Silver State Helicopters dashes student pilots dreams!
The news this week of Silver State Helicopters closing their doors, has prompted me to do what I have been considering for some time. Blogging about police helicopters. So what’s the connection you ask? When Silver State Helicopters closed it’s doors I can only imagine that they also slammed the door shut on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of many would be helicopter pilots. Some only temporarily, but others more permanently.
One morning recently I was driving to work at Gillespie Field, El Cajon Ca., when I heard a Silver State Helicopter commercial come on the radio. Since one of their schools was only a few doors down from our base, and since I had already heard a number of negative things about how they operated, I listened intently. The commercial talked about the vast shortage of police helicopter pilots, and the big paychecks that would be waiting once your training was completed.
The commercial struck me as being somewhat less than the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The thing was, I knew a little something about How to Become a Police Helicopter Pilot!
It is my understanding that some of the students at Silver State were on the hook for as much as $60,000 and were still working on ratings. Most of the complaints that I heard about Silver State, was that they take your money, but it was tough to get flight time because they wouldn't hire enough instructors. It was no surprise to many of us when they closed their doors.
In contrast, I was just completing my first full year as a commercially rated pilot, for the Sheriff’s Department, (I use the term Police Pilot as a generic term covering all law enforcement pilots). Not only was my entire flight training paid for, but I was also paid my regular salary while I attended flight school full time.
Of course I know that there are other helicopter flying jobs besides being a police pilot, and I know that not every helicopter student has a desire to be a law enforcement officer. But the differences between the unfortunate Silver State Helicopter student and myself are quite stark. I wish each one of them the best.
I said that the story of Silver State Helicopters is what ultimately got me to start this blog, but it was not the original inspiration. You see for some time in the law enforcement/internet/aviation circles I have noticed a complete lack of information, or lack of accurate information on How to Become a Police Helicopter Pilot. It is my goal to make this blog the #1 source in the nation on exactly how to become a Police Helicopter Pilot.
I know that somewhere in America there is a boy or girl sitting in a high school math class, full of hopes and dreams, but also uncertainty about their future. I know because I was that young boy sitting in class at Oktaha High School back in 1982. What are they going to do to carve out a place in this world that will reward them both financially, and in countless other ways. For those who dare to dream of becoming a police helicopter pilot, the free information still to come in this blog, will be priceless.
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