Hello everyone!The help and responses I've got from everyone in the HangarChat community have been amazing! I thought I might inquire from some of you experienced helicopter pilots what I'm in store…Continue
nice post! I suppose I could be considered one of the 'lucky' ones. I took the path you seem to imagine: Did my Private in CA, not multiple aircraft, but heaps of different instructors, which made it quite challenging at the time, because there was very little consistency, but helped in the long run :) I moved to West Palm Beach and joined Ocean Helicopters (you are friends with Pam, you have had a chat with them!?) I finished ALL my ratings in the R22 and was extremly excited when Dave & Gill Harmon decided to give me a chance as an Instructor. I probably learned more in the first 6 months of teaching than I did during my training (well bit exagerated, but you get the drift!) - I thoroughly enjoyed it, too, and never saw it entirely as a stepping stone only, though of course it was! There were also some cool photo flights that made it great fun! After 2.5 years I went to the Grand Canyon and got my turbine transition (Bell 206) and flew a full season with Papillon. Bear in mind that I am not a US citizen and was constantly struggling with immigration deadlines. As a result, I feel I did pretty good (lucky, determined!? Who knows!!??) and loved every minute of the experience! Once I ran out of options in the US I stuck my neck out and looked at international jobs. Once again, I got a break and ended up in the Middle East, yes, a female helicopter pilot, who would have ever thought!!?? ;-)
I have now been out here for 4 years and am flying Bell 212 & AW 139's off shore. I pretty much found my dream job, because as you said, it's the atmosphere and I love the ocean environment, as well as the flying aspect.
Not sure this is what you were looking for, but I hope a bit of a 'happy' success story, will keep you at it and help you fullfill your dream(s). It is SO worth it!!! (Speak to Dave & Gill at Ocean, if you want some of the struggles I met along the way ;-)