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Helicopter rental after training!? Does your school rent out it's helos?


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At Rotors, a private pilot may, after he or she gets their ppl, come in at any time and rent a 300 or R44 for the hour or the day. Some have even taken the helos on long cross countries and over-nights (mostly with a CFI along).

 

Many come in right after their check ride and take their families or friends for a helo ride. (how do you all feel about this issue?)

 

I suppose, that most are still "students" as they work toward their goals to become a professional pilot.. but, some never plan to get any rating over ppl so they technically wouldn't be considered "students" any longer??

 

Some of Rotors instructors that trained at other schools said that this is unusual. That most schools will not rent after training, and that some will not allow even two CFI's to go out for a fun flight together, much less a couple of private rated pilots.

 

I am wondering how all the schools look at this, can you rent a helo to take your wife for a ride? Or just to go sightseeing with a friend at night?

 

Can you go to other schools to rent? If someone just walks in the door and wants to rent a helo at Rotors i don't think they allow that, only if they have trained there, but i'm not totally sure about that one, i will find an answer to that.

 

I will contact some of the other schools in the Denver area and ask this question.. please let me know what your area schools are doing, and what your personal feelings are... especially you old timers, what is the history of this issue.

 

thanks,

 

aloha,

 

dp

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Some schools do , I did my ppl and commercial at Wallace state in Alabama. When I was doing my ppl and after I finishe we were allowed to take the chopper on x-ctry or just take someone for a ride. Before I did my commercial the head instructor changed and now they want allow any one else in the chopper nor take it over the night anywhere.

I did my instrument at Tomlinson in Fl and they allow c-cntry and riding your friends or family plus they have plenty of ships and well mantained as well so you dont have to worry if you do go off without an instructor.

 

 

John

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Where I work they are pretty laid back. Get your private and you can take up passengers or just come rent it whenever you would like. Sometimes if the person hasnt flown with a CFI we will have them go up to do a few autos etc.

 

If the person is off the street (never flown with the school) and is rated they just need to go on a check out flight. If the CFI says there good they are free to rent and take passengers.

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I know when I had just passed my private I did NOT feel ready to take a passenger along with me. Partly I wanted to become a better/safer pilot first, and partly because a friend is inevitably distracting. After building up lots of time and practice in my commercial I felt a little better about it, but it really wasn't until I was in the CFI training that I actually took a friend up. When I did, it was a HUGE confidence builder, and I wouldn't deny someone that opportunity completely.

 

I think it will vary with the pilot, both the confidence and the skill level, especially at the beginning. If I had a school I don't know I would rent to someone who trained at another school and just walked in off the street. Even though I trained at Hillsboro and had a Commercial license by the time I took someone up, I had to have a CFI check out my flight plan and talk to me beforehand, and file a flight plan even though I was staying local. No night flights just for fun.

 

HVG

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I couldn't wait to get my private to be able to give friends and family members rides. The fact that a school sends a student off on a solo cross country and they somehow make it back shows they have some idea. Whats the difference if a passenger is on board after they get their rating. I'm not sure how the insurance plays into it. If the school has faith in their equipment to me it shouldn't be a big deal.

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Whats the difference if a passenger is on board after they get their rating.

 

The difference is the level of distraction. It's easy to get into a bad situation because you're distracted by your passenger's conversation. It's also easy to get into a bad situation because they ask you to do something that you really shouldn't do but you don't realize or don't have the confidence to say no. A lot of private pilots are over-confident already, and a simple distraction is all that is needed to produce disastrous results.

 

According to RHC SN-18 "a personal trait most often found in pilots having serious accidents is overconfidence.."

 

Thinking that it will never happen to you only increases the odds that it one-day will.

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Every place I have flown both airplanes and helicopters would let you rent the aircraft with passengers. The only requirements are/were that you hold at least a ppl, a current medical, and completed the insurance checkout. Don’t let the 22 after my name deceive you. I come from the 300C camp and don’t know about the Robinson requirements.

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My passengers are thoroughly briefed about whats going to be happening in the air, and what I expect them to be doing or saying. I assume thats what everyone does. I might as well be solo. I also expect something to go wrong more so than if I was with a CFI. Any low time pilot, or any pilot for that matter who doesn't have the confidence to say no to a passengers request has no business being in the air.

Edited by DOORGUNNER
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My school allows it. My first few flights after my PPL checkride were with family and friends. The main thing that I see which could be an issue is the whole distraction thing that was brought up earlier. The way I feel about it... If the school is not confident enough in their own student's abilities to rent to them after awarding an endorsement to take the checkride, the school obviously has some serious deficiencies. Insurance issues I can understand, but if you don't trust them to take up passengers, don't recomend them for their licence!!!!

 

J-

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What's the difference between the distraction from the CFI, and a passenger? Or radio traffic? Or electronics? Or other aircraft? It's really no different than putting a CD into your car stereo or talking on the cell phone while driving or having a friend in the car.

 

I think the distraction thing is of little consequence.

 

Later

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At least your CFI can help you if you become distracted and get yourself in a spot where you need help. Your CFI is a commercial pilot with more hours and experience than you. Your passenger is not likely to be as helpful. Your CFI is also more aware of your workload during any given phase of flight than a passenger is likely to be.

 

The PTS indicates that the FAA does not consider distractions to be of little consequence:

 

"Numerous studies indicate that many accidents have occurred when the pilot has been distracted during critical phases of flight..."

 

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that you should never take passengers. In fact I took my wife and my parents (one by one) on a short scenic flight only a few days after getting my private. I also agree with doorgunner's comment that a thorough pre-flight briefing can go a long way to reducing in flight distractions or mishaps. However I can also see the school's side, and they have to cater to the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately a lot of private pilots are over-confident or simply unaware of many dangers.

 

The school I trained at does allow their students to take passengers once they have their private rating. I wouldn't consider it unfair though for a school to disallow it until the person has a certain number of hours, or at least set some rules of some kind.

 

I think most people here, who have more than just their private rating under their belt, could look back on the day they got their private rating and agree that they didn't really know a whole heck of a lot at the time. I don't blame a school for trying to protect students that way. Plus I'm sure some schools have these restrictions due to insurance requirements.

Edited by heli.pilot
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A private rating is so you CAN take passengers. If your school doesn't let you take passengers, then they shouldn't have let you take the private checkride. Insurance requirements are of course a different story.

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While you CAN take pax with just a PPL, the real question is "should you?"

 

I understand the owner's position is to generate revenue, but at the same time, PPL's should definitely ask themselves: "While I meet the insurance requirements, am I sure that I can definitely bring it down safely with pax in the event of...."

 

Not to over-dramatize the situation, but these non-aviators look up to you and trust you with their lives. If you're not comfortable, regardless of the circumstances and whether you can or can't, you should take a minute to think about it before strapping on that helicopter.

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I don't know. On my Free Market side, if the company doesn't want to rent to me, then it's their loss of revenue, and I can certainly take my business elsewhere. I mean if their not confident in my ability to pilot one of their aircraft, even if I hadn't gone through thier school, then frak them. I don't think I'd want to do any business from them.

 

On the other hand, I've completed the private rating, so some examiner somewhere thinks I'm compentent enough to fly the aircraft, so why shouldn't they? I have my certificate, medical, and logbook, if they wish to take a looksee, then that should be enough to allow one to rent a bird. Even if I have renters insurance, that alone should be enough to rent a helo without an instrucor aboard. If they wish to speak with my instructors, that might be ok also.

 

As you can see, I can understand both sides, but I'm more in favor of the first one. I have the certification alone, and that should be enough. I'll allow them to review my logbook and even purchase some insurance at a reasonable rate. They already have the hull covered, so personal injury up to 1 million would be reasonable. Even a half million is good.

 

Like I said, if they don't want to rent to me, it's their loss, and possibly a loss of future business.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

Later

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Sorry Witch, I just dont think that's enough. Every pilot has totally different skill levels, even at the same number of hours. Hours alone are not the answer. If you were renting my ship, I would want to see your cert, medical and log book. But I also would want you to take a checkride, not only to determine what your skill level is, but if you are familiar with the local area/airspace.. It's not too much to ask if you want to rent a 200K-500K ship.

 

Goldy

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On the other hand, I've completed the private rating, so some examiner somewhere thinks I'm compentent enough to fly the aircraft, so why shouldn't they?

 

When it is your very expensive helicopter, you just might feel differently...

 

Unlike car rentals where people drive most every day, most renter pilots do not fly every day, or even that often. The total flight experience of renters tends to be low as well, as compared to the minimum rental age of 21 or 25 for rental car companies (the customers of which have been driving for years generally)

 

Passing the private is like passing the drivers test at 16, it is a license to learn.

 

I have my certificate, medical, and logbook, if they wish to take a looksee, then that should be enough to allow one to rent a bird.

 

Please, by all means, go buy a helicopter and rent it out using that standard. No one is stopping you.

 

As you can see, I can understand both sides

 

In all fairness, you'll only understand both sides once you own a helicopter business. In my experience most people in this business have no real clue what it is like to sit on the other side of the desk, unless they have been there.

 

Like I said, if they don't want to rent to me, it's their loss, and possibly a loss of future business.

 

Yes, it is their loss of business, and loss of risk as well.

 

Lets see, you want to take my $200K helicopter flying for an hour, you're going to pay me $200 to rent it. My business, aircraft, reputation, customers, etc. are at risk... For what? $200? No thanks, you can keep it.

 

Now if you wanted to rent often enough to be worth the risk, that is another matter, however you'd be surprised how often we get calls from people wanting to rent for 30 minutes to take a friend up while in town. Once we explain the rental checkout procedures, they usually are like, "damm, I just want the thing for 30 minutes", to which we reply, "ok, then take the R-44 with a CFI, you can fly it and your friend can sit in the back. I have actually gotten, "that is too expensive, I only have a hundred bucks to spend" as a reply.

 

We really, REALLY do not want the hundred bucks that badly, but thanks for trying. :)

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I have to disagree with the both of you.

 

Goldy, I have 20 hours PIC, and 220 total, 140 in R-22. That alone must tell you something about my ability to pilot an aircraft to the point where a checkride may be a waste of time for both involved. Even if I weren't familiar with the airspace, that shouldn't disqualify one from flying. They have the charts, GPS, or plates, and if you're thinking that even a student pilot can't navigate some airspace they haven't been to previously without an instructor aboard, then I ask you to re-think the quality of pilots that schools produce and examiners examine. To wit, I had an instructor fly with me to a coltrolled airport. The tower cleared me for a straight in to the pad, but the instructor, for some reason, wanted me to enter a pattern and come in from the other way. I protested, he took control, and entered that pattern. As I asked why he wanted to land downwind, the tower asked why we weren't coming straight in as told. Some manuvering brought us back into the flow, and we landed. The instructor even came from a school that has a tower. So, tell me, even though this CFI, who had 700 or so hours, and who is supposed to know all the regs and everything, still makes a mistake that the student corrected, as well as the tower? Just because someone is a professional CFI and has lots of hours doesn't mean they are able to make better decisions than a low-time pilot. Skill level? Please. How many "experts" have you seen that get things so wrong that people get injured or die?

 

Goldy, I'm a bit vexed when "experts" screw up things for th erest of us, bith in the public and private sector. I see this arguement similar in context. And I wonder what would happen if the pilot passes the "checkride", and he ends up crashing anyway.

 

I'm rambling now, so I'll stop.

 

Passing the private is like passing the drivers test at 16, it is a license to learn.

 

Jehh, I take offense to this. It takes a whole lot of skill and knowelege to getting a private certificate. MUCH MORE than a driver license.

 

But let's look at that for a moment. Who teaches one to operate a car? Ones parents? Friends? Crazy uncle Ned who is out from the psych ward for the weekend? How many bad habits do they pick up? I took my grandkid for some lessons, and I must tell you, the stuff he learned from his dad were autrocious. It took a bit to get him to stop speeding, passing unsafely, skreeching to a stop, rolling stops, and jack-rabbit starts. Last summer, we had a friend of his with us, and he decides to be a little aggressive. That crap stopped right there and I got behind the wheel for the rest of the trip. I ask, how many would do that? Not many. By the way, his dad has no license and has quite a few tickets.

 

Do you think that having a government agency to regulate the training of drivers would be a good thing? Will we need Certified Driving Instructors to teach everyone to drive? Will we need 40 hours minimum and a $500 checkride to get a certificate to operate a car or truck? Sounds good to me, let's do it. Will it reduce accidents? Will it keep leadfoots off the road?

 

As for the rental, again, even if the minimum age is 25, what about the experience of the one who has a poor record, speeds, drives drunk, or is letting his 15 year old learn how to drive from his crazy uncle Ned. How many of those cars get driven hard? How many of those cars get damaged? How many of those cars get totaled? Gee, is that why they have insurance?

 

Lets see, you want to take my $200K helicopter flying for an hour, you're going to pay me $200 to rent it. My business, aircraft, reputation, customers, etc. are at risk... For what? $200? No thanks, you can keep it.

 

Everything is at risk every time someone takes it aloft, even one of your students. All for $200 an hour. So tell me what the difference is between a student pilot doing a cross country to a private pilot that has 40 hours PIC? It seems to me that the student has less experience, less knowlege, and less total hours. It seems to me the greater risk is the student. I don't know why anybody would let a student fly an aircraft without an instructor...ever. It seems to me that everybody would be a whole lot safer if we had instructors aboard all the time. Why not make that a reg-No pilot shall operate an aircraft unless an instructor is occupying the co-pilot seat, if so equipped. As you can see, I'm taking it to the extreme.

 

In all fairness, you'll only understand both sides once you own a helicopter business. In my experience most people in this business have no real clue what it is like to sit on the other side of the desk, unless they have been there.

 

I do have a clue, and I do understand their position when it comes to rentals. I understand wholeheartedly. My position is that if someone doesn't rent to others unless they're students or former students, then I think that is stupid on their part. If one needs a checkride, then that's ok. If the insurance won't allow for renters, then I suggest the operator find insurance that will allow renters if it is profitable for their operation. My position is if someone wants me to do something in order to rent an aircraft with which I disagree, then I'm not going to rent from them, as should others. They just might lose a customer that another company might gain, especially if their rental requirements don't require a checkride.

 

I know you may find my logic irrational or illogical. I assure you I have experienced similar conditions in other aspects of my meager existance, from school, the military, driving truck, and attempting to start a business. The political and economic beliefs I now hold don't jibe well with the societal norm of the day. I guess this is why it irks me when others can't grasp the reasons I think the way I do. Maybe it's because I'm old. But don't get me wrong for fraks sake. I understand what you say, and I respect your opinion, and I'd like to buy a copter and rent it out, and I'd rent to anybody that has a few hours under their belt. I'd also have the insurance if that pilot happens to ball up the aircraft. Between my model and the non-renting model, I bet I'd make a few more dollars.

 

I'm done with this bit-o-rant for now, and I need to walk the dog....so

 

Later

Edited by Witch
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I have to disagree with the both of you.

 

Goldy, I have 20 hours PIC, and 220 total, 140 in R-22. That alone must tell you something about my ability to pilot an aircraft to the point where a checkride may be a waste of time for both involved. Even if I weren't familiar with the airspace, that shouldn't disqualify one from flying. They have the charts, GPS, or plates, and if you're thinking that even a student pilot can't navigate some airspace they haven't been to previously without an instructor aboard, then I ask you to re-think the quality of pilots that schools produce and examiners examine. To wit, I had an instructor fly with me to a coltrolled airport. The tower cleared me for a straight in to the pad, but the instructor, for some reason, wanted me to enter a pattern and come in from the other way. I protested, he took control, and entered that pattern. As I asked why he wanted to land downwind, the tower asked why we weren't coming straight in as told. Some manuvering brought us back into the flow, and we landed. The instructor even came from a school that has a tower. So, tell me, even though this CFI, who had 700 or so hours, and who is supposed to know all the regs and everything, still makes a mistake that the student corrected, as well as the tower? Just because someone is a professional CFI and has lots of hours doesn't mean they are able to make better decisions than a low-time pilot. Skill level? Please. How many "experts" have you seen that get things so wrong that people get injured or die?

 

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I see a few things that are seriously wrong with your logic here.

 

You might be an extremely gifted and safe pilot, but the bottom line is that the people renting the aircraft to you don't know that just from viewing your logbook or talking to you for a few minutes. I know several pilots off hand with anywhere from twice as many to exponentially more hours than you in complex airframes with even more complex missions who I wouldn't trust to fly the little remote-control styrofoam CH-47 my mom's boyfriend bought me for Christmas. Someone with 220 hours can be a fairly good pilot or a NTSB report waiting to be written.

 

Here's an example... One of my pilots in my unit has an ungodly amount of hours including several combat tours in several different airframes. He's also a civilian CFI and flies for Customs. Recently he offered to take me up in a Schwietzer (did I spell that wrong?) to show me a few things you can't learn in a Robbie. One of the first things he said about it is that he's going to have to do a checkout ride with whatever place we rent from. It's a very widely accepted practice even for the most experienced of pilots.

 

My advice... Do the checkout ride with the place's CFI, rack it up as a chance to fly with a new CFI who can give you some input you might not have gotten before, and then enjoy the rentals.

 

Just my $0.02

 

J-

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Witch,

The cost of the insurance you would need to do what you are talking about would be about 50% of the hull value of your aircraft per year. You would have to charge so much, your renters would not be able to afford the ride.

bossman

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