I once had a dream of becoming a helicopter pilot. Then life happened: married young, kids, school, career, etc. I'm working in a good career while finishing a Ph.D. in engineering. But still, I find myself wondering "what if?"
My dad was in a similar situation when he was my age (33) when he started flying (and selling to pay for the habit of flying) powered parachutes. I soloed for the first time in a PPC at 10-years-old and have hundreds of unlogged flight hours. Not a helicopter, but still, some flying experience and lots of good memories.
So my question that isn't career advice: what are the paths for getting into a helicopter flight career? And, are there any routes for people like me?
- Military? Probably too late for me. I've heard that there are age restrictions but I'm not certain regarding the specifics. Others may be interested, though.
- Local flight school? I'm hesitant. I know people who have gotten burned by the flight schools at local airports when the school closed and the owners disappeared with their money. These seem sort of like a Ponzi scheme anyway, IMO, since once you become an instructor, you train others, who are also becoming instructors, who are also... turtles all the way down...
- Commercial Flight School?
Are there any grey-beards out there who can offer some perspective on the three options? Or offer other alternatives?