realistic civvie heli jobs

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by datumhead, Jan 28, 2007.

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  1. Can you give me a realistic view of the employment prospects for a civi trained helicopter pilot as opposed to a millitary trained one?

    Just looking into this and I am given the impression that it's a "closed shop" to civvi pilots.

    Also if a qualified pilot joined the TA why can they not fly?

  2. Depends which sector you are interested in, how much and what experience and what licenses you have.

    If you are a low hour PPL(H) with, for example just R22 time then the commercial sector will be a tough one to get in to.

    Police, Air Ambulance and Rig work is pretty much sewn up by ex military pilots. Due to the nature of some of the work, they tend to be a safer bet than a low hour non military pilot. Add to this the wish for most Police/Air Ambulances to move towards NVG, a low hour civil pilot doesn't stand much of a chance.

    Similarly with corporate flying, most of the bigger companies (where the better money is) will tend to opt for experience.

    For a civvy, it's a catch 22 situation. You will find it hard to get a job unless you have hours. To have hours, you need a regular job flying. Unless you are willing to spend your own money on twin conversions, instument and night ratings, it becomes almost impossible.

    As for AAC TA. Only former mil pilots are accepted as pilots in the Regt and Flights.

    Reason why? Military flying is a long way away from civilian flying. The physical act of flying the aircraft is about 20% of what a military pilot does. Why do you think a military flying course is approx 1 year long (not including conversion to type) and approx 200 hours flying? How long for the average PPL(H)?

    You may say that all the TA pilots do is day VMC taxi work akin to your average PPL(H) or corporate CPL(H) but again, it's a safer bet to take a former mil pilot with thousands of hours and years of military experience than an 'unknown' quantity straight from civvy strasse. You will find that a lot of the TA pilots are commercial pilots too. Plus the AAC TA do have a wartime role. Although I don't think the supply chain could provide the amount of collostomy bags and dribble bibs required should 7 Regt have to deploy!

    Sorry to throw a negative angle on this.

    What hours, type and licenses do you have?
  3. Cheers for the info............( no suitable smilie found)

    Only had a few lessons and had to give it up due to life commitments but now in a realistic position to start again.

    I have always wanted to do this but it's a "holy grail" and I think it's easier to become a mason! :thumleft:

  4. Carry on with it if you can. It's fun.

    But getting a job to pay the mortgage for you may well be the Holy Grail.

    One other option once you do qualify is to get an instructors tick. The pay is shite but at least you are being paid a little bit and you are increasing your hours.

    Although if its a Robbo R22, I'd rather walk. ;)

    Bloody dangerous things.
  5. I couldn't agree more about the R22.

    I was bought a go in an R22 as a birthday present, a couple of years after leaving the mob.

    The 13yr old instructor took me out to the pan, didn't do anything at all regarding pre flight checks, and then just started it up and off we bally well went.
    IT WAS TERRIFYING!!!, I've never felt so nervous in the air in all my life, I actually cut the 30 mins trip short and asked to return to the airfield as i was having no fun whatsoever.

    A tedious RAF chum of mine, tried to explain why they were so dangerous, but I zoned him out, something about they were impossible to auto rotate in, can anybody elaborate?
  6. Agree on the R22 - I was offered a lift to a shoot once as I was running late and the owner offered to nip over and pick me up ("just find a field somewhere")...

    Declined with thanks, and merely attempted to break the land speed record in a Trooper. Post shoot, he wound up the rubber band, attempts to do something all impressive and nearly plants the thing from 200 feet - seemed to be a bit short on puff
  7. Civvy_Shot, I'm not sure how much of that story had to do with the kn0b flying the thing. As for the R22, I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole either, but I do wonder if it's reputation stems from the type of character attracted to fly it rather than the machine itself.

    Because of the low inertia of it's rotors there isn't much time to enter autorotation before the Nr decays below the irrecoverable. Therefore the pilot has to have his wits about him - something a student/brand, spanking new PPL(H) is a bit low on.
  8. Any cab that makes a Skeeter look over-engineered should be treated with caution IMHO.
  9. There is a world shortage of helicopter pilots at the moment. We've just hired two pilots: one has 180 hours, the other 230. Total

    They will be joining us on the North Sea when they finish their Puma training in a couple of months - joy.

  10. The "boy" who took me for my first lesson in a R22 , all gucci as fuk in his army flying gloves, said and I quote "this is easier to fly than a lynx as it's basic, more actual piloting less computer. all the big stuff is ballanced so it's a doddle to drive"

  11. Flyingrockdj

    Flyingrockdj War Hero Moderator

    If there is a shortage I may go back to it!
    I know there would have to be a etc...................

    HA HA
  12. Beefer, please tell me they're not allowed out without supervision. Or employed by Bond. How can I sleep on the 'bus' to work, now?
  13. Cloudy: Don't worry they'll be fine by the time you'll be allowed in the back of the bus with them. And by the end of their first year they'll have more hours than I had after my first tour on Lynx in BAOR! But that was a long, long time ago

    You fly with Bond? Poor chap! :winkrazz:

  14. The R22 Always gets stick but it's a good little Helicopter. We use them lots for mustering atleast 1000 hours per year and if you look after them it will not miss a beat. The low inertia Rotor system does make you react quickly if the donk quits, but with training its a safe light helicopter.
    As for the Pilot shortage, here in Australia we are now seeing it. In the past you never seen mid range jobs advertised IE. 1000 hours to 2000 hours, Jet Ranger/AS350 etc. Now the friday paper has 3 or 4 a week. Never been a better time to be getting into the industry.
    Not a military pilot, just a civvie pilot who reads this site.