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How do I get from 200TT to 500TT when no one will hire low-time CFI's?


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It will cost me close to $70,000 to get up to 200hours with all my ratings (including CFI/CFI-I). Do I now have to pony-up another $45,000 (boatpix) to get my numbers where someone might consider me for a CFI spot? I know some schools only require 300 hours (no one near me) but even then I'm looking at another $15K.

How about you; how did you get to that magic 500TT without going broke?

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I'm in the same boat. I'm a CFII looking in every place possible. I look on this site and half a dozen more sites probably 5-10 times a day looking for the first ferry flight, tour job, or instructor job out there so I can jump on it. The last few weeks I've seen jobs asking for 300 hrs, 500hrs, just a little out of reach and it sucks. I'd like to be able to hand in my resume in person to every school possible, but that's just not going to happen. I come from a background in the fire service, so when I put down my experience I have had nothing to do with aviation other than working helitack crews, but no actual stick time. When I started I wouldn't have thought I'd be a CFII without a job for as long as I have. However I think of myself at the beginning of a long road and it's just going to take time and one foot in front of the other to get where I want to be. Good Luck!

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300 hours is generally a Pathfinder R-22 insurance requirement. Lousy insurance company, but that is for another thread.

 

500 hours is either for Pathfinder R-44 requirement, or the company wants someone who has some time and wants to be a CFI beyond 1,000 hours.

 

There are plenty of companies that will hire at less than 300 hours, the challenge right now is finding one that is hiring, the CFI job market isn't pretty right now.

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Can you tell me where you got trained so I know not to go there for training in the hopes of getting an instructor job? There must be some schools that don't have the 500 hr insurance requirements.

 

 

Sadly pretty much wherever you go right now, odds aren't good that you're going to get hired on. I see all the guys ahead of me in the CFII program and I see cut-backs left and right. I'm just trying to impress the hell out of the instructors and management in hopes that it will help. Luckily I have 2 other jobs to fall back on until the market picks back up.

 

J-

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two cents worth here - I looked all over for a year trying to find just a helicopter school in the area where I live, however "looking" involved the internet and every link and website I could find. I finally decided to start taking fixed wing lessons just to get up in the air. Its been said here before, go out to the airport and start talking to people. I've found a few great oppurtunities for myself only minutes from my home that I would have never found if I just didnt' go out there and talk to actual live people !!! Seriously !!! Call me naive but I thought in this digital age I could find everything thing I need on Google, hahahhahaha. Long story short I found myself more then a couple of unadvertised instructors in my area and some possible low time job oppurtunities. I used to read about other people finding these kind of oppurtunities and cursed my luck for where I lived, etc, etc. when in reality there was a whole world of oppurtunities right in my backyard and I'd venture a guess that there are in your backyard too. Go to the airport, look in the yellow pages under Helicopter, talk to everyone you meet and tell them what you are looking for !!! Don't get me wrong this is a great site for information but it will only get you so far sometimes !!!

Edited by Rogue
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two cents worth here - I looked all over for a year trying to find just a helicopter school in the area where I live, however "looking" involved the internet and every link and website I could find. I finally decided to start taking fixed wing lessons just to get up in the air. Its been said here before, go out to the airport and start talking to people. I've found a few great oppurtunities for myself only minutes from my home that I would have never found if I just didnt' go out there and talk to actual live people !!! Seriously !!! Call me naive but I thought in this digital age I could find everything thing I need on Google,

 

My thoughts exactly....ya gotta get to know people. Where did you do the 200 hours of training? They dont do tours or move ships around? There are always opportunities, many of them last minute, that you could take advantage of.

 

The last 200 + hour CFI I know of started by answering the phones and taking reservations until he got to 300, then started teaching a bit, and then a bit more. Now he probably flies 30-40 hours a week.

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Hi all,

 

I have been facing this same issue. I was very lucky and got a job last summer flying a bit in the Canadian subarctic. With the downturn they are now only hiring 1000 hr pilots and I've been looking for ways to build hours. I am about to lease an R22 for 12 months which I will use for flight instruction and time building. It will be based in WA preferably very near the BC border as I live near Whistler BC. I am looking for fellow time builders and students. It will cost around $175. per hour perhaps less depending on fuel prices this summer. There is the option to fly in Canada some too but would involve getting licensed. I will specialize in mountain flying, confined area ops, and possibly vertical reference. I can pass on my Canadian bush flying and heliski operational experience. Night flying around the Seattle/Tacoma area is also possible. PM me if you want more info. Plan to have the machine by May.

 

Good luck to all in this down cycle, and I agree with the previous posts.

 

Eric

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I feel your pain guys. I started working on my ratings with a local school a couple of years ago hoping for a part time job. The owner said that he'd use me for stuff once I got my commercial which I did. Now here I am $25k in the hole with 250TT and every 6 months somebody with 500TT comes out of the woodwork and I don't get to do dick because so and so has more time than I do. Getting that magical 500 hrs can be tough.

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Just out of curiosity how does my situation fit............... into these scenarios?

 

As of yesterday-

223 TT

 

8 300 CBi

100 R44

115 Turbine

 

Of this only I only 15hrs PIC...........(It's a long story) :rolleyes:

 

I'll be getting my commercial in the next few months and will then work on a CFI rating. Would anyone hire me as a CFI?

 

How does the TT Vs. PIC play into this? Obviously by the time I get my commercial my PIC time will be well over 100. Is the dual Turbine worth anything?

 

I'm pursuing the CFI not

necessarily

to teach to build time, but it may make a nice side job.

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OK, so you need another 85 hours or so PIC to get your commercial, right? Why not do those in an R22, so you can get some time in them as well??

 

Goldy

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OK, so you need another 85 hours or so PIC to get your commercial, right? Why not do those in an R22, so you can get some time in them as well??

 

Goldy

I weigh to much! fully clothed I go between 215-220.........and the flying I'm doing is not suited to the R22. All the time/training I have is via my job and I need at least R44 and usually use a 206/500............

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The way my school in Cali they got their freshly minted CFIIs to 300TT, was to let us instruct instrument as well as a few other things that would be considered low risk instructing such as dual X-Countrys with already rated private pilots working on their commercial. They operated with Pathfinder but I'm guessing this is a very gray area(or not so gray if there was an insurance claim). He paid us the regular CFI rate and they were particularly good about helping us get that extra 100 hours, even if they didn't have a full CFI position available by the time we got to 300.

 

I think he may have been taking a risk with this kind of leniency, but this is something that I will always remember and be grateful for.

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I think the 500 requirement that people talk about is the Pathfinder requirement for R44 instructors to have 500TT and 50-R44.

 

There is no hour requirement other than being a CFI- you could get added to the insurance with 200TT pretty easily if it's a flight school.

 

That's not necessarily true. One of the largest flight school insurance providers, Pathfinder, doesn't insure instructors on R22's under 300TT.

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I weigh to much! fully clothed I go between 215-220.........and the flying I'm doing is not suited to the R22. All the time/training I have is via my job and I need at least R44 and usually use a 206/500............

 

220 is nothing for an R22.......

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Pathfinder isn't really one of the major insurance companies, if you are insuring w/ them (IMHO) you are taking a big risk. They're not a true insurance company and there's no guarantee they'll pay. While they usually do, there's definitely a risk. I would personally never give anyone my money if their only contact information was a fax number in the Bahamas.

 

A few for-instances- If you go to court, half of your liability limit is spent defending Robinson, so out of 1ML you'll get 500k.

 

-If you crash, you have to transport the helicopter to California, which would get expensive if it was at the bottom of a lake or in the woods

 

-Legal costs are included in the limits of the policy, not in addition to, as in most policies. If you were insured with Global, Phoenix, USAIG, or AIG for $1,000,000 of liability, legal costs would be paid and it wouldn't subtract from that limit.

 

There are several other issues with Pathfinder...All I can say is do your research.

 

 

I think the 500 requirement that people talk about is the Pathfinder requirement for R44 instructors to have 500TT and 50-R44.

 

 

 

That's not necessarily true. One of the largest flight school insurance providers, Pathfinder, doesn't insure instructors on R22's under 300TT.

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I've always heard that schools try to hire their own graduates. That way they have a history with you and know what they are getting themselves into. If you don't want to work as a CFI at the school that you are training at, or don't think that they will have room for you when you get done save one of your ratings for the school that you do want to work at. That way you give yourself at least little time to develop a history with the school without dropping a bunch of money on play time in the ship.

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Pathfinder isn't really one of the major insurance companies, if you are insuring w/ them (IMHO) you are taking a big risk. They're not a true insurance company and there's no guarantee they'll pay. While they usually do, there's definitely a risk. I would personally never give anyone my money if their only contact information was a fax number in the Bahamas.

 

A few for-instances- If you go to court, half of your liability limit is spent defending Robinson, so out of 1ML you'll get 500k.

 

-If you crash, you have to transport the helicopter to California, which would get expensive if it was at the bottom of a lake or in the woods

 

-Legal costs are included in the limits of the policy, not in addition to, as in most policies. If you were insured with Global, Phoenix, USAIG, or AIG for $1,000,000 of liability, legal costs would be paid and it wouldn't subtract from that limit.

 

There are several other issues with Pathfinder...All I can say is do your research.

 

You know, I guess I just assumed that they're one of the largest insurance providers in the same way I assume that Sallie Mae are one of the largest finance providers to flight school students. It just seemed to me that anytime I've spoken to anyone about aircraft insurance for flight schools, Pathfinder always came up as the usual company that they were insured with, except for my current employer who's with AIG I think. I'm no expert on the subject by any means though.

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Well, anyone with an R22 is usually with pathfinder b/c they're so cheap. But all the other schools, whether they operate Enstroms, Schweizers, etc, insure with the major carriers, as Pathfinder is only for Robinsons and is actually connected to the helicopter company. Like I said, Pathfinder usually pays, but I think things could go ugly very quickly if Robinson gets sued as well as the insured, because that's when your liability limit will get cut in half, and it could cost you more than the insurance policy to transport a wrecked helicopter to Robinson's facility in CA.

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OK, just to turn this back to the ORIGINAL question!

 

There is an ad running right now for a pilot with 300TT flying AG work. Thats one way to get from 300 to 500.

 

Goldy

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