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Subject: What is the best way to become a Civilian EMS pilot or SAR pilott such as ERA helicopter?
 
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FutureEMSPilotUser is Offline
JH Member
JH Member
Posts:13

12/16/2013 7:57 PM  
I know that you can do Coast Guard but I am afraid that I wouldn't make it because I know you need an engineering degree. The way I found was go get my fixed wing ratings. Transfer as a helicopter pilot. Build until I can flight instruct. Flight instruct for 3-5 years. Then apply for oil rig flying and do that for about 10-15 years. Is this way possible to get me into either one of those? Also do places like ERA SAR hire civilian trained pilots? Thanks for all of your help!
raven5User is Offline

Posts:50

12/19/2013 11:31 AM  
I don't know why you would get your fixed wing ratings if you want to fly EMS in a helicopter, but everything else is pretty on par for civilians. Teach-tours-GOM, then start applying to EMS maybe in 10-15 years you'll get lucky?
AirFlairUser is Offline
JH Master Guru
JH Master Guru
Posts:141

12/30/2013 8:17 PM  
Can't answer the SAR question however I did use to work for ERA and I can say if you stay in the company long enough and your not a total mess of a pilot you can normally get into whatever you want inside the company and could probably say the same about any company.

Dont go fixed wing unless you want that for some reason other than just having it. If you do fix wing first then go to heli it will be more expensive.

I started flying in 2002 and just started flying ems about a year ago. I can say dont be in a rush to fly ems. Its a cool job and has its ups and downs but I know guys that came on flying ems with the minimums to get hired and they leave after years in ems with still not much more than the minimums. You don't fly much in this job. Only fly 100 to 200 hours a year if your lucky vs tours or gulf where you fly 700 to 900 hours a year.

There is also allot of politics in ems and other bits that annoy me but nothing is perfect.

Having a goal of where you want to go is a good thing but hold plans lightly. I wanted to fly ems ever since I stepped in the cockpit 12 years ago and will continue to until I find something I like better even if that is not a flying job.

How are you planning on getting a pilot rating? Paying for it yourself or going into the military? Are you a pilot yet? Do you have a family? Are you willing to go all over the USA and into the butt cracks of the US? Has flying helicopters always been a constant focus in your life and all you thought about? How old are you now?

How you answers those questions depends on how far you will go in this industry. You have to have a drive to keep at it as this is not the rose smelling career that most outside people think it is.

Not trying to discourage just trying to be real and this career is tough but worth it.

Also I should state that 90% or more is all about being at the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. You can have the best resume in the world but if you know someone or are in the right place at the right time you will get a job that someone else might be more qualified for. Keep that in mind while you are making your plans as well.
FutureEMSPilotUser is Offline
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JH Member
Posts:13

12/30/2013 9:10 PM  
I have been into helicopters since a little kid when my dad took me to an Air Show and I was in a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk. It was around 15 that I decided that's what I want to do, I am now 18. I am not married and I plan on moving around. I am doing flight school in fall of 2014 and getting my associates then going to helicopter flight school. I then would get my helicopter ratings as add ons. If I decided not to go civilian I would go Army WOFT. However associates degree doesn't seem to help with getting in that position. Thanks for all your great responses and I understand it's hard but I know it's the career I want so the only thing that can stop me is a failed medical. ( I pray that's not the case. ) it was a lot of help reading all of your answers and I will use them to help decide. Best of luck to you all! Thanks again!
plumberUser is Offline
JH Master Guru
JH Master Guru
Posts:143

01/09/2014 9:22 AM  
One thing I've noticed with some young guys I work with is that picking up a broom or a toilet brush is below them. It sounds like you have the desire to become a pilot so it will happen. Once you're in the door as a low time pilot be the guy who is constantly taking out the trash and cleaning the hangar. If another pilot comes back with a filthy helicopter help him clean it. He may be the guy doing the hiring one day down the road at that EMS company you want to get into.

Its a long grind getting there and will be discouraging at times but its not impossible. Also my best piece of advice is stay single till your at least marketable :) All the best!
FutureEMSPilotUser is Offline
JH Member
JH Member
Posts:13

01/13/2014 6:01 AM  
I will keep in mind taking initiative for whatever helicopter jobs i end up flying. Thanks for the advice!
juggie472User is Offline
JH Newbie
JH Newbie
Posts:1

01/21/2014 8:04 AM  
Not to burst your bubble, WOFT is going to be very hard to get into now. The Army spiked its flight school for the wars and now is shedding pilots for the drawdown. They have cut the annual flight slots by 2/3rds and they have a bubble for students currently in school to get finished. They also just killed the Kiowa so those pilots will be transitioning out of the 58D and into something else. If you need to go Army to get your helicopter rating, I would suggest a state guard program with ROTC, you may have to join as an enlisted and earn a slot to flight school, or join the Army as enlisted ( go black hawk or chinook mechanic 15T or 15U), you can earn a crew chief flight slot pretty quick if your motivated and once you have made a name for yourself you can get the help of a senior Warrant Officer to get into flight school. It will take some time but its possible. good luck and dont give up!
FutureEMSPilotUser is Offline
JH Member
JH Member
Posts:13

01/23/2014 8:43 PM  
I understand what your saying but I plan on civilian training. If I do Army, I understand it's had. I know it's hard but it's really not my likely route. I don't think either route is easy. If it was easy. Everyone would try it. And I did not say one about WOFT in this post. So your not bursting my bubble.
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Forums > JH Alternate Forum > General Helicopter Discussion > What is the best way to become a Civilian EMS pilot or SAR pilott such as ERA helicopter?



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