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Anyone a pilot? Particularly helicopters.

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Repsol12 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Repsol12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Anyone a pilot? Particularly helicopters.
    Posted: April/07/2012 at 8:47pm
Hey everyone,
 
I am seriously contemplating beginning my helicopter training for a private pilot license here shortly. Just wondering if there are any other pilots, rotorwing or fixed wing, that could shed some light and offer advice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MasonicFirefighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2012 at 11:18pm
Not a licensed pilot, but I have flown the right seat often with CAP, plus I have a lot of sim hours, heh. I'd guess you say I'm an unofficial pilot. I'd wager I know about as much as a VFR pilot with a little bit of IFR work too, just don't have the papers for it.

I'd still be willing to take a crack at your questions though.


Edited by MasonicFirefighter - April/07/2012 at 11:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Repsol12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 12:16am
Ive got some flight time myself but its all fixed wing stuff from being a skydiver and getting to take the controls from time to time. Ive also flown a few O-flights with CAP.
 
I dont really have any questions in particular, just more experience and thoughts about doing it. I want to do the helicopter training so bad its insane, but one of the guys I spoke with recently about it kind of put me off to doing it. He kept saying things like "its a bad idea," "it costs too much money to be worth it," "you wont be able to fly anywhere but locally and thats if youre lucky and your trainer lets you take his aircraft," etc. etc.
 
I know it will cost about $15k all told which is, for me, a ton of money, but its not required to do it all in a set time frame, so I can fly as often as Im able to afford flight hours. Ive flown and jumped from A LOT of helicopters, and Ive done a few tours out of my local airpark for friends' birthdays or other special ocassions; so this is something that Id love to be able to do for my friends and family with me at the controls, so I think its a fine idea.
 
What really stands out in my mind though is the "you wont be able to fly if you leave the area" comment. First, I dont want to spend a ton of money to get my license and then not be able to rent a helicopter to fly when I have the time and money to do so, otherwise, yeah, it would be a waste of time and money. Second, I would like to be able to go from place to place in my general travels and if i wanted to, go rent a helicopter for a bit and have fun. My sister lives in Ga, so Id want to go up there and rent one for a few hours to take her and my nephews flying. The way the guy explained things to me though is that I would never be able to do that because they wouldnt know me up there. Heres my big issue with that: the FAA has to examine and do a check ride with every pilot in the US, so its impossible to fudge your way through to a license. If I want to rent a car anywhere in the country all I have to do is show my driver license and pay for the vehicle and im off, all because we all have to be examined and do a test drive with a government official to prove we are qualified to drive. Why is it different for aircraft!? We go through a standardized training regimine, get tested by the FAA and hold a license to fly X aircraft, there should be no issue. The guy said at best Id have to do an hour long check ride to get to rent one out of my area to prove I know what Im doing.
 
Anyway, I want to do it, but I dont want to have my hands tied and not be able to fly the way I want to without buying my own helicopter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 9:13am
I was learning to fly fixed wing. I have about 20 hours logged flight time. Then 9/11 happened and all flight schools had to shut down. I did not go back because of it also hurting my business and it was a financial decision. I will go back and finish at dome point. My hours still count.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MasonicFirefighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 3:40pm
Originally posted by Repsol12 Repsol12 wrote:

Ive got some flight time myself but its all fixed wing stuff from being a skydiver and getting to take the controls from time to time. Ive also flown a few O-flights with CAP.
 
I dont really have any questions in particular, just more experience and thoughts about doing it. I want to do the helicopter training so bad its insane, but one of the guys I spoke with recently about it kind of put me off to doing it. He kept saying things like "its a bad idea," "it costs too much money to be worth it," "you wont be able to fly anywhere but locally and thats if youre lucky and your trainer lets you take his aircraft," etc. etc.
 
I know it will cost about $15k all told which is, for me, a ton of money, but its not required to do it all in a set time frame, so I can fly as often as Im able to afford flight hours. Ive flown and jumped from A LOT of helicopters, and Ive done a few tours out of my local airpark for friends' birthdays or other special ocassions; so this is something that Id love to be able to do for my friends and family with me at the controls, so I think its a fine idea.
 
What really stands out in my mind though is the "you wont be able to fly if you leave the area" comment. First, I dont want to spend a ton of money to get my license and then not be able to rent a helicopter to fly when I have the time and money to do so, otherwise, yeah, it would be a waste of time and money. Second, I would like to be able to go from place to place in my general travels and if i wanted to, go rent a helicopter for a bit and have fun. My sister lives in Ga, so Id want to go up there and rent one for a few hours to take her and my nephews flying. The way the guy explained things to me though is that I would never be able to do that because they wouldnt know me up there. Heres my big issue with that: the FAA has to examine and do a check ride with every pilot in the US, so its impossible to fudge your way through to a license. If I want to rent a car anywhere in the country all I have to do is show my driver license and pay for the vehicle and im off, all because we all have to be examined and do a test drive with a government official to prove we are qualified to drive. Why is it different for aircraft!? We go through a standardized training regimine, get tested by the FAA and hold a license to fly X aircraft, there should be no issue. The guy said at best Id have to do an hour long check ride to get to rent one out of my area to prove I know what Im doing.
 
Anyway, I want to do it, but I dont want to have my hands tied and not be able to fly the way I want to without buying my own helicopter.

I have a buddy on Steam who finished his heli training not too long ago, I'll touch base with him and let you know what he thinks.


Edited by MasonicFirefighter - April/08/2012 at 3:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 4:02pm
I too was in CAP years ago, took some flight lessons, had progressed to solo cross country but had to quit because of a medical condition that precluded me from flying.

All I know about helicopters is that they are much more expensive to operate and maintain than fixed wing craft, so the cost to take lessons and rent them are going to a lot more. You might be able to afford the initial outlay to get a license but then you have to look at will you be able to afford to fly enough hours to stay current or satisfy your desire to fly them?

As far as not being able to leave the area, I don't know how it works in the helicopter community, but it would seem to me that if you go to a new airport to rent a helicopter they would give you a check ride and if they thought you were competent you should be able to rent from them, but then again that is in the fixed wing business.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MasonicFirefighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2012 at 9:51pm
Ok here's what I found out:

Quote Jujubes: first off for private level estimate more then 15k but it varies
Jujubes: flight hours from fixed wing DO count for SOME things but not at a private level
Jujubes: if he wants to fly long distances a helicopter is not the tool
Jujubes: im responding as I read btw
Kaufman: kk
Jujubes: Yes you do have to do a "check ride" but its every 2 years mostly
Jujubes: the US pilots license is recognized almost wordwide as the best
Jujubes: most people who rent you a aircraft will want to see how well you fly
Jujubes: Helicopters pilots license is Universal for ANY helicopter below 12,500 lbs
Jujubes: Piston turbine etc
Jujubes: the only helicopters that have anything special are the R22 and R44 which have whats called SFAR which is 1 flight every year to learn certain specefics
Jujubes: thats all I see
Kaufman: ok thanks
Jujubes: might have missed a couple lol
Jujubes: but the biggest thing is a helicopter is extremley hard to fly relative to a fixed wing plane
Jujubes: and not the best choice for recreational flying unless you are independantly wealthy
Jujubes: they are not cheap to rent/fly/learn/own
Jujubes: I would agree with his friends statements that unless he is loaded or is going to be a pilot as a career helicopter is not ideal
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Repsol12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2012 at 1:09pm
Well I just signed up for my first lesson this coming Wednesday. I would love to make it my career or at least something that I could do on the side part time for fun.
 
I graduate in December with two degrees and am hopefully moving on to law school. If all that goes well, I should be able to afford to fly fairly often. I also have a few ideas of how to get to fly a good bit without having to own or even pay for my flight time, so I will see how it goes. I will also end up doing a fixed wing add-on after I get my PPL so that I can earn some more hours toward my commercial licence for much cheaper than than pure helicopter hours.
 
Thanks for the input so far guys and I encourage more as I start this endeavor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2sondad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/09/2012 at 9:46am
Former pilot here.  It got to be too expensive when I got married and had kids.  I miss it a lot though, there is nothing like it and there isn't anything that relaxes me quite as much as being in the air.  I used to say that an hour in the hour was worth 8 on the ground.

Edited by 2sondad - June/30/2012 at 9:19pm
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