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For the last 7 months I've been researching flight schools. I've taken intro flights in both types of trainers and I'm looking to start training full time this summer. My entire family is trying to convince me to steer away from helicopters and become a fixed wing pilot instead, basically only for the reason that they believe fixed wings are safer. Its gotten to the point where they even told me they would pay for my for me to obtain my fixed wing private license, in hopes I'll jump on that bandwagon. I've had a fixed wing intro lesson and as I enjoy anytype of flying, you can't really beat the freedom of a helicopter. I eventually would like to be rated in both, and Im looking for advice if it would be wise to go fixed wing first (private only) then transition into commercial rotary. I've heard that some airplane pilots have a hard time transitioning into helos, I'm not concerned about hours transfering over and all that, just the actual flying of each machine. I would think the radio calls, flight planning, and air spaces would all be the same? Maybe instruments are close as well? Anyone ever had a job flyin both proffessionally? I know I think I would be crazy to turn down a good offer like this, but I figure I could get some info from the good ol vr forum! Thanks and any input is appreciated.

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If you like both, get both. I had my cml/ifr heli before i got my fixed wing private, but it makes a lot more sense financially to do the fixed wing rating first. If you enjoy any type of flying, then you should become dual rated. You'll have some bad habits from fixed wing (like using the pedals while turning in flight), but most of the knowledge will transfer as you said. You'll be more marketable with dual ratings also. My 2 cents anyway.

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For the last 7 months I've been researching flight schools. I've taken intro flights in both types of trainers and I'm looking to start training full time this summer. My entire family is trying to convince me to steer away from helicopters and become a fixed wing pilot instead, basically only for the reason that they believe fixed wings are safer. Its gotten to the point where they even told me they would pay for my for me to obtain my fixed wing private license, in hopes I'll jump on that bandwagon. I've had a fixed wing intro lesson and as I enjoy anytype of flying, you can't really beat the freedom of a helicopter. I eventually would like to be rated in both, and Im looking for advice if it would be wise to go fixed wing first (private only) then transition into commercial rotary. I've heard that some airplane pilots have a hard time transitioning into helos, I'm not concerned about hours transfering over and all that, just the actual flying of each machine. I would think the radio calls, flight planning, and air spaces would all be the same? Maybe instruments are close as well? Anyone ever had a job flyin both proffessionally? I know I think I would be crazy to turn down a good offer like this, but I figure I could get some info from the good ol vr forum! Thanks and any input is appreciated.

 

Dude (or Dudette), IMO, you are at an important point in your [future] career, decision-wise.

 

I was in a similar situation many years ago. Here's how it worked out for me:

 

Some of my family pushed me to the FW side years ago by offering help ($$) only for FW. They were strongly against helos--

 

Yet, to start the timeline correctly, I must say that I initially wanted FW and got my private, went to college, then dropped out. Tried different college with FW career program, and left that too; something was missing. Found out how cool Helos were while working a line service job at an FBO. Asked family for help with rotor--answer--no. Figured a way to do it myself with real gov't loans/grants, got a few hours in R22, then school went CH. 7. Found another school and paid for pvt. heli with CC's. Ran outta $. Years pass with no flying. Miss flying-cannot pay for helo myself- ask family for help to finish up FW. They help and the end result, where I am at today, is I'm an airline pilot. There's something missing. While working on my FW career, I try to get a Key Bank, SLM, Any Bank loan a few times over 3 years to work on helo on the side--DENIED every time. SO recently, I start REALLY thinking about what I want outta life, review my career path and history and my feelings about it and decide it's time. Somehow, I recently convinced my family to help a little with helo. So right now, I am working on my COMM add on. It is so awesome to be back in helos. There is nothing like hovering, or doing pinnacle ops, autos, etc.

 

My Advice to you: DO WHAT YOU REALLY WANT--no matter what. If you want to fly Helos, dont compromise, do that. IMO, it is so important to get as much Helo time as possible. Dont waste $$ getting 50-80 hrs of FW time for your PVT FW. Case in point--me. When I get my COMM add on and CFI I'll only have 100-150 helo time--Forget about robby's or any other job at any other school-gotta get that magic 200-300 hrs RW.

 

If your family is willing to help you get the FW private, then by all logic, common sense, and common decency they should help you get your RW pvt. "...there's no jobs, you cant make any $, they're dangerous....etc...." I've heard it all. Statistically, Part 121 flying is alot safer. If my memory serves me right, Part 135 FW flying (statistically) gets a little more dangerous, even more dangerous is FW Part 91 flying--I believe part 91 RW is tied with FW. People die when they slip in their bathtub, people die flying on large Part 121 aircraft. I know of 5 people (2 were acquaintances) in 7 years of FW career who died in airplane crashes. Do what you really want. If you believe in BASE jumping, do that. If you believe in Great white shark wrestling, do that. Do what you really believe in and you will be OK. AND--if you're not OK, then at least you got hurt or got dead doing what you love and believe in. Probably one of the most dangerous things you can do is to be older and looking back on your life and think, "...man, I sure wish I would've done that...."

 

I have some odd thousands of FW hours. I think my experience does help a little. Instrument flying, radios maybe a little easier for me. But Helo flying is a whole different deal. I used to fly FW air ambulance. I could check Wx, flight plan for an IFR flight, heard the med. crew to the plane, start up, taxi, and launch to some BFE airport in the middle of the night in 10-15 mins from call to launch. At my airline, I could get a clearance, program the FMS, set up the cockpit, complete 6 long-ass checklists in 15 mins as part of a 2 man crew-all the while being totally sleep-deprived. Now flying 20 miles away at 500', VFR, in a Helo is a challenge--where the hell is the airport? WHich fwy do I follow now? Which VFR departure procedure starts where? Where's the power lines? where's the best emergency landing spot? Where's the wind coming from at that emergency landing spot? Where are the wires at that emegency landing spot? More helo time will be the best help for a helo career.

 

As for your family, dont let them, or other "experts" try and steer you to the FW side. Here's a good example to use when people say to go FW b/c of the better opportunities.

 

Scenario 1: You have 1500tt FW, and 100 multi. One of your options is to work for a regional airline--starting pay is around $18k/year - $25k/year

or work for a cargo feeder company--starting pay is around $23k/yr - $36k/year

 

*supposedly the FW side is sort of going thru a "pilot shortage". Lots of regionals have lowered

their mins to 500tt/100multi.

 

 

Scenario 2: You have 1500tt RW, no turbine. One of your options is to work for air methods--starting pay is around $49k/year - $60k/year

(only 1000tt RW-work for PHI--starting pay is around $48k/year

 

To compare go to--

 

RW

 

http://brian.hudson.home.mchsi.com/helopay/index.htm

 

 

FW

 

http://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/

 

* I am in no way saying that it's easy to get a helo job or the helo career is better, or better paying or has a better QOL. I am providing arguments against the "experts" that say you cant go RW or that a FW career is safer, better, better paying, etc.

 

Anyway, I just hit the typing input wall, so Im done blabbing for now-- the coffee is wearing off. Just my humble opinion-hope it helps.

 

Snackula

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