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Helicopter Jobs



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 17th 04, 04:05 AM
John
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Posts: n/a
Default Helicopter Jobs

I've been hearing very contradicting statements about helicopeter
jobs.

Some sources say that there just aren't any and the ones that are
there are very low. Say 20-30k a year. However, other sources claim
that pilots are becoming scarce, and that new pilots aren't coming
along quick enough to replace the vietnam era pilots as they are
retiring. Also that starting salaries are around 30-50k depending on
your source. And many sources i've found say the avg. helicopter
salary is 100k.

So what i would like to know is what does the job market look like,
how easy/hard is it to get a job as a comercial helicopter pilot. And
how much do they pay?

If you are a helciopter pilot, why not share your story of what it
took to get where you are, and how much your salary happens to be.

It seems very difficult to find any reliable information about these
jobs.

Thanks,
JOHN
Ads
  #2  
Old August 17th 04, 01:59 PM
SelwayKid
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Posts: n/a
Default

(John) wrote in message . com...
I've been hearing very contradicting statements about helicopeter
jobs.

Some sources say that there just aren't any and the ones that are
there are very low. Say 20-30k a year. However, other sources claim
that pilots are becoming scarce, and that new pilots aren't coming
along quick enough to replace the vietnam era pilots as they are
retiring. Also that starting salaries are around 30-50k depending on
your source. And many sources i've found say the avg. helicopter
salary is 100k.

So what i would like to know is what does the job market look like,
how easy/hard is it to get a job as a comercial helicopter pilot. And
how much do they pay?

If you are a helciopter pilot, why not share your story of what it
took to get where you are, and how much your salary happens to be.

It seems very difficult to find any reliable information about these
jobs.

Thanks,
JOHN

John
I've been a helicopter pilot since 1967 and have NEVER made more than
about 55K. I have over 8000 hours in helicopters and a total of
21,000+. My best money was doing crop dusting and I normally worked
about 8 months of the year. I got my start in fixed wing in the late
50's and have done damned near everything there is for a pilot to do
in general aviation. Sure there is going to be a pilot shortage simply
because no one wants to pay a new pilot much and can't get affordable
insurance for them. A few stick it out and end up with a career in the
cockpit. Some make good money, like 75-100K but they are very rare.
The majority will end up with closer to 50K regardless of what kind of
flying you do. Even now the best I can get is about 55K in spite of my
experience. I'd do it again too. I've been in some amazing places,
done some amazing things, worked with some amazing people, and lived
an amazing life. So much so that people don't believe half of what I
say. So, I don't often say much about it anymore. But when I see an
honest request for straight scoop, I tell it like I have seen it for
45 years.
ATP, SMELS, CFII/RAM, AIGI
Ol Shy & Bashful - FlyinRock
  #3  
Old August 17th 04, 05:10 PM
steve
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Posts: n/a
Default

(John) wrote in message . com...
I've been hearing very contradicting statements about helicopeter
jobs.

Some sources say that there just aren't any and the ones that are
there are very low. Say 20-30k a year. However, other sources claim
that pilots are becoming scarce, and that new pilots aren't coming
along quick enough to replace the vietnam era pilots as they are
retiring. Also that starting salaries are around 30-50k depending on
your source. And many sources i've found say the avg. helicopter
salary is 100k.

So what i would like to know is what does the job market look like,
how easy/hard is it to get a job as a comercial helicopter pilot. And
how much do they pay?

If you are a helciopter pilot, why not share your story of what it
took to get where you are, and how much your salary happens to be.

It seems very difficult to find any reliable information about these
jobs.

Thanks,
JOHN

John, I too have been hearing the same 'stories' for the past few
years and have been waiting for the job floodgates to open. I have
been searching for a job flying for the past year. I have sent out
resume's, e-mails and made phone calls. If you look at the job
postings at several websites many want turbine time and some require
time in a particular model of aircraft - usually someting a low time
pilot does not have. I believe a large part of the problem is the
insurance companies. Companies that may or would like to hire low
timers cannot because they are fearful they will lose their insurance
- and the low timers can't get hired because they are low timers - an
insidious catch-22. For now it appears being a flight instructor is
the most open flying job. As for salaries, entry level at places I
have checked into is about 39k ~ 42k. If anyone else knows where these
'jobs' are don't keep it a secret let the rest of us know...just my
..02
  #4  
Old August 17th 04, 05:10 PM
steve
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

(John) wrote in message . com...
I've been hearing very contradicting statements about helicopeter
jobs.

Some sources say that there just aren't any and the ones that are
there are very low. Say 20-30k a year. However, other sources claim
that pilots are becoming scarce, and that new pilots aren't coming
along quick enough to replace the vietnam era pilots as they are
retiring. Also that starting salaries are around 30-50k depending on
your source. And many sources i've found say the avg. helicopter
salary is 100k.

So what i would like to know is what does the job market look like,
how easy/hard is it to get a job as a comercial helicopter pilot. And
how much do they pay?

If you are a helciopter pilot, why not share your story of what it
took to get where you are, and how much your salary happens to be.

It seems very difficult to find any reliable information about these
jobs.

Thanks,
JOHN

John, I too have been hearing the same 'stories' for the past few
years and have been waiting for the job floodgates to open. I have
been searching for a job flying for the past year. I have sent out
resume's, e-mails and made phone calls. If you look at the job
postings at several websites many want turbine time and some require
time in a particular model of aircraft - usually someting a low time
pilot does not have. I believe a large part of the problem is the
insurance companies. Companies that may or would like to hire low
timers cannot because they are fearful they will lose their insurance
- and the low timers can't get hired because they are low timers - an
insidious catch-22. For now it appears being a flight instructor is
the most open flying job. As for salaries, entry level at places I
have checked into is about 39k ~ 42k. If anyone else knows where these
'jobs' are don't keep it a secret let the rest of us know...just my
..02
  #5  
Old August 17th 04, 06:11 PM
Shiver Me Timbers
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

It seems very difficult to find any reliable information
about these jobs.


That comment might sum up the situation fairly accurately.

As an armchair lurker I certainly couldn't throw too much into the
discussion but from the comments I've read in this group over
the years I would hazard a guess that.....

1..... 20-30 is a good dose of reality.

2..... 30-50 is wishfull thinking or the result of long term employment.

3..... 100,000.......... I want some of those drugs.

It appears that to get qualified and employed in the fixed wing end of
flying is a lot cheaper and easier, mostly due to the shear numbers of
fixed wing pilots required. And the pay scale would be better as you
moved up the food chain due to the salaries paid by the airlines and
large charter operations.

But it is a different story in helicopters.

Stories of very high costs to get licensed, build time, and gain
experience, abound in the industry, with probably many more people
interested in become pilots than there are jobs.

There have been stories posted here about pilots working for free, or
actually paying employers to gain hours and experience after they have
become licensed and employed.

If you are already licensed and can't find work I might suggest you
consider going back to school and learning how to fix them as a
mechanic or perhaps in this day and age as an avionics tech.

Years ago a buddy of mind paid the money, got his license and travelled
from one end of the country to the other looking for work as a pilot.

No joy there..... But he was also a qualified avionics technician and
had received numerous job offers for that.

So he choose the largest company that had offered a job as an aviionics
tech with the understanding that if a helicopter had to moved short
distances around the airport, or field that he was the one that did it.

I remember one day he logged sixty seconds of flying time moving a
machine about one hundred and fifty feet.

It all added up and within two years he was flying a 206.

Considering the weather and forest fires this season have you
considered trying to find a job as part of the ground crew on a
fireline.

That would keep you close to the business and put some potatoes
on the kitchen table.
  #6  
Old August 18th 04, 12:16 AM
Neb Okla
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Shiver Me Timbers" wrote in message
...

So he choose the largest company that had offered a job as an aviionics
tech with the understanding that if a helicopter had to moved short
distances around the airport, or field that he was the one that did it.

I remember one day he logged sixty seconds of flying time moving a
machine about one hundred and fifty feet.

It all added up and within two years he was flying a 206.

Considering the weather and forest fires this season have you
considered trying to find a job as part of the ground crew on a
fireline.

That would keep you close to the business and put some potatoes
on the kitchen table.


I have to agree with this approach with pretty much any profession.

I've known so many people who walked out of school and expected a
high-paying job when they really had little experience in the field.

It would seem that step one is to work around helicopters and gradually
build flight-time and experience.

Still, it would seem that with the current state of military affairs, we'll
be having an influx of military pilots with lots of experience. That sucks
for people like me who are probably too old for military helicopter service
and would rather not get shot at.

On the bright side, my local Police department tells me that they don't hire
existing chopper pilots for their work. Instead they find officers
interested in helicopter work among the patrol force and through a highly
selective process, choose which ones to send for training.

Any way you approach it, it seems that it takes a lot of time and effort to
become a heli pilot - and until the supply of pilots goes down (or the
demand for helicopters increases), the salaries will remain low.



  #7  
Old August 19th 04, 06:52 AM
Hennie
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Default

Rocky,
We love your stories.
Please tel us another one.


Regards


hennie Roets

South Africa
  #8  
Old August 19th 04, 06:53 AM
Hennie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Rocky,
We love your stories.
Please tel us another one.


Regards


hennie Roets

South Africa
  #10  
Old August 20th 04, 06:58 AM
Hennie
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Posts: n/a
Default

Rocky,
You are right nothing much has changed except for the color
of my hair and the size of my tummy. Who would ever forget Ollie
and the radio highveld helicopter.

You should know that a pilot sometimes learn a lot just from hangar
talk and that is why we would love to hear some more stories.
Please!!!!!!!!!

Regards

Hennie


Voetsok with the stories!! Passed Kroonstad many times enroute to
Welkom when I worked for Astra Helicopters at Rand in Germiston. That
was a job that allowed me to see South Africa in its entirety. Doing
contract flying for ESCOM and way leaving for the power lines. Got to
see the country top to bottom, coast to coast. Even flew the Radio
HiVeldt traffic watch with Ollie in the earliest days with a Bell 206A
model. Barely enough power to carry him, the radios and me up there at
6000 ft but it was fun.
Even so, the money was only enough to pay the rent and food plus a few
incidentals. Hasn't changed all that much since 1974 has it?
Cheers -Rocky

 




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