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Hi all,

New to the forum, new to helicopters. This is a great archive of info. First a little background, I am changing careers, and have decided that my passion for flying wins out. Got hurt in Iraq, (blown right rotator cuff/repaired, some nerve damage to right arm sensation) have been rated for light duty, not supposed to lift 20lbs over my head. I'm not rdy to ride a desk! How physically demanding is a commercial pilots job? How was training and building hours? you guys are the experienced ones, could i do it? any advice is much appreciated, Thanks..

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Hi all,

New to the forum, new to helicopters. This is a great archive of info. First a little background, I am changing careers, and have decided that my passion for flying wins out. Got hurt in Iraq, (blown right rotator cuff/repaired, some nerve damage to right arm sensation) have been rated for light duty, not supposed to lift 20lbs over my head. I'm not rdy to ride a desk! How physically demanding is a commercial pilots job? How was training and building hours? you guys are the experienced ones, could i do it? any advice is much appreciated, Thanks..

If you can drive on a long trip without discomfort you should be fine. Permanent profile on the shoulder or do you expect it to improve?

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Hi Drumbum07,

I too was injured on duty, and had to retire from my career as a firefighter. I had some pretty serious orthopedic injuries, and wondered the same thing. I have 140 hrs rtc time now and Im finishing up my Instrument rating right now so it can be done. Hovergirls advice is right on. I would definately go and get a second class medical exam done before spending any $ on training. It may help your cause to have your surgen/pt write a letter saying that your good2go and brining that with you to your exam. I had to jump through alot of extra hoops but after a few months, and a few thousand dollars I got it. As far as pain/physical exertion if you can drive a little sports car with a stick shift for 2 hour blocks thats about the same as far as being a student. The commercial side I cannot coment on because I am not there yet. Best of luck.

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Some things you may want to keep in mind are the pre-flights. You are going to have to be able to pull yourself up up und down the frame of the helicopter at least twice a day to check the main rotor system. Also, as of right now I fly corporate and have to do quite a bit of refueling in between dropping pax off at destinations. Some of these airports are unmanned and you have to refuel yourself. If you don't use a ladder, you will be holding up a thick rubber hose that is streched out 20+ feet above your head. Not sure exactly how much it weighs though. If you are flying a R22 or R44, you have to put the wheel on it which equals at least 20lb I would think. If you are pulling an R22 out by yourself, you will be pulling down on the tail rotor gearbox of a helicopter that weighs 870 empty weight. If you are pulling down on an R44 tail, that thing weighs 1500 empty and your arms will defenitly be above your head. Through your training, most likely the instructors will be the only ones maneuvering the helicopters, but keep in mind they will not always be there. There is alot more than just having to sit for a long time without discomfort. Maybe go to a prospective school and ask if you can try these things. They will let you, you are a potential student.

 

I hope you will be able to realize your dream. Keep us posted on your progress.

 

--CM

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Hi all,

New to the forum, new to helicopters. This is a great archive of info. First a little background, I am changing careers, and have decided that my passion for flying wins out. Got hurt in Iraq, (blown right rotator cuff/repaired, some nerve damage to right arm sensation) have been rated for light duty, not supposed to lift 20lbs over my head. I'm not rdy to ride a desk! How physically demanding is a commercial pilots job? How was training and building hours? you guys are the experienced ones, could i do it? any advice is much appreciated, Thanks..

 

If you're intent is to work at this, you'll also need to consider ability to handle hydraulic failures. Collective, left arm, but cyclic is right arm. You can use your legs for support, but it's upper body work.

Wally

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Just flying the helicopter, with everything working, doesn't take much physical effort or strength. When things go wrong, you may need some. Plus the other stuff mentioned, like refueling, preflighting, etc do take a little strength. Preflights, if done properly, don't really take a lot of strength, because you use your legs, not your arms, to get up and down, but if you slip, you may need the upper body strength to prevent a nasty fall. I've seen several pilots badly injured by falls during preflights.

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Simple... fly something that you can't turn the hydralics off and can't push it around on the ground.. and you are good to go! Either way, good luck with everything, and sorry to hear about your injury.

 

 

 

CHAD

Edited by FLHooker
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