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Nuno Henrique

Plan to work abroad with License B

Question

Hello, I'm new in this forum and I have a question that is concerning my future, maybe here is the best place to ask about it. 

So, I'm European and I'm new in the skydiving sport, I've done just 2 tandems and I plan to do the AFF Course and reach the License B before I leave my country. My question is, as I don't have that much information besides everything I search on the internet, till what I know now at least, it's only possible to make a live with skydiving by being a packer, a camera flyer or a tandem instructor (as far I know), so I plan to leave my country to Netherlands, but I plan to leave with 50 jumps, and all I want to do is being able to live (earn life with the sport) at the same time I jump to reach License D and turn tandem instructor, but to that I need the 500 jumps, can anyone tell me if it's possible to being able to live only with skydiving before the 200 jumps to be camera flyer & 500 to be tandem instructor? Thank you and sorry maybe this is too much a newbie question but it's really concerning my future. 

P.S: Another thing that is concerning me is that Netherlands is a country with not much great weather environment to jump, you think that it's an obstacle to live with skydiving there as it may be days where it will be impossible to jump? Also if I only have 50 jumps, the thing is that I love that country I want to move there but being able to work only with skydive I won't search for anything else to pay rent, jumps, etc... 

Edited by Nuno Henrique

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You need to find out if it is possible in the Netherlands. What might be possible in the US or other large country may not be possible there. 

Some questions to ask of someone who jumps there... How many dz's are there? How busy are they? Do they need packers? How much can you make there? How long is the season?  

Probably best to get at least a few hundred jumps in before deciding you are ready  to make a living in the sport.  

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Don't count on earning a living as a parachute packer and getting skilled at skydiving at the same time! When the weather is nice and people are jumping, you will be packing parachutes all day, pay is relatively bad and you don't have time for jumping as you are working when others are in the air. Flying camera is serious work, that requires serious skill. To get to that point, you need to jump a lot of jumps, jump regularly, have tunnel hours, and generally build a lot of skill. Becoming a TI is slightly different, you will need more jumps, but less specific training, and even then, you will be working while the others are jumping so it isn't really the best way to earn money for jumping. 

Before turning your hobby into your job, I would look into other avenues of supporting your skydiving habit, I don't know what your background is, but pretty much anyone can get a commercial driving license, or work construction. The jobs might not be glamourous, but they get you best money/skill ratio if you don't have a specific trade/education. If you are tech savvy, you can consider making websites, it is also not super difficult and there is a market for it at the moment. 

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(edited)

I personally wouldn't consider this now if I was you. you havent even done AFF. How do you know you will really enjoy jumping ? What if you get a mal early enough in your jumping (pre 50) and realise its not for you ? Do you have the budget to complete AFF and get to your B licence ? What about the budget for tunnel ($$$$) to be proficient enough for camera ? What if you hate packing, like me ? Have you spoken to the people that work at the DZ (where you did the tandems) in your country to find out what its like to live/work at the dz ?

A move like yours is to be taken seriously, unless you have a back up plan for the Netherlands in case the skydiving doesn't work out.

I love the Netherlands but its expensive to live there, especially working in this industry. 

Fail to plan =  plan to fail

 

Edited by Nabz
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Apart from the general (lack of) feasibility of making a living within this sport, there is also the practical concerns of rules and regulations in the Netherlands. To become a tandemmaster here, you need at least 1000 jumps and 3 years minimum in the sport. Theoretically, you can fly with a camera after 200 jumps, but you need express permission of the tandemmaster to fly tandem video. No sane tandemmaster is going to want a videoflyer without any video experience, so count on at least 500 jumps before you can do some serious tandem video work.

But to help you along, the two DZ's in the Netherlands that could be of interest for something like this are Teuge and Texel. These are our biggest DZ's, and even they are closed on weekdays in winter season (November-March). All other dropzones are clubs (single C208 or smaller plane) or small tandem places for tourists.

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Dear Nuno,

If you want to work full-time in the skydiving industry, you will have to travel with the seasons (e.g. summer in the Netherlands and winters in Portugal). You will also find that the more ratings you have, the more money you can make.

I worked as a full-time skydiver for 18 years. By the end I had tandem, static-line, IAD, FF, tandem and rigger ratings. ... and I did a few hundred camera jumps ... I had also worked as a jump pilot (before you needed a commercial pilot license in Canada). Before that I repaired airplanes in the air force (but never earned the civilian license). The disadvantage of being a rigger is that you are always repairing something while the other jumpers are drinking beer and chatting up girls. I often worked 70 hours per week in June, July, August and September.

I had enough ratings that I could avoid boring DZ jobs like mowing the lawn, picking up trash, sweeping hangars, etc.

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