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Everything posted by chriso

  1. You know, I really appreciate your guys insight on this topic, you've got some great advice... I did as you suggested and started running some numbers and got some ballpark insurance numbers... as you well know, its pretty much a gamble and takes a lot of cash to ante in. I actually wound up visiting with one of the local 135 operators and am starting to think I might best test the waters on this idea by contracting him... If my booking mechanism comes through as I hope, I can easily afford to pay him, if not, the amount invested up front is actually significantly less. (And it's much easier to walk away from if I'm all off base somehow) The bummer of the whole thing is that if I go this way, I don't wind up owning a helicopter and get to fly a bunch for at least another year! (almost unacceptable!) Anyway, I'll keep you posted. (unless I come up with a host of more questions first!) Thanks again, Chris
  2. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it... Chris
  3. Thanks a lot, I'll check them out... Chris
  4. Can one of you enlighten me as to the specifics associated with this? Is this like a type certificated item like a Factory Float Kit on a Cessna? If a ship doesn't have provisions, can you add them with an STC or something? If you have provisions is all you need to do is plug in the power and hook the line up? Do provisions include mirrors and bubble windows, or are those just add ons for convenience and safety? Thanks, Chris
  5. I guess the comparison I'm more able to understand is looking at the 206 as compared to an A-Star or Eco-Star from the passenger experience point of view. I have no personal observations regarding a 206 in this light, but have firsthand knowledge of the passenger reactions following tours in the Eurocopters. However, the obvious increased expense would put me in a position where I'd really have to succeed in this venture or give up the ship should it flop, as opposed to a 206 where I could possibly justify keeping it for personal use... or, if it takes a few years to develope the tour thing, it'd be more easily affordable to hang onto the 206. Either way it's a big financial commitment for a guy like me. I just don't want to go out on a limb and purchase a 206 having the thought in the back of my mind that using it in this fashion is a real possibility and will really catch on with all our local booking venues, then find out after the fact that it was foolishness to even hope for it. Where we operate our other tour business (boats), there is truly spectacular, breathtaking scenery, and only one other heli operator in the area. Our normal group size we find ourselves booking for the boats is groups of 2 or 4, so I think we could fill a 206 up for the flights, (am I right in thinking the R-44 only hauls 3 passengers?) Starting out, I wonder about being able to consistently fill an A-Star to capacity with paying passengers. We have a far superior roadside visibility location on a hugely traveled highway compared to the other heli guy being several miles off the beaten path. With the built in booking mechanism we already possess, and our location, I think we can drum up some real business for heli's if I have the nerve to tackle it. Anyway, I appreciate all the great info to digest here. Could I get the name of that outfit flying the 206's in the Grand Canyon? Thanks again, Chris
  6. Hello, From those of you who've been there and done that, what is your impression of passenger satisafction from scenic tours in Jetrangers? I have a small boat tour company and am thinking of branching out. A used 206 seems like a pretty good match for me in all other ways. I'd hate to find out after the fact that what I think may be an option to help defray some operating costs was limited by virtue of its design / visibility or something. Thanks, Chris
  7. I can't speak to the cost of living as I've done my flying while on vacation, but I can't say enough about my opinion of the quality, capability, and pesonality of Barrett who does their training on Kauai at the moment. He's one top notch fellow and even managed to teach a polak like myself to hover in just a week! Barrett is himself a product of their school so I would assume the rest of their instructors are equally proficient and personable. I can't imagine attempting to continue with any other outfit either locally, or maybe even closer to home because of the quality of the MLH experience shown to me by him.
  8. Has anyone had (or know of anyone who has) dealings with World Aircraft Connections out of Williston Florida? They re-furbish jetrangers and the pics show some pretty nice worksmanship. Anyone know of their thoroughness with paperwork, timeliness, customer service etc? Thanks, Chris
  9. Who are you flying with? I had a rough time getting my fixed wing for lack of an instructor I could communicate with or count on... The first gal was mean as a snake and according to her I'd never be able to learn, the next one was breaking up with a new boyfriend every other lesson, showing up crying and asking to re-schedule... then a couple demanding young guys who were scared stiff of my plane and their abilites to save the day if I strayed at all from perfect... then finally 2 of the finest gentlemen in aviation helped me finish off, both of them were 60 some years old and retired. I waited on one to regain his medical following a heart attact (not induced by me I'm fairly certain!) I've got to give some kudos to my recent instructor Barret of Mauna Loa Helicopters on Kauai... he's young but has the same confidence, competance, and relaxed, supportive style I found only in these older guys here in Alaska. Sorry to ramble on like this, but being stuck here at work 800 miles away from family on Christmas a guys got to have something to do to help cope! Chris
  10. Thanks for writing guys, Merry Christmas here from north of the arctic circle! I just discovered I'm a "fledgling speller" too! (at least of the word "pilot"... I ought to tell you I've actually been know to respond to the name "daft" in a crowded room from time to time! And you should to see my list of fishing holes that I've been unable to land in my cub. (I'm a pretty good dreamer I know...) Anyway, great advice, I'm planning on hanging out at the Merrill Field Airport while I'm off these next two weeks and see if I can meet the owners and maybe get some pointers on possible rentals. At first glance it seems like there aren't a lot of helicopters around here other than the commercial operations. If this fever I've got doesn't get any worse, I think I may be able to hold off long enough to pursue my fixed wing instrument rating and commercial this winter here locally, and next fall try solo and cross over to rotorwing seeing as how fixed wing time is a bit less costly. And try to score some heli time from one of these guys at Merrill in the interim... Maybe I can figure out a way to start, or better yet join, a rotorwing club (guess I don't know if there are many of these, especially here in Alaska?) If a guy did screw up the courage to jump in the deep end, what kind of flight, maintenance, and safety characteristics could one expect from an MD 369 or 500 and a Jetranger? What could I expect to have to do to deal with snow and ice in the winters here? I only have an outside tiedown here in the strip and it would be inconvenient to find a hanger for the winters. Do these particular ships have good heaters? Does a guy have to spend 500k or better just to get a decent and airworthy one? Seeing as how I'm out of town 2 weeks a month anyway, you guys should move up here and we could go 3 ways on one, you'd only have to fight me over it for half the time! (and of course, we could keep it at my place!) If the fever gets much worse, maybe I'll have to move down there if you won't come this way! Thanks again, Chris
  11. Hi, Just thought I'd introduce myself and thank you all for providing this forum for me to learn from. I am a 40 year old husband and father of 2 younglings, private fixed wing pilot who just sold my tricked out cub here in Alaska, and started heli lessons logging 15 hours while on vacation to kauai last month. Looking to purchase at some point, mostly doing research at the moment and planning for finishing getting my rotorwing ticket. I can't believe it took me 40 years to discover how cool helicopters really are! Thanks, Chris
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