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About TechDev1

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  • Birthday 10/12/1962

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    Clear Channel Radio

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  • Location
    Ogallala, NE KOGA
  • Interests
    After flying - who has money left for "interests"?
  1. Yes I have and I really liked the 280FX I had. Enstroms are good birds. Unfortunately I have never seen one for sale for less than the 550k which I can't afford. I have also considered the S330/333. A 330 that had been upgraded with the 333 blades and transmission was for sale last month for 330k which was tempting but it appears to have sold.
  2. Yeah - me too. The 500E is my dream helicopter. Someday.... I bounced maintaining a MD or Bell turbine off of our local A&P and he just gulped. After a short conversation it became pretty clear that he doesn't really want to do so. He has heard a lot of tales about how complex they are. Oh well - As Dirty Harry said "A man has to know his limitations." The R44 perked him up though. He thought it would be fun to maintain one of those. I am beginning to believe that the turbine is just not in the cars right now. Because of budgetary issues I need to get a pretty old one which would be harder to maintain. I don't have experienced maintenance on the field or even within a couple of hundred miles. Insurance is 50 to 100% more and it burns twice the fuel. So any fool can see that the turbine is the right helicopter! No, No - I mean the piston. JP4 in the morning will have to wait awhile longer or I guess I could always join the Army again.
  3. Thank you for all of the great input. Insurance for the turbines is more expensive, according to the quotes I have received, but not as horrible as I feared. I have been quoted 16-20K for a 300C piston worth 175k; 22-25k for a R44 worth 300k; and 26-32k for either a MD500 or BH206 worth 375k. Interestingly enough the quote for the MD was slightly less than the 206. I would have guessed the other way. I would need to get 25 hours of dual in the turbines and take a transition course. I have to take the factory R44 course and 20 hours of dual in the R44. For curiosity sakes I inquired what it would cost to do part 91 tours in the turbine and was quoted 68-80k!!! I sincerely feel for you who run helicopters on commercial operations! (I do have a couple hundred of hours in a turboprop fixed wing and I have been with the insurance agent for a lot of years which may have helped reduce the delta to going to a turbine.) I have spent a great deal of time reading through the forums and it appears that I may not need turbine time to one day fly tours, especially if I get over 1000 TT in helicopters. That would definitely lean things towards the R44 as I know it will be, by far, the cheapest aircraft to own and run. I have done some looking at the Alouette II and III. It seems a bit too good to be true. It appears as if you can buy one for 100 - 250k with decent times and the III has great high and hot specs. However I have learned that there usually is a reason for an airplane type to be much cheaper than their popular counterparts - I assume the same is true here. Why are they so cheap? Hard to find or expensive parts? Poor safety record? Poor performance? My research so far seems OK in the safety and performance areas though. There has to be something I am missing. Kevin
  4. Same here. This is definitely one of the better aviation sites on the net. Kevin
  5. Having about 2300 TT in mostly MEL fixed wing and just over 100 TT in an Enstrom 280FX I have decided that fixed wing cross-country flying is too darn boring and I am going to devote my time to the helicopter world and move up to a 4 place helicopter with more speed and power. (Plus my flying missions have changed from lots of business trips to both coasts with several people to mostly local or short flights. The utility of the helicopter is great for my wife's ranching family and some good friends of mine in the banking world.) Budget constrains me to the 70's era MD500 or BH206 in the turbine world or a relatively new R44 staying with pistons. I normally fly by myself, love long cross-country flying low and slow (I flew the Enstrom from Nebraska to Las Vegas and back across the mountains and had a great time) and love to introduce people to the wonderful world of helicopters. I would love something that can do 110 knots or more, has enough power to lift 3 or 4 people from a 3300' airport that gets to 6000' DA in the summer, is fun to fly and has as low as maintenance as possible. I am not a total newbie to the helicopter world - I was a FE on Chinooks in the Army and owned the Enstrom for a year+. I have also owned several different business twin and single fixed wing airplanes. While not timid in heart I have become a lot wiser in the head and would like to get the opinion of those of you who have the experience. Namely: There are several 70's MD500s for sale in the 300k to 400k range. Some actually seem to have pretty good times. The 70's BH206 birds have a lot more TT and usually worse component times than the MDs. But I owned a 65 Beech 18 that had the the not so low TT of 7700 hours that was absolutely the best, most reliable airplane I have ever owned. So - does the same hold true for helicopters? Is a 206 with 10,000 TT or more but with decent times still a good bird? How does it compare to a MD500 with 4000 TT and pretty good remaining times? From a flying standpoint - Would you suggest the MD or the Bell for my first turbine? Which has lower maintenance and operational costs? A near new R44 is not to be overlooked but I really feel the need to smell some JP4 at dawn again. However there are actually a few minutes per day that I actually think with my upper brain which tells me that the R44 is probably the best answer. Anybody have any thoughts on this? I have a good day job right now but a dream of mine is to fly tours in my golden years somplace close to where my daughter decides to go to college or settle down. (I love to take people up and show them the world from 300 or 500'.) It seems to me that getting some turbine time while I have a day job would be better for this goal but the R44 is getting more and more popular with the tour people. However it seems that the MD and 206 series are still the market leader. Which do you think would be better to build several hundred hours in - a turbine or a R44? Insurance is a real PITA but seems to be relatively equal for all three. The R44 would probably be far less maintenance. The MD is the fastest and appears to offer the greatest turbine bang for the buck in my price range. The Bell appears to be the more mainstream choice. What would you do? Many thanks, Kevin
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