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Everything posted by HH60Pilot

  1. I know of a couple of pilots that AirLog has picked up with less than 1,000 hours. The company would still prefer to see 1,000 hours, but if the canididate meets the qualifications and does well during the interview process, then the company will probably extend an offer. Doug
  2. First, let me say that High Sierra Helicopters is still in business and is not going out of business. Granted, we have had some unexpected bumps in the road, including the deliberate sabotage of not one, but two different helicopters. The first incident took the aircraft out of commission for six weeks; the second resulted in almost a week’s loss of flying. Needless to say, being a single ship operation, not flying for more than six weeks, along with additional expenses created by the sabotage, put the business into a financially difficult position. It would have been easy after the first incident to simply put my hands in the air and give up, walk away, and file for bankruptcy, leaving the students to deal with the aftermath. For those of you that haven’t noticed, that did not happen and I pushed forward dealing with the situation as best as possible given what I was left with. The first incident occurred during New Years weekend 2006 and the second incident occurred in July, eight days after the Schweizer arrived at High Sierra Helicopters. Just so you know, neither incident was covered by the insurance companies. Secondly, I would like to address the posting that was started on VR by one of the students. The student was given erroneous information from what should have been a reliable third party that led him to believe that I had left town and moved to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the third party only found an address for someone with the same name as me and didn’t verify that there was another individual with the same exact name, first, middle and last. I can understand the student’s concern as anyone in his position would be concerned if I had indeed skipped town, as suggested by some, and moved to Las Vegas. Why mail sent to my home address was returned to him as undeliverable is not known to me, but I’ll be checking with the Post Office as to why this occurred. The third subject that I would like to address is the eagerness of some individuals to jump onto the “Let’s run Doug into the ground” bandwagon. These individuals do not know me, other than as a member of this board, do not have all the facts or seem to care to wait to have them before attempting to be judge, jury, and executioner. Some have even taken it upon themselves to send rather nasty emails to me after the thread was closed by a board moderator. I find it a rather distressing statement on humankind that others feel that they have some inalienable right to do their damnedest to try to tear down someone that they do not even know, or have ever been slighted by. Some people seemed upset by the fact that I didn’t immediately post a reply to the thread when it first started. I guess they have never been on a road trip with extremely limited internet access. Any replies to the posting in my absence by others attempting to convey my current situation was initiated by those individuals and were not done at my request, as suggested by Bristol in another thread he felt compelled to start after this one was closed. Speaking of Bristol, he is correct in stating that my discussion regarding the business is between myself and the students, and that conversation regarding the business is not meant for public consumption by posting it here on VR. However, I am happy to say that I have been able to discuss the current situation with most all of the students and while a few have chosen to continue their training elsewhere, there is no mass exodus of students from High Sierra Helicopters. Even those that are going elsewhere, all have left open the possibility of returning to train with High Sierra Helicopters in the future. Also, those that are leaving will get a full refund of the money that they are owed. The next thing that I wish to do is to address a couple of the specific statements made in this thread and they concern my former business partner who has decided to post what amounts to nothing more than lies and half-truths. This is even though he has been warned in a court of law against making such statements regarding myself and High Sierra Helicopters. His comment to the student that he is owed $55,000.00 by me couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, his insinuation that I pilfered $19,000.00 from the company is simply his inability to remember which bills the $19,000.00 was used to pay. Was he removed from the business account, yes he was, but only on advice from legal counsel after he threatened to remove all funds from the business account and return home to Seattle. Something that many may not know is that if you loan money to a business, even if you are a part owner of the business, the money then belongs to the business and is no longer yours to do with as you please, including removing it from the business account just because you choose to. The last thing that I will address is the current status of the business. I am still interviewing for a new flight instructor. We have been without one since Bob took a job in the GOM two months ago. When we operated the R22, I received upwards of 8-10 resumes a week of flight instructors seeking employment. I have received next to nil resumes since switching to the Schweizer and the vast majority of those are from instructors with zero hours in the Schweizer. Unfortunately, the insurance company has a minimum 25 hours make and model requirement before a CFI can be hired. This has made finding an instructor to hire a rather large challenge. As far as a helicopter goes, the leasing company did retrieve the ship from High Sierra Helicopters. This was done out of the owners concern with the troubles in finding a new flight instructor and the minimum monthly amount due on the lease whether the hours are flown or not. I met with the owner of the leasing company yesterday and he reaffirmed his commitment to supply High Sierra Helicopters with another helicopter once I have hired a new flight instructor and have things moving forward again. The new facility that was originally supposed to have been constructed some three years ago is finally under construction and we should be moved into it in the next couple of months. We will have a classroom, space for the simulator, hangar space for helicopters, and shared briefing rooms with the fixed-wing operator that is constructing the new facility. As for my taking a job in the GOM, I have and this was done to ensure that there is money coming in to be able to keep the business going and to further ensure that no student of High Sierra Helicopters will lose any money prepaid for training not received. Will being away in the GOM three weeks at a time be a difficult thing to do with the business and family being located in California? Yes it will, but I will do what it takes to make certain that the business continues. One last thing regarding the business, I have been moving away from the prepaid block time and to a pay-as-you-go method of payment. It became apparent many months ago that the pay-as-you-go method would be best for both the students and the business. All current students will be converted and all new students will use this method. I realize that this has been a rather lengthy reply, and more detailed that I had originally planned on it being, but I felt that this needed to be said. My request is that this will be the last thing that anyone feels that they need to post on this subject and that if someone feels the need to say something further that you don’t sit behind your keyboard, but instead you pick up the phone as I would be more than happy to discuss this subject with you in a civilized manner. Doug
  3. If you look at what the intented use of the helo is for, than the R44 would be a great ship to use. I don't seem to remember the original poster asking what ship to use for logging support. Most every ship has a mission that it is best suited for, and IMHO, the R44 is probably the best ship for the mission in question by the original poster, especially when factoring in DOC and fixed costs. Just me and my two-cents again. Doug
  4. Delorean, I was at the safety school in 2004 as and told pretty much the same as you were, that it was more an idea from Frank than the FAA. Doug
  5. 500E, Good question as I have never heard or seen anything as to what the financial consequences are if you don't agree to the addendum. I do not know if there is an additional fee attached to the purchase price if the buyer does not agree to sign the addendum, or if there is a discount taken off of the list price if the buyer does. Maybe there is someone that has purchased an R44 since RHC has come up with the addendum that would be willing to shed some light on the subject. I'm also curious as to what happens to the financial consideration if the buyer then sells the R44 to someone that doesn't agree to the addendum. Does RHC then take the original purchaser to court to reclaim what was given in financial consideration on the original purchase? Inquiring minds want to know. Doug
  6. Hey Gary, The scenic tour portion of the business with the R44 I got out of last December and we switched from the R22 to the 300C at the flight school in July. Doug
  7. As was previously said, Robinson wasn't forced to install a governor and it was an option early on. The governor will stabilize the rotor RPM are the proper setting, the same way that a turbine engine keeps the rotor RPM at the proper setting. So, it's not the higher inertia rotor system that is keeping the pilot of a high inertia helicopter from getting into a low rotor situation, it is the design of the helicopter and engine that keeps it from happening. To me, not having a governor is not a big deal as the first helicopter I learned to fly had a manual throttle (TH-55) and until someone invented the governor for the helicopter, all helicopters had manual throttles. Once a pilot has suffecient hours in a helicopter that does not have a governor installed, the pilot will be making the minor inputs needed as a matter of course and without any coherent thought needed about the subject as it becomes second nature. So, now your point...While you call the Schweizer a low inertia system, it has IMHO significantly more inertia than the R22 has (I'm sure one of the engineering types on the board can quote the numbers). I find the 300 much easier to autorotate than the R22 could ever be and the rotor RPM to be much more stable than the R22. I simply lower the collective, split the needles and monitor the rotor RPM. I may need to make one small check up on the collective after a bit to keep the rotor in the green, but there are no large or quick changes in the rotor RPM that can be quite common with the R22. The Schweizer 300/Hughes 269/TH-55 is such a solid and stable helicopter for autorotations that power recoveries were not taught at Ft. Rucker. We learned how to do an autorotational descend out in the practice area, but all autos at the field were full down from the beginning. I don't know of too many R22 CFI's that are willing to take new students and start teaching them full down autos from the start. Also, you can get a governor on the Schweizer. So, is SFAR 73 needed, the answer is yes. Simply look at the accident statistics of the period prior to SFAR 73 and the stats since and I think you will agree that SFAR 73 is creating the results that it was designed for. Don't get me wrong, I'm not Robbie bashing and I think that the R22 is a great helicopter for what Frank intended it to be...a personal use aircraft. Just my two-cents. Doug Added: I forgot to mention that if SFAR 73 wasn't such a good idea, then why does Frank require an addendum to the R44 sales agreement requiring that SFAR 73 be adhered to and that if the owner of the R44 sells the helicopter, that they agree to obtain in writing from the new owner that the new owner will operate the aircraft in accordance with the agreement. I just wonder how you can agree in advance that if you ever sell your helicopter (which is your right to do) that the buyer will agree to anything that Frank wants signed. For those of you that haven't seen this addendum to the sales agreement, click here to read it.
  8. IMHO, a R44 Raven II would be the best bird to go with. I operated one at high altitude, 6,200' field elevation, with DA's approaching 10,000' in the summertime and was quite impressed with the performance. We could load all seats and while we did not take on full fuel, we had plenty of power to carry 90 minutes of fuel without a problem. We were doing tours and pulled 19-20 inches of manifold pressure to cruise at 75-80 knots. Something to remember, just because a helicopter has a turbine engine, it doesn't mean that it has good hot/high altitude capabilities. While I too love the smell of kerosene in the morning, the cost of maintaining a 30 year old aircraft can be quite substantial. And, as you pointed out, insurance can be quite a pain in the posterior. Insurance through Pathfinder for the R44 with a hull of $300,000 was about $14k per year. A flight school owner that I know gave up on his B206 and one of the main reasons was the $60k per year the insurance was costing him. So, unless you have a pretty large piggy bank, which you may have...the R44 Raven II would be what I would go with. Just my two-cents. Doug
  9. Don't forget that many people have to get student loans to pay for college and that will add a considerable amount to the total cost of a bachelor's degree. Especially when you factor in the additional expense incurred when many students take closer to five years to finish their four year degree. I'm not 100% in agreement with your claiming of an apples to coconuts comparison. Many degrees are very specific in what they will do for you in opening doors in your career. I have a brother with a PhD in geology and it has served him greatly in his pursuit as a research scientist, but he could never be a band teacher with his degree. Just the same as my majoring in music would allow him to do his job. Someone with a degree in computer engineering would find it difficult to get a job as a registered nurse. While there are some college degrees that may do more in opening specific doors, having a degree in a specialized area is analogous to training for a specific vocation (ie helicopter pilot). You are correct in your stating a CFI ticket is only good for one thing. However, your statement about it only getting you an apprenticeship is not true in all cases or all countries. The insurance companies in the United States have it set up that about the only job that you can get to start with is a CFI. However, other countries, such as Canada have higher requirements before one can instruct others. The old requirement of 1,000 hours to get any job other than being a CFI is going away as well. I just lost a CFII that was working for me to a company on the gulf with a little over 700 hours total helicopter time. There are two operators on the gulf coast that have lowered their requirements to Part 135 minimums (500 hours, 100 hours cross country with 25 hours of that at night), and I have also seen other job postings recently with the 500 hour minimum as well. Of course, if you are looking for a opportunity to use any degree you have to be a pilot and want to do something other than be a CFI to start with, then go fly for Uncle Sam. The military doesn't care what your degree is in, you need a degree to be an officer and you need to be an officer to be a pilot. In fact, if you don't have a degree, no worries as you can still fly as a Warrant Officer in the US Army, which is actually a better deal for those that want to fly a helicopter in the Army instead of flying a desk most of the time. Doug
  10. Current Job-Flight school owner/head chef and bottle washer. Current Helicopter-300C Past Jobs-USAF Combat Search and Rescue Pilot, F-4 Phantom Weapons System Officer, plus a bit of time as a commercial pilot doing mostly tours and photo work and a very short stint doing ENG (company that owned the bird lost the contract just as I finished my check out). Past Helicopters-TH-55, UH-1H, HH-3E, HH-60G, B47, R22, R44, and a bit of time in the AS350B2, AH-1 Cobra, and the MH-53E Additional Info. (i.e. A/P)-Five years experience as a radar tech working on the F-106 Delta Dart and the F-4 Phantom, Private Pilot ASEL Past flight school-First learned to fly fixed-wing at Fresno Skyriders Aero Club the summer after I finished high school. USAF Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather AFB Class 85-08, USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training-Helicopter at Ft Rucker AL Class 88-05
  11. Fry, I do agree with you that many people paying money to SSH will never see a career as a professional helicopter pilot, the issue with Universal is something that I am unaware of and I will not comment on that. You are correct in stating that a motivated student does not need a large school such as SSH to complete their training. Although, I have a feeling that it is only the highly motivated ones that are getting through SSH and getting their ratings. Of course, we having to be careful in noting that there are those that pay money to learn to fly and for different reasons never realize a career as a pilot. How many people reading this post and have a college degree are actually working in a career that they earned their degree in? I majored in Music Education and have never been a music teacher. In fact, it's been years since I've done anything professionally as a musician. While we also talk about the cost of learning to fly and what a shame it is that some people pay a great deal of money and never have a career as a pilot, the cost of a college education can be quite pricey as well. My daughter is a freshman in college and with tuition, room & board, books, and other expenses, the total cost is $20,000 per year for a total of $80,000 for four years and there is no guarantee that she will ever have a career in her chosen major of Business Communications. So, I agree that it is a bad deal that there are flight schools out there that are more interested in getting a students money than the success of the student, aviation (fixed-wing and rotary-wing) is not the only career path that people spend good money to get into and never have a career in. Doug
  12. A salary of $1k per week sounds a bit high, especially when you have weeks that you might barely fly due to weather. Granted, you could do some ground training to get billable hours for the school, but it just seems a bit high at $52k a year for an instructor gig. Just my two-cents. Doug
  13. Joker, I have to agree with you, "for which a pilot is rated," is the crux of the interpretation. I am a rated helicopter pilot, so should I not be able to do a BFR in any helicopter under 12,500 MTOW. After I retired from the Air Force Reserves, I did a BFR in a Bell 47, a model that I had not flown before with no concern about whether it was legal or not. SFAR 73 is an endorsement, not a rating, so if the person is a rated helicopter pilot, then why could a person not do it in an R22 if they had not flown one previously. Would one need just the awareness training and the logbook endorsement? Would one need the 10 hours of dual before they could do a BFR in an R22? At what point is a rated helicopter pilot "Rated" in the R22 such that they can legally do a BFR in one? In all the times I've read SFAR 73, I've never seen anything listed for hours required prior to accomplishing a BFR in one. Seems that someone forgot to cover this situation when writing SFAR 73....Frank, are you listening? Doug
  14. Dave, Send me an email at doug@highsierrahelicopters.com with your contact information and I'll be happy to fill you in on all the things that I have learned (and some the hard way) since opening for business almost 18 months ago. Doug
  15. Fry, I'm not sure where you are looking at, but I just checked the top pay at the big helicopter operators and most of them were in the $80k to $90k range and more than one was topping $100k per year. Granted, you have to be a helicopter pilot to earn that pay, but you may want to recheck your facts and take a look at Helicopter Payscales. And for career advancement, a quick look at JSFirm shows over 60 job postings for helicopter pilots on this one site alone. Many of the companies posting have multiple openings for the single posting on the site. Last I heard, Air-Log was some 30 pilots short and most of the big companies are in similar positions. So, at least to me, it seems that career advancements aren't an issue. Of course, you do have to be a professional helicopter pilot to have any career advancement in the field. Doug
  16. Call the guys at Marpat at (304) 752-0094, they are probably the best deal that you are going to find. Doug
  17. I think that the real question is, "Why would anyone in their right mind paint an R22 in this manner to begin with???" Just a thought...Doug
  18. The other saying I like..."There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots." I've been flying airplanes since I was 17. I was selected to be an F-4 Phantom Weapons Systems Officer at the ripe old of age of 21 and spend 3 years in the back seat of the jet with my fangs in the floorboards, my hair on fire and doing the speed of heat and I loved every minute of it. Then I was selected for helicopter pilot training and fell in love with helicopters. I've done all sorts of things with helicopters and have loved every minute of it as well. However, as I get older (turned 45 earlier this month) I have noticed that there are times that I am quite content with exploring the middle of the envelope. Not that I still don't enjoy 180 autos and aerobatics in a fixed-wing, I have found that while flying a 182 straight and level at 7,500 feet is not as demanding as aerial refueling an HH-3E Jolly Green Giant on NVG's, it is still flying and in the end, very rewarding. Doug
  19. Doing hovering autos in the 269/300 is a bit easier than in the R22 for a new student. There is more inertia in the rotor system and having struts on the skids can help take a bit of the bump out if you don't do it just right. However, if you land a Schweizer from a hovering auto on the skid toes or heels, you are going to find that you are probably going to get a bit of a bounce as well. If you land skids level, you should not have to worry about entering ground resonance as there is little chance of bumping one of the blades out of phase. Doug
  20. I couldn't have said it better if I said it myself. Doug
  21. Mike, Don't get me wrong, low-level is my favorite part of flying. My concern would be if this was a low time pilot showing off for the camera. Even high time guys have been killed showing off for the camera. When I was in the F-4, Tactical Air Command prohibited cameras from being carried by aircrews in the cockpit. This was due in part to pilots being preoccupied because of the camera, part due to pilots showing off for the camera, and in part due to a fatal mid-air collision in an A-7 fourship formation flight. The pilot of an A-7 was rejoining on the formation when he ran into the formation. The accident board determined that this was due to the fact that the visual cues were not correct because the lens made the other aircraft appear farther away than what they really were. Helliboy, If this was a 200 hour CFI out with someone on an introductory lesson would you feel the same? If this was a 200 hour CFI out with someone on an introductory lesson and it ended in a fatal accident would you feel the same? If this was a 10,000 hour ag pilot and the flight ended in a fatal accident would you feel the same? If you owned the R22 and it was a low time CFI working for you and putting your aircraft and business at risk would you feel the same? If this was a low time CFI working for me, he'd be looking for the unemployment office real damn quick, and he would find that his claim would be rejected based on his actions as his firing would be justified. Just something to think about for all you low time CFI's that are thinking that this type of flying would be fun. How would your employer feel about it and how much longer would you have your job is your boss found out that you were doing flights such as this with their helicopter? Just my two-cents. Doug
  22. Just curious what gauges that I need to see to be able to disect the video. From my experience with flying low level I don't need gauges to tell what he was doing and if you need to be looking at the panel when you are flying that low, then you shouldn't be flying that low to begin with. Comparing the risks for this type of flight with the risks to driving your car or walking outside is mixing apples and oranges...unless you drive your car on a snowy day at 90MPH. Should he be reported to the FAA for this? Dunno, but I think that he would be hard pressed to say that if he had an engine failure as he approached the bridge or what looked like pipelines across the river, that he would be able to maneuver the helicopter as to not cause damage to them (FAR 91.119(d)). Yes, I flew low-level in the military all the time, but that was what we were trained to do. Unless the pilot flying the video is ex-military, I would bet that no-one trained him/her to do this. If he had to make a sudden hard banked turn to avoid a birdstrike and had not been properly trained for low-level flight such as this, then I think that he would wind up being another accident report for me to read on the NTSB website. Even if he is a high time R22 pilot, if he hasn't been properly trained to fly in this regime, then he is an accident waiting to happen. At times in the video he appears to be 5-10'AGL. Can any of you tell me without looking it up, at what angle of bank in an R22 does the blades become lower than the lowest skid? How many of you that think this video looks neat are skilled enough to make a hard banked turn at that altitude without a blade hitting the ground? This is one reason that we had a 50' floor when flying low-level (not to be confused with NOE). Also, the angle of bank when the H-60 blades are the lowest point on the helicopter was a common question from an examiner during a tactical checkride. Looking at the video, this was being flown from the left seat. Was this a low time instructor showing off for his/her student? Was it two high time ag pilots out for a joy ride? Not sure, but my one big question is would this pilot have been flying in this manner if the video camera was not there? If the answer is "No," then he shouldn't have been flying this way just because the camera was there. If this was nothing more than a joy ride and there was an accident, and the video was recovered, I think that the media would have had a field day with this one and the industry as a whole would have suffered a black eye as a result. If you need to be flying this way to complete the job, that is one thing, but even with as many hours as I have, I'd be hard pressed to justify me flying in this manner just for fun. Just my two-cents...and I'll get off my soapbox now. Doug
  23. Mike, I just wanted you (and everyone else) to know that I truly enjoyed our conversation this afternoon. I can now say that I know where you are coming from with your posts and I will not be posting anything in regards to your posts from here on out. I know that you are simply wanting to share your passion of flight with anyone and everyone. I recommend to all that are skeptical to give Mike a call and see that he is genuinely sincere in his offer to come and fly with him and that it is not simply him trying to get some free advertising for his business. I will be in touch and am looking forward to a long friendship that will last many, many years into the future. Doug
  24. Mike, With your permission, I'd like to give you a call and we can chat on the phone instead of putting everything out for all to see. Plus, it'd be quicker and easier than all the dang typing on the keyboard. Doug
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