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A Silver State testimonial


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From wifeofr22pilot on the JH forum:

 

Hello all,

I have a question to anyone who can answer truthfully. My husband is a helicopter pilot and I think it's great; I have no qualms with it whatsoever. This is something he has always wanted to do (to get a job with and for fun.) I don't want to be a whiner about something, but I am really starting to wonder if he can ever find any sort of job with this profession. He has sent out over 400 resumes since last year (he graduated in Jan07.) and still nothing. He has only had a few call backs that seemed partially interested. I realize that not everyone can get a job with what they went to school for immediately after graduation, but it seemed at the time and when he was going to school that flight instructors were in huge demand. Now it seems the opposite. I am really starting to get depressed and we are both wondering how we are ever going to pay back over $120,000.00 in student loans without him getting a helicopter job. Yes, I know the starting jobs only get you about 15-25 dollars hourly. He is now working at a low paying job because no employer seems to want him with his helicopter licenses. The first thing they ask "Why aren't you flying helicopters?" and usually that is the last. Can we ever expect him to find any sort of helicopter job in the future? Honestly, it's nearly impossible to keep building hours unless he finds some sort of job; he's already spent so much money to get all his licenses, that we can't get any more loans. Please let me know if you have ANY suggestions!

 

Asked how they could be $120k in debt:

 

...he doens't have his CFII, he lost a lot of money when he left SSH, he was told one amount /hour and they changed it when he "checked out" by adding another 120.00 per hour. They also said they weren't going to charge for ground instruction, but tacked on another 15,000.00 for that. I wish I were making this up, but unfortunately I am not. We are trying to resolve the legal matter, but not getting anywhere...

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Hi there, sorry to hear about the predicament. More information is needed to determine the answers, but usually employers look for pilots with a minimum of 500 - 1000 hours; and that's for offshore in the Gulf. I have heard that you can pick up jobs for less, but that is usually if you know someone who owns a helicopter. I understand that insurance companies require at least 350 hours before they will cover the helicopter.

 

You said your husband graduated but does not have his CFII...does that also mean that he does not have his CFI? Getting the CFI is the most common way for pilots to build time because it means they are building hours while teaching someone else to fly.

 

If he's got his commercial license, then he has at least 150hrs. To build time to 500 hrs is a pretty expensive way to go if he plans to pay his own way there; but there are some occasional alternatives. If you PM me I can pass those ideas on to you.

 

Good luck!

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I own and operate a helicopter company and have always said that there isn't any money in flight training. Anyone that does flight training knows that. Commercial work is where you can make a buck.

 

I think of flight instruction as almost providing a public service. Because we like flying helicopters and want to see others fly we do flight training, thats really the only reason. If you are making millions in the flight training business, you probably aren't doing it right. Just my .02.

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First off very sorry to hear about another silver state fiasco! Your husband needs to get a job as a CFI. It wasn't my dream job either. Its not a matter of even paying dues, its a matter of what kind of job you can get with what skills/experience you have. If he does not have his CFI get it! Expect to make just enough to survive for a year or so..... Then at about 1000 hrs like magic jobs will become more available. One more thing, you may have to move where the job is. Just remember that in the end it is just a stepping stone in the right direction. Hope this helps.

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First off very sorry to hear about another silver state fiasco! Your husband needs to get a job as a CFI. It wasn't my dream job either. Its not a matter of even paying dues, its a matter of what kind of job you can get with what skills/experience you have. If he does not have his CFI get it! Expect to make just enough to survive for a year or so..... Then at about 1000 hrs like magic jobs will become more available. One more thing, you may have to move where the job is. Just remember that in the end it is just a stepping stone in the right direction. Hope this helps.

 

 

I agree with this statement 100%.

I did alot of research before committing to a loan and school.

Plus, being FEMALE, I was very concerned that I'd be discriminated against.

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I agree with this statement 100%.

I did alot of research before committing to a loan and school.

Plus, being FEMALE, I was very concerned that I'd be discriminated against.

 

It seems to me that the intial choices you make have a significant domino effect on your helo career...

 

Monday my financial aid meeting finally arrives. I'll be visiting schools this week. I'll be visiting the Silver State facility in St. Louis. Not to attend but as more of a rubbernecking drive by slow and look at the accident type thing.

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I'll be visiting the Silver State facility in St. Louis. Not to attend but as more of a rubbernecking drive by slow and look at the accident type thing.

 

 

 

 

I refer to that as a "train wreck"...yah can't help but look! :lol:

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I agree with this statement 100%.

I did alot of research before committing to a loan and school.

Plus, being FEMALE, I was very concerned that I'd be discriminated against.

 

Ok, I'll say it... (puts flame suit on)

 

You generally won't be discriminated against, you'll get job offers long before the boys will, simply because you're a woman. It is reverse discrimination, and it isn't just aviation that has this happening.

 

For what it is worth, I've flown with many male and female pilots, some are great and some are not, I've found gender to have little impact overall on the quality of a pilot. It really has to do with the individual.

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Another pretty good thread from JH:

 

http://originalforum.justhelicopters.com/D...M=628573#628573

 

Contrary to what the "puppy mil Flight schools" as you say, will tell you, if you do plop down tht 70K expect to pay some heavy dues for many years before you get a decent job in this business.

 

No there isn't a "pilot shortage." There is however an "experienced pilot" shortage. What it will take for a newbe to get that experience will probably not be worth the effort and sacrifice for most people.

 

Think of it in terms of the "Law of Halves"

 

a. Half the students who start training won't finish with a Commercial and CFI, (years 1 or 2)

b. Half again won't put in the time necessary to get 1000 TT hours as a CFI, (years 2 thru 4 )

c. Half of these won't last in the bottom end of the industry (years 4-6)

d. Half again may be around at the 3000 hour mark. (years 6-8)

 

Out of a representative 100 Robbie students then:

a. 50

b. 25

c. 13

d. 6

 

By then, ( if you are one of those 6 ) you might have a few options in the 60+ salary range.

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First off very sorry to hear about another silver state fiasco! Your husband needs to get a job as a CFI. It wasn't my dream job either. Its not a matter of even paying dues, its a matter of what kind of job you can get with what skills/experience you have. If he does not have his CFI get it! Expect to make just enough to survive for a year or so..... Then at about 1000 hrs like magic jobs will become more available. One more thing, you may have to move where the job is. Just remember that in the end it is just a stepping stone in the right direction. Hope this helps.

 

 

Please don't use me and Silverstate in the same sentence!!!

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Another pretty good thread from JH:

 

http://originalforum.justhelicopters.com/D...M=628573#628573

 

Contrary to what the "puppy mil Flight schools" as you say, will tell you, if you do plop down tht 70K expect to pay some heavy dues for many years before you get a decent job in this business.

 

No there isn't a "pilot shortage." There is however an "experienced pilot" shortage. What it will take for a newbe to get that experience will probably not be worth the effort and sacrifice for most people.

 

Think of it in terms of the "Law of Halves"

 

a. Half the students who start training won't finish with a Commercial and CFI, (years 1 or 2)

b. Half again won't put in the time necessary to get 1000 TT hours as a CFI, (years 2 thru 4 )

c. Half of these won't last in the bottom end of the industry (years 4-6)

d. Half again may be around at the 3000 hour mark. (years 6-8)

 

Out of a representative 100 Robbie students then:

a. 50

b. 25

c. 13

d. 6

 

By then, ( if you are one of those 6 ) you might have a few options in the 60+ salary range.

 

 

 

From my research it certainly appears that the failure rate (to make a career of being a helicopter pilot) is extremely high.

 

I want to be one of those 6. I have not started yet (My financial aid meeting with Missouri Career Center is Monday) but my research has focused primarily on HOW to get from school to 1000 hours without having to pay to "build time". I feel that if I can make it past school to "the bottom end of the industry" (as you call it) I can make it all the way. Making the "bottom end" means I am at least flying in the industry.

 

There are some career sidetracking issues that many prospective pilots face that I don't have. I can afford finish school should I choose to start it. I don't have (nor will I ever) any childeren. My wife is a BSN RN that can work pretty much anywhere, anytime. We are free and willing to move just about anywhere. My work ethic and attention to detail in other pursuits would follow me through school and into my professional pilot career.

 

The Big ? is how do I ensure that I get a job flying helicopters (regardless of the pay) where I'm not buying hours until I get enough experience to be a desirable employee after school.

Edited by Fiasco
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The Big ? is how do I ensure that I get a job flying helicopters (regardless of the pay) where I'm not buying hours until I get enough experience to be a desirable employee after school.

 

You don't, other than be as professional and dedicated as possible to your training and career. Anyone who promises you otherwise is selling something. :)

 

There are a lot of places to work as a CFI out there, you just have to be willing to go to the work, since it won't come to you. Unless of course you get a job with the company you train with, that happens to many, but of course not all.

 

Good luck!

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You don't, other than be as professional and dedicated as possible to your training and career. Anyone who promises you otherwise is selling something. :)

 

There are a lot of places to work as a CFI out there, you just have to be willing to go to the work, since it won't come to you. Unless of course you get a job with the company you train with, that happens to many, but of course not all.

 

Good luck!

 

Where are all these CFI jobs? It looks to me like there are a whole lot more CFI's and CFII's looking for work then there are jobs posted. I don't see a shortage of instructors out there.

 

rw

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Where are all these CFI jobs? It looks to me like there are a whole lot more CFI's and CFII's looking for work then there are jobs posted. I don't see a shortage of instructors out there.

 

rw

 

There is no shortage of CFIs with 200 hours of helicopter time.

 

There is a shortage of professional CFIs.

 

I continue to be amazed at how unprofessional smart people can be. When I interview, I'm looking for the right attitude and professionalism. If you can fly decent and understand the material, you'll do just fine as a CFI. If you're unprofessional, there is nothing I can do you help you.

 

Of course, no one walks around calling themselves unprofessional, however many new CFIs really are. I've had candidates walk into my office in blue jeans and a t-shirt, very unprofessional. For that matter, I've yet to see a CFI walk into my office for an interview in a three piece suit. I've worn a suit for every job interview in my life, with the exception of Blockbuster video when I was 17. :) I've also gotten almost every job I've ever interviewed for, including every single pilot job.

 

The first person to walk into my office in a three piece suit will probably get the job on the spot. :D

 

What else am I looking for? A CFI who is more interested in the progress of their students and the school than building hours in their logbook. You're here to teach, improve the quality of the school, provide great customer service, keep the office clean, and be professional at all times. Your logbook will get filled in due course, don't stare at it and don't tell your students "wow, I've hit 500 hours now, half way to the Gulf of Mexico!". I've seen this happen too many times.

 

Sigh...

 

Fly Safe!

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There is no shortage of CFIs with 200 hours of helicopter time.

 

There is a shortage of professional CFIs.

 

I continue to be amazed at how unprofessional smart people can be. When I interview, I'm looking for the right attitude and professionalism. If you can fly decent and understand the material, you'll do just fine as a CFI. If you're unprofessional, there is nothing I can do you help you.

 

Of course, no one walks around calling themselves unprofessional, however many new CFIs really are. I've had candidates walk into my office in blue jeans and a t-shirt, very unprofessional. For that matter, I've yet to see a CFI walk into my office for an interview in a three piece suit. I've worn a suit for every job interview in my life, with the exception of Blockbuster video when I was 17. :) I've also gotten almost every job I've ever interviewed for, including every single pilot job.

 

The first person to walk into my office in a three piece suit will probably get the job on the spot. :D

 

What else am I looking for? A CFI who is more interested in the progress of their students and the school than building hours in their logbook. You're here to teach, improve the quality of the school, provide great customer service, keep the office clean, and be professional at all times. Your logbook will get filled in due course, don't stare at it and don't tell your students "wow, I've hit 500 hours now, half way to the Gulf of Mexico!". I've seen this happen too many times.

 

Sigh...

 

Fly Safe!

 

With all due respect, I’m not disagreeing with you on the points you made.

My observation is there are very few CFI entry level jobs listed; however there seems to be a bumper crop of new CFI’s trying to break into the training market. There aren’t jobs out there for everybody. Lot’s of people simply are not going to make it to 1000 hours.

 

RW

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The first person to walk into my office in a three piece suit will probably get the job on the spot. :D

 

Wow, really? My policy has always been to look slightly more professional than the people working in the office, but not totally out of place. For previous (desk) jobs, this has generally meant a suit for interviews. But somehow wearing high heels to interview for a job flying seems very odd to me. Professional is great, but not tripping on all the tie-downs on the way in.... :o

 

HVG

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Wow, really? My policy has always been to look slightly more professional than the people working in the office, but not totally out of place. For previous (desk) jobs, this has generally meant a suit for interviews. But somehow wearing high heels to interview for a job flying seems very odd to me. Professional is great, but not tripping on all the tie-downs on the way in.... :o

 

HVG

 

:) For the ladies, business professional would be fine, high heels are not required (and you probably shouldn't fly in them anyway). I always brought a change of clothes for any flying I had to do on interviews.

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With all due respect, I'm not disagreeing with you on the points you made.

 

Thank you... :D

 

My observation is there are very few CFI entry level jobs listed; however there seems to be a bumper crop of new CFI's trying to break into the training market. There aren't jobs out there for everybody. Lot's of people simply are not going to make it to 1000 hours.

 

True enough... As I said, there is no shortage of 200 hour CFIs...

 

Keep in mind that most people are their own worst enemy when it comes to getting a job. For one thing, half the resumes I get lack critical information and are very poorly written. If you cannot write a decent resume (or get someone to write one for you), then you're not ready to be a professional.

 

What do I mean? I get resumes with no flight time listed, no indication of where they trained, no information about what types of helicopters they have flown, what job they are applying for, etc. I also get e-mails from CFIs saying basically, "I've recently graduated as a CFI, I'm looking for a job, if you're hiring, let me know." If you want a job, send me a properly written resume.

 

You should walk a day in my shoes! :)

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I own and operate a helicopter company and have always said that there isn't any money in flight training. Anyone that does flight training knows that. Commercial work is where you can make a buck.

 

GALADRIUM hit it on the head! We tried flight instruction for nine years....it sucks for making money.

 

As far as the 400 resumes, my suggestion would be to personally visit the companies if possible and followup. As Jehh stated, every company gets flooded with new CFI apps. And yes, most are poorly written. The helo industry is all about image and attention to detail. A prospective employee that actually took the time to stop by will get noticed more than the mailed in resume.

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Thank you... :D

 

 

 

True enough... As I said, there is no shortage of 200 hour CFIs...

 

Keep in mind that most people are their own worst enemy when it comes to getting a job. For one thing, half the resumes I get lack critical information and are very poorly written. If you cannot write a decent resume (or get someone to write one for you), then you're not ready to be a professional.

 

What do I mean? I get resumes with no flight time listed, no indication of where they trained, no information about what types of helicopters they have flown, what job they are applying for, etc. I also get e-mails from CFIs saying basically, "I've recently graduated as a CFI, I'm looking for a job, if you're hiring, let me know." If you want a job, send me a properly written resume.

 

You should walk a day in my shoes! :)

 

If I am able to get your information, I can promise you a suit at my interview. I will graduate in May and will also be at Heli-Expo in February.

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