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Welcome. Picking a school is definitely going to be your next big hurdle, although I commend you for saving up that kind of change. Generally financing is the biggest hurdle Civilian pilots face when it comes to training. I checked out Vortex last fall, and I was really impressed with the professionalism of the CFI I took a demo flight with. My only gripe about Vortex is that it's out in New Iberia, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere in my opinion. I know that's lame, but it's the only downside to the facility I found which I think speaks well for the school. I've heard from others here that you can't go wrong with Hillsboro or Mauna Loa either. Good luck making the decision.

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Bwinkert,

 

wow saving up 550k is pretty impressive. do you mind telling us how you saved five hundered fifty thousand dollars while just working as a firefighter/emt.. Cause I know emt's only make about 13 bucks an hour. and firefighting is seasonal, I know overtime is how firefighters make alot of their money, then ofcourse unemployment... but saving like 85 k a year, while living for the past seven years, while being only 27 just sound unreasonable. So what was your secret, maybe you could patten it and make yourself millions???? really don't wanna hear the """ oh I just worked my butt off and put it in the bank""" so whats the secret....

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Welcome to the forum, there's a lot of really good info here if you browse through a couple pages.

I start flight training the 15th of May so I am just getting into the industry myself.

 

I am also an EMT, certified Basic. I got certified in high school for fun, ended up stopping at basic but I regret not getting my intermediate. Always did wanna push an IV.... I also did a 24 at Hermann's Trauma Center in Houston with the famous Dr. Red Duke. The most insane night of my short medical career.....

 

 

Good luck on your choice of schools, the Hawaii joint would be amazing.

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brad,

 

well that is extremly impressive, I'm glad to hear that you got a bonus of 150k cause that is an enormous amount of money to save up and not touch..... So if I was you, and im not, but I would buy a house or two and just do the training like everyone else does. if you wanna fly heli's. then just plop down the money and go wherever you want. I think a young single guy would totally love hawaii,,, but if you are really serious about it, you are only gonna need 100k of that huge amount. go plop down the 65k or whatever it is and take the rest and rent an apartment and fly everyday... you should be able to knock all of your training out in one year if you have all of the money and motivation. that leaves you alot if yoiu only use 100k ,, buy a house and don't blow all of your money in one place.

 

but if I was also you and had that kind of money, and really wanted to get into the heli business. I would not only buy a house, where I know I would keep my money safe, I would also buy a helicopter... buy yourself a used r 22 and train in it. this is a great way to save yourself some money and get your training done when you want. then soon as you get your private. about two months down the road. you can fly whenever you want. get yourself alot of hours for very cheap and then sell the bird used... this way of training would really be the best way to go in the world. you have your own ship and you fly the hell out of it and then sell it for a much smaller loss than 65 k you will spend renting at 200 dollars an hour........ I wouldn't move anywhere, just buy a heli and have a flight instructor near you, train with you..... the biggest advantage to this would be, you have your own heli, can fly and train when you want. you can build time for cheap and you save tons of money in the long haul. as long as you don't wreck it and sell it with some time left on it...

 

Most people get into this helicopter world with nothing or little money and take out a loan. and if I was saving money and then goiing I would only need 50-100 k at the most. so why do you think you needed to save 400-550 k up before jumping into a copter???

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Yeah, the whole buying your own ship thing is the way to go. Im in training right now and not being in the finacial postion your in at all and still am thinking about leasing one, soo much cheaper. Just find a CFI, if you got a R22 with intruments that would be a huge plus.

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As a professional firefighter myself, I have some advice for you. I have 18 years on the job, and I'm setting myself up for "retirement" by going to flight school. I'll be retired when I'm 45, and hopefully have my CFI-I by then. We work 24/48 so I'm also working part time and flying on my 2 days off. If I was in your spot, I'd do things a lot different. You need to give some SERIOUS consideration to staying put for now. That pension will come in handy in a few years when your little nest egg is gone. Are there any schools close enough to drive to on your 96 off? Also as mentioned earlier in this thread, it's not gonna take $500K to get your training, so BUY LAND. They're not making it anymore.

 

I commend you for saving the money, and sticking to your goals! If you're dead set on packing up and moving to go to flight school, I'd go either Vortex or Hawaii. One thing you're not thinking about is the weather. Can't get any stick time if the weather sucks. Vortex will help set you up for the Gulf, remember network yourself, and Hawaii is well just that. Hawaii!

 

Whatever you decide, I hope you do well and GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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The best way to pick a school is to picture yourself flying in 5 years. What are you doing? If you're flying in the gulf, go to vortex. If your fighting fires or logging go to hillsboro. If youre fighting fires, and flying around japanese tourists, go to mauna loa. If you're in Alaska, go anywhere because you'll have to learn so much new stuff anyway. Its not that you shoe horn yourself into a type of flying based on the school you go to, its just the relationships with employers schools often have.

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When abouts are you looking at start training? I'm also looking at going to Mauna Loa and Hillsboro. I'm from the Uk and looking at going to both on different visas. I'm making a trip out to all 3 mauna loa schools and hillsboro at the end of june so i can give you my opinions of the schools after that if you want and havent already visited them yourself by then

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Also on the land issue, I have inhertied about 350 acres.

 

DLO22,

 

It wasn't a bonus of a $150k, if was from the death of a family member, I only wish it was a flat out bonus.

 

 

look at it this way at least you have a place to build your Heliport ;)

 

obtaining to 2 things mentioned above in the manner you state is never a good thing :(

 

my condolences, and FLY SAFE

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Fastlane,

 

There really isnt any place close enough to drive to on my 96 to take care of it, I mean there is Midwest in St louis, but by the time you figure drive time, lodging etc, it may come out to a little more which wouldnt be so bad, I've got 8 years in and could also retire at 45, I have looked at also taking a LOA which I've talked to admin about and they are pretty ok with it as long as its for education, so therefore I could leave and come back after a year. so many decisons. Also on the land issue, I have inhertied about 350 acres.

 

DLO22,

 

It wasn't a bonus of a $150k, if was from the death of a family member, I only wish it was a flat out bonus.

 

Sounds like you know what you want, and are willing and ready to go for it. And that's a GOOD thing! If I was making this decision "early" (8 years into it is not early) into the fire biz, my decisions would be different as well. The wife and I have always wanted to "tour" the country, and this is our "excuse". I'm retiring, kids are off to college, I'm actually building myself for a second career, starting at age 45.

 

I have to be honest with you brother, I'm quite jealous at this point. 27 years old, basically have the world by the azz, and a pocket full of money. GO FOR IT! And don't let ANYTHING get in your way.

 

Like mentioned in this thread before, where do you picture yourself in 5 years? That's going to dictate where you need to be. Me personally, I want to be back in my home town flying EMS. But I am SOOOO looking forward to flying tours in Vegas, ENG in California, THE GULF, whatever and wherever this is going to take me!

 

I'm CERTAIN your FD has a "waiting list" for YOUR job. Did you ever stop to think about why? Because it's a damn good job, and there are TONS of people that would love to have it. YOU already have it. That has to be worth something. I'm not trying to talk you into or out of anything, trust me I understand. I've wanted to be a pilot since I was 8 years old, and in 1988 I was sitting in front of a Navy recruiter. I chose the fire service instead. It wasn't a bad decision, I don't regret it even a little. I'm happy I've been a professional firefighter for almost 20 years. I'm now a Batt Chief, and I wouldn't change it if I could. But I still have that "what if" in my mind. And bringing a Helo in when I'm in charge of a scene doesn't help. Ride-alongs don't help either! LOL Realistically, I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're still young enough to do BOTH. Because that's exactly what I'm doing. Fast forward yourself 10 years, and you're looking at me. Except you have an advantage. Get your stick time in NOW. Fly on your 96 off. But, the FD thing is tough to walk away from. Literally yesterday, I talked to a friend of mine on his last shift at the FD after 15 years. He's walking away from it to go fly the Gulf. He's excited about his new career path, but was still rather sad about turning in his fire gear. If you cash it all in now, and go for the pilot career, you WILL NOT be disappointed, but YOU have to make it happen. But, you're setting yourself up for the "what if." You know the things we see, the things we do, what it takes to be a professional firefighter. "What if" you would have stayed?

 

Basically "kid", the world is yours. Where do you want to go?

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Guest pokey

27 & 1/2 a million buckaroos?! :o holy c0w ! good luck to ya & watch out for crooks. In my opinion, w/ all that $$,,,, buy yerself 2-3 th-55's hire at least 1 mech/cfi, & dont blow the rest on booze & wimmin ! :lol:

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Brad, Brad, Brad.....

 

You're TELLING me you love the fire service! Except for the typical BS we deal with, right? STAY HOME! Go fly on your 96 off!

 

I'm even more jealous now than I was the last time I replied on this thread! You got the world by the ass kid, TAKE IT. Don't let the personality BS in the fire biz get the best of you. Can ya transfer to a different company? It's gonna take YOU putting yourself above all that to get ahead in the pilot biz, so why not make it work for you now?

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that 10 years ago, I WISH I would have been in your position.

 

If it's what you want, then go for it bro, and DON'T LOOK BACK!

 

But no "what if's"!

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The problem with transfering is, we are pretty small 3 house department, Not many chances to jump shifts or trucks, as the way things are set up is kinda crazy, but this isnt so much the place to discuss that, Im still thinking of taking the leave, finish up as much as i can, then come back and fly on my 96's to build hours. I do pretty much put myself about this certain person and we all pull together and overcome him at times, just gets sticky at times.

 

but I do look forward to getting out and flying

 

Brad

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...Im still thinking of taking the leave, finish up as much as i can, then come back and fly on my 96's to build hours. I do pretty much put myself about this certain person and we all pull together and overcome him at times, just gets sticky at times.

 

but I do look forward to getting out and flying

 

Brad

 

Atta boy! Don't burn any bridges, don't leave yourself out to hang. This is YOUR future, set yourself up for success! Worst case scenario, you have 1 year to make the pilot thing work. IF, I reiterate, IF it doesn't, you can always fall back on the FD.

 

I'm proud of you! But the one thing I'm going to stress, is the fact that YOU, YOU and no one else, has to make this happen! You've already set yourself up to succeed, and you're honestly ahead of the game at this point. But DO NOT, let anyone/anything/anywhere get between you and that goal you have in the back of your mind.

 

And like I said before, no "What If's." Those will kill you.

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brad,

 

sounds like you got some wet feet about leaving the fd thing, thats ok, I would be too, I am. Putting eight years of school on hold to tackle a dream on a whim.... you don't have to have all or nothing at this point. hell you might not even like flying, day in and day out. believe it or not, it does become a job and is not all fun.. you still have to kiss a bunch of ass and put up with the same crap, except its usually not state or county budgeted, its budgeted by penny pinchers and tight wads most of the time. If you aint making the company money, you ain't flyin at all.... Helicopter goes down and so do you.. WEll not always,

 

but logically speaking, you have alot of money and a good stable job. they always say, if you love flying, do not mix business with pleasure or it will soon become a job. buy a heli and train and fly whenever you want, at your own pace on your own penny, and save thousands in the mean time. If you wanna do this the best way possible, buy your own heli and go for it. you could even work some at the fd while doing this. take a Loa for two months, go pay and get your private, buy yourself a heli , before getting your private, and fly back and forth to st louis or whereever you said...... Buying a heli will not only be the best way to do things, it is the smartest way and will save you the most money. Then if you decide you don't like it, you can just fly for fun and stay working were you are at... you won't lose that much money to convienently build 2-400 hours... when you add it up, it will save you a bundle....

 

If your not sure of what to do. then start by getting your medical and starting on your private. by then you will have a better idea of what to do and how the industry works, then you can make that decision later down the road.... good luck in whatever you do though.....

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