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About Cod

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    South Dakota
  1. Scenario: Your rich uncle Leroy cashed in one of his stocks and wants to give you $15,000. He says, "Use this to advance your career." You are presently a sub-1000 hour helicopter pilot. What do you spend it on? Option A: Bell Helicopter factory course (B206 or B407.) Option B: A good long-line training course. Option C: Something else? Discuss.
  2. I began my helicopter training in the summer of 2014 at age 48. I trained at Leading Edge Aviation in Bend, Oregon. Now I am flying SIC in an S-61, and giving R-44 flight instruction on the side. You are not too old Liftman!
  3. Rotor head, my recommendation is: Step 1. Do your research. I spent 6 years doing mine while preparing to leave the military. Step 2. Build a short list of 2-3 schools and visit all of them. Step 3. Select your school, then move to where your school is. In this way, you have better options than moving to some random area, and then casting about for whatever school happens to be in your neighborhood. An aviation career requires mobility, especially in the early days of your career. I'm not saying this is definitely your situation, but if you can only live in a certain location in the United States, it may be tough to find work and this might not be the best career move for you? All that said, I earned all my helicopter ratings through the post-911 GI Bill and Central Oregon Community College. (The flight partner is Leading Edge Aviation, Bend, Oregon.) COCC is a squared-away program and is run squeaky-clean, as proven by what I have seen first-hand, as well as passing VA audits with flying colors. Best of luck to you in the future!
  4. From the R22 POH, Safety Notice SN-11: "...(The low-G which occurs during a rapid autorotation entry is not a problem because lowering collective reduces both rotor lift and rotor torque at the same time.)" This means that the rolling moment (to the right) that normally occurs during a low-G event is not present, hence mast bumping is no longer in play. Bottom line, just get the collective down ASAP.
  5. Hi guys, I'm a low time pilot, currently working on CFI with an ultimate career goal (perhaps 10 years from now) of EMS. My question pertains to career path options; specifically, for you guys already off and running in the helicopter industry--how would you describe the "ideal" career path? We are all familiar with the "standard" route that most new pilots use: 1. Training, 2. CFI, 3. Tours, 4. GOM? 5. EMS/Utility/Fire/Corporate, etc. I am interested in knowing the perspective of the experienced pilots out there on what their ideal stepping stones would be if they could do it all over again and call their own shots with their own personal Genie. For example: "if I could do it over again I would press to get my tour job in Alaska instead of Grand Canyon...", or; "if I could do it all over again, I would spend two extra seasons as a tour pilot and build more time...",or; "If I could do it over again, I would just avoid working GOM..." (or, "I wish I never left GOM!") ; or, "if I could do it over again, I would depart CFI duty early, (at 500 hours) and jump to R44 tours before moving to xyz." There are lots of ways to skin this cat to progress from raw student status to senior captain status, and I understand it's all subjective. But in your perfect world, what's the best (or most-fun) way? Any good shortcuts? Bad shortcuts that are actually dead-ends? Cheers, Cod
  6. All, thanks much for the advice--I'll take a pass on this flight! VR, Cod
  7. Avbug, I agree with what you are saying, but I don't think it's black and white for a guy at my rookie experience level. Perhaps a better way to phrase my question would be: "Is Alaska/Canada cross-country experience worth paying for out of your own pocket?" The fact that it would be fun in a B206 is sort of incidental to the issue, considering the XC and weather experience that could be gained by flying a mission like this one--which wouldn't really be the same as "watching the autumn leaves changing!" PS: thanks much to all you guys for your input!
  8. Additional info: my CFI and CFII training will be covered under my GI Bill, and I already have my reservations for the Robinson course in June. I will be SFAR 73 compliant (200 Robinson hours) or close to it by the time I finish CFII. Also, I do have extra money stashed away in my savings account (I have been saving cash for seven years in preparation for this career change I began last summer.)
  9. Good morning all, I would like your advice on an issue, especially from the graybeards on the board like Goldy, Mike, Dennis, Francis, et al... The consensus I have seen over the past few years has been consistent and pretty emphatic regarding advanced training, namely: "don't pay for advanced training out of your own pocket, because when you get hired your employer will train you anyway." But what about this scenario: I'm an inexperienced helicopter pilot--approximately 170 hours (50 in R44) and zero turbine time so far, of course. I just completed my commercial rating and am now working on CFI. I have an opportunity in front of me to ferry a Bell 206 LongRanger to Alaska. It would be about 20 hours of flight time, including international border procedures and everything else incidental to a long cross country--in short, a terrific training experience, I think. But I would have to pay my own way, at a reduced rate. Rather than $750/hour for the B206, my share would be paying $250/hour. What do you think? Would you do it, for the chance for the turbine transition training as well as the cross country experience?
  10. I am a commercial helicopter student (should begin CFI in a couple weeks) at Leading Edge and I'll echo Mikemv's assessment. I have had a phenomenal experience with LEA and with COCC, and best of all....it's an ethical program that grows pilots the right way.
  11. Rish, To pile on with others, I also recommend you complete your degree. Presuming you are eligible for your full GI Bill entitlement, it doesn't make sense to me not to use it to capture a college degree. In my view, the GI Bill is a CAREER program, and I think the best way to set yourself up for successful career is to get your degree at the same time you are working through your aviation ground school requirements anyway. After all, if something goes wrong (medical, etc) and your aviation career does not flourish for some reason, you damn sure better have a degree in your pocket after investing all that work. Listen to Spike above (I have been reading his stuff for years on this board.) If you flew as hard as you could, caught all the breaks on weather, aircraft availability, instructor availability, AND were also a really talented student, it still takes at least 12 months to earn all the certificates. And you would probably be a mental zombie at the end of that. But if you adopt a more reasonable training pace, you can complete the same program AND have a degree in your pocket in only two years. That one extra year right up front seems to me a smart investment that can positively bear upon the rest of your adult life. BTW, I'm enrolled at COCC and Leading Edge; I should be wrapping up the program this summer. PM me if you have specific questions.
  12. Hi Guys, another option for custom hearing protection is E.A.R., Inc. You can find them online; they are one of the major manufacturers of the yellow disposable foam earplugs but also specialize in a variety of custom molded plugs for musicians, shooters, construction workers, whatever. I have a set of custom plugs from them, and they come with a filter that blocks ambient noise but still allows voices to come through. Sounds perfect for an aviation application, but I have not had the opportunity to wear them inside my David Clarks yet. I wear mine every day riding my motorcycle and like them a lot. An alternative to Westone, give them a look. I think my plugs cost me about $130 bucks. Cheers, Chris Darling
  13. Rick, et al, Thanks much for the feedback. Cod
  14. Hello folks, I've been a long-time lurker but I have to speak up with a question: I don't intend to start my helicopter training in earnest for two more years yet, as I need to finish my military career first. But during this waiting period, can I put that intervening time to good use? I already have my private pilot's license for fixed wing, so would it be useful for me to knock out my instrument rating via fixed wing before I begin helicopter training? On the face of it, perhaps that would save overall cost from a full helicopter professional pilot program, which is what I intend to complete. But on the other hand, if I went that route would I later find out that my fixed wing instrument time "didn't count" toward my helicopter ratings, and I'd have to do it over in a helicopter anyway? Any advice appreciated. Cheers, Cod
  15. Hi guys, I've been a long time lurker on the forum, but this is my first post. I received an email from the VA yesterday that will come as bad news for many folks. In short, unless you are already eligible for the old, Montgomery GI Bill, you cannot use the new bill for flight training. Below is the question I asked the VA, and underneath that is their answer back. My Question: I have read the answer in the FAQ list about what the bill covers. However, In my situation, I am an active duty officer NOT eligible for MGIB (Chap 30/1606/1607.) Does that mean I cannot use the new GIB for flight training? ------------------------------------- VA Answer: That is correct. The Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) does not pay for Flight Training. Only those veterans who have the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), Chapter 1606, and Chapter 1607 education benefits, and have elected to convert their remaining entitlement in effect in August 2009 to the Post 9/11 GI Bill would be able to pursue flight training. The Post-9/11 GI Bill program is not effective until August 1, 2009. Benefits under this program are only payable for training pursued on or after August 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date. Thank you for contacting the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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