2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

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Oddity
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2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#1 Post by Oddity » Thu May 06, 2010 8:26 pm

Been looking into helicopters as an interesting career to pursue. Admittingly, reading the forums and how hard it is to get a job has been rather disheartening. However this is reality and I appreciate the honesty.

I came across many flight training schools here in ontario, and then this recent school which offers both the commercial license alongside an aviation-specific degree in general arts/science. Now I've never been fond of college personally, but as I see it, paying $70,000 and taking two years to get 105 hours seems like I'd be getting stiffed in comparison to the flight training schools.

Is there any real world demand for the degree in this industry? Or would it be an expensive piece of paper on a wall?

I'm a realistic being, I understand the aviation industry is in a low-cycle right now, which gives me time to attain the license and hours. I'm thinking of apprenticing in a high-paying job in the trades while working on the pilot license part-time in between. In that case though, I would be heading off to BC to do it. Or I would achieve the license quickly here in ontario, then work up my hours while I'm living in BC and working.

Regardless, am I off my rocker? Are there 'part-time' ways of getting hours that wont interfere with full time work? At 20, I'm a young guy with lots of time left in me, but this seems to be an expensive career to get into with a tedious period of time before you make any real money. And as I love scenery, I may just suck it up.
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Re: 2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#2 Post by sky's the limit » Thu May 06, 2010 8:42 pm

Hi there,

Well, there are a couple of ways to look at things for you.

To answer your question regarding the diploma in the helicopter industry, no, you don't need one, and I can't imagine anyone ever asking for one either. Rotary is a different ball game to fixed wing.

You are young, there is LOTS of time for this. The industry is low right now, there are very few low-time jobs, and there are a great many "kids" fresh out of school with licenses who may never fly again. If you are interested in a trade, I would HIGHLY recommend you pursue an apprenticeship prior to flying. I strongly suggest saving your money, then when the time is right and you are ready, go to school all in one shot - you will learn much more efficiently, cost-effectively, and the time frame will be dramatically shorter. Dragging out an airplane license is one thing, in helicopters it's much worse.

As to location, I think you have a better environment out in BC to learn in for all the obvious reasons. If you're thinking of moving here anyway, hold off on the training for a while and do it here when you're ready.

Having a back-up plan in aviation is a good thing, and in the rotary world even more so. You will learn a great many things in a trade that will make you more employable than the average kid coming out of school, no rush.

It makes me very sad to see so many people of all ages throwing $60K away on a dream that is rarely, if ever, given a dose of reality by schools. It is extremely difficult to get started, and since the fall of '08 even more so. If this is what you REALLY want to do, then get yourself set up first so you can handle a few years of low wages with little to no debt.

Good luck.

stl
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Re: 2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#3 Post by Oddity » Thu May 06, 2010 9:35 pm

Its worth noting I'm a week away from ending my career as a plumber apprentice for numerous reasons, the big ones being my physical health (which has taken a beating), not learning anything interesting, and dealing with boatloads of overpaid undereducated goofs. The money is good, but job satisfaction is hit and miss entirely depending on where you are working and who you are working with. (While I know that is prevalent everywhere, it astounded me how much so that case was here).

Regardless, I appreciate your input and it was as I had been thinking would be the case. I will likely trudge on with my initial plan - working an apprenticeship out west - and pass the dream off as merely a dream until I can take the severe financial hit.

It's just a shame that is how the industry is, it really offers no hope for new people getting into it.
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Re: 2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#4 Post by r22captain » Sat May 08, 2010 10:09 pm

X2 to what STL said.

I had done a 2 year aviation diploma (fixed wing) and flown planes for a while before converting over. The fixed wing time has helped me out in certain situations.....but the diploma I haven't needed/seen since I graduated a few moons ago.

the big ones being my physical health
definatly an industry that can be demading....long days in the machine....long days sitting around in the bush at +30....long days digging out barrels and rolling them around in the snow at -30.
dealing with boatloads of overpaid undereducated goofs.
a large portion of customers you end up flying around are overpaid under-educated goofs. ;) :lol:
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Re: 2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#5 Post by lionheart27 » Sat May 08, 2010 10:26 pm

Getting your CPL Commercial in fixed wing can be a great asset to getting your heli CPL later.
You'll not only learn the ability and skills of flying/knowledge but have a background that can credit your Helicopter license and cut your training in half almost. You can always use the Fixed wing as a money machine while earning your heli wings
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Re: 2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#6 Post by asbs006 » Mon May 31, 2010 9:46 am

lionheart27 wrote:Getting your CPL Commercial in fixed wing can be a great asset to getting your heli CPL later.
You'll not only learn the ability and skills of flying/knowledge but have a background that can credit your Helicopter license and cut your training in half almost. You can always use the Fixed wing as a money machine while earning your heli wings

Having a fixed wing licence is absolutely of no use if you want to fly helicopters, unless you want it to help you spend more money or make money for your bank.

As for using your fixed wing as a money machine?? Either I missed the sarcasm or you're from another planet.
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Re: 2 year Aviation college.. any advantages?

#7 Post by r22captain » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:56 am

asbs006 wrote:
lionheart27 wrote:Getting your CPL Commercial in fixed wing can be a great asset to getting your heli CPL later.
You'll not only learn the ability and skills of flying/knowledge but have a background that can credit your Helicopter license and cut your training in half almost. You can always use the Fixed wing as a money machine while earning your heli wings

Having a fixed wing licence is absolutely of no use if you want to fly helicopters, unless you want it to help you spend more money or make money for your bank.

As for using your fixed wing as a money machine?? Either I missed the sarcasm or you're from another planet.
I disagree with that. I flew fixed wing during the off season from helicopters when I was a lower time guy for 2 years. IFR time I built flying a HO landed me in a 212 seat a few thousand hours earlier then average......

it doesn't work for everyone that way....but did for me.
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