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Subject: Too Old?
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GnosisUser is Offline
JH Newbie
JH Newbie

01/20/2012 1:25 PM  
Greetings All,

It took me a while, but I've been bitten by the rotor bug!

After reading through some of the excellent threads on this forum I've got a few questions. If anyone has any input I'd be grateful to hear it!

1) Is 37 too old to start a helicopter career? I realize that a lot of the jobs are dominated by X hours in Y types, but is it still feasible to enter the game this late in life?

2) Given the hour requirements is there any feasible means of fast tracking the accumulation of hours without going the CFII route and only slowly gaining hours? The nature of my current career (self employed software developer) allows me to make decent money, so I don't have to worry about starving. However, I'd want to ignore the stigma of being seen as 'buying' my way into the industry.

3) Just how important is the pilots body weight? I weight in at around 200 lbs (tall and athletic), but have seen weight requirements of 180 lbs on some job postings. Is my weight going to kill my job opportunities?

Again, thanks for any response to any of these questions, it is greatly appreciated!

clipperdudeUser is Offline


01/20/2012 5:06 PM  
1) Age is only a concern if you think someday, soon after you finally get that job you've always wanted, you fail a second class medical exam. So, too old?,...how's your health?

2) The only "fast-track" to getting enough hours for a non-teaching job, is to either buy your way to 1000hrs (do you have around $300k?), or buy a helicopter and start your own business (this was done by a guy from whom I used to rent).

You could also get your CDL (class A (class B might also work?) / hazmat / tanker), and get on with an AG company. After a couple of years they may let you start flying? After that, I hear the hours come pretty quickly? I don't know if this route actually works, but I've heard it suggested many times.

3) If I were you, I'd get my weight down to around 180lbs. Around 200lbs you may have trouble competing against the lighter guys (I know I have). Just remember, the heavier you are, the lighter the passengers have to be, or the less fuel you can take.

Bigger guys certainly can make it (I've known a couple over 200lbs who are doing just fine) its just a bit harder,...and in such an overcrowded industry as this one, you want to stack the deck as much as possible in your favor.
TaipanUser is Offline
JH Veteran
JH Veteran

01/23/2012 5:20 AM  
I was much older when I started flying again and I wish that I had started at 37 but I didn't have the necessary support at home to do it. I also had some military time that I was allowed to bring forward. The lower you can get your weight, the better. It will definitely be a handicap if you want to go the tour route later on. I'm sorry, but I have no insight to offer you about reaching that 1000 hour mark without going the CFI route. Be prepared to take on a hugh amount of debt to enter a career field that I consider to be grossly underpaid.
GnosisUser is Offline
JH Newbie
JH Newbie

01/23/2012 6:45 PM  
Thanks for the input, it's greatly appreciated.

Definitely a lot to consider, and I'l definitely need to come up with a game plan (and the needed money) before realistically pursuing flying outside of for recreation.

I think this is the only career choice I've seen where people are perfectly willing to pay money to work for someone else (paying to ferry helicopters or what-not) cheapening wages for everyone involved. I'm beginning to think CFI's need to dedicate a couple of hours to teaching new pilots Economics 101.
clipperdudeUser is Offline


01/24/2012 12:15 AM  
Extremely high supply, no demand,...what else can you do?
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