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Rich1 last won the day on April 17 2017

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About Rich1

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  1. The answer to your question will be complex simply because everybody's circumstances are different. Everyone's age, background, financial circumstances, marital status, etc. will all come to bear...that said, there are some generalities across all of the forums that can give you some broad insights. 1) military option: while it seems that there are limited Helo slots available following flight school and w the uncertainty of funding and deployments in the future...it would seem to be one option to obtain your training and certifications as well as potentially build some hours that could transfer to the private sector upon separation from the military..."potentially" seems to be the variable here. 2) flight instructor: probably the most common entry point is securing your initial Helo training at a private flight school and then hopefully being employed at same as a flight instructor. Most flight instructors seek to build their first 1000 or 1500 hrs and advanced certification (instrument or ATP) as an entry point to their first commercial pilots position. Even with 1500 hrs it seems there are still limited commercial pilot openings. 3) private funding: there are those that have the good fortune to fund their own training through personal capital...conversely, you'll find little support here or on most forums for borrowing funds through loans as the final debt load will be most difficult even if one does find immediate employment. Starting flight instructor and commercial pilot salaries are seriously low and make debt service difficult if not impossible...let alone provide for a family if married. If you can't find immediate employment...well then...most folks end up taking other jobs to pay the bills. 4) patience: lastly, and probably least popular because of the wait, is to complete a college degree in business or other leading to a professional degree (other than aviation),building a career and sufficient cash flow to either be able to rent "at will" or lease, or be able to afford your own helicopter. Having a college degree and other employment options makes sense in the event of a health condition that prevents flight instruction or a downturn in the economy that negatively impacts the flight school or the commercial operation you are working for. Again these are broad generalities for your consideration, you will find out this forum (and other) is not short on other personal opinion :-)
  2. I have had both series blades on the same Raven 1...and do a fair amount of mountain flying...and almost all of my flying at 4000 MSL and above. While not scientific, but rather anecdotal experience, I have noticed an improvement in speed as well as improved auto characteristics with these new blades. The ability to tell major differences at higher altitudes I think is a bit dicier because there are so many variables of alt, temp, winds, engine performance, etc. My instincts/experience seem to suggest to me there is improved performance at altitude over the old series blades, but that may be because that is what I'm expecting to see:-) My thin nickel for what little it buys downtown...
  3. I can only relate the story of a very young married couple who approached me in the days following our local "aviation day" event. I could tell that the young lady specifically was jazzed with the idea of becoming a helicopter pilot. She was specifically interested whether she should continue on to complete her college degree in education or business, or if she should simply borrow money to complete her fixed wing and helicopter ratings in hopes of securing a paid position as a helicopter pilot. I shared that having had both a professional career with college degree(s) as well as having had my own businesses, that if ultimately she wanted to be both a pilot as well as eventually own her own aircraft she would be smart to complete her college degree. Once she understood that in aviation, especially if you want to be an owner, is about having discretionary cash available, and when she understood that even having become a helicopter pilot professionally, it would only take one health event to potentially cost her the medical certificate and career, having a back up plan for a back up profession, vocational or professional, is a very smart idea. Just my thin nickel...for what little it still buys you downtown
  4. "Full throttle to hover with two people to hover" ? Wow... My R44 Raven 1 has never been close to full throttle with two on board even in the hottest weather and full fuel...in moderate temps and two on board I have as much as 4-5" of manifold pressure remaining... Full throttle to hover doesn't leave much margin for error...yikes!
  5. CBX.... You are right on the mark...regardless of brand, get your pre purchase inspection done, and do the best you can to project your actual costs of ownership... Double check your insurance costs as well... R1 Ps, the Robinson terminally ill part is part folklore by those who have never owned one...I'm on my third. An earlier tbo/overhaul cost in exchange for proven reliability w my family on board? I'll take that deal.
  6. I think you would be wise to also look at the R-44 if you are looking for a private use ship. Derated for reliability (and endurance of the engine), great speed, great governor for ease of flight, good horsepower when fully loaded and great horsepower when full fuel and only one or two seats full... Regardless of brand, Like everything else, a good non-biased pre purchase inspection and an honest analysis/calculation of expected costs of ownership and operation will help answer your question... Been there done that story: First helicopter I found nearby that I could afford, I fell in love with, was willing to sell belongings just to purchase when a $1500 pre purchase inspection revealed another $40K in repairs or life limited parts to be safe and airworthy. Would have taken the fun out of ownership in a hurry... Just have your eyes open...my thin nickel for what it will buy you downtown...
  7. Congrats for thinking far enough ahead to get some practical experience and advice prior to pulling the trigger on this purchase. As someone who has actually done exactly what you are thinking about, and am now on my third helicopter I think I can share some relevant info. As long as you have your eyes wide open and have plenty of discretionary cash, your basic premise has SOME merit...however, here are some thoughts to consider. 1) the whole premise HAS to be built upon a very thoughtful and knowledgeable prepurchase inspection. To the best extent possible you want to know what costs you can reasonably expect over the next 300 hrs...and even then expect that there will be some unexpected costs even if the ship has been impeccably maintained...the ship is high time so you just have to plan on it. I can tell you first hand that it only takes a couple of very expensive, unexpected expenses to blow your fiscal plan apart...it can be as simple as an AD on a set of rotor blades at $30K...I had to replace a heater blower motor...it cost $1000 used, blades repainted three time at $1000 per pop....yearly annuals between $1500 and $4000 per. This I can tell you...I bought a ship that had been meticulously maintained, had no major expenses, and over a four year time period, my true cost of hourly operation was almost exactly what a rental rates averages at the local flight school...as noted prior above, just plan on the fact that the hull (depending upon hrs/condition can vary between $25K-40K regardless of condition. Owning and training in your own ship is very cool...but just know that it will cost you at least what a rental cost would be at your local flight school. PS..I bought my first r22 w 600 hrs remaining for $100K...I flew it to overhaul and the hull brought $40K, so you can see I lost $10k per 100 hrs of just depreciation alone..not to mention all of the other costs of insurance $12K per year, hangar, $5K per year in fuel, annuals (noted above)... One additional note on the pre purchase inspection...pay a very competent and respected mechanic to do the inspection for you. Before buying the ship noted above, I looked a a ship with 800 hrs remaining and cost $75K...upon the advice of many owners, I spent the $1500 to have a good prepurchase inspection...needless to say the ship was mechanically a mess and would have cost me at least $40K to get it airworthy....the $1500 investment saved me at least $40K and certainly that would have taken the fun out ownership in a hurry. Eyes wide open and plenty of discretionary cash...my thin nickel...happy to answer any other questions
  8. Welcome to the forum...! I can only offer up my thin nickel...you'll get other opinions guaranteed:-) But I am likely an anomaly compared to others as I have owned both the Rotorway and the Robinson (both 22 and 44) and have been flying helis since 1980...so after a couple thousand hours my perspective will be a little different...I've been around the forum long enough to know you will see differing opinions...and these are only mine. I loved the Rotorway, I loved the whole concept...build it yourself, maintain it, fly it your self...it was affordable, a blast to build and fly...but, (there's always a but) having gone that route and now having owned two certificated helos, I have a much different understanding and perspective. I share that for what it's worth. In the years since I built and flew my Rotorway (and I will grant you they have made some important enhancements and strides in the past 30+ years) I have come to innately and intimately understand the intricacies and complexities of helicopter aerodynamics, flight, and maintenance. I am a VERY careful and cautious pilot, however, I have been caught in flight conditions and turbulence that I feel would have been marginally safe at best in a home built or experimental helicopter... due to the stresses of normal and sometimes unexpectedly not normal flight. Through the ongoing maintenance of my two certificated helos, it has become very clear to me that maintaining my own ship...to the standards I've come to respect, would be difficult at best unless you are a trained A&P yourself. So here is the bottom line for me...if you love to build stuff, are intrigued about being meticulous on your maintenance, and you are planning to fly solo 98% of the time, and to hover around the pasture at very low altitudes, then I think experimental can be a fun way to go. If you plan to fly at altitude, fly family and friends and do it with a level of confidence in the safety, I'm buying a certificated machine every single time. But do so knowing that the rental costs that you see from your local flight school for training is roughly the cost per hour that it will cost you to own your own ship... As you might imagine they monitor their costs very carefully to make some slim profit...so At the end of the day, their costs are pretty well what your costs will be on an hourly basis. Those hourly costs can be much higher if you are flying only 50 or so hours or less per year. If I can't afford to buy a ship outright, I'm far better off just renting until I can...while saving to buy if that is the route you want to go. Like any aircraft, fixed or rotary, you have to have sufficient discretionary cash to cover the unexpected costs, and there are always some of those the pop up...If you look to buy mid life or high time machines, your trusted A&P is your best friend and can help you make a well informed decision. Otherwise, your joy of ownership can become less than gratifying pretty quickly. Hope that helps in some way...
  9. Let me see if I can add a more serious response to your question. The caveat is that this is just my thin nickel as a Helo pilot since 1980 and a private owner of two different helicopters in the past decade, and I owned a fixed wing aircraft prior to that. This is really not as complex as one might imagine however it is critical that you "buy right" by making certain that you have a really thorough pre-purchase inspection and title search. It is also important to know just like buying a fixed wing aircraft, you need to have enough discretionary cash for the inevitable service bulletins and ADs that occur. In my particular instance I purchased a Robinson R22 that was mid time and was able to fly the last 600 hours before the ship went to overhaul. Those 600 hours served to be invaluable as I purchased a late model R44 as my current helicopter. I'm not a fan of using a broker however I have purchased a number of aircraft prior so I am familiar with the paperwork and prepurchase necessities. If this is your first aircraft a broker may be of some help to you. In my experience, its the quality and credibility of the AP who does the pre purchase inspection that is your most crucial asset. If I were buying a ship across the country from my locale, I would fly my personal AP to wherever the ship is located...it will be the best airfare you ever spent..,. In full disclosure, in one instance I spent $1300 for a prepurchase inspection that saved me tens of thousands that would have been needed to get it airworthy and all of the SBs up to date...in that case beauty was only skin deep... In this business especially, you actually do get what you pay for..there are pristine well maintained ships out there, they are worth waiting for and will be worth the extra premium you will pay..,and there are hard worked beat up ships that have not been well maintained that can quickly take the joy out of ownership. Hope some of this helps..,
  10. Definitely Coiled...take up much less room.
  11. Couldn't agree more w Tradford above...NO Shortcuts! There are probably others in life, but this is one of those critical choices that has very little if any tolerance for error. I'm probably one of those rare breeds that have experience on both sides of the home built v certificated debate. I was an early kit builder and had the pleasure of being signed off to solo at the factory. I'm pretty adept mechanically and enjoyed building the ship and truly admired its engineering, and I know they have done many great enhancements since its inception. In the many years since though, I've flown, rented and now owned several certificated helicopters since my early kit days....and I can share unequivocally that knowing now what I didn't know then...is everything. I have learned that Rotary flight, the engineering, the forces involved in helicopters is extraordinarily complex and attention to detail and safety IS everything at altitude! Looking back I was a good kit builder...but I was clueless of the sheer risk I was taking. If I were a hobbyist, a weekend mechanic, and would be happy mostly hovering around my property, and content with taking only myself solo to altitude only occasionally ...then a kit is fun and may the way to go. I often say that if I make a mistake fixing my car there's no worry at ground level....however, when we going to altitude, it's a whole different gig. Like most here, I love these machines...and I know the deep desire to want one in the garage or hangar. It's important to note also that following my kit build I scrimped and rented certificated machines for nearly 20 yeas in order to finally purchase and own my first certificated ship. Worth the wait...unequivocally....worth the margin of safety and peace of mind? Priceless If I'm planning to be at altitude often, have family and friends at risk with me...then certificated is my choice...every time. Just my well worn thin nickel for what little it will buy you downtown:-)
  12. No problem...glad to help! Just want to be sure that as the third wheel, you don't get run over by the other two wheels A colleague of mine was going into a partnership on an aircraft, were at closing, when the third partner suddenly got cold feet and "wanted out NOW" and it was a significant struggle for the other two to fill the gaps of annuals, repairs, insurance,...plus the dude with cold feet wanted his share covered to get out of the deal... etc. Pretty messy...but it's what we do in order to be aircraft owners:-) (probably a bit of an IQ test, that we all fail...lol) As my wife says, "Other folks have condos in Cabo and Hawaii...we just have stupid helicopters!"....
  13. I'm not an attorney, however, from a practical perspective and as a long time aircraft owner, I would make absolutely sure that regardless of how many partners you have, just make certain that you have the financial resources avail to make the entire monthly payment, the entire hull/liability insurance should the other partners, for what ever reason, be unable to pay their share. Could be a job loss, divorce, illness, loss of flight medical, or just a partner who needs out of the partnership....The bank and insurance company care little about the financial maladies or circumstances of an individual partner, much like co signing on a loan, you are on the hook. Also critical that you are all prepared for the shared expense of the unexpected, the top end overhaul, an upper sheave that has to be replaced, blades that have to be re painted, or an AD on bladders (20k) or a new set of blades(45k)....especially important w an older or higher time machine. Lastly, be sure to protect yourself from liability...be prepared that in the event of an accident/fatality or severe injury, the litigators or victims estate will come after everyone listed as an owner, or whoever has the most assets, etc.. Regardless of which partner was at the controls...seen it too many times... Even forming an LLC for you personally may be very wise. It's worth a 500.00 visit w your attorney would be very cheap insurance before jumping into this partnership arrangement. I don't want to throw water on your dream, but want you to have your eyes wide open...ownership can be great fun, or a great burden. As someone who rented for 20 years until I could afford to do this alone, I know the pain of waiting and the pure joy having done so...
  14. I have 800 hours on my Zulu 2...FW and Rotorwing....simply an exceptional product...high quality, good features very reliable
  15. Couldn't agree more w the above...R22 if you want to increase your chances of employment as a CFI... Just a function of the number of schools utilizing the 22 as their training platform...
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