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Guidance Helicopters, Inc. (GHI) in Prescott, AZ


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Hi everyone,

 

I'm transitioning as a fixed-wing pilot into the rotary-wing world this upcoming January. I'll be training full-time, working from my PPL add-on to my CFII. I would very much appreciate if anyone who has experience with the two schools I'm looking at could add some input on the quality of their programs.

 

Right now, I'm trying to decide between two schools in Arizona -- Quantum Helicopters in Chandler, and Guidance Helicopters in Prescott. Both are seemingly reputable schools, and while there is a lot of information regarding Quantum, I haven't read much about Guidance.

 

If anyone could offer a general overview of Guidance Helicopters and their career pilot program (if possible, in comparison with Quantum), it would help influence my decision in which school to give my hard-earned money. More specifically, if anyone could answer some of the following questions, it would be very helpful in making the decision:

 

-- The concept of high-altitude training that GHI offers makes practical sense in terms of making it much more challenging, but in real world applications, does it really make you that much better of a pilot? Granted, employers are going to look at your ratings & credentials, not if you flew at high-altitude in a R22/44...

 

-- How important is location in terms of helicopter flight training? I understand having VFR conditions are ideal for starting out (i.e. sunny Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc.), but as far as training to become a highly skilled pilot, is location really going to matter? Is training in Arizona at GHI or Quantum going to be any more advantageous than if I went to flight school in Chicago, Palm Beach, or Dallas/Ft. Worth? I have the long-term aspirations of becoming an EMS or law enforcement pilot... training in mountains obviously wouldn't hurt, but is it necessary?

 

-- I've heard buzz about GHI costing a ton of money. I've heard their program costing $80,000+ ... it seems to be a more than the average. Can anyone back up the cost factor? From the Quantum Helicopters website, they give a low-ball figure of something in the ballpark of $48,000 for flight training (totally unrealistic), but what kind of money do student pilots end up spending by the time they come out of the program (PPL through CFII)?

 

-- What is GHI's job placement program like? Do they have established connections in the industry? I realize the world economy is in the crapper right now, and nothing is certain, but are they successful at placing their students, or is it sort of a false offering by the school? I heard somewhere that GHI has an internship program with Papillon (Grand Canyon/Vegas tours), can anyone shed light on that?

 

-- What is GHI's instructor turnover rate? Do they hire a lot of their graduating CFI/II's?

 

Sorry for the lengthy read, but I'm doing a lot of research on flight schools, and there's a lot of nothing about Guidance out there.

 

Thank you so much in advance for anyone who has anything to offer to the thread! Hopefully it will be both useful to me, but as well as other potential Guidance students out there.

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Guidance helicopters is definitely a good choice, they are very professional. I was going to go train with them and ERAU but money became a factor so I chose a different school, they are pricey but you do get some good experience. Their program I think guarantees your a job but I'm not sure It'll probably be around 80-90K without ERAU. the school I'm going to now with give me Flight, college,and Housing for around 80K total

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oh and last I heard they did have a program with Papillon after you finished being a CFI for them for about 18 months, that's about right for any school cause after 18 months CFI you have about 1000 hours to get a job at Papillon, Temsco ect.

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm transitioning as a fixed-wing pilot into the rotary-wing world this upcoming January. I'll be training full-time, working from my PPL add-on to my CFII. I would very much appreciate if anyone who has experience with the two schools I'm looking at could add some input on the quality of their programs.

 

Since you are doing a RW add on, the pricing you are looking at is not really indicative of what you might encounter. See the FAR's in regards to flight time requirements for the add on and you will find that you can get your private in about 40-50 hrs, commercial after that in about 15-20 hrs. If you already have a FW CFI/II, the CFI add on will be about 10 hrs or so.

So for about $20k you could possibly have your CFI and for the Instrument and CFII, all depends what your experience is in the FW world.

For $80k, should be more than enough for all of your ratings plus you could buy yourself a lot of extra time!

 

Best of luck and enjoy the journey. RW is really lots of fun and habit forming!

 

Cheers

 

Rotorrodent

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Hey I'm just impressed that a prospective student would even think to ask these questions. That being said here is my 2 cents:

 

High DA- for me, no thanks in an R22. They are power limited enough. I would rather have other challenges such as low altitude terrain to deal with.

 

VFR almost 365- That would be great in some ways but, how do you ever learn to deal with weather? Sometimes making the decision not to go is a better learning experience than not.

 

Job Guarantee- any school who will tell you without having met you (or been around you for an extended period of time) that they will trust you with a $250-$500,000 machine when you graduate is just trying to get you in the door. You should have to earn your position- "right place, right time, and most importantly right attitude"

 

As for the $80K- how much per hour?.....just be careful about fronting that much.....pay as you go!

 

Not trying to say any one school is better than another but my training would be somewhere on the west coast.....I know not everybody likes Californians but its pretty nice here as far as a weather combo with terrain.

 

Hope this helps

Kris

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  • 2 weeks later...
-- The concept of high-altitude training that GHI offers makes practical sense in terms of making it much more challenging, but in real world applications, does it really make you that much better of a pilot? Granted, employers are going to look at your ratings & credentials, not if you flew at high-altitude in a R22/44...

 

The reality is flying in Arizona during the summer means flying in relatively high density altitudes already. Does it make you better? Perhaps, you have to be smoother with the power and flight transitions i.e. into foward flight from a hover and coming in for an approach. You can train for high density altitude situations simply by practicing to be smooth with the controls.

 

-- How important is location in terms of helicopter flight training? I understand having VFR conditions are ideal for starting out (i.e. sunny Florida, Texas, Arizona, etc.), but as far as training to become a highly skilled pilot, is location really going to matter? Is training in Arizona at GHI or Quantum going to be any more advantageous than if I went to flight school in Chicago, Palm Beach, or Dallas/Ft. Worth? I have the long-term aspirations of becoming an EMS or law enforcement pilot... training in mountains obviously wouldn't hurt, but is it necessary?

 

Location doesn't really mean squat when getting your basic training. Having good weather year round is going to reduce the amount of time spent waiting to fly, which will speed up the program. And for what it's worth, Quantum teaches the basics of mountain operations.

 

-- I've heard buzz about GHI costing a ton of money. I've heard their program costing $80,000+ ... it seems to be a more than the average. Can anyone back up the cost factor? From the Quantum Helicopters website, they give a low-ball figure of something in the ballpark of $48,000 for flight training (totally unrealistic), but what kind of money do student pilots end up spending by the time they come out of the program (PPL through CFII)?

 

Again, I can't speak for Guidance but I can provide some info about Quantum. If you speak to Quantum's Chief Flight Instructor, she'll tell you it's realistically going to take around high sixties/low seventies.

 

-- What is GHI's job placement program like? Do they have established connections in the industry? I realize the world economy is in the crapper right now, and nothing is certain, but are they successful at placing their students, or is it sort of a false offering by the school? I heard somewhere that GHI has an internship program with Papillon (Grand Canyon/Vegas tours), can anyone shed light on that?

Again, no experience with Guidance, but I know that Papillon in Vegas is refered to as Quantum North because it's the primary employer of Quantum grads.

 

Sorry there's no Guidance info in here for ya, I just wanted to tell you a bit about my experiences at Quantum. Hope someone can chime in with Guidance info

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