Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:56 pm Post subject: Starting Zero to Hero with no Money?
I have posted on pprune forum but the people there are just negative about everything.
Right, Thanks in advance,
Im Clark, im 24 and a trained carpenter & Joiner. I wanted to become a pilot When i left collage but my tutors all said i was dreaming. But i applied to the raf which i was offered a place but not as pilot as i was too tall. So i listened to my dad and got a trade behind me and forgot about the helicopter nonsense.
I have recently been on trial flights in the r22 and the schwietzer 300.
Ive got the bug again and am really wanting to persue my dream which my local heliaviation careers seminar said its possible.
The catch is I have £3000 in the bank, no equity in my house (100% mortgage oops) Don't have rich parents.
I could afford approximately half a lesson a week lol.
Can anybody see a way i can make this reality?? As i say I'm 24 am i too old for saving now?
Welcome to Helitorque. Generally, we're not horrible here!
Can you give us a rough idea of where you are, as it might help some others to come up with suggestions of nearby schools you could talk to.
To get a PPL licence, you're looking at an outlay in the region of £10k-£15k, but that would be including VAT etc. I believe if you intend to take this to commercial, then you might be able to claim some/all of the VAT - I'll leave it to the experts to fill in the gaps there.
With regard to frequency of training, for my PPL, I tried to get in a couple of hours a week, and completed the course in just under 70 hours, which I was told was about average. I think with 10 years of reading about people learning, it could perhaps be a little quicker, with a higher frequency of lessons. With that in mind, I wouldn't really recommend any less than that.
24 is far from too old - you're still young! Plenty of time for saving!
Many thanks for the reply. Im Leicester and have been to heliaviation which isn't far from me, they have a really nice setup with no landing fees. Their pricing is a little higher with the schweizer 300 working out at £358ph inc vat but ideally i want to learn on this as I'm 6ft 4.
So would my best bet to be save for 3 or 4 years first then?
Easy bits first - 24 is way too young! Only joking, just jealous! I started at 32/33yrs old, and I know guys & girls who have started later.
The earlier you start, the more chance you have to make it earn for you.
Right then, the more negative things..... its an expensive business and so people generally try to be up front about their experiences as it could save a lot of heart-ache down the road. Not necessarily negative... just honest. And perhaps a bit blunt occasionally.
JL's advice is spot on - try to bank as much cash as you can over the next 3-4 yrs (perhaps treat yourself to the odd lesson); there's nothing worse than starting something you're set on, then having to stop part-way! It is also a more effective learning process if you can fly regularly, so ultimately will save you money. (Also be mindful about giving a school too much cash up front - block bookings don't normally save you a shed-load of cash, and can expose you to getting bitten..... its happened before!).
There are lots of promises and positive 'views' all over the UK, and world, about changing career, but the simple fact is there are a lot people out there at present who hold various heli-qualifications and aren't working. It's very much about right place, right time, right attitude (excuse the aeronautical pun).
That said, if we always listened to our heads, nobody would be a pilot!!!
My advice? Talk to as many people as you possibly can - schools, students, PPLs, CPLs, companies if possible - gleen as much info as you can, make as many contacts as you can. Learn how everybody has got through. Get your CPL Class 1 medical done early too...... just to make sure you are allowed to fly!!!
Secondly - start saving - flying is addictive!
Third - be patient, but also be realistic - it's a bit investment you're looking at, so try to plan ahead and think of contingencies, worst case scenarios, etc.
Yes sorry James, i meant Helicentre. And I'm assuming Whirlygirl is Sarah LOL.
Yes she seemed very informative and less of the sales pitch which is nice, because a few other schools I've been to, were promising things that obviously wouldn't happen.
Really like the setup at helicentre and its two minutes fro my house so less fuel bills .
Was hoping for an easy answer of how to get the cash but looks like saving is the way. Mainly i was interested in views of my age as it would pay for me to save for a few yeahs to get a kickstart.
Also a friend of mine in the RAF told me to contact GAPAN and ask their advice, a lady replied to me saying that only people that train in raf or are rich fly helicopters and like my tutors told me when i left school! I am dreaming.
Joined: Aug 24, 2010 Posts: 94 Location: Teddington, SW London, UK
Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:54 pm Post subject:
I did quite a lot of research around this area almost exactly a year ago.
The short results of that research are that taking helicopters through to the point where I could earn a living from them would take somewhere around 2 years and £80,000 to get to the point where I could start teaching.
PPL - budget around 60 hours at £300 per hour plus test fees £20k
CPL - Budget around £5k for the CPL written exams
CPL course - Budget around 40 hours at £300 per hour - £12k
Hour building - from 60 hours to 155 hours @£250 per hour = £25k
Hour building from 190 hours to 250 hours @ £250 per hour = £15k
Flight Instructor course - 35 hours at £300 per hour = £10.5k
So that is £87.5k plus you have regular medicals, landing fees and other ancillary costs.
Get all that done and you may then get yourself your first job.
You should assume that the chance of getting any work as a 190hours CPL with R22 only experience is zero. At the very least you would need to have done an R44 conversion (cost £2.5k plus test) and probably hour built a fair bit in an R44 also.
The initial earnings potential for a fledgeling FI is £25-£35k per annum and the simply fact remains the number of people learning to fly helicopters is small (as its expensive) and the number looking to teach to build up hours to get the "better jobs" is more than demand. Therefore you would need to be in the right place at the right time or very well networked to secure that first teaching job.
So a pipedream? Probably.... but there are those that take the plunge, borrow the money from somewhere to get qualified and get the break that allows them to fly round the sky in some truly amazing machines for a living.
Joined: Aug 24, 2010 Posts: 94 Location: Teddington, SW London, UK
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:16 am Post subject:
No plans for me to go down the CPL route. I am just about to turn 40 and am a Chartered Accountant and Company Director so earn too much to switch. I am just flying privately for fun in an R44 based out of Denham that I have a share in.
The Minted part of my nickname refers to a poker site that I was the site professional for called www.getmintedpoker.com - my player name is Mav hence it became MintedMav and its kinda stuck.
Incidentally I wouldnt recommend poker as a route to a fortune. The game is extremely competitive online now and would likely take a dedicated player playing 8 hours a day at least a year to build up their experience and skills to the point that it would start to be a steady income.
Joined: Sep 05, 2009 Posts: 217 Location: the dog house
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:25 pm Post subject:
Welcome to the forum. pprune has a certain way of treating potential pilots but nevertheless it is a source of very good information. In a way, it is good to not fill people with false hope - the attrition rate from 'student commercial pilot' to 'gainfully employed' is high.
With that said, there are some things to consider:
1. Training overseas - there are better deals to be had than Europe can offer. Just be aware that there are a number of pitfalls to bargain routes to a commercial license.
2. Keep looking for scholarships (Dennis Kenyon used to offer one, and Gapan have a flight instructor one). There are also occasionally cadet schemes (the last one offered was with Bond Offshore Helicopters)
3. You can keep the costs down while training in the UK. For example, if you take 6 months membership of a R22 group share it will cost £780. You can then fly the R22 for £130/hour during that time (this isn't a recommendation, it is merely something I came across the other day).
Joined: Dec 17, 2008 Posts: 40 Location: Peterborough
Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:46 pm Post subject: R22?
6ft 4" seriously have you flown in the 22 for more than 30 minutes ?
You will in total be flying for approximately 280 hours, and if its cheap you want the R22 is best.
280 hours squashed into a R22, before deciding go for a Nav somewhere as a trial. 30 minutes wazzing around the field and circuits might be ok, but 2 -3 hours on your Cross country qualifier you may find you need assistance getting out at the end.
I selected the S300 as although I am 6'1" its more the width with me.
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