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  1. Question for the original poster: are you offering this time-building opportunity as a part of the Boatpix organization? Would this 100 hours of flight time lead to a job (for someone who already has 200) doing the photo contracts as advertised on their website? Or is this just something that you are doing on your own and is separate from Boatpix?
  2. Botapix - "HelicopterAcademy guarantees you a job to 500 hours". Why only 500 hours? Then what happens? You get booted? What if you want to keep doing the photo work to build hours to 1000 in order to be more marketable? Just wondering, thanks.
  3. I guess this is a few months old, but I just came across this, so thought I'd post it in case anyone else hadn't seen it yet either. www.aprilfools.hotelicopter.com Apparently just a hoax, but still amusing to see the pics.
  4. Just saw the cardiologist yesterday. He said that abnormal readings can be picked up if the medical assistant who is performing the test doesn't put those things (sorry, don't know the terminology) on your chest in exactly the right places. And for what it's worth, he mentioned that women with breast implants have a very difficult time getting a correct reading. In my case, I wouldn't be surprised if the assistant messed up, because I over-heard her out in the hallway before the test complaining that they were going to fall behind schedule by doing my EKG since I was only supposed to have a 15 minute appointment. Anyway, I was glad to get reassurance from the cardiologist that he's confident my heart is fine. I only hope I don't have to jump through extra hoops when it comes time to renew my medical since "abnormal EKG" is part of my medical records.
  5. Thanks for the replies. What you've said is very encouraging. Hopefully I'll get good news from the cardiologist, too.
  6. I thought I saw a post once before about an abnormal EKG, but can't find it. So I'll ask it anyway. Has anyone had an abnormal EKG? And if so, are you able to still get your medical? My primary care doctor just told me I have an abnormal EKG and need to see a cardiologist for further testing. I'm otherwise healthy. And gosh, I'm only 37! Am I really that old and decrepid? Well, obviously if further testing shows a serious condition, I'll understand if I'm not allowed to fly. But I've heard that abnormal EKGs are not super rare, and not necessarily an indication of something really bad. Anyway, just wondering if someone else may have had this and is still flying. I have to wait until next week for my appointment. Thanks in advance.
  7. I know. I'm just thinking about the possibility of longer flights (out of town) once in a while, and at a cheaper rate...
  8. I know there are some dual-rated pilots on this forum (fixed-wing and rotor-wing). I currently have my commercial helicopter license but am thinking about getting into fixed wing too. I'd like to find a forum as good as this one, but for fixed wing. Does anyone have any favorites? Thanks
  9. I've heard of a few people who got jobs with 200 hours and no CFI. They weren't people that I ever knew personally, but I heard from other people. So I don't know how true it is, and couldn't get any details, like who the operator is or how they got the job. I think for one guy, he had done most of his training in the R44 instead of the R22, and the operator was using the R44. I don't know if he personally knew the operator. I suspect he must have. Another guy, I heard got a job with law enforcement. Does this make sense? Has anyone one this forum gotten a job with only 200 hours - and NOT having been a personal friend or acquaintence of the operator? I'm also wondering, do any operators ever put low-time pilots in the cockpit with the "real" pilot, letting the low-time guy get experience with the high-time pilot there at controls to be sure everything is OK? In a situation like this, I wouldn't expect the low-time pilot to be paid much (if anything) since he's basically just training, but it would be free hours anyway. The operator would benefit as well, by having a possible successor or back-up pilot who would be intimately familiar with the particular ship and operation. This wouldn't work in certain operations, such as where all space needs to be utilized by passengers or cargo. But I suspect there are operations where there could be two pilots, without loss of revenue. As a 200-hour non-CFI pilot, I would be interested in possible alternatives to the CFI route - if they exist.
  10. Hey dlo, one more thing which relates to Joker's first comment about looking at the Hobbs meter at the beginning of the flight. This should be the Hobbs number recorded by the last guy who flew. School policy is to record the 1/10 hour that is just starting to come down on the Hobbs meter. This works if everyone does this consitently. My instructor always makes sure we adhere to this policy (as we should) but seems like there have been a bunch of times when the guy before me did not do this. Instead, if the 1/10 number has not come all the way down, then he does not record it. For example, when the last guy shuts the heli down, the Hobbs reads 407 with the 3/10 just starting to come down. He should record 407.3 but instead he records 407.2. That means my starting time for billing purposes (and logging purposes) is 407.2 but it should be 407.3. Even though you an extra 0.1 hour, it doesn't represent any proficiency gained. The whole point of training is to gain proficiency, so why short-change yourself. If it happens only once or twice, no big deal, but over the course of 100+ training flights it could add up. Just something to be aware of. They should make digital Hobbs meters, similar to the digital odometers in modern cars, which would leave no doubt as to the 1/10 figure upon shutdown.
  11. As a student right now, I definitely understand the idea of keeping training costs to a minimum. But really, the portion of training costs that covers the CFI's wage is only a small portion of what students pay. The majority of training cost is the helicopter time. Figure for an hour of training, a student pays about $220 per hour (give or take depending on the school). That includes the helicopter plus the CFI. And figure you can rent a helicopter for solo time for around $200 per hour (give or take...) That means the student pays only about $20 per hour for the CFI, representing less than 10% of the total cost. Seems like there could (should?) be a wage hike for the CFI's of, say $10-15 per hour. Not that this would make CFI's rich, but it would definitely help make a living, while increasing the student's total training costs only by $2,000-$3,000 for 200 hours of training. Again, I'm a struggling student and don't want increased costs. But being a student is temporary, whereas being a CFI could be a long-term career, if not for the lousy pay. For me, if I had the choice of: pay $60K for 200 hours of training and then be a CFI making $20 per hour, or pay $65K for 200 hours of training and then be a CFI making $35 per hour... I'd choose the latter. Unfortunately, if flight school owners knew students were willing to pay a little bit more for training, they probably wouldn't give it to the CFI's, but would just keep it for themselves, claiming they don't make enough either.
  12. B206- How about the weather? I lived in that area (Phoenix metro) for 8 years - before I got into aviation. I know that October thru April is probably great for flying, but I don't know about the summer months. When it's super hot every single day in June, July, and August (like 105-110 for daily high temps), what do you do? Can you still fly? Is it safe? And if so, is it torture?(!) By the way, I understand that most ares of the country will have their bad season(s) so I'm not trying to put AZ down. Excluding summer, it's pretty awesome, and I will probably move back there at some point.
  13. I had hoped to go from zero to CFII in 6 months or maybe a little longer. I had heard of people doing it before, so I figured if I don't work and just train full time then I should be able to do it. But no matter how dedicated you are, there are things beyond your control that delay you. For me, I started out doing a flight plus ground each day. For a beginner, this is plenty. And it consumes more of the day than you think when you factor in commuting time to the airport. A month or two later I wanted to pick up the pace, but got delayed by the following: * instructor not available as much due to a week's vacation here and a day or two there for whatever * lots of bad weather during late winter/early spring grounding the helicopters * had the worst flu ever which lasted for a couple weeks and couldn't get out of bed, much less fly a helicopter * miscellaneous personal things coming up periodically which somehow eat up a whole day's time * a little vacation time of my own * cancelled lessons due to someone else needing the helicopter for a checkride (happened to me about 6 times) * having to wait to get your own checkride More recently I've been delayed by these: * helcopters all booked up (too many other students) * instructors all booked up (too many other students) * helicopters down for maintenance For me, it's already been 8 months since I started training and I'm now projecting probably another 4 months to go. If I have to work again now, of course it will end up taking longer.
  14. After reading the posts in the ENG section, there were a couple people that asked about pay for ENG pilots, but none of the replies showed any actual hourly rates (or salaries). I think one reply said something like "$160 for 9.5 hours", but that would equal only $16.84/hour. Is that accurate? I'm interested in this type of work once I get through training and build the hours needed, so of course I want to know what kind of living I might make at this. Any ENG pilots willing to say what their actaul pay rate is? Or, any operators willing to say what they actually pay their ENG pilots? Thanks
  15. On one hand I agree with you. I mean, 200 hours really is not that much if you're going to have the lives of other people in your hands. On the other hand, think about flight instruction. A CFI has only 200 (or maybe 300) hours when starting to teach, plus being in the less stable R22. And to make it worse, think about the T-bar cyclic. When I fly (I'm a student), I have the cyclic resting on my leg. Since it's like a see-saw, the other side of the cyclic (for the CFI) is way up in the air in front of him. I haven't been in the CFI's position yet, but it sure looks awkward for him, and yet we rely on them to guide us through maneuvers and take over flying (if necessary). In other words, it seems like flight instruction is more advanced than just passenger-transport. Between the two, I think I would be more confident flying an R-44 with passengers (for transportation) than flying an R-22 with a student (for instruction). (But yeah, considering how this business works, it does seem like he got lucky.)
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