Jump to content


Helicopter AcademyMountainRidgeHeliVRFT468FRASCA FT200
Photo
- - - - -

how to afford flight training without loans


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 apiaguy

apiaguy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 865 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Right here!

Posted 09 April 2010 - 16:01

Everyone wants to be a pilot and nobody has any money.. I almost posted on the other thread to spew my thoughts on the subject but figured I'd present a way one could accomplish everything they imagined without breaking the bank and without taking loans to do it.

This assumes no experience but could be tailored to any stage.

Cash is king and you don't want to give that flight school anymore than they deserve... if they're only going to hire you because you dumped 65k into their pocket then go somewhere else.

1st.. keep your day job, get cheap housing, lose your cell phone, no cable, no eating out..etc..
This may require you to move to an area of the country that has CHEAP flight training and housing.

2nd.. get your private airplane rating at a small one man op type place that will cost you @$4000. TT40hrs.

3rd.. get your rotorcraft add-on.. DON'T go to a school unless they are charging under $200/hr. wet..instructor will be additional. Cost to you @$8000 TT75hrs +-

4th.. get your instrument airplane..$5000 TT115hrs +-

5th.. get your rotorcraft instrument add-on and commercial add-on.. $7000 TT150hrs +-

6th.. get your rotorcraft CFI.. $3000+-

7th.. you have all your ratings for under $30000... now keep working your day job and slowly take advantage of deals that come up... ie..traffic watch in the bell 206.. R44 time under 250/hr.. etc..

This proposal doesn't include minescule things like books, written tests, checkrides..etc..

Come on now... $30k and all your ratings... now I know your thinking you only have about 60-75 hours in the helicopter and no one will give you a job... well it was unlikely you'd get a job anyway if you had all helicopter time and you've now got alot more opportunity... If you keep working and saving you could spend an additional $25k to get 200TT helicopter... You can do that SLOWLY over time and you may not even have to get that much time.

Now the final disclaimer... I'm just trying to think outside the box for those itching to fly but don't think they can afford it on their own.

#2 Rogue

Rogue

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:travel too much to pin down a location
  • Interests:motorcycles, my wife and kids.

Posted 09 April 2010 - 16:18

Worked for me except I did this -

Private airplane

Instrument airplane

Commercial helo

don't have to have Private Rotorcraft, can fly all the PIC hours required with the solo sign-off, did 100 hours PIC in airplane and did the 35 PIC helicopter and 50 total helicopter. A lot of people say blah blah blah about retraining airplane pilots but I know the stuff I learned in airplanes helped me. I hovered in my second hour helicopter. Like you said I got the license now I'm just exploiting opportunities

#3 permison

permison

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denver CO
  • Company working for:Thunderbird Rescue

Posted 09 April 2010 - 17:41

This is pretty good advice. I don't know anyone who can do the minimum for hours though. Most people take 60+ for private fixed wing. I know a guy who is close to 150 and still slogging through it. Talk about dedication....I would expect the same for rotorcraft private add on. But everything else is spot on. Very good post Apiaguy.
It's a great day for an adventure!

#4 thrilsekr

thrilsekr

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Coast, CA

Posted 09 April 2010 - 18:20

I have considered this way. But, doesn't it leave you short on the 200 or 300 rotor hours you need to instruct for insurance minimums?
_______
thrilsekr

#5 apiaguy

apiaguy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 865 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Right here!

Posted 09 April 2010 - 19:23

I have considered this way. But, doesn't it leave you short on the 200 or 300 rotor hours you need to instruct for insurance minimums?



Those are robinson "pathfinder" insurance minimums... the concept here leads you away from the robinson ranks... most other insurance companies can come to terms with less than 200 hours helicopter in order to instruct.

#6 Spirit of '69

Spirit of '69

    ATP Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 52 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:duluth, mn
  • Company working for:Lake Superior Helicopters CFI CFII

Posted 09 April 2010 - 21:25

Most people take 60+ for private fixed wing.


i haven't started yet, but even presuming it takes an average of 60 hrs for the private fw, thats approx. 2k more. still not bad. i am seriously considering this method, if the price is right on the fw.

#7 Spirit of '69

Spirit of '69

    ATP Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 52 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:duluth, mn
  • Company working for:Lake Superior Helicopters CFI CFII

Posted 09 April 2010 - 21:26

any devil's advocates against doing it this way?

#8 67november

67november

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,464 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:land of 10,000 lakes (taxes)

Posted 09 April 2010 - 21:33

i haven't started yet, but even presuming it takes an average of 60 hrs for the private fw, thats approx. 2k more. still not bad. i am seriously considering this method, if the price is right on the fw.


everyone is different, many have done it in much less, getting a PPL in RW is more common at 60+ hours than FW.
spinning wings are better than fixed.

#9 mechanic

mechanic

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 946 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crockett, East Texas
  • Interests:Motorcycle riding
    Helicopters
    computers
    and moe money
  • Company working for:Weatherford Int.

Posted 09 April 2010 - 22:12

I have often wondered why wouldn't schools use an aircraft that lends itself to training. My personnel feeling is that some schools exploit the SFAR 73 to the schools benefit. Its built in marketing, ie, CHEAPER per hour. Well since most schools use the Pathfinder Insurance Program you need 300 hrs in a 22 or 500 in a 44 to be a preferred candidate CFI, unless you train at the school you are applying at. So, the Robbie generates more revenue for the school all under the gause of "CHEAPER" per hour. If you could get a job in an Enstrom or 269 between 180-200 hrs ver 250-300 in a 22, is it really cheaper?? And since the 22 is more sensitive take most people alittle extra hours to master it.

Anywho, just thought this needed to be said. Have always wondered about that. I think its cheaper for the school more than cheaper for the student. I could be wrong, but this is my feeling.

Kinda of like, would you work for a penny per hour trick. Except the school is getting the penny per hour. Not against the schools making profit. Just saying, is the 22 really a value for the student in the long run?

#10 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:The comments expressed here are not a complaint about the pilot's inability to find work, but merely opinions based on his own experiences,...your experience may differ!

    "Get to da choppa!" :)

Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:18

Not designed as a trainer, the R22 is used by most schools because it is cheaper to operate and maintain, plus you get a higher overhaul time.

If you follow the advice hear you'll be stuck in an S300. Its safer for training, but your employment options will be more limited.

#11 mechanic

mechanic

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 946 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crockett, East Texas
  • Interests:Motorcycle riding
    Helicopters
    computers
    and moe money
  • Company working for:Weatherford Int.

Posted 10 April 2010 - 14:42

Not designed as a trainer, the R22 is used by most schools because it is cheaper to operate and maintain, plus you get a higher overhaul time.

If you follow the advice hear you'll be stuck in an S300. Its safer for training, but your employment options will be more limited.



Yes I totally know about the ratio of schools using Robinson products.

200 hrs X 285.oo=$57,000.oo, 269
300 hrs X 245.oo=$73,500.oo, R22

Which machine made the school more profit? Pathfinder insurance adds to the profit also. I am not stupid, I was trained in managing a fleet of specialized vehicles that had high costs. We just didn't have to worry about insurance in our budgets.

The statment that the R22 is cheaper is false in my opinion, far as student costs go.

A Cessna 150/152 is cheaper than a 172 for a student. But a 269 is cheaper for the student vers a 22 long term to get a job flying heli's. Schools know this and thats part of the reason R22's are so popular and the fact that they make better pilots because of the sensitive nature of the machine which in turn requires more flight time to master.

jmho.

#12 Boatpix

Boatpix

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 15:26

www.r22.us has $150/hour photo rate.

Tom McDermott, manager
HelicopterAcademy.com/BOATPIX


#13 mechanic

mechanic

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 946 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crockett, East Texas
  • Interests:Motorcycle riding
    Helicopters
    computers
    and moe money
  • Company working for:Weatherford Int.

Posted 10 April 2010 - 15:32

Yes after you pay $250 hr.

Helicopter Academy PPL

#14 kodoz

kodoz

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 547 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SE Washington

Posted 10 April 2010 - 16:46

Yes after you pay $250 hr.

Helicopter Academy PPL


Nevertheless, it would be one way to get helicopter time at a lower rate than what you could get from any other flight school. (And their overall cost for training to 300 hrs is comparable to what other schools will charge for getting you to 200 hrs. And they do hire you at the end of it all. But that's another thread altogether.)

I guess the question that comes to mind (and I don't feel bad heckling ap/iaguy on account of having discussed this many times before with him) is: So...what next?

There was a thread some time back "Does your school hold you hostage?" Yup, they sure do. They reward some of the 200-hr R22 pilots who deposit $65,000 with them with a flight instructor position that gets them to 1000 hrs and a turbine job. Those guys make it.

A guy who follows ap/ia's plan will probably be a better pilot with more diverse experiences by the time he gets to 200 hrs. But that carries very little weight with most schools, and he can't buy his way to 1000 hrs. Soooo...somebody help out here with the next step for the guy who has 90 hrs FW, 110 hrs Schweizer, and is $50,000 in.

Share your experience at WikiRFM.
Reading to get you started:Amazon.com Listmania Books for Helicopter Pilots


#15 Boatpix

Boatpix

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 17:04

Anyone can build that $150/hour rate provided they have a ppl(h). The photo subsidy doesn't count for night, IR or solo as you can't take pictures at night, etc. or while doing solo or IR but the rest you can. Anyone can check out www.r22.us or http://www.helicopte.../time/index.htm or call me at 561-346-2816. I think we first started offering this in 2001 and we remaing pretty busy but if you tell me how many hours you want and give me a couple of weeks we should be able to accomodate you. The question was "how to afford flight training without loans" and if you have a job and a credit card we should be able to get many people to the next hour threshold they need.

Tom McDermott, manager
HelicopterAcademy.com/BOATPIX


#16 mechanic

mechanic

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 946 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crockett, East Texas
  • Interests:Motorcycle riding
    Helicopters
    computers
    and moe money
  • Company working for:Weatherford Int.

Posted 10 April 2010 - 18:03

Yes Kodoz I have read those threads, tho I forget some of the points in them. I am not putting anyone in particular down here. I am just saying that the 22 being cheaper is another marketing trick.

Boatpix, I never said your offer was bad, just that not everyone would be able to take advantage of it and your offer is pretty unique.

I am with Kodoz and apiaguy here, there are ways to get from A to B cheaper but thats only one step in the process. Airplanes are cheaper to buy and own than helicopters and know a few people who have bought an airplane to time build. Heli's are just too expensive for most people to go this route and A&P's seem to be fewer for heli's too.

I have thought about getting my fixed wing at a local flight club and then add on the heli. The flight club doesn't offer helicopter training now, but I was thinking of taking a poll with them to see how many might be interested, if I were to get my CFI-H. We could figure out which heli and how to get it later. This is just one idea I had, might work with a lease of a R22 or 269, just don't know how many of the people would be interested in helicopter flight or the price difference compared to fixed wing.

Older 269's, Brantly's, Hillers or Enstroms can be bought less than 100K most of the time. But, I know that brings the risk of having a major mechanical issue. And the fact that it is harder to sell one of these models after your time building. A helicycle or safari could be a good time builder if purchased at a good price.

With the down turn in the economy and FAA joyride flight restrictions make it harder for low time guys to get part time gigs to help. Old City Helicopters in FL uses 44 for tours and had a fairly low TT requirement I thought, don't know if they are still giving rides. I also remember a company in IL I think, that used a 44 for corp ops and had low hour requirements a few years back.

Schools like Bristow seem to be the way to go. You can get financing and have a good student pool behind you, plus if your good have a real good chance of moving up with the company. Wish there was more opportunities like this within the flight school community.

Guess there are just too many people trying to get into the industry and not enough low time jobs, period. You kinda of see this in the fixed wing world, but they have the cargo section of their industry for most to build time in or they buy their own plane.

Open to ideas...

#17 Boatpix

Boatpix

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 18:10

It's cheaper to do the BOATPIX thing at $150/hour than to buy your own aircraft and put fuel through it and maintain it. There is a huge subsidy coming from the photo company and they also have free housing, etc. It's THE most affordable training for the heli pilot with a private rating. There is also the R44 at $300/hour, too.

Tom McDermott, manager
HelicopterAcademy.com/BOATPIX


#18 delorean

delorean

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts
  • Location:Missouri

Posted 10 April 2010 - 18:12

2nd.. get your private airplane rating at a small one man op type place that will cost you @$4000. TT40hrs.
...
4th.. get your instrument airplane..$5000 TT115hrs +-


Why spend $9000 on 80 hrs of airplane time that means absolutely NOTHING in the helicopter industry?

Why not just spend that $9000 on additional helicopter time? At $225, that's an additional 40 hrs that means something.

#19 mechanic

mechanic

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 946 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Crockett, East Texas
  • Interests:Motorcycle riding
    Helicopters
    computers
    and moe money
  • Company working for:Weatherford Int.

Posted 10 April 2010 - 18:18

It's cheaper to do the BOATPIX thing at $150/hour than to buy your own aircraft and put fuel through it and maintain it. There is a huge subsidy coming from the photo company and they also have free housing, etc. It's THE most affordable training for the heli pilot with a private rating. There is also the R44 at $300/hour, too.


Yes, I have talked to Tom about flying with you guys some time back, lol.. Just was not and still not an option for me at the moment :)...

#20 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:The comments expressed here are not a complaint about the pilot's inability to find work, but merely opinions based on his own experiences,...your experience may differ!

    "Get to da choppa!" :)

Posted 10 April 2010 - 18:22

I have no desire to fly airplanes, so if I could do it all again, I would still pick the R22. I have flown the others, and there just not as much fun, or plentiful to rent.

The only thing I would do differently, would be to start when I was 17, with just a Private. I would then buy hours slowely while working a 'real' job, then perhaps at about 40, I would have enough hours to move into a flying career.

Going the 'civilian' route is too much of a crap shoot. If you cannot come in from the military, your chances of ever getting in (before starving to death) are slim to none at best.

There are just too many of us out there. For example, I applied to Old City a few months ago, and despite having three times their minimums, I could not even get a phone interview!

The only way to do this (with or without borrowing money) is to join the military.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



HeliAviationFT200JerryTrimbleRPMN Mag Banner702HeliVRFT200UNDVRFTForum200GuidanceVRFTForum200TampaBayVRFT2012_200