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About Chi-town

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    ATP Poster
  1. Rogue, do your best. Not trying to preach. Just providing my insight into the industry. I won't waste any energy trying to change it because I don't think it's broken. Higher paid CFIs, will mean higher tuition costs, will mean less of those "much needed" pilots. Many people smarter than you or I (I am well aware of Maslow's Pyramid) have tried to skin this cat. Go take a look at the training models in Europe, Canada, and Australia. We have it pretty good compared to them. Like I said, I didn't mean to be cruel. Just stating the facts of life.
  2. This may come off as unsympathetic, but this is the way it is. If being a helicopter pilot were easy, everyone would do it. At 30-something years old, I think it would be great to be an Agent for a professional sports athlete or movie star. This "dream" would require law school at an ivy league institution, then paying my dues in a mail room at CAA or some other agency before one day getting my break. How about if I wanted to become a plastic surgeon? Well now I have to go through 5-7 years of medical school, then residency where I wouldn't get paid much and I would average as much sleep in a month as a Silver State Student gets flight time in the same month. The fact is that every profession requires you to pay your dues. My other point is that some "dreams" were never meant to be. Today's society tells kids that they can achieve whatever they want as long as they believe. Well, I'm not one to shoot down dreams but depending on your life situation (age, wife, kids, money, ability, intelligence) some dreams are simply unattainable. Yes, there is that one tenth of one percent who beat the odds, but again, that is the exception. CFI pay isn't going up any time soon. Hour requirements for commercial jobs aren't going down any time soon. Getting to 1,000 hours has become harder to reach. Those are the realities that won't change no matter how much you may hope it does. www.despair.com has a great page of "Demotivators" My favorite quote being "Dreams: Never be afraid to share your dreams with the world, because there's nothing the world loves more than the taste of really sweet dreams."
  3. I just spoke with an SSH student who took his private checkride at 136 hours. I wouldn't mention it other than the fact that I'd been hearing second hand stories of 80-hour solos, etc. but this was the first time I spoke face to face with someone with a horror story. Bounced around by different instructors, scheduling problems, etc. Maybe the reorganization will fix it, but I'm of the opinion that you can't market flight training like you market time shares.
  4. I flew a ship for a while that was N8888B. It sucked.
  5. T, Leading Edge is closed as of last September when the owner died in a non-training accident ferrying an FH1100 from Florida. There is a new school there (with the same experienced instructors) called Vegas Air Service. New Hangars, helicopters, and classrooms. R22, R44 and a Schweizer 300C (instrument trainer). www.vegasairservicellc.com
  6. Jen is the girl of which you speak. Great pilot, true professional. If you're willing to move to where the work is, you shouldn't have a problem.
  7. Jen is the girl of which you speak. Great pilot, true professional. If you're willing to move to where the work is, you shouldn't have a problem.
  8. For the students who remind me of Ralphie, I have to use the "sponge" example when talking about dew point. Think of the sponge as a parcel of air. Relative humidity is how wet the sponge is. Your hand squeezing the sponge is cold contracting the air/sponge. A dry sponge sitting on the top of the sink for a day needs to be squeezed a lot to get any visible water out of it. A wet one that's just been used to clean your ramen noodles bowl doesn't need to be squeezed much at all to get water out of it. Over simplified, but sometimes that's what it takes!
  9. I know a couple of the instructors there. Good, knowledgeable people who care about your training. Looks like they have good rates. Enjoy Fresno!
  10. Looking at the list of courses offered at Heli-Expo and was wondering if the Helicopter Operator's Management Course was worth the cash and effort. I run a flight school with plans on expanding operations. Did anyone take this course last year? Thanks
  11. I would say that fixed wing guys are a bit heavy on the pedals as well. It takes a bit to have then use the balls of their feet versus the whole damn foot! My fixed-wing students did have a better control-touch and referenced the horizon a lot better than a complete newbie. Radios are also easier (if they are current pilots with some real flight experience). It's still amusing to do a steep approach and see the fixed-wing guys get nervous. It seems they always want to do shallow approaches with running landings!
  12. Helo-pilot, I think low-time instructors can be very good teachers as long as they've had good training, are mentally mature, and have good decision-making skills. Obviously, they won't be as good as some 5,000 hour instructor but we have to deal with reality and the U.S. system. Senior instructors and school owners need to be able to mentor the young instructors and help them along-it's in their best interest. The Canadian system has it's own problems as well: Pricey, lots of low-hour pilots sweeping hangars and begging for the odd flight (the lack of a structured time-building system I think is haphazard and has little quality control), and of course the hiring of foreign pilots because there aren't enough qualified canadian pilots. I just think we can't rely on the FAA to be quality control for our industry. There has to be an organized (an efficient) mentoring/quality control system in place that the insurance companies will be able to recognize. Kind of like how Doctors get board-certified. This way, we can use more factors than just hours-acquired to help the insurance companies decide which pilots pose less of a liability.
  13. The reason the military can put a 200 hour pilot in the seat of a blackhawk to do missions is that the pilot is sitting SIC to a PIC with over 1000 hours (but usually even more). Those pilots have to sit SIC until they are selected by the senior pilots for a checkride authorizing them to be PIC. It's very regimented and works well. It would be possible to do in companies with two-pilot aircraft, but this system does cost the company time and money. Lyn, I would add that the majority of CFIs I have interviewed for positions have fallen seriously short of the skills I'd expect for a CFI. CFI's with hundreds of hours of instruction with no checkride sign-offs! CFIs that have signed off solo students but have never taught them how to do an autorotation (!!!!) So I think there is an issue of a lot of CFIs and not a lot of students (as financing gets tougher), but the quality of CFIs is also seriously lacking. I will say that the good ones get picked up fairly quickly, but an employer better be ready to conduct plenty "non-revenue" flights if they hire the sub-par instructors that have flooded the industry.
  14. Lyn, My experience as an instructor and talking with other instructors from the big schools like SSH, Bristow, and Mazzei's shows that maybe 1 in 8 career applicants actually make it to CFI. The problem with the system is that there are a lot of good sticks out there who would be great commercial pilots, they just can't teach the stuff. The hurdle remains the same: the 1000 hour insurance requirement. The SSH marketing model may bring in 100s of students each quarter, but I would say the percentage of those making it all the way through is less than 10%. Reduce the percentage for your 18-month window. Is this research just to kill time in between flights or are you brainstorming a solution?
  15. Gents, These are the tests you need endorsements for: Private, Instrument, Commercial These are the tests you do not need an endorsement for: CFI, CFII, ATP I am, of course only talking about the written. ATP is the only one where you don't need an endorsement for the practical.
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