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There were some inhouse maintenance issues with Hillsboro (I'm pretty sure it was Hillsboro) last year. Their aircraft were grounded for a bit to get the maintenance situation all figured out. Don't know what the outcome of the situation was. Almost want to say it was poor maintenance, but can't be positive on that. Also, you should check into Precision Aviation, in Newberg. It's just down the road from Portland. I took a discovery flight with those guys in November of last year. Awesome group of people. Very professional, very nice, great to talk to, and very knowledgible. At the time they had 3 training 300's. They don't operate the Robinson at all. Don't know if they have added any training birds to their fleet. They also have a few 500's for contract work, as well as an Ec130 (if they still have it, the owner that leased it to Precision was trying to sell it.)


It's a small out of the way school, and it's located on their owned airpark. Check em out www.flyprecision.com

Edited by RagMan
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I have personally been to all three locations of Bristow. If I were deciding where to go I would go to the one in Concord CA. The school in Titusville is very large and they do mostly foreign students. While there, I felt like a number. I was unable to get one flight in a simulator to bring up my instrument currency.

The school in Concord is run by Chuck Olson who is an ex-army aviator and he really knows his stuff. They have a great bunch of CFI's as well.

Can't say much about Hillsboro except I have heard they have a great reputation.

Edited by dankaten
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Another one to look into in Oregon is Leading Edge Aviation. Its located in a really nice small town in central OR and its a plus if you like the smaller school atmosphere. They're also affiliated with the local community college if your looking at getting a degree as well.

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Don't know much about the schools you ask about... i have visited Hillsboro and it looked like a nice operation. I almost went to school there but ended up in Denver. I would recommend doing more research and looking into how important training/teaching at altitudes above 5,000 feet can be for your career. For instance, the Boarder Patrol will hire at half the hours if you have high altitude time (750 instead of 1500). The lead recruiter for one of the largest EMS companies told me that he would take a pilot trained in Denver over any other areas due to the constant weather changes, mountainous areas and high DA. Even Robinson admits that pilots trained at high DA make the best pilots..


I was lucky and ended up here cuz my wife wanted to attend CUDenver... had i known what i know now it would have been a no brainer.....



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I am looking at two helicopter training schools, Bristow Academy in Titusville FL and Hillsboro Aviation outside Portland OR. Does anyone have any advice on either of these schools?


So you either want to attend in Florida or Oregon, or somewhere in between. Wow, glad we got that narrowed down !!


Good luck wherever you end up.



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I highly recommend Hillsboro the maintenance issue has long since been fixed and overall they take pretty good care of their helicopters I just started and have been treated with nothing less than on the ball service and professional courtesy, there are no flakes at Hillsboro. They work hard to make sure you succeed you just need to have that dedication of being a pilot and they'll take care of the rest. Its also an awesome location people say weather there is terrible but its just four seasons and it provides a challenge cause remember when you out in the job market the weather wont always be sunny, besides the weather your close to both the ocean and the mountains. They give you a syllabus of what each lesson will teach you so you can get an idea of whats in store for the next lesson, give them a call and hear what they have to say ask for Wayne Moore he will show you how the school works and what the costs and benefits of it are.Good Luck!

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Re the maintenance issue at Hillsboro Aviation.


The problem was with paperwork on a Jet Ranger in their commercial operation. They had a ramp check somewhere in Texas and had a problem with the maintenance records. Apparently the FAA took no action. But HAI did. They fired five senior members of their maintenance staff.


Then they pulled every single helicopter out of service to do 100 hour inspections and be sure the paperwork was done correctly.


The big problem for students was that every bird was pulled at once, causing the school to be shut down 'til they got them online. After that it meant that everything was cycling into maintenance for inspections at the same time.


This all happened last fall - I want to say October '08, but I could have the month wrong. The maintenance cycles caused scheduling problems because of lack of helicopter availability for about six months.


I've been to several flight schools over the last few years, and I think HAI is first rate. But during their maintenance headaches last winter it was really tough to get in as many flights as I needed. Everything is fine now, though.

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