Jump to content


FRASCA FT468Tampa Bay VR FT Forum 468Helicopter Academy
Photo
- - - - -

Looking for wisdom prior to flight training Helicopter vs Fixed Wing?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 HNH

HNH

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 20 January 2006 - 00:15

Anyone have any words of wisdom for my following questions?

I took a introductory helicopter flight a couple of years ago, and fell in love with it. However I got busy with my carrier, and haven't had time till now. Well no time but I am going to commit to spending the time. I am looking to get a license for the thrill of flying, and also traveling to some property that I plan on purchasing which is about 4-5 hours away driving time. I am trying to decide between fixed wing and helicopter, my heart leans towards helicopter my head says fixed wing.

After training it appears that renting fixed wing is alot cheaper is this true?

If I was planning on purchasing it seems like fixed wing in general is cheaper?

Which is safer to fly, or own fixed wing, or helicopter?

If I did go the helicopter route is the only somewhat inexpensive 4 place helicopter the R44?

Which is cheaper in the long run owning or renting?

Any other words of wisdom?

#2 flingwing206

flingwing206

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 495 posts
  • Location:Denver, CO
  • Interests:Flying<br />Skiing<br />Running<br />Sleeping<br />Eating<br />Inveterate rebel, box-buster
  • Company working for:Era Helicopters

Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:13

After training it appears that renting fixed wing is alot cheaper is this true?

Yes

If I was planning on purchasing it seems like fixed wing in general is cheaper?

Yes again

Which is safer to fly, or own fixed wing, or helicopter?

Either is only as safe as the pilot, and the mission. Both are more dangerous than driving.

If I did go the helicopter route is the only somewhat inexpensive 4 place helicopter the R44?

Yes

Which is cheaper in the long run owning or renting?

Too many variables - how many hours will you fly a year, will you lease back, who will maintain, where are you flying, business or personal ownership.

Any other words of wisdom?

An R44 will cruise at about 130 MPH on 15 GPH for about 3.5 hours. A Beech Sundowner will cruise about 150 MPH on 8 GPH for about 4.5 hours. THe R44 can land in your back yard (if it's a big back yard). The Beech can land at your local airport (even a small local airport). A good used R44 costs about $200,000. A good used Sundowner costs about $70,000. Airplanes are cheaper, faster, carry more, but are more boring and less versatile. Helicopters are slower, expensive, can't carry much, are much more fun to fly, and are incredibly versatile.

Your heart desires, your wallet decides. Fly well!

Edited by flingwing206, 20 January 2006 - 01:14.

  • WolftalonID likes this

#3 gmsemel

gmsemel

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 111 posts

Posted 20 January 2006 - 09:07

While helicopters are more fun to fly, the bottom line for personal travel an airplane is the way to go. You just can beat the cost numbers that is a given. A good Piper Cheerokee Six would be what i would look at. Good load carrying, good range and a simple airplane to fly. Depending on what your needs are, a Piper Warrior or Archer would work well for you, It's all dependant on how far your average trip will be and how much of a load per trip you want to take. For example till a couple of years ago I owned a Piper Super Cub. I bought the airplane back in 1978 and sold it in 2002. I never took anybody flying with me in it. So It did pretty much what I needed to do. I could fly it to Alaska in 5 days, for the summer Helicopter work. Or I could fly to California in 3 days, 2.5 days if the winds were not to strong. So it worked for me, since my average load was just me and a suit case. If I had to carry more or another person or two then it would not have, and a bigger airplane would have been needed. I was nice while I had it, but it also took a good bit of money to keep. Hanger Insurance, etc. Nothing much went wrong with it. In the almost 25 years of ownership, I put 2800 hours total time on it, and the engine was still running well, with good compression. The only thing I did was to install a GPS in replace of the Loran C I had. The King KX-170B never gave me an trouble and worked as well as it did when new. I hangerd it, so that helped a great deal. Leaving an aircraft out side is hard on them. But hangers cost and a lot of people don't. You can tell real quick buy looking. I would not be to much in a hurry to buy, go learn how to fly first and rent for a while to see how much you are really going to use. I didn't fly mine much so my costs per hour were higher, than renting. But I was able to get a real good price on the other end so it worked out pretty good.

#4 nbit

nbit

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 240 posts

Posted 20 January 2006 - 11:10

A good used R44 costs about $200,000. A good used Sundowner costs about $70,000. Airplanes are cheaper, faster, carry more, but are more boring and less versatile. Helicopters are slower, expensive, can't carry much, are much more fun to fly, and are incredibly versatile.

Your heart desires, your wallet decides. Fly well!


Dare I steer anyone away from a helicopter... Actually, you could probably find a good Bonanza for $70K or even less, if it is an older, well-maintained one. I used to have one, and it would do 170-175 mph on 8.5 gph. ~1000lbs useful load on almost 20 mpg, not bad. Don't mean to talk anyone out of a helicopter, but it was the best price for performance I could find in a certified aircraft. With tip tanks it has a ~1320 lb useful load and can carry 10 hours fuel plus reserves. Not too shabby for the price. ;) Also they can have an auto fuel STC applied to further lower cost. Weights and speeds flutucate a little based on exact model, options, and STC's applied...
The annual and insurance where a fraction of the helicopter's. In favor of the helicopter, the hangar rent can be cheaper, because of the lack of available floorspace taken.
Also IFR is possible in about any certified plane... ...Not the case with many lower cost helicopters.

My heart still prefers a helicopter. ;) ...But money talks sometimes.

Edited by nbit, 20 January 2006 - 11:13.


#5 67november

67november

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,465 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mohave County Arizona

Posted 20 January 2006 - 13:35

[quote name='flingwing206' date='Jan 20 2006, 06:13 AM' post='25226']
Both are more dangerous than driving.

FW206 I have to disagree on that point, you can get killed far faster on the road than in the air, that is a proven fact.

it boils down to your preference, coming from a Huey man of the 80's, flingwings are the way to go B)

see below
\/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ :D

Edited by 67november, 20 January 2006 - 13:37.

spinning wings are better than fixed.

#6 Gerhardt

Gerhardt

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 215 posts

Posted 20 January 2006 - 20:11

I have to agree with Flingwing. Flying either fixed or rotorwing is more dangerous than driving. I know there's the old saying that there are more accidents per miles driven vs miles flown but that goes along the road of "lies, damn lies, and statistics".

1. I don't believe the line anyway.

2. almost all car accidents are non-fatal, not true of aircraft accidents.

3. Most passenger miles flown have a professional pilot at the controls. This thread is referring to a private pilot (no matter how great a pilot he is), not an ATP flying a 777.

No disrespect intended to anyone, really.

#7 LOG

LOG

    Student Poster

  • VIP Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 20 January 2006 - 21:11

I agreeg with Gerhart. There was a NASA study published a cple years ago ("U.S. Civil Rotorcraft Accidents,
1963 Through 1997" by Franklin D. Harris, Eugene F. Kasper, and Laura E. Iseler -- I cannot find it anymore on the web), where they showed that helicopter fatal accidents rates were just a tad higher than general fixed-wing aviation. However, the interesting data was when they analyzed it by misison (flight training, personal flights, charters, corporate, etc..) Personal flights had by far the highest death rate (~40/100k hrs) followed by training, charters etc. They showed that while the bigger helicopters were safer inherently (biturbines for exple), it is really the pilot's skill that matters the most. The severity of these accidents was higher, however, for charters or corporate flying, because the machines tend to be bigger, and the few accidents that take place are more likley to be due to a catastrophic failure than, say, just catching a skid.

#8 kmax

kmax

    Newbie

  • VR Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 May 2010 - 18:32

Words of Wisdom.......NEVER,NEVER,NEVER pay for training up front. This came from the mouth of the great one Mr. Frank Robinson, in a reply about the Silverstate Controversy. Look up Silverstate Helicopter Academy for further details!

Also, by far, the R22 is the safest and cheapest helicopter to do training in. And, if you can fly one of these birds then you can fly any helicopter. Fixed wing is cheaper, but just remember, fixed wings must maintain forward airspeed for their glide. Which means trees, houses, etc. A helicopter can maintain a steady glide ratio and maneuver in almost a straight downward glide. Therefore, with a good pilot, a helo is much safer. Also, an r22 takes up less space than a cessna 152 or 172 making it easier to store. You don't need a runway either! Dont let those fixed wing assassins talk you out of buying a helo.

#9 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,053 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 casual renter! :)

Posted 04 May 2010 - 00:10

If I were in your shoes, I would buy an R44 and be a happy little camper for the rest of my days!

As an avid renter for many years now though, I must say, if you just rent an R22 it will be cheaper, however for the same price you could rent a twin engine fixed wing,(but airplanes are no fun, so don't). Plus, if you go with a helicopter you can land at those places you want to look at, instead of having to take a cab from the airport. ;)

One more thing. If you are just getting your Private, its ok to pay a couple of grand up front (you'll most likely save money that way). The warning of never paying up front is for those who are trying to make a career out of this, and they lost 70k when their schools went belly up, but if they'll give you a discount for giving them $1,500 up front, its worth the risk,(especially if you already have a career.
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#10 rick1128

rick1128

    VR Veteran Poster

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

Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:58

First of all my old Sargent had the best advice 'If it flys, floats or f**ks, rent don't buy.

I have been in this industry for almost 35 years and I have not seen anything yet to convince me that flying is more dangerous than driving. It doesn't matter if your flying or driving, if you act stupid, it's going to bite you in the a$$. At least a pilot gets a specific amount and type of training. To drive a car, all you need to do is pass a written test and a driving test. No training is required and the test usually takes place within a urban area with no highway speeds. And as a new driver, they can hit the interstate at 70 MPH plus in any weather. Not a good situation.

As for the R22 being the best and safest trainer out there, Not by a long shot. It was never designed as a trainer. Frank has admitted that for many years. In fact for a long time Frank tried to talk flight schools into using the R44 for training. The H300 was designed as a trainer and was used by the US Army for many years. And this was back in the days when the Army only did full down autos. I have watched videos of Army training in the H269 (H300A) and Hiller 12 (OH23) doing autos. Some of them touched down so firmly that you could see the tail booms and rotor blades flex. But they would liftoff again and stagger off into the traffic pattern again. If a R22 did that, I have no doubt it would look much like the coyote in the roadrunner cartoons. Also consider the SFAR 73 requirements. it is the only helicopter to have a SFAR. It was done because of its accident record. The only other aircraft to have a SFAR is the MU2, also because of its accident record. As for being the cheapest, maybe. If you are looking only at hourly costs, very likely. At total cost, I don't believe it is that cheap. It is likely, you will have to do more training to get your certificate. Then add in the annual training requirements to meet the SFAR.

As a renter pilot, it will much easier to rent a FW than a RW. There are many operators out there that will not rent their helicopters out at all. And there are many good reasons for that. It is very difficult and quite expensive to get renters insurance for helicopters. By renting you can adjust the size aircraft by your mission requirements. It is possible to rent helicopters, but usually it's based on relationships. In the FW world, you still can rent an airplane by walking in, showing your certificates, logbook (maybe), credit card and maybe a checkout (usually) and off you go. The rent a helicopter, the operators I have dealt with over the years will want to have a history of dealing with you. And then they will put all kinds of restrictions on you. Usually you will see weather minimums and off airport landing restrictions.

Since you are basically talking about flying for your own pleasure, go where your heart takes you. You are flying for fun, not your pocket book. Life is way too short.

One suggestion, if you go the helicopter route, after you get your certificate, look around and get a hour or so in some of the other makes and models out there. I have seen this too much out there, where a student or instructor knocks the other models out there and claims what they are flying is the best, safest and cheapest out there. You talk with a bit and you find out they have never flown anything else. Each machine has it strong points and its weak points. And before you ask, yes I have flown the R22 along with many other helicopters. I was never impressed by the R22 and I felt there were too many compromises in it's design.

#11 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,053 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 casual renter! :)

Posted 04 May 2010 - 15:39

A note on renting.

I have, as the previous post suggests, tried out many helicopters other than the R22. Unfortunatly there is one problem which has kept me in the R22 all these years.

Although it isn't too hard to find someone who will train you,(or let you demo), a different model, it seems rather difficult to get them to let you rent those other models. In fact, it has only been in about these past couple of years that I have found someone who will even rent the R44.

Now don't get me wrong, I love flying the R22, but it would be nice to take say an Enstrom, or a Bell 47, up every once and a while.

So before you pick a place to train, make sure they will rent to you after your training is finished! ;)
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#12 MileHi480B

MileHi480B

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 198 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denver, Colorado

Posted 04 May 2010 - 23:25

Flying on a trip in a fixed wing is like being married for a long, long time to a boring spouse. Yes, it can be fun at times but you mostly just want to get there.

Flying on a trip in a helicopter is like having an exciting girlfriend. First comes the anxious anticipation, then foreplay, then exhilarating flight while never completely letting your guard down. Then you ARRIVE! And even after that, you still want to hang out and hover. But definitely "High Maintenance".

Nuff said?
  • MileHi480B likes this

#13 helonorth

helonorth

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,044 posts

Posted 05 May 2010 - 08:49

This thread for some reason got dug up after 4 years, but what the hell. I fly an airplane pretty often and I really enjoy it. You get there much faster, you can take more stuff and people and it's fun to fly. I get enough helicopter time at work. When I'm off and want to go somewhere, I'll take that boring (and inexpensive) airplane every time. Unless you have heaps of cash, don't even think about a helicopter. I like to take more than my tooth brush, so unless someone's got a 206 for $100 an hour, I'm taking the 172.

Edited by helonorth, 05 May 2010 - 08:59.


#14 LJS1993

LJS1993

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 96 posts

Posted 07 June 2018 - 12:11

I wonder what ever happened to this guy?  On another note Butters seemed a little wide eyed and optimistic back in those days.



#15 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,053 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 casual renter! :)

Posted 07 June 2018 - 23:48

I wonder what ever happened to this guy?  On another note Butters seemed a little wide eyed and optimistic back in those days.


"Wide eyed and optimistic",...? During the first year of my job search, yeah, sure was,...but you gotta go back to 2006 for that,...'course that was long before I became "Butters".

The second year started out ok, but by the end the optimism started to fade, and by the end of the third year the negativity was beginging to settle in,...and thus "Butters" was born!

By that tenth year I'm affraid I had become so bitter and full of contempt for this industry that its not really a surprise that my first job didn't work out,...ten years is just too damn long!

Still, like you, I wonder what happened to this guy,...and many others over the years with similar posts. I'll never forget the one that read, "I haven't flown since my cfii checkride,...two years ago!" Yeah, really wonder about that guy,...but they never come back.

Only whinny old Butters sticks around to remind the few who remain just what a f*ck you in the ass and leave you for dead on the side of the road industry this really is!

,...but I digress. If the OP's still flying, hopefully its for the airlines! :)
Side boob is just so awesome,...yes it is!

#16 LJS1993

LJS1993

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 96 posts

Posted 08 June 2018 - 11:03

"Wide eyed and optimistic",...? During the first year of my job search, yeah, sure was,...but you gotta go back to 2006 for that,...'course that was long before I became "Butters".

The second year started out ok, but by the end the optimism started to fade, and by the end of the third year the negativity was beginging to settle in,...and thus "Butters" was born!

By that tenth year I'm affraid I had become so bitter and full of contempt for this industry that its not really a surprise that my first job didn't work out,...ten years is just too damn long!

Still, like you, I wonder what happened to this guy,...and many others over the years with similar posts. I'll never forget the one that read, "I haven't flown since my cfii checkride,...two years ago!" Yeah, really wonder about that guy,...but they never come back.

Only whinny old Butters sticks around to remind the few who remain just what a f*ck you in the ass and leave you for dead on the side of the road industry this really is!

,...but I digress. If the OP's still flying, hopefully its for the airlines! :)

 

You guys need to unionize and form some solidified front!!!  Trust me I'm not a lefty socialist but sometimes unions are a good thing.  In this industry unions could be the tool that opens up some jobs and some type of uniformity in terms of salary.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



Anthelion_VRFTForum200702HeliVRFT200UNDVRFTForum200GuidanceVRFTForum200Precision_FTForum200LORD_VRGeneral200JerryTrimbleArkansas Helicopters VR FT200Heli Aviation FT200VOLO_VRFT200