[quote name="takefootoff" post="195123" timestamp="1530660085"]Fly the Robby without a worry, chip away and build 44 time as you go and make a plan to go to [quote name="Sydney" post="195117" timestamp="1530570207"]Hello, this is my first post but I have been looking at the forum for a bit now. I hadn't found an exact answer to the questions I have so I figured I would ask them myself.
I am ready to begin the schooling necessary to earn my Private and Commercial license for helicopters. I have done the discovery flight but that is all so far. I loved it
Where I live, I have only 1 school option. They teach on Robinson22's and 44's and that is it. I know there is a lot of debate about learning on a Robinson vs. Schweizer and other helicopters. My first questions is, if I learn on a Robinson and find myself in a position to need to know another helicopter for a job, how hard is it to make the adjustments? Do I have to go back to school? Would it take a lot of effort to make the switch for a job?
This school only offers an "independent study" type learning atmosphere. I won't attend a weekly class but rather study and complete assignments at home and then schedule flying time at the school. The CFI will quiz me on the chapters I worked on at home before flying but it is all very independent. Has anyone here completed schooling that way? If so, do you have some pros and cons for me? I am fairly book smart, I do have a bachelors degree but I always envisioned the schooling for this to be more hands on and in a classroom environment and this sort of worries me. I'd love to hear opinions on this!
Thank you for your time,
To succeed in this career path, it is paramount that you are able to move anywhere in the US on a whim. While training at a local flight school may be practical, in the long run it may not be in your best interest. The most important factors to consider in choosing a school, in order, are:
1.) Aircraft type (the R22 being the most commonly used, and thus what you should train in to qualify you for the majority of CFI jobs).
2.) Instructor experience. A brand new CFI is basically an apprentice; they are learning important career life lessons at your expense. Your best option is a school with an experienced chief pilot, and instructors with at least a year of teaching experience.
3.) Aircraft/instructor availability. Gaps in training due to scheduling delays will cost you a lot of extra money and delay progress.
4.) High student volume. More students = more CFI jobs = higher chance of employment.
5.) Rental price. Self explanatory.
Factors such as busy airspace environment, mountain flying, turbine/longline courses are marketing gimmicks. Later in your career each one will be extremely valuable but, for ab-initio training, the list above is far more important.
You will start your career as a CFI. Forget about starting as a SIC or an R44 tour pilot; those opportunities are far and few between.
Be prepared to move anywhere in the country for that CFI job. I trained in CA and took the first job I was offered... which was in NY.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to PM me for additional info; Im not scheduled to fly tomorrow and would be happy to give you further insight.
Edited by Hand_Grenade_Pilot, 03 July 2018 - 22:19.