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Subject: Are Schools Doing Their Job
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jhadminUser is Offline
JH Guru
JH Guru

07/10/2012 1:18 PM  

For the sake of conversation, I am sharing an email that I received on the 4th of July. The email is from a gent who has already committed to helicopter training and has even chosen the school. In an effort to do more research on what lies ahead after training, he reached out to me with a couple questions.

To whom it may concern,
I was hoping you could advise me on an unusual recruitment enquiry?  In the next year, I’ll be completing the necessary PPL and CPL Helicopter Pilot courses, and then further appropriate specialist courses such as Instrument Rating, night flying, and flying the Euro copter or Bell.

I’m very eager to get my first shot in the Oil & Gas Sector as a Helicopter Pilot. I’m knowledgeable to the fact that once qualified, I’ll have little experience, and the industry tends to take preference towards experienced pilots. I’m highly motivated, and have a do whatever it takes attitude with regards to achieving my goals. Once qualified, I would be more than willing to volunteer my services as a co-pilot for 12 months in order to accumulate the necessary number of hours to become experienced. I’m highly mobile, and once qualified, I’d be willing to move to any geographic region.
I appreciate that a number of factors can change circumstances in the oil & gas sector in 12 – 24 months. My main enquiry is, once qualified, is there any likelihood that any aviation group in the North Sea or off West Africa, or in the Middle East, would take me on for 12 months as a volunteer co-pilot?
I look forwards to hearing from you at your convenience.
Kind regards,
name removed



First, I do not begrudge the gent for his aspirations, creative thinking, and questions. Like many, he is not "in the know".  Having said that, I am struck by the lack of knowledge about the industry in general, from people who are committing large sums of money to helicopter training. Especially in the wake of the SSH fallout in 2008. That was my primary reason for starting HeliSuccess and writing Ebooks on getting into the industry.

Hey flight schools......you have an obligation to educate your clients on what life will be like, and what career paths are likely for a client fresh out of helicopter pilot training. If you are not giving full disclosure, shame on you!

Your thoughts?

SupremoUser is Offline
JH - Addicted!
JH - Addicted!

07/19/2012 11:11 AM  
It would appear the vast majority of schools are remiss in not keeping their students apprised of the problems in getting hired after spending thousands of dollars in training. Welllll....Duhhhhhhh..... how many students would they retain? Yes it will remain a problem until companies do an apprentice program to help offset the heavy training costs. Been my experience that the vast majority of instructors in both rotor and fixed wing are doing it to build time and to make contacts until they can land a job that pays enough to get off their TopRamen diet. I'm on the other end of the spectrum with more than 9000 hrs of rotor and an additional 16000 of FW worldwide doing stuff that stories are made of. Even now I struggle to find work that pays enough to keep my family above the TopRamen level and that sucks. I spent a lot of time doing flying that many dream of and after the initial glow wears off, it is just work and much away from home and hard on family life. I think many of the instructors in the schools have no idea of what its like in the real world aside from their flight school. Even after 1000 hours of instruction they are limited in their experience away from airports and a carefully controlled environment. After 50+ years as a pilot I am obviously jaded and do not hold out a pretty picture for the new pilots coming up. I can recall how it was way back then and that is a statement?! Here I am after all these years later and still no place special and working to keep food on the table. Schools certainly will not tell you that and many don't have a clue what is ahead of them. Semper Fi Rocky

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
boatpixUser is Offline
JH Master Guru
JH Master Guru

07/20/2012 4:15 PM  
All schools train you to the same FAA standards and the government ensures that all schools are doing that job with a written, oral and practical flying test.
boatpixUser is Offline
JH Master Guru
JH Master Guru

07/20/2012 4:41 PM  
There is only on school in the world that will guarantee you a first job and I clearly advertise that on this website with `guaranteed job warranty` on some advertising.
boatpixUser is Offline
JH Master Guru
JH Master Guru

07/20/2012 4:56 PM  
We train everyone in our school to a guaranteed job with us at 300 hours and cfi, or incorporate students that start elsewhere and then finish with us. IF you dont get a first job your flying career will only continue if you choose to continue to pay the school you selected that didnt hire you. It is imperitive that you find a first job. Dont assume that because a school has a nice webpage or a sweet talking person on the phone that this will get you into a flying job. Look for a guarantee as the plan to "volunteer my services" is a hope and not a guarantee and the "oil and gas sector" has a vetting process that you first need to get hired by one company to fly a piston and another to fly a turbine such that by the time you get to them its not a fluke that you got a bunch of jobs before getting the highest paid and most demanding jobs. Time to rethink the school you are going to pay
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Forums > JH Alternate Forum > General Helicopter Discussion > Are Schools Doing Their Job

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