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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

Well in realising a few weeks ago that by April 2006, I will be concluding my tour at the University of Victoria, I realised that I really have no clue about what my future holds for me.

I will be the first in 2 generations of my family to get a degree, unfortunately, I have no real idea about what I want to get a degree in, so I'm now working towards completing my Bachelors of History, with a Minor in applied ethics. (ya ya, i've heard it all.. even the crapper in the history department has "History Diplomas" written next to the TP holder. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img])

Either way, its a degree, a peice of paper, and when I finished grade 12 and went to university, that was always an option for me if I didn't find something that I really enjoyed doing. Get the paper, put it under my belt, and move on.

Back on topic.. if it is a topic.

So I realised that nextyear I have to find something to do. (Parents wont help pay the bills forever.)

When I graduated I was leaning towards joining the film industry, and trying to work my way into the Special effects side of things (the real stuff, not hte computers). Ive been on a few film/tv show sets before, and I always enjoyed the atmospehere and the work they do.

But in having contacts of mine dissapear, move on, or otherwise fall out of touch, I'm not so sure I really want to do that anymore. Besides, the portion of the industry I want to go in, is dissapearing.

I don't want to move to the city, get a job at the local whatever, and scrape by every month until my break comes, or doesn't come.
I also don't want to go home and live under my parents roof, making good money at the local pool, but still living at home.. to what end?

Recently I noticed that the Canadian Forces are franticly looking for pilots. Flying is something that I've always been interested in, it's in my blood.. my Grandfather flew from 1939 until he was shot down as Acting Squadron Leader of a wing of Typhoon Bomber Interceptors over Germany in 1945. My dads stepdad was also a pilot, he flew as a Test Pilot for the RAF.

My dad flew, and still flies privately. (The plane he built in the garage... using less tools then I used to do the SBC swap on my Jeep. :S)

Recently I've been incredibly interested in helicopters. It's something about them that just facinates me. Maybe its all the First Aid and medic courses I've taken, the alure of the helicopter swooping in, and picking up critical patients, or dropping off supplies in Thailand right now.
I think.. that by positioning myself appropriately, and training for certain aircraft, I'd be able to position myself in a way that I wouldn't become a grunt/front line.. and I wouldn't have to move away from the westcoast.. then again, I don't really know the Canadian forces, so that may be a pipe dream.

The only holdback I have from joining the Forces is being sent away. I have no problem standing on the beaches and throwing back an invader, what I don't want to do, is die in some god forsaken sandbox, doing a job I hate, killing people who dont like me, because I'm there for a reason I don't belive in, and who don't want me there in the first place. Some conflicts make sence, just causes, but if theres any inclination of political meneauvering on the part of the guy who sent me there.. like it will boost his poll ratings, I want nothing to do with it.

What I really enjoy doing is helping people.. FirstAid/Medicine has always made me happy.

I'd love to fly jets, but in Canada that's not much of an option. We only have about 4. I would go get my pilots licence and then look for a job, but thats just pointless (I'd never get hired), not to mention expensive.

So back to the Armed forces. I guess what I want to hear from is those of you who joined the armed forces as an officer. that's what I'd be doing. and especially from anyone who flys, namely helicopters..

What kind of commitment are they looking for? I have no problem putting in my time, I'd just like to know around how long it is, which is information that they don't like to give up.

I think what I'm going to do, is try to go for the preliminary selection process this summer, before I've even completed university.. from what I can gather.. I signup.. then they send me to Manitoba (flatland) for 2 weeks, paid, while they run blood/urine/physical tests.. and send you for some rounds in the flight simulator and centerfuge... no commitment, they just want to make sure they don't start training people who become washouts before the first years up.


So now that you've read the big long winded.. question? or just skipped to the end.. how was your experiance as a millitary aviator... or Commissioned officer.. or civillian aviator?

once again. TIA guys.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 07:02 AM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

if you were asking about the US military i could help you...... but i dont know much about the canadian military :-\ sorry

alll i know about the military in general regardless of what country you go in....is people either love it or hate it....never anything in between, think long and hard about it
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 08:02 AM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

From the US Military point of view, ( I was not in the US Military, but, I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]).

If you have your degree, and you have all this medical back ground, you could likely qualify to try out to be a medic on the flight line. You would likely be in for more medical training, could set you up to getting the Military to pay for you to continue with another degree...Nursing or Doctor.

Copter Pilots tend to be copter Pilots...they are generaly not the ones that jump out of the ship and attend to the wounded, there are Corpsmen for that...

I'm sure, somewhere on your school campus there will be a Recruiter, go in and talk to them, tell them what you have to offer, they will tell you what they have to offer. You may even get a free t-shirt out of the deal... [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 08:20 AM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

What is Canada's equivalent to the Coast Guard? That sounds like it would be a good fit for you, flying helos patrolling, rescues, drug trafficers, etc. Maybe something to check into...
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

From what I've been able to gather..

if it leaves the ground, its in the AirForce in Canada.

hell, I think if your in the army, and you decide to hop on one foot, every time you leave the ground you join the airforce. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Greg, I've found that to be the case too. It's a love, or a hate thing. I just have to make sure I join for the right reasons.

Lomod, right now I'm qualified as a medic.. except no drugs.. I've thought about joining as a medic, but I'm not sure.. if I do join, I want to be an officer, and I want to be doing something that takes me somewhere... ?? i dont know if that makes any sense.. but if I joined as a medic, I'd be out in 3 years or so, with little more then I have now.

Kerry, we have a Coastgaurd, its a branch of the forces.. they'res two squadrons. One in the west, one in the east. They look fairly interesting, and one is only about 5 hours drive away from here.

Theres a recruiting office in town somewhere, I just never have the time to go down there, and I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to ask questions I have no clue about :P I'd probably make a great laywer [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 12:19 PM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

My friend did exactly what you are talking about but in the U.S. He met some people at U of Ga. that were pilots and became very interested. He then talked to the military (recruiter) about flight school. Went to Officer Candidacy School his summer after his junior year then after graduation started boot camp and then off to flight school. At some point during flight school you have to choose what you want to fly, he chose helicopters. I'm not sure exactly what all went into the decision but it's a process nonetheless. With your family background of pilots in the military I would think if you found a recruiter and used that background things would look good for you getting in. If it's anything like the U.S. they love college grads, and nothing is better than who you know. My friend is now back at UGA working on his masters on the military's dime. As far as commitment. They wanted 7 years from him. X amount of that for training and the remainder for actual service. Of course having 7 years he decided to stay for 20 and get that check. Can't beat it. When he gets out he'll only be in his early 40's, masters degree at least, and a great military record. Can't beat that. But of course it is the military, and that didn't work for me.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 01:40 PM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

I know that the SAR Tech's (SAR, medical evac, general aid, etc)are part of the Air Force up there, but from what I was told by a group of them, is that it is very, very hard to get into it. There is a huge amount of existing military people trying out for a few spots a year, but may be something to look into if you want to do something in the medical/aid field.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

pbm, I figured it would be hard to get into. Although the way the Forces are pushing for pilots right now, maybe it will thin out or get easier.

Heck, a LARGE percentage of the armed forces is the SAR. You have to figure that with... I think 6 squadrons of helicopters, 2 are SAR (one per coast) 2 are forward deployed as Naval Aviators (one base per coast) and then the last two units are based in Manitoba, (training) and Ontario (land based transport/attack)

I'll definitely have to check out how hard it is a little further.

Horse, was the 7 years in return for the training as a pilot? Or for him going back to university.
I know here, its 9 years if you go through university on the governments books.. 4 years of uni, and then 5 years of active duty.

The training here is supposed to take 2 years from entry to being positioned with an active unit. Even with 7 years service I *could* be out by the time I'm 29. I kind of wish there were more people around here to talk to about this kind of stuff, everyone here is Navy though. I'm kind of worried about the ammount of time Canadian pilots get to fly. [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
The millitary is severely underfunded. The ONLY Airforce base in British Columbia is in Comox. 200 personell on the base. Of which 80 are actually flight crew. Assuming a pilot, navigator, and 2 crew.. (probably 3 on a helicopter, and more on the Spotter/SAR planes..) thats 20 pilots or less. [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

Thanks for the info guys..anything more is greatly appreciated.. To anyone who flys anything.. what are the courses/tests like.. I find for school work I do alright, but I really excell in practical tests and exams where I am enjoying what im studying... i think.. I mean my first aid courses are always between 100% and 90%..

Is there lots of theroy? I picked up a book on Helicopters from the library just to get an understanding.. and surprisingly its an interesting read.. I understand all the push/pull rods and angles, AofAttack and feathering stuff, but theres PAGES of equations and all that jazz.. is it important to know? or is thats beyond the theroy of a training course?

TIA guys.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 09:15 PM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

I have flown in quite a few different types of helicopters and even more terrain variations, and every time before even taking off the crew is getting people and gear weight, fuel levels and all sorts of things to equate. Then they calculate fuel needed for flight, fuel needed for on scene, weight variations if a subject is picked up, etc. Then they still have to calculate wind's, vectors, air desity differences, etc, so I think the equation/ theory part is pretty important.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 09:25 PM
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Re: O/T .. Flying/Forces (longish life decision)

The 7 yrs. is for flight training. And don't quote me on that I could be off a year or two. And things may have changed since then, it's been 10 yrs. But I'm pretty sure it was seven. I don't know what he had to do to go back to school on them, sadly we haven't talked in years now (happens when you grow up and move around the country) but he had already planned on retiring from there so it probly wouldn't have mattered to him. Wish I could be more help.
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