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I have done a fair amount of research on schools, the best I can anyhow. But, I have been to several schools that I liked and they all have their strong and weak points. I have seen "lists" that will help you ask the right questions when looking for a school but, and its hard to put a percentage on this, but I would say one of the most important aspects of the training is the person instructing you. I think we can all agree that is what will make or break someones attitude towards the school. I will do my best to find the right school( I think I have already) and simply hope that I get a first rate instructor.

In my "trucker" days, I had a pretty much worthless trainer when I first began. You get paid more to be a trainer so many drivers became instructors. Anyway, when I went on my own I had to figure SO much stuff on my own which I'm glad I can, but if he would have taken the time to show the "finer points", I would have had an easier time starting off. Trust me, its all the little stuff that takes so long to learn. A trainer can never teach it all, obviously, but they sure can have an influence on giving you a good head start. Well, I might add that many times if a student simply watches what a good instructor does he can learn that way also.Not everyone is cut out to be a good instructor, even good pilots. I just hope this time around I get one that has the desire to help pass along plenty of strong knowledge and/or at least has the knowledge to pass along.LOL

Note: I think my truck driver instructor "might" have been the most boring person I have ever met. That didn't help matters. He may have not even known the "finer points" himself which I think may have been the case.


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So, would you reccomend "Rotors of the Rockies" LOL. Just kidding. Sounds like a great place to be. I may actually have to check it out. While I am overseas right now "Home" is Tucson, Az and while I do love Az I also want to live in other places. I do know that I don't want to train anywhere on the east coast. Personal reasons really, even grew up in Md, but I simply have no desire to live there(East coast). No Florida either. Then there is the Deep south. I like it there but since I plan(whatever that means LOL) to work the GOM I don't need to live there right away. I met JEHH who I liked, in Texas, but really, for me, the whole living in Texas just doesn't do it for me. I'm I picky?...you bet. I'm really an outdoors person so I really like the idea of Oregon/Washington. I went to Glacier Helcopter school on an R&R and really liked it. Out of all the schools it just felt like the right one. I will go a second time and see if I still feel the same way. But, I may check out Rotors of the Rockies also. I like R22's but I'm not opposed to training in a Schweizer either. Probably like it better but I won't speak bad of 22's because I like them. Anyway, Colorado does have a "few" outdoorsey stuff I guess (LOL) so it could be a good fit. I'm not really into the cold much though. I did 11 yrs as a "Trucker" so I have a feel for every place and Denver can be pretty rotten in the winter. Yes Washington gets cold but not like Denver. Hmm, it is a thought though. And while I don't want to get into the whole debate thing I think more schools use R22's which if I didn't get hired on as an instructor at the school I went to it might be easier a find a job flying 22's. Though, for me I'm really not going to sweat it that much because I have always had good luck with jobs. Why would this be any different? Unless, of course I sucked at being a Helo Pilot. Good thing for me is I love research. Its like a hobby!

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You know, this whole "choosing a school" stuff can be tough. Its like when you walk into Walmart and all you need is deodorant. Pretty simple one would think. But NOOO....there has to be 57 different scents then there's roll on, dry, the inbetween and next thing you know you've been standing there 25 minutes sniffing and trying to choose and finally you say the "hell with it" and just grab one. Anyway, I had pretty much picked Glacier Aviation....but then you come along and it sounds like Rotor of the Rockies is a great place. Actually, quite a few people have expressed many good things about them...I haven't heard anything bad about Glacier but no one has much to say about them. But you see, here's the thing, and it is important to me though for others it may not be, but I want to enjoy the area I live in. I mean, its going to be around 2 years that I will be whereever I go to school and work...providing all goes well. Actually, the only thing Colorado doesn't have that Washington does is the ocean and I REALLY want to do some sea kayaking and scuba diving off the coast. What does this have to do with school? Nothing really, but its for me to decide what is best for me. Anyway, here is what's going to happen. I will visit "R of the R" when I come home for R&R and get a feel for the area and go up in a Schwiezer to see what I think. It would be nice to go up in a 22 and then a Schweizer back to back to see the differences. Like a say, I'd probably like the Schweizer better but I don't know how much difference it will make to me. Well, the fact is I still have time to look around. Depending if this contract I'm on is renewed will depend on my plans. I'd love to get to school ASAP but paying the house off is very realistic also if I can stay out here in lovely Iraq a little longer. Anyway, I always enjoy reading your post on the school. I do appreciate the feedback. Oh hey, I'd like to say that I happy that your wife is standing behinding you on this. Good to hear. That has to make a world of difference. Oh, don't think your missing much by not going to Boston, though the Traffic is a real treat I hear! LOL Matt

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to interject a bit. Currently being a student, I would like to give a bit of advise to fellow students and their CFI's. I have been through around six different instructors and two schools in my short amount of time, about 50 hrs. First to students; USE YOUR GUT. If you feel that you have an instructor that is just there for time, ask others around that person (other CFI's or some of their other students) and see what they think. Sometimes it can be hard to do, but its your time, knowledge and above all YOUR MONEY! Talk to the school owner/rep. to see if there may be something they can do. I absolutely agree you need to fly with other instructors from time to time, if even for a .5, to get their input on where your at and to quiz you to see if your instructor is doing a good job. Now to you CFI's. Act like you give sH#*! Remember, you where at that point yourself. Try to be a better instructor than what you had. Being in a trade that requires me to train others daily, I know the difficulties, BELIEVE ME I KNOW. Just remember good instructors equal good students, usually. If you have a student that is frustrated, sit down and discuss the issues. Perhaps one of you may not realize one of you are expecting one thing and getting another. It goes both ways. We are all in this together, so lets help each other out to make this industry better and stronger. RkyMtnHI see you this weekend. Thanks

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