Jump to content


UpperLimit2011General_468x60TigerTugsVRForumGen468VOLO_VRGeneral468Helicopter Academy
Photo
- - - - -

Private Pilots renting helicopters and taking Passengers


  • Please log in to reply
71 replies to this topic

#21 ADRidge

ADRidge

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 858 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas, Y'all
  • Interests:skeet shooting, dove hunting, aviation, travel, history, all kinds of stuff.
  • Company working for:Contract Pilot

Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:13

If a PPL candidate isn't fit to carry pax, in my view anyway, they shouldn't have been signed off to take the ride in the first place. That being said, I can see where the OP is coming from. I wasn't entirely confident taking pax when I had a PPL, but I knew it would still be safe to do so.

I dunno, I've been thinking about this thread since I first saw it, and it always comes back to my first sentence. If you're unsafe to carry passengers, you shouldn't be a rated pilot. But additional ratings and experience always help, with the weight being put on EXPERIENCE rather than ratings. If you've got one person with 150 hours of nothing but patterns and the requisite cross-country flights, that's one thing. If you have a person with 150 hours in unfamiliar airports, varying weather and airspace and some exposure to scenario-based emergency training, who will likely be the safer pilot?

Anyway, I took four different people up as a PPL, and they all lived to tell about it.
  • RkyMtnHI likes this
In space, no one can hear you scream... but if you put a helicopter up there, some jerk would complain about the noise.

#22 Pogue

Pogue

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 318 posts

Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:19

Short answer, it's your business, you can do what you please. From a profit/loss standpoint I understand schools not being big on renting. There's a lot of risk for very little return. On the other hand, you send a very bad message when you tell your students they're not good enough to fly your helicopters with a passenger. The FAA has said they are when they get their certificate based on your training. I think the compromise most schools make is to allow their students to rent after some minimum of hours after they receive their private, with restrictions (no off airport landings, provide complete flight planning info approved by the chief pilots, no autos, running landings, etc.) You can say "no passengers" if you want, but the price will be when one of your students has to go to another business to rent a helicopter you can bet potential students will notice.
  • RkyMtnHI likes this

#23 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,503 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pluto,...at least until the next election :) ,...damn the wifi here is unbelievable!
  • Interests:Admiring the city lights and coastal sunsets from a thousand feet,...when I have the dough. :)

    ,...oh' yeah, and boobs!
    😕+🍟+🚁+🌃=☺
    .
  • Company working for:Just a happy recreational pilot! :)

Posted 19 November 2010 - 18:25

One of the first instructors I flew with out here, had actually gotten his ratings at a different, local, school. I remember him telling me, that the school that trained him, didn't allow their own grads to even rent,...let alone take passengers! If a school told me I could not rent, even after training with them, I would find another school!

Has anyone ever checked the accident reports to see who has more, Privates plus passengers, or Commercials plus passengers? I'm sure Tour operators have had a few?
:huh:
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#24 SBuzzkill

SBuzzkill

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,706 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northeast

Posted 19 November 2010 - 19:42

I think it comes down to risk analysis. A private pilot has shown themselves to be capable of carrying passengers otherwise they would not hold that certificate. However if they weather conditions are less than favorable, say a day with winds near the limits for the helicopter, it may not be advisable for that new pilot to carry passengers as they might be near the limits of their skill level. Sure they could probably handle it, but why put others at higher risk?

Likewise, if the private pilot has had practice in those winds and can comfortably fly the helicopter in a confident, controlled manner I see no reason why he or she shouldn't be able to take passengers.

Edited by SBuzzkill, 19 November 2010 - 19:44.


#25 randalrowles

randalrowles

    Student Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth, Texas
  • Company working for:Night Flight Concepts / VP NVG Training Programs

Posted 19 November 2010 - 23:51

Tom...what data are you looking for exactly? I have never had a PPL do any damage to an aircraft. I (we) have had many CFI's do damage to aircraft. That is pretty specific data.

Randy

Edited by randalrowles, 20 November 2010 - 00:03.


#26 500E

500E

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,167 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Company working for:Owner 50 + years

Posted 21 November 2010 - 18:04

The first time I flew after my licence issue was with a friend, 3 off field landings. (sites the FI & I had used in training)
I asked if it was OK his comment was "have you explained the risk to your pax regarding your lowish hour?".
I was not going to try to kill my self or my friend, The flight examiner must have thought me at least competent to have a licence,the FI\owner happy I would return his pride & joy
The instructor always did of field stuff every lesson, saying how many times will you use airfields with helicopter? get use to different scenarios, do the sighting circuit LOOK for the wires, bushes, stumps, uneven ground & THE WAY OUT.
Perhaps that's why he let me loose.
Had to prise friend out after 1.2 offering to pay for further time,
Fly the dream fly 500

#27 Boatpix

Boatpix

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 213 posts

Posted 23 November 2010 - 23:17

I understand both sides. From the stories posted it doesn't seem so much as a Private pilots ability as it was the decisions they made. Come on, a jail break and a suicide?

The botched autorotation I can understand however, most rental places don't allow for practice emergency procedures.

What is the point of becoming a Private Pilot if you can't take passengers? What needs to happen is true ADM needs to be taught. Aviation Decision Making is hardly ever taught if at all. That cycle needs to be broken.

Even 300+ hour CFIs are making bad choices.


Tom McDermott, manager
HelicopterAcademy.com/BOATPIX


#28 Boatpix

Boatpix

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 213 posts

Posted 23 November 2010 - 23:44

Tom...what data are you looking for exactly? I have never had a PPL do any damage to an aircraft. I (we) have had many CFI's do damage to aircraft. That is pretty specific data.

Randy

Randy,

Simple. Pathfinder requires 100 hours and RHC school to rent helicopter to PPL to carry passenger. We picked up the pieces from Heliflight, Volar and CavAir at FXE when they went out of business. Volar had two smashes when they didn't qualify ppl's on solos. One was a fatal with a ppl and a passenger. A FATAL. The other was a smash on a jailbreak from a poorly qualified solo student. Injuries. My rules are that no one goes on a solo other than what is required for ppl, cpl, etc., and they GO SOLO WITHOUT PASSENGERS to meet FAR requirements only under the supervision of a cif. The helicopter is not a toy and if you want to have "fun" do it elsewhere. The question started when a Swiss student that learned from the now defunct Volar wanted to carry his girlfriend on a PPL solo flight and I said "no" as I tell even my cfi's that they can't carry mom, dad, the kids or the girlfriend because I've read enough accident statistics. He said that Volar allowed it. I couldn't tell him that people died as that would be unprofessional. He told me I was an idiot and in a rare case I said nothing. I said that I will gladly line the pockets of my competitors that have more of an appetite for risk than I do and I know an Atlanta student went to my competitor to take his girlfriend up as the CFI at the competing school told me at HeliSuccess that he was a good stick (although I've never actually met him). I know the Swiss student went to a "school" that a former PPL student of mine set up. But they don't have a clue about what can happen and have never gone to a funeral before. The fellow is a PPL that leased a helicopter. They just wanted the money. I don't need the money or the accidents. The question is (and confirmed by my culture of multiple PPL wrecks with passengers [including one the week that initiated this post because of s300 into a ballfield} is how likely is it that a ppl with a passenger has a wreck? Certainly if you can eliminate the tailrotor accident on a Notar you can eliminate the ppl carrying a passenger accident by not letting the ppl carry a passenger (FYI, you'll never see one of my helicopers on a dolly and you'll never see doors on my helicopters as no dolly, no dolly accident. No doors on the helicopter and you'll never see the doors come off an strike the tail rotor).



I noted that I feel that a ppl should be with a CFI doing continually "advanced" manuevers and learning his trade with the CFI rather than taking a joy flight. I acknowledge that my FAA counterpart for our certificate says that "that is why you get a ppl to carry a passenger" but I think you get a ppl to get a cpl and a job and I want them alive and flying advanced training and taking pictures of boats. I'm fully transparent with this.

I asked this in an email to Matt Z from HAI and he didn't respond. No one seems to know. But, I've read enough accident statistics to say "no."

We have an R44 in Pompano. Dude, calls me up and say he rented it from the previous owner. Dude is a ppl and took his friends up. I say "no." Skydiver calls and want the R44 for jump out of. I say "no".

You say you've never had a ppl have an accident but MANY OTHERS have? Maybe you screen them a little bit better?

Tom McDermott, manager
HelicopterAcademy.com/BOATPIX


#29 palmfish

palmfish

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 649 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:KBFI
  • Interests:Helicopters, German sports cars, Audiophilia
  • Company working for:USDOJ

Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:08

Randy,

I noted that I feel that a ppl should be with a CFI doing continually "advanced" manuevers and learning his trade with the CFI rather than taking a joy flight...I think you get a ppl to get a cpl and a job and I want them alive and flying advanced training and taking pictures of boats. I'm fully transparent with this.


The definition of a "Private Pilot" is a pilot who flies for pleasure or business. Nowhere in the FAA regulations does it mention that a person who possesses a PPL must then proceed to a CPL. Not every private pilot wants to be a commercial pilot or pursue aviation as a trade (and who can blame them?).

Anyone who possesses a private pilot certificate has proven to a certified instructor and an FAA examiner that they posses the skills and knowledge required to act as pilot in command of an aircraft. If that isn't the case, then they should not have the certificate.

As an aircraft owner, you certainly have the right to dictate who rents your aircraft and how they are used. I can understand your trepidation if a stranger knocks on your door and wants to rent, but if your school trains someone and they earn a PPL as a culmination of your training program, then I think you are doing them a disservice if you don't allow them to exercise their privileges as a private pilot.
  • RkyMtnHI, Trans Lift, Lindsey and 1 other like this

#30 bossman

bossman

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 414 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Virginia====USA
  • Interests:Helicopters and keeping people interested in them.
  • Company working for:MARPAT Aviation

Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:23

Everyone that flies a helicopter does not do it for a job. Some do it for the "love of flying". When it becomes just a job, the thrill is gone and it is time to move on. Being able to fly a helicopter, airplane, or operate any type of equipment is something to be proud of. To make a machine perform to it's specifications is something not everyone can do, and when it is all said and done, a helicopter is just a machine and it will only do what you allow it to do. I'll put our 400 hour PPLs up against any CPL with 400 hours and a CFI flying around the airport with students or taking pictures of boats. I guarantee you that my PPLs have done more off airport, different situations, high recons, low recons, and real world flying than most CFIs. I know they have flown a greater variety of helicopters. So, I totally disagree with Boatpix's view of the PPLs and their abilities. I agree that the money to be made from renting an aircraft to qualified PPLs does not come near to paying the insurance premium, but seeing the pride and joy felt by the pilot and their passengers goes a long way toward making it all worthwhile. Not everyone is in this for the money. Some of us enjoy going to the airport.
  • adam32, RkyMtnHI, Trans Lift and 2 others like this
"Come Fly With Us"

#31 Goldy

Goldy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,847 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Crescenta-VNY, CA
  • Interests:uuuh? flying helicopers maybe?
  • Company working for:Hey I didn't know you could loop an R22 ???

Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:35

(FYI, you'll never see one of my helicopers on a dolly and you'll never see doors on my helicopters as no dolly, no dolly accident. No doors on the helicopter and you'll never see the doors come off an strike the tail rotor).


Tom- not to change the subject but I think you are far safer from having something fly into the tailrotor if you keep doors on, especially on the side of the tailrotor. More likely that something will fly out and enter the tail than a door falling off and doing the same. Just a thought.
  • kodoz, adam32, RkyMtnHI and 2 others like this

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

FAA Aircraft Dealer
http://www.bestaerialphoto.com
http://www.phpa.org
http://www.rotorcraftpro.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuX9SO5uCno


#32 Shaun

Shaun

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 247 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN
  • Interests:Rock climbing.
  • Company working for:Club Jet

Posted 24 November 2010 - 03:58

Tom- not to change the subject but I think you are far safer from having something fly into the tailrotor if you keep doors on, especially on the side of the tailrotor. More likely that something will fly out and enter the tail than a door falling off and doing the same. Just a thought.


If you are a Robinson test pilot and you fly with the left door off you will be fired. I believe there was a fatal incident where a knee-board took out the tail rotor.
  • RkyMtnHI likes this

#33 JDHelicopterPilot

JDHelicopterPilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 995 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Concord,CA
  • Company working for:REACH Air Medical EMS (Instructor Pilot) FAA Safety Team Representitive (OAK FSDO)

Posted 24 November 2010 - 19:10

As a pilot I have a personal policy to have the door on and secured closed for which ever side the tailrotor may be on.

As a CFI I required it for solo students.

Having said that there are some situations which may present itself in which a door may need to be opened in flight or taken off prior to flight. Photo flights and my line of work (EMS) are two comon situations. Photo flights, that is obvious. EMS, some times on a scene I may have the crew open the sliding door in order for them to have a better view and clear the LZ better on short approach.

In all situations this is briefed and we ensure that the cabin is secure first before doors are opened or after removal.

Sorry to get off topic.
  • RkyMtnHI likes this
JD


FAASTeam Representitive (OAK FSDO)
www.facebook.com/jdhelicopterpilot

#34 boots

boots

    Newbie

  • VR Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:Flying!
  • Company working for:Public Sector

Posted 25 November 2010 - 16:18

By definition, a Private Pilot can take up a passenger, an should be able to. If the DE/FAA passed him, he should be good to go. The good thing is, every flight school is free to make their own decision on who to rent to. That being said, when I got my Private I took my wife and kids up one at a time on helicopter flights.....at a three foot hover around the airport. Being able to demonstrate an auto to an examiner and being able to do one safely cold with a passenger is a whole other ball game. I'd do it now in a heartbeat. Back then, not so much!

#35 deerock

deerock

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Madre, CA

Posted 26 November 2010 - 00:59

so agree with Rogue!

oh, and bqmassey too...

what a ridiculous bunch of ramblings Tom. Grow up.
  • Shaun likes this

#36 Goldy

Goldy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,847 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Crescenta-VNY, CA
  • Interests:uuuh? flying helicopers maybe?
  • Company working for:Hey I didn't know you could loop an R22 ???

Posted 26 November 2010 - 16:37

If you are a Robinson test pilot and you fly with the left door off you will be fired. I believe there was a fatal incident where a knee-board took out the tail rotor.


Yes, there have been a few. Including one where the fish and game gal lost a clipboard and killed everybody on approach. Frank is fanatic about leaving the tail rotor side door on at all times.

FYI- The new R66 POH says to keep the door closed, but unlocked! They feel its safer for egress, and for rescuers to get into the helicopter. That took a bit of unlearning for me...I kept wanting to lock the door.
  • RkyMtnHI likes this

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

FAA Aircraft Dealer
http://www.bestaerialphoto.com
http://www.phpa.org
http://www.rotorcraftpro.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuX9SO5uCno


#37 rick1128

rick1128

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 826 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toledo

Posted 26 November 2010 - 18:05

Goldy, you shouldn't be locking an aircraft door prior to flight anyway. Many checklists have it listed as a checkable item. The CHP is giving you California guys some bad habits.

Schools that don't rent to their students doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies about the quality of their training. Not so much about having bad instructors, it more about getting a nagging feeling that the school knows something that they are not telling their students and prospective students about the quality of their training.

In some ways, helicopters operators are in the same boat as seaplane operators. High insurance costs and high deductibles. You can understand why they are not rented very freely, like we see in the land airplane world. A great deal if it comes down to relationships. A student at a school develops a relationship with that school. They become familiar with each other and the rentals work of that relationship. There are several helicopters operators I have done business with over the years, that I have no doubt, if I asked, they would rent me one of their machines. I didn't go to their flight school or fly for them. But we had a business relationship.

As for doors coming off, I have no personal knowledge of a door coming off in flight. I am not saying it hasn't happen or couldn't happen. I just have no personal knowledge of that happening. But Tom your statement, while I have very minimal knowledge of Robinson design and engineering, doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies about Robinson's engineering or quality control. Things do come out of helicopters and can hit the tail rotor. A gentleman I was acquainted with, several years ago had a fatal accident flying an AStar. The FAA listed the probable cause as his catching a snag while flying low. However, the Chief Pilot and I found pieces of what appeared to be a USFS water jug mixed in with the tail rotor pieces. He had picked up a rappelling crew just before the accident. Knowing how these crews normally operate and the pickup area, it is quite likely that the pilot stayed at the controls and the crew loaded their gear, closed the compartment door and climbed in. These baggage doors did not have any sort of door warning. So the baggage door could have been improperly closed and came open in flight. We will never know. And this is a very experienced pilot and fire crew.

#38 adam32

adam32

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,151 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California
  • Company working for:Just keeping the bills paid!!

Posted 27 November 2010 - 00:15

Yes, there have been a few. Including one where the fish and game gal lost a clipboard and killed everybody on approach.


Is that the one in Idaho in the Hiller? Or was there another with a Robbie?

Make your rifle, your targets worst nightmare!

 

www.diablocustomrifles.com


#39 Goldy

Goldy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,847 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Crescenta-VNY, CA
  • Interests:uuuh? flying helicopers maybe?
  • Company working for:Hey I didn't know you could loop an R22 ???

Posted 27 November 2010 - 20:44

Is that the one in Idaho in the Hiller? Or was there another with a Robbie?


I recall it being in an R44. As far as doors coming off, I think there were some issues with the non Robinson bubble doors, which were fixed by the mfg. by adding multiple locations where a bolt slides over the door opening, instead of the original one location.
  • RkyMtnHI likes this

Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

FAA Aircraft Dealer
http://www.bestaerialphoto.com
http://www.phpa.org
http://www.rotorcraftpro.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuX9SO5uCno


#40 Inferno

Inferno

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 253 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Company working for:CFI....

Posted 29 November 2010 - 05:14

Sorry to bump an older thread, but I feel the need to add to the conversation.

My school recently had a couple renters come from another local school. One of the renters was a CFI there, and the other was working on his CFI. Their policy was to not allow students to rent for personal use (i.e. flying family, friends, etc, regardless of experience). Even their CFIs weren't allowed to rent helicopters for personal use, and the two of them couldn't train together because they were "friends".... The CFI candidate couldn't even rent for solo flight, which i assume is just a money making policy for the school (at $265/hr to boot!)... Keep in mind, this is a person who 10 hours later would be certified to take someone with no experience up and hand the controls over!

Because of that, they came to us. We were happy to rent to them, after a brief proficiency flight to confirm their abilities and decision making skills. They used the time to train and build time while paying a solo rate saving substantial money. IMHO, flying friends and family is an important part of your training. Its a confidence booster and not being allowed to do so seems like a lack in confidence in the ability of the pilot on the part of the school.

Allowing PPLs to rent has never been a problem for us. We know our students, and we know they won't be irresponsible. If we thought they were, we would never sign them off for solo, the test, or allow them to rent from us. We set reasonable limits on winds, vis, etc. We also don't allow off airport landings and flying into mountains. It is only once the students finish their CPL that these restrictions are lessened.

Tom, it's your business, and your prerogative who you rent to and for what, but I feel your draconian policy on renters only serves to reduce the confidence of pilots and deprive them the joy of sharing their love of flying with friends and family. The idea that a pilot who has been completely competent while flying with an instructor will suddenly become a hotdogging lunatic when a friend jumps in is just plain ridiculous.

Thats just my $.02. The parallel between what my renters this week had experienced at their school made me want to speak up......
  • Shaun likes this
Living the dream......

Aircraft Flown: R22, R44, R66, B206B, B206L, EC120, S300, C152, C172, C340




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


    Bing (1)


DevoreGeneral200HeliHelmetsAble_VRGeneral200PrecisionVRForumGeneral200Helmet FX General 200NFCVRGeneral200ColoradoHeliOpsGeneral200MaunaLoaSoftwareVRGeneral200Genesys VRForum200_GeneralMidwestHeliAcademy2016