out there to know that is is POSSIBLE if you are well-informed, completely committed, and have a PLAN. :rolleyes:

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...but I will tell you why you just have to do what you need for self fulfillment:

 

Money should never be the thing that stops you from realising your hopes, your dreams, or the block that stops you becoming an inspiration to your kids, your colleagues, your friends, or even the other anonymous posters on this board. Get out there - make it happen, live it now.

 

It's not the money, the hardship, the cost - its the happiness, the thrill, the contentment, the pride and the knowledge that you are doing something that you love - and that shines through to your wife, your kids your friends and your board posters.

 

If you let the loans get in the way and stop you doing what you want - you'll end up regretting it. Hard work, committment and a solid conviction that what you are doing is the right thing will actually pay all the bills.

 

One person's pessimism and cynicism is another's realism and responsibility; and what is to one person risk-taking and self-fulfillment is to another self-centered and uncommitted. Neither good nor bad just two sides of the same coin.

 

In any case, what you've described seems to be placing some awfully high expectations on a flying job. I mean, what happens when, after all those sacrifices by you and your family, it becomes just a job? After a few years the messy real world begins to intrude...the pay raises start coming in at only 3% a year while the company wants more overtime; the wife decides she wants to be "self-fulfilled" too and go back to school; and, the kids don't like living in Louisiana?

 

It would seem to me that, for the cost (financial and otherwise), the payoff (financial and otherwise) should be somewhat greater than just the thrill of flying. That thrill can't be shared and it doesn't last.

 

But maybe that's just me. Good luck.

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This debate will probably never end.

 

Flying is a passion that many people only dream about and never seek, achieve, or believe is attainable. The fact is it is attainable and ther are many ways to get there.

 

How many people start college only to last a semester or 2. That's several thousand dollars gone with nothing to show for it. Even you spend all the money to get certiicates and never fly commercially - you've got a license to fly a helicopter.

 

I got the college degree and then spent all the money again to get the helicopter ratings. I wish I went to helicoptering first. That degree will never hurt me but I could have paid for my training without a loan had I spent it on my first dream instead of doing what I "should" do to be "succesfull" according to the "normal" world.

 

So I did what it took to achieve the dream.

 

I haven't met too many people that speek about the numbers they've crunched and deals they cut in their offices with enthusiasm.

 

I'm a glorified taxi cab driver. I'm good at it. I get to do it at 500 feet and 100kts. Yes it's a job on some days - It's a better job than most.

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In any case, what you've described seems to be placing some awfully high expectations on a flying job. I mean, what happens when, after all those sacrifices by you and your family, it becomes just a job? After a few years the messy real world begins to intrude...the pay raises start coming in at only 3% a year while the company wants more overtime; the wife decides she wants to be "self-fulfilled" too and go back to school; and, the kids don't like living in Louisiana?

 

I could replace "flying" with "Computer" job and this would be 100% accurate. There are plenty of occupations where this is the norm. And plenty of those require a significant investment in time and money. What is more expensive? A year or two of your life and a $70k loan, or 4-5 years of you life and a $40k loan? Guess what, you can always get the money back.

 

If you don't have a passion for what you do, or who you work for, then you'll never be happy. You can crunch all the hard numbers you like but it doesn't mean crap if you hate what you do. This applies to flying helicopters, working IT, or being a professional puppy cuddler. Regardless of how Fry says it, rushing into a decision like this is beyond foolish. Almost as foolish as never bothering to even consider it.

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I could replace "flying" with "Computer" job and this would be 100% accurate. There are plenty of occupations where this is the norm.

Exactly right FauxZ. I have a dreaded computer job, and the blanks fill in quite accurately. In my line of work, there are the true geeks--the ones that had the Commodore 64 growing up, always wanted to work with computers, the whole bit. Then there are the ones who thought it would be a good practical move to get in the industry, couldn't decide on anything else, etc. A large number of the ones in the latter group (myself included), end up a few years down the road rather unsatisfied with the situation. Many are e-Frys. The true geeks almost never get tired of doing what they do. Sure, they have bad days, would rather be fishing playing Dungeons and Dragon some days, etc., but in the end, on balance it's not just a job. I imagine it's the same in the helicopter industry. Bottom line, if you're doing what you've always wanted to do, the good days will outnumber and outweigh the bad. And some people will always be able to give you 47,000 reasons why they think that will never be the case.

 

z

Edited by zcat

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Uh oh!

 

I hope he's not knocking the Commodore 64!

 

Does it make me a geek too to admit that I have worked / played / with all of these! (Although I NEVER played Dungeon's and Dragons! Now that was for true geeks.)

 

ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Acorn, Atari, Game&Watch, BBC Micro, DOS 3.2 thru DOS 7, Windows 2 thru Vista.

 

I remember taking half an hour to load a game for the BBC from a tape. You'd sit there patiently to be told right at the end...'Load Failed...Please Try Again'....AND WE DID!!!

 

I remember when the old green screen was replaced by a colour screen, so you could play Aviator in 2 colours.

acornsoft_aviator_200.jpg

 

I remember when the 5 1/4" discs were replaced by the 3 1/2" so you could fit a massive 1.4MB on one peice of plastic instead of the previous 360kb...now that was a revolution! Funny, yesterday I just bought a 250GB hard drive as a backup store!

150px-5.25-floppy-front.jpg

 

That was an era of computing where pioneers boldly went where no man has gone before.

 

320px-Commodore64.jpg

Where dreams were made and broken overnight.

280px-ZXSpectrum48k.jpg

Where computers were computers.

180px-AcornBBCMicroImage.jpg

Where computer users were computer users.

150px-Game_and_watch_Ball.JPG(Yes, I had this game..Ball)

 

atpong.jpg

 

2.jpg

Can you believe it. Talking to some kids in a primary school about this, and they thought he was a 'Cash Register!' They didn't know what a typewriter was! Sort of misses the point, eh?!

 

Ah, the good old days!

 

Joker

 

Sorry for the hijack. Now, back to the thread!

Edited by joker

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Ahh, the good ol' days. Nice, Joker! The 64 was THE stuff in its day. You definitely qualify for an honorary geek diploma, albiet with notations (no D&D). I actually did used to play D&D. (emphasis on used to). Fortunately, I gave it up somwwhere around the age of 16, unlike many of my current Klingon-speaking compatriots. OK, enuff of the hijack. Back to the regularly scheduled program.

 

z

Edited by zcat

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