Business opportunities for new heli-pilot who owns a copter

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clockedot
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Business opportunities for new heli-pilot who owns a copter

#1 Post by clockedot » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:16 am

I presently own a small construction company which I am selling. I will be left with enough money to complete helicopter training and purchase a helicopter.

I wanted to know what type of return I could expect and what type of business opportunities I could have as a newbie? I assume as a new pilot I would be limited to certain types helicopter services? Can anyone explain in some detail what type of money I could earn as an owner/operator and what my jobs prospects would be? I would prefer to live/work in the south of Alberta or BC. I presently live in Red Deer.

As a construction company I am one of the people who feel the pinch of a poor economy right away. When the economy goes south does the helicopter industry suffer very much? As a contractor I have noticed both suppliers and other companies have gone bankrupt over the past few years. I would like to get into an industry which has a harder start up cost then a contractor. I assume with the high cost to operate a helicopter and the cost and time required to gain higher level helicopter jobs it would seem this is an industry that a owner/operator could make a good living, is this true?
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helicopterray
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Re: Business opportunities for new heli-pilot who owns a cop

#2 Post by helicopterray » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:09 pm

The helicopter industry has more aircraft and operators than there is work.
So to get work, operators cut tariff rates to the point where hardly anyone is making money right now.

There is an old saying:

How do you make a little bit of money in helicopters?
Start off with a lot.

The economic downturn of 2008/2009 has hit the domestic helicopter industry very hard.

Also, as a new helicopter pilot, you won't have enough experience to fly for forestry, or for any oil and gas company, or for Hydro crews, which means you won't have any customers at all, as all have minimum pilot requirements.

Sorry to be a downer, but this is the present reality.
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Ecco
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Re: Business opportunities for new heli-pilot who owns a cop

#3 Post by Ecco » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:01 am

If you own the thing, you wont fly it anymore and baerly see it..
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The Mole
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Re: Business opportunities for new heli-pilot who owns a cop

#4 Post by The Mole » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:08 am

What kind of helicopter are you going to buy? That will determine the kind of work you can do. If your thinking robbie, you options are very limited for work in canada. Also location, location, location. Theres no work around red deer. One man shows usually operate out of some remote area, where the work is. Fort mac the oil patch, operators are based up there. Unless of course you want to relocate to Wabasca. Its free of operators..... Big companies have maintenance bases in the south to attract staff. Like, the Great Slavers. Nobody wants to live in yellowknife.

You probably will not get insurance to operate commercially. Until you get some personnel and company experience under your belt.
Probably going to have a hard time getting an operating certificate. You need experience to get one.

So your option would be to operate under some other company's books. Or hire experienced staff to start things off. And a fist full of cash. Or better yet buy an aircraft and lease it out. To some other sucker to wants to stress everyday about finding work.



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Petit-Lion
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Re: Business opportunities for new heli-pilot who owns a cop

#5 Post by Petit-Lion » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:04 pm

You'll need an Air Operator Certificate to operate commercially. You'll need 500 hours PIC time in helicopters after your commercial license (that means around 650-700 hours TT) before you can apply for one. In the mean time, you will easily find an established operator which will be more than happy to operate (and abuse) your machine for an agreed hourly rate. You will have to pay your own company training (PPC) in your machine, the commercial insurance, the maintenance (especially if said operator has its own maintenance shop), the hangar and every other things so that the operator earns all the money and takes no risk. If you are lucky, you may get some flight hours if you bring your own business (passengers).

Been there, done that. My helicopter is for sale to another sucker, if you are interested.
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