Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

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MILKPRINCESS
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Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#1 Post by MILKPRINCESS » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:35 pm

I got talking to an old pilot who quoted me much, much lower rates for rental than exist now, and got me thinking I could get my commercial license for under 30 grand. I found out he was wrong.

It got me thinking, though, how many corners can I cut? I'm 24 working a low paying job in Toronto, spending my off time playing flight sims. If I were to study at least the ground school stuff on my own, would I be able to take the exams and pass, or would I require a certificate from a school to even attempt it? If I cut out basically all other frivolous spending in my life, I can probably manage an hour, maybe two a week. If I move into a crappier shared apartment, maybe more.

I tried to get into flight school when I was younger but my parents just didn't have the money, and I've never considered it since then. I was always a smart kid, but there wasn't any passion in me for anything else, and it really took the wind out of my sails to not be able to do what I wanted to so badly. There was a fixed wing aviation program in my town, but I couldn't do it, it wasn't where my heart was and flying planes had absolutely no appeal to me.. yet it was so much less expensive.

If I drop everything for this it's still a terrible idea, though, isn't it? I've heard that more young pilots are needed, especially for helos, but I'm seeing no evidence of it, no programs encouraging young people to get their wings, the industry seems dead-set on turning away newcomers at every opportunity. The barrier to entry is insane, and assuming I trickle money into learning over the next two or three years, it'll be another decade of struggling before I make any money, won't it? I can't help but feel like this work is for the rich or insane, I'm definitely not the former, and I'm thinking maybe this conflict going on in my head is evidence I'm not the latter either. For the last 5 years I've been a starving artist, barely making ends meet as I pursue work that I love, making good money when I get some, but never enough. It sounds like aviation is much the same, for the first.. long while, at least.
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#2 Post by North Shore » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:55 am

Edited: D'oh! RTFQ2 Helicopters..
Yes, the barriers to entry are $teep, but not insurmountable. Can you move home to minimise your expenses? Downsize your living arrangements? ditch the Latte-a-day habit? I'm out of touch with student loans these days, but that is an avenue that should be explored.
It sounds like you're spinning your wheels a little in your current life: in 5 years, if you haven't done anything about chasing your dream, where are you going to be, vs chasing it, and perhaps not making it? (but with demographics pointing to a strong future)

Good Luck!
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#3 Post by photofly » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:59 am

You need to finish 40 hours of ground school and a minimum of 10 hours flight time to sit the PPAER exam. Harv's air online ground school is relatively cheap, something like $250.
it'll be another decade of struggling before I make any money, won't it
correct.
the industry seems dead-set on turning away newcomers at every opportunity. The barrier to entry is insane
Getting the skills you need to be a productive commercial pilot costs a lot of fuel and time in a lot of expensive hardware. If you want to be a lawyer or doctor or dentist there are also a lot of up front expenses. Moaning about how awful your drifting aimless life and how expensive the next thing you want to try is isn't inspiring. You want to be talked out of it? OK. A career as a pilot isn't for you. You don't have what it takes. Find something easier quicker and cheaper.
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MILKPRINCESS
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#4 Post by MILKPRINCESS » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:06 pm

North Shore wrote: It sounds like you're spinning your wheels a little in your current life: in 5 years, if you haven't done anything about chasing your dream, where are you going to be, vs chasing it, and perhaps not making it? (but with demographics pointing to a strong future)
It's not my dream, exactly. I don't have any one thing I want to do in life, I'm interested in a lot of things and good at a lot of things, I just don't know where to focus that. I think being a pilot would be interesting and engaging, instead of just doing the same thing every day... but maybe it is doing the same thing every day, I have no idea, really. I know being an airline pilot sounds repetitive to me, and the constant engagement of making sure a helicopter doesn't crash and burn is a lot more appealing. I'm feeling out my options, anyways.
photofly wrote:You need to finish 40 hours of ground school and a minimum of 10 hours flight time to sit the PPAER exam. Harv's air online ground school is relatively cheap, something like $250.
If you want to be a lawyer or doctor or dentist there are also a lot of up front expenses. Moaning about how awful your drifting aimless life and how expensive the next thing you want to try is isn't inspiring. You want to be talked out of it? OK. A career as a pilot isn't for you. You don't have what it takes. Find something easier quicker and cheaper.
What does it take? I constantly hear that only people who feel like they were born to fly can get over all the obstacles the career presents. I'm living a pretty aimless life but it's because I already achieved my original dream of becoming an actor, am making quite a bit of money and live comfortably extremely easily. It's mind numbingly boring, though. I feel like I've successfully completed life and am trying to find a new dream to achieve, because I'm fresh out.
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#5 Post by North Shore » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:35 am

MILKPRINCESS wrote: I'm 24 working a low paying job
am making quite a bit of money
??
I was always a smart kid, but there wasn't any passion in me for anything else, and it really took the wind out of my sails to not be able to do what I wanted to so badly
I already achieved my original dream of becoming an actor
??

Make up your damn mind!
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#6 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:05 pm

Apply to Transport Canada you seem to have the right mindset.
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#7 Post by jpilot77 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:54 pm

The helicopter industry is stagnant compared to fixed wing (airplanes) industry right now.
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#8 Post by All Sides » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:11 pm

Well I think that was his extent of his helicopter career :lol:
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#9 Post by Tiffansy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:04 am

You need to finish 40 hours of ground school and a minimum of 10 hours flight time to sit the PPAER exam. Harv's air online ground school is relatively cheap, something like $250.
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#10 Post by fijdor » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:44 pm

As a professional heli pilot, 39 years in the industry, I would say all the answers here were all correct.

JD
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Re: Training on a budget, work prospects, talk me in/out of becoming a pilot

#11 Post by skybluetrek » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:07 pm

This may help in one way or another...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkAKAheQIAA
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