Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

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evand.13
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Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by evand.13 »

Before I start I would like to make it very clear that I have enjoyed both flying aircraft AND fixing them when I tried them out. For flying I took a discovery flight and for a maintenance experience I visited my cousin at work (who is an maintenance engineer in Newfoundland).

I am currently in grade 10 and want to work a career in aviation with the ultimate goal of being a pilot. However, I don't feel I should go straight to flying for possible medical reasoning. My family has a history of medical conditions that if inherited may disqualify me from a Cat 1 Medical, so I need a backup plan. Would it be advisable to go to the Canadore aircraft maintenance program (or similar) out of high school, then once established as an AME go for the flight training at my own pace?
Either way, I love aviation and want to be around aircraft as much as possible.
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040hurts
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by 040hurts »

You could always take the Aircraft Maintenance program, and start apprenticing at a flight school, and if you are lucky, as I was, the flight school will let you take some lessons for free, attend ground school at a reduced cost, and trade some overtime for flight hours.
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plhought
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by plhought »

If you are worried about medical conditions nothing prevents you from going for a CAT 1 medical right now. You dont need to be enrolled in any flying training or anything. Find a CAME (Civil Aviation Medical Examiner) and make an appointment. They'll answer all your questions (for a fee of course).

Honestly, if you are committed to being a pilot as a career - then be a pilot. Being an AME is not a back door to a flying job in most places. The exception may be some helicopter outfits - where the work may be highly seasonal. In that case it's not uncommon to see a pilot/engineer.

There is a decent amount of private pilot/AMEs out there though, with the majority being AMEs "first" - their primary career. The nature of the AME schooling and licensing does make it difficult for someone who is already committed to flying/another career (18 months minimum at a full time school - couple years at a company full time). I will say that having a PPL or even a modicum of in depth flying/operations knowledge can be very beneficial as an AME - especially in smaller operations.

Long story short - if you want to be a pilot - be a pilot. Having said that - you are young - and you won't lose too much time if you follow through with AME school first. Just make sure you actually get your AME license afterwards and don't lose focus. It'd be a shame to 'waste' the schooling. It is a lot easier to go from an AME to pilot vs. the other way around.

There is some sizable financial considerations to consider as well.
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evand.13
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by evand.13 »

plhought wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:55 pm
If you are worried about medical conditions nothing prevents you from going for a CAT 1 medical right now. You dont need to be enrolled in any flying training or anything. Find a CAME (Civil Aviation Medical Examiner) and make an appointment. They'll answer all your questions (for a fee of course).

Honestly, if you are committed to being a pilot as a career - then be a pilot. Being an AME is not a back door to a flying job in most places. The exception may be some helicopter outfits - where the work may be highly seasonal. In that case it's not uncommon to see a pilot/engineer.

There is a decent amount of private pilot/AMEs out there though, with the majority being AMEs "first" - their primary career. The nature of the AME schooling and licensing does make it difficult for someone who is already committed to flying/another career (18 months minimum at a full time school - couple years at a company full time). I will say that having a PPL or even a modicum of in depth flying/operations knowledge can be very beneficial as an AME - especially in smaller operations.

Long story short - if you want to be a pilot - be a pilot. Having said that - you are young - and you won't lose too much time if you follow through with AME school first. Just make sure you actually get your AME license afterwards and don't lose focus. It'd be a shame to 'waste' the schooling. It is a lot easier to go from an AME to pilot vs. the other way around.

There is some sizable financial considerations to consider as well.
Thank you for the response plhought. I think the best option is as you said it, get checked for the medical soon. I'm pretty healthy in general so there should be no problems. If I can't get the medical or the future is uncertain, then I'll go for AME right out of highschool. I never thought about trying to get the Cat 1 Medical now.
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evand.13
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by evand.13 »

040hurts wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:32 pm
You could always take the Aircraft Maintenance program, and start apprenticing at a flight school, and if you are lucky, as I was, the flight school will let you take some lessons for free, attend ground school at a reduced cost, and trade some overtime for flight hours.
Ah, that's a good point. Just out of curiosity, what school did you work for? Thanks for the response 040hurts :) .
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Heliian
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by Heliian »

Just pick one.

Contrary to popular belief, the old pilot/ame jobs just don't exist anymore.

You'll have more success just sticking with one. If you're into mechanicals then take ame. If you want to fly, go fly.
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evand.13
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by evand.13 »

Heliian wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:10 am
Just pick one.

Contrary to popular belief, the old pilot/ame jobs just don't exist anymore.

You'll have more success just sticking with one. If you're into mechanicals then take ame. If you want to fly, go fly.
Catch me at fly school in two years.

Thanks Heliian. :)
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dash8dave
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by dash8dave »

evand.13 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:08 pm
Before I start I would like to make it very clear that I have enjoyed both flying aircraft AND fixing them when I tried them out. For flying I took a discovery flight and for a maintenance experience I visited my cousin at work (who is an maintenance engineer in Newfoundland).

I am currently in grade 10 and want to work a career in aviation with the ultimate goal of being a pilot. However, I don't feel I should go straight to flying for possible medical reasoning. My family has a history of medical conditions that if inherited may disqualify me from a Cat 1 Medical, so I need a backup plan. Would it be advisable to go to the Canadore aircraft maintenance program (or similar) out of high school, then once established as an AME go for the flight training at my own pace?
Either way, I love aviation and want to be around aircraft as much as possible.
I hold both an ATPL and AME M1, M2 licence. I must honestly say that in 30 years of flying and fixing, I am very grateful that I have both. It has been an amazing ride. Aviation can be cruel to many people. Many colleagues I used to work with are no longer in the industry. Some have died and some have quit. When the pilot jobs dried up several years ago, I was able to fall back on the maintenance and when pilots were needed I could go back flying. I got my start in the industry 'north of 60*' because I could do both jobs. Many a day was spent flying the plane then fixing at night. Then, I continued to use both when I was stationed in overseas and the in Arctic. Transport tells us we can't do that anymore. Thats for the better now-a-days, trust me.

You can get a Student Pilot Permit at the age of 14, so it looks like you are only a year away from that. Get your Cat. 1 Medical on your 14th birthday, pass it, and start seeing if flying is for you. Even better, take an introduction flight now. You don't need a medical or be 14 to do that. I can honestly say that I know many engineers who wished they could fly and a few pilots who wished they could maintain.

To get a Commercial licence you need to be 18 and an ATPL 21. So there is no reason why you can't get both, and have both by the time you are 21. It won't be easy but I think its great having both. Get as much experience as you can; don't think the world owes you anything; be respectful to those who have gone before; have a desire to learn and do the jobs that no-one else seems to want to do; and lastly at the end of the shift, wipe down the plane before putting her to bed, run a broom over the hangar floor one last time before shutting off the lights.

Just some late night ramblings from one who has gone before and has loved every minute of it. This industry can take you to places you don't know existed. See things your friends and family can only see in picture. Your licences show prospective employers that you can learn. Reach for the sky and enjoy the ride. Keep us posted as to your progress and decisions as to which way you go.

All the best,

David
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Piston Power
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by Piston Power »

This. :smt023
Get as much experience as you can; don't think the world owes you anything; be respectful to those who have gone before; have a desire to learn and do the jobs that no-one else seems to want to do; and lastly at the end of the shift, wipe down the plane before putting her to bed, run a broom over the hangar floor one last time before shutting off the lights
Well said.
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evand.13
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by evand.13 »

dash8dave wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:25 pm
evand.13 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:08 pm
Before I start I would like to make it very clear that I have enjoyed both flying aircraft AND fixing them when I tried them out. For flying I took a discovery flight and for a maintenance experience I visited my cousin at work (who is an maintenance engineer in Newfoundland).

I am currently in grade 10 and want to work a career in aviation with the ultimate goal of being a pilot. However, I don't feel I should go straight to flying for possible medical reasoning. My family has a history of medical conditions that if inherited may disqualify me from a Cat 1 Medical, so I need a backup plan. Would it be advisable to go to the Canadore aircraft maintenance program (or similar) out of high school, then once established as an AME go for the flight training at my own pace?
Either way, I love aviation and want to be around aircraft as much as possible.
I hold both an ATPL and AME M1, M2 licence. I must honestly say that in 30 years of flying and fixing, I am very grateful that I have both. It has been an amazing ride. Aviation can be cruel to many people. Many colleagues I used to work with are no longer in the industry. Some have died and some have quit. When the pilot jobs dried up several years ago, I was able to fall back on the maintenance and when pilots were needed I could go back flying. I got my start in the industry 'north of 60*' because I could do both jobs. Many a day was spent flying the plane then fixing at night. Then, I continued to use both when I was stationed in overseas and the in Arctic. Transport tells us we can't do that anymore. Thats for the better now-a-days, trust me.

You can get a Student Pilot Permit at the age of 14, so it looks like you are only a year away from that. Get your Cat. 1 Medical on your 14th birthday, pass it, and start seeing if flying is for you. Even better, take an introduction flight now. You don't need a medical or be 14 to do that. I can honestly say that I know many engineers who wished they could fly and a few pilots who wished they could maintain.

To get a Commercial licence you need to be 18 and an ATPL 21. So there is no reason why you can't get both, and have both by the time you are 21. It won't be easy but I think its great having both. Get as much experience as you can; don't think the world owes you anything; be respectful to those who have gone before; have a desire to learn and do the jobs that no-one else seems to want to do; and lastly at the end of the shift, wipe down the plane before putting her to bed, run a broom over the hangar floor one last time before shutting off the lights.

Just some late night ramblings from one who has gone before and has loved every minute of it. This industry can take you to places you don't know existed. See things your friends and family can only see in picture. Your licences show prospective employers that you can learn. Reach for the sky and enjoy the ride. Keep us posted as to your progress and decisions as to which way you go.

All the best,

David
That is great advice David. I have scheduled another introductory/first lesson flight for next week. Hopefully the weather cleans up, the ice storm cancelled my last one. Also, I know it's not related to the thread, but what kind of math do you use most frequently as a pilot?

Thanks,

Evan
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Choppermech1986
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by Choppermech1986 »

"What kind of math do you use most frequently as a pilot?"

Quick, simple math. 80nm to run, doing 180kts. How long to go? 140USG remaining, 30GPH fuel flow. How much endurance? I'm a 100hr pilot and I want to buy a case of beer AND eat, is it possible?

Unfortunately, the best way to get good at the kind of math that you need to do as a pilot, is to do lots of more difficult math. Embrace the challenges, estimate before you turn to the calculator and check your calculated result against your estimation. I hated math in grade 10, but knew that if I wanted to fly that I would have to get proficient at at.

Hope this helps.
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johnwannecke
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by johnwannecke »

Look at it this way: why would you possibly want to limit yourself to just one profession?
The ones that speak against multi-professional career development are very likely the ones that never understood the meaning of the word learning. The more you know, the more you will earn- because you know more. It also feels damn good to be ahead of the crowd. Go, get your wings and your M1M2. I know I got it.
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Keppen
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Re: Maintenance Engineer/ Commercial Pilot

Post by Keppen »

Thats the way I view it also, why have a limiting skill set? Why not be a AME with M1/M2 CPL and CPL(H).

I know a few people who have all of the above and have bounced around in the career as they saw necessary. Personally I started as a pilot until I ended up out of work when oil field died, went back to school for AME and getting close to an M1 with all the pilot ratings (SMELS).

The way things happened to me it would seem AME first would have been the way to go but all in hindsight...
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