I left the forces in 2001 with only a smattering of hours and decided to follow a career in civilian aviation. So what help did i get. NOTHING. I was wet behind the ears and the only people willing to help were trying to take advantage of my gratuity (what little i had) I passed the ATPL (H) exams on my own, type rated onto a couple of civvy machines and now am the QHI at a small helicopter business in Sheffield with the intention of becoming flight examiner early next year. (couldnt have done that in the army!!!!!) Its not a sob story and no i dont want any sympathy, I want to impart the knowledge I have learnt to any aviators thinking of jumping ship or otherwise. First of all the CAA is corruption against aviation, they will try to take your money or make things extremely hard for you. Secondly freelance instructors want your money. Thirdly flight schools want your money. That is the way of life in the commercial world. the trick is finding a school that will turn out a good commercial pilot and/or instructor. firstname.lastname@example.org As with anything its who you know not what. Instructing is the best way into the aviation, there is a distinct lack of QHI's at the moment and although you may have to take a drop in wages you find it easier to network and find better jobs when you are actually working in the industry. Gazelle pukes if you think you are going to get an ATPL out of your bridging course think again. The requirements say 350 hours multi pilot (i.e lynx, seaking, superpuma) not multi crew. There is a dispensation for an IR if you are green rated, but i would look into that in more detail if i were you. For those of you that are thinking of leaving or who didnt quite get your wings or are groundies aspiring to skygodness. leave me your email and i will get in contact as i am in the process of setting up a cpl (h) modular course with flying and commercial experience.