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AS350 pilot

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Everything posted by AS350 pilot

  1. I have asked this same question and never really gotten a for sure answer. So heres my best guess; the aft shaft is so much higher then the aft transmission that even though its a 20psi pump, by the time it gets all the way up there all you can expect is 10. As for the c-box maybe we can get someone with more 47 experience to weigh in.
  2. Im pretty sure you would have to take the same type ride as anyone else to get it put on your certificate. Theres a few TC holders of the 47 these days but once youre typed it shows up as BV234 Maybe some of the prior service folks can share past experience on adding a type rating to their CPL
  3. It’s really tough to beat the Huey. Literally the Huey, 205, and 212 make up the “medium” type 2 fire fighting sector. What are you running on your Huey fleet (engine and blades wise).
  4. Whats your sector of the industry, TailEndCharlie?
  5. My niche is precious long line most of the year and fire fighting in the summer. Its very rewarding and fun work. My advice would be to do something you enjoy.....if it so happens to be something not many people do, then youre in luck!
  6. I spent about two years making pretty low wages. It was one of the most fun times of my career (obviously had nothing to do with the low wages lol). Once I had a better paying tour job I paid off my loans then found a niche in the industry that pays very well. You could complain about it while someone else gets it done and moves on. I’m not advocating for low wages; however, there’s something to getting it done and moving on.
  7. Sorry, Avbug but I have to correct you. Cal Fire does employ helicopter pilots. The airplane pilots and mechanics for both airplanes and helicopters are all contract employees. The machines themselves are modified H models that oddly enough are actually owned by the Federal Government and are on a lease program to the state of California. I’m sure this will change to some degree when Cal Fire takes delivery of their new Blackhawks. That being said, Region 5 is a very busy place to fight fire and Cal Fire and the USFS will contract outside vendors to come fight fire.
  8. I haven’t met many helicopter pilots who attended Embry Riddle, it’s more of a blue collar / no college degree required type of job. So the Embry Riddle or Blackhawk route (I’m assuming you meant military) isn’t a great comparison. Cal Fire does seem to have many prior service pilots working for them but they also have civilian trained pilots as well....but I’m sure it would help your resume there to have prior service (just a guess on my part). As for the private sector of fire fighting and in tern utility flying because most fire companies will do some form of utility work. In recent years I have noticed there are much more civilian trained pilots in that sector. I think it’s because no matter who you are or where you came from, when you learn to fly a long line - it’s humbling and nobody is good at it. This puts you at the bottom and there is a lot of learning and paying your dues from there. After 6-10 years or more in the military or any other sector, are you going to want to start all over? Probably not when EMS or now the airlines will give you more money to start and there won’t be the same “paying your dues” for multiple years. This is not a knock on any form of getting your experience, wether you went to Embry Riddle, or the military, or learned in Robinson’s with zero schooling. I’ve just noticed, you’re only going to be willing to pay your dues so much and whatever sector you paid your dues in (EMS, military, offshore, utility, fire) you’re probably not going to want to start over in another sector.
  9. Be careful where you get your advice, Chrisxweaver. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, there is a lot of negativity on these forums....oddly enough its usually from “armchair quarterbacks” who never got past peewee leagues. Truth is, I’ve met too many awesome people along the way to count....some of them were my employers. Life is what you make it. Fly safe and good luck!
  10. Have you taken an introductory flight in a helicopter yet? That’s a really good place to start. My advice would be to save like crazy, take an into flight, and research a school you would like to attend. That will take a few years but those are years you are going to need and time is on your side IMO. The topic of how to get hours and into a job you ultimately want has been beaten to death so I won’t get into it...all I will say is - enjoy the road. One of the most exciting times in my life was flight school and being a flight instructor. Maybe some of the other members can speak to the army route. I was all civilian trained so I can’t offer any advice there. Lastly, don’t spen too much time reading on forums....unfortunately, there is far more negative then positive for some reason. What part of the country are you living in?
  11. The only difference between really old airframes and brand new one I've noticed (that wasn't stated above) is the nose material seems to be twice as thick....not sure why...maybe bird strike?
  12. Drones make sense for a few jobs in our industry. Spraying smaller crops is one, news gathering is another, line patrol for powerline or pipeline.....however I don't see them taking over fire fighting (during the day), external load work, EMS, or 135 passengers transportation. I'm sure folks will not agree with me but I definitely don't feel threatened in my line of work.
  13. Dude, you're delicate lol. It's probably a good thing you are just a recreational pilot. Nevertheless, it's cool to look back on your first flight.
  14. I didn't read through the entire thread but did take the survey. In the utility and fire industry having a college degree isn't going to help your chances for advancement. Maybe having a degree could serve as a "backup plan" but so could many other skills. Some of the most intelligent managers I've worked for in the industry never went to college.
  15. Most of my 500 time was in a D model but they are surprisingly fast! They are good in the mountains….not great but I'm sure the 530 would be better. The tail rotor authority wasn't good on a warm day above 6,000' but if you typically fly alone I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem. I'm 6'2" and it is fine to fly but by no means is it comfortable. It seems that ships with thin main rotor blades don't do as well in high DA situations, but that's just my observation.
  16. It's obvious by some of your comments that you don't work in the utility and fire field of helicopter aviation. Flying a long line is a humbling experience…..maybe you should give it a try. Oh, and trust me "guy," you didn't burst my bubble
  17. I've flown the B2 a lot and the B3e for a few hundred hours but never a B3. The most impressive lift I've seen weight wise was 2500 pounds in the B3e at sea level around 20 degrees C. The best I've seen it do at altitude was 6,000' on a cool day pick 2,000 lbs. Both scenarios were very light on fuel. The B3e has a higher hp number then the B3 but you may have a hard time finding the actual numbers lol...I've even asked the tech reps and can't really get a straigh answer. As with all manufacturers the machine is getting heavier every year so you're best lifter would be an early B3e....around 2012 model. The B3 and B3e have the same external gross weight numbers so the way to get more on the hook is to have as light a machine as possible. Some have dual hyd and it actually doesn't add all that much weight; however, the astar can be flown competently with a complete hyd failure. Hope that helps.
  18. Reading some of these responses I'm actually very glad I didn't find this forum until after I had finished flight school. Everyone's experience is going to differ. Life isn't all about money so don't get wrapped up in the 747 captain vs. an experienced helicopter pilot debate....they will always be higher. I've said on here many times, if you want to get paid good in this business you have to become good at something not many people are good at. The two things that come to mind are precision long line work and single pilot IFR. If you're a good long line pilot you will never make less then $80k as previously suggested. You don't have to be very high time, or a multi situational veteran (I'm not even sure what that means but I thank all the vets for their service), but you do have to be stellar! Some people will never be happy regardless of their situation or how much money they make. I wouldn't trade my job for any airline job....and maybe they would say the same about mine, so to each their own. I prefer to be out on a construction job, or power line work, or fighting a fire somewhere....we get diversity.
  19. As for the rotorway - my 2 cents are that it's probably fun but counts next to nothing if you're talking about putting it on a resume and counting on it being a way to become a professional pilot. It's tough enough to get a job as a cfi with 200 hours (the min to teach in Robinson helicopters). Don't give a potential employer a reason not to hire you like having half of your flight time in a rotorway. Also, if you don't have any other responsibilities like a family to take care of 40 isn't that old. With good health you could easily fly a 25 year career.
  20. This is a widely debated topic, so I'll just give my opinion short and sweet. $35k to $50k unfortunately isn't realistic for someone with zero time to become an employable CFI (most likely your first job). Even 10 years ago when I went to flight school if you got done for $60k you were doing good. Now I'm sure it's more. $50k to $60k during your first 2-3 years is very unlikely. As a flight instructor you will struggle to make a wage that you can survive on....sad but true. I'm talking like poverty level income for most areas. After that, my experience has been tours and it paid well, fallowed by utility and fire and it also pays well. I can only answer this question for myself; has it been worth the price of admission? Yes, without a doubt. The industry can be difficult to break into and you will find plenty of nay sayers (especially lurking on the internet) but if you make it past that, it's a very unique and exciting way to make a living. Good luck!
  21. If you're going to be a career pilot you are going to have to pay your dues....no offense but from what I've gathered, that was pretty early in your career. The more experience, skill, and respect you pick up as you make your journey through this career the more selective you can be when choosing your work place. Or I guess that's what HR is for these days.
  22. Sometimes (most times) I just like to boil things down to their simplest. As pilots we pick things up and we put things down. That's really it!
  23. If you're going to be in this industry you need to have thick skin.....also helps to be professional. Not saying this for your benefit but for up and coming pilots who may be reading this thread.
  24. Solid question! Lots goes into determining what length of line to use. Some factors are; what type of helicopter you're using (the heavier the helicopter the more down wash you're going to put off), what's on the end of the line, precision or non precision set, production or non production work, the height of the surrounding trees and or terrain, etc. Air conditioner units are typically precision and production without much of anything in the way. If you're quick the ground crew doesn't have to spend much time under the down wash so you may want to use a 50' line. The shorter the line the faster you can move. A power pole set in a steep canyon with tall trees may require you to use an extremely long line just to clear the trees, then add the length of the pole into play and you could be up to 300' from the bottom of the pole. Down wash is not a factor from that height but your visual cues are seriously diminished. You have to move slow and remember the "slow is smooth and smooth is fast". Just do it right once. Dropping water on a fire? The longer the line, the slower you can move over the fire line without your downwash effecting the flames. That's a plus because tanked helicopters have to get low enough that the water actually does something and fast enough that the downwash doesn't make the fire grow….use a long line and you can drop more accurately on flames at a slow forward speed or no forward speed for a concentrated drop. Physics don't change with the length of line you use so don't be intimidated with a longer line if it keeps you more clear of terrain. Hope that helps answer your question.
  25. Good on ya for getting an early start! WolftalonID makes a good point. Start studying now. Starting a career early can be good and bad (mostly good). My personal experience was starting my first flying job at 21 and really the biggest challenge was people not taking you seriously. 10 years later people still ask me "are you 12?!" when I show up on job sites. My advice would be; be extra professional, clean cut, yes sir no sir attitude, and find the older pilots to learn from. Enjoy the ride my friend, I wouldn't trade my career for any other career out there.
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