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Student pilot question on dual rating

Student Dualrated

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#1 Lmebane



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Posted 12 July 2018 - 22:01

So Im 22 yrs old and Im coming up on my check ride for my private license , the goal is commercial but its pretty expensive

My parents who are helping with most the finances are wanting me to look into getting my fixed wing as well to save money on flight time and also instrument training

I always sort of planned on getting my fixed wing eventually but The goal is still to be a commercial helicopter pilot

Could switching to fixed wing for building flight time and instrument rating have a negative or positive impact on my aviation career?

I do plan on continuing to fly helicopters at least 1-2 times a week to stay proficient if I do end up working toward being dual rated

#2 Fred0311


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Posted 13 July 2018 - 15:08

It could cut down the cost of your ratings but if you want to fly helicopters professionally you need to instruct. And to instruct in Robinsons you need 200 hours helicopter so you may as well do it all in helicopters or you'll end up paying for time building.

#3 ButterflyW/soreFeet



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Posted 13 July 2018 - 17:21

Any aviation experience is a positive for your aviation career either it be rotorcraft or fixed wing. I started flying helicopters when I was 19 finished all of my ratings in about a year and fly HAA now(9 yrs later). I have zero fixed wing time but still want to get some for a few reasons. The great thing about fixed wing is you can go rent a plane and fly somewhere, you cant do that with a helicopter (most places dont rent out helicopters unless you do training with them). With that said, the sooner the better. The thought of paying for training gets more difficult each day that passes.

#4 Nearly Retired

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:51

As Fred says, yes, going fixed wing can lower the overall cost, BUT! employers are going to look at your total R/W time. That's what's important to you at the start of your career. If you want to be a professional helicopter pilot, fly helicopters.
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#5 TailEndCharlie


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Posted 14 July 2018 - 13:50

In my case, my high fixed wing time assisted in my first helo job. A nice benefit is that if you want to fly recreationally on the side, it's much more affordable.

#6 Bonzo828


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Posted 15 July 2018 - 07:40

It all really depends on what your end goals are.  Are you wanting to fly helicopters for a living?  If so, I would spend my time energy and money on that.  It's not as cheap or easy, but if that's what you wanna do....

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" - The only thing we can control is our attitude.

#7 Whistlerpilot


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Posted 15 July 2018 - 12:41

When you do the instrument rating only 15 hours of the 40 is required in a helicopter so you can save a little money by doing the maximimum allowed instrument training in an airplane. I recommend to do this at night because its totally realistic.

However as the others said, if you want to fly helicopters dont waste any precious training money on airplane time. When you are an experienced helicopter pilot down the road you can do an airplane add on for very little. Right now focus on getting your helicopter CFII and finding an instructor job. Good luck!

When life's path is steep keep your mind even.

#8 r22butters


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Posted 15 July 2018 - 14:20

When you do the instrument rating only 15 hours of the 40 is required in a helicopter so you can save a little money by doing the maximimum allowed instrument training in an airplane. I recommend to do this at night because its totally realistic.


You know every time someone mentions instrument training someone else says, do it at night.  Now maybe it'd be different in a little Cessna ( I only have about four hours in fixed ) but at over 350 hours night, 40 hours under the hood, and as an IIMC survivor, I wouldn't be caught dead combining the two!  I mean 3,000' at night doing holding patters?,...yeeeks, I get dizzy just thinking about it!  :ph34r:


Now if my job required it sure, but then it'd probably be in a nice comfy twin with an experienced pilot / instructor. 


A brand new Private Pilot and a "time-building" instructor ( who most likely only has the minimum number of night hours himself ) in an R44 ( or Cessna for that matter )...?




,...but if you do, bring a vomit bag!  :wacko:


R.I.P. flying for fun :(

Can't believe I got banned from JustHypocrites,...again!

,...oh wait, yes I can :D

#9 Eric Hunt

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 19:07

Ahh, the joys of being "taught" by somebody with only 100 hours more than you have. No depth of experience to call upon when things do not follow the expected plan.


As Butters says, night flying has its own challenges, the instructor will be trying to see something outside to stay legal, while still watching what the dumb Bloggs is doing. And when the "instructor" is just a Bograt himself, the holes are starting to line up in your personal swiss cheese.

#10 Daniel L. Lieberman

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 14:42

There are some responses to fixed wing issues that are dangerous in rotory wing aircraft. To avoid these you should be really solid in rotary wing before creating possible confusion in emergency responses.

#11 Jaybee


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Posted 01 August 2018 - 09:56

My path -

Private Airplane

Private Helicopter AddOn

Instrument Helicopter (all at night OMG!)

Commercial Helicopter (1st engine failure)

Helicopter Tour Job (2nd engine failure)

Helicopter Ag Job

Commercial Airplane AddOn

Regional Airline Job & ATP license - upgrading to Capn as we speak


I miss flying helicopters but I sure don't  miss the paycheck. 


Lack of rotor hours didn't hold me back in the Helo world and lack of Airplane hours didn't hold me back in the starch wing world.



Edited by Jaybee, 01 August 2018 - 09:58.

"In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks." — Wilbur Wright in a letter to his father, September 1900. 
"The foot rests have a profound impact on the outcome of today's flight ending safely" - My flight instructor.

#12 Hoveround407


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Posted 21 August 2018 - 15:48

CBP is really on the hunt for dual rated pilots. I got both...and landed a gig flying a turboprop AND a helo.

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