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After starting your flight training, how many hours do you need before you do your first solo ? and does the first solo consist of just a hover? or actually flying off and coming back?

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I don't know if all schools are the same, but I did my solo flight a week ago and it consisted of two circuits around the airport with a lift off and landing on each one.

 

I was at 22 hours I believe but some people manage it sooner and others do it later. You won't solo until your instructor feels you're ready so there is no set time frame.

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unless you're in a -------- helicopter that is so special the feds require you to have 20 hours dual before you can solo.

What do you do on your first solo? That is up to your instructor... but usually a few pick up and set downs and a few traffic pattern circuits.

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Hours before solo is a minimum of 20 in the R22. The school I went to had the "philosophy" that you should be able to do everything but turning autos and off-airport landings prior to solo tho, so I know plenty of students who did their solos at 40+ hrs.

 

The first solo flights were just 3 circuits thru the pattern.

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man sounds so fun...i cant wait to get started :)

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The school I went to had the "philosophy" that you should be able to do everything but turning autos and off-airport landings prior to solo tho, so I know plenty of students who did their solos at 40+ hrs.

 

A bit excessive I think. I have never seen a student who could do every maneuver nicely at 40 hours. Sounds like a bit of money grabbing to me. A student should be well enough prepared to go solo at 15-20 hours, if the training is consistent with a TCO. A student should be comfortable enough with an auto to hopefully walk away from the wreckage.

 

Nice pick-ups and setdowns, fairly comfortable on the radio, decent approaches and take-offs, has practiced autos is a good enough prerequisite for most people.

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Translift, it is not excessive.There is no need to push a student out early, and the owner of the aircraft has a reasonable expectation that the solo student can pull off an auto if something goes wrong. He also wants to get it back in perfect condition even if there is a minor hiccup in the student's technique.

 

When I went through training, we went solo at 11 hrs, having learned to fly the Huey in all circuits, 180 touchdown autos, and covered manual fuel and hydraulics off. But times have changed somewhat. I have had good students thoroughly ready for solo at 20 hrs, and others took up to 70 hrs in the R22.

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Our school has a similar philosophy to Kodoz' and most students solo somewhere between 30-45hrs, although there is certainly no required minimum outside the SFAR. It doesn't take them any extra time or money in the long run (unless anyone thinks 60-65hrs in an R22 for a PVT checkride is excessive?) and at that point student, instructor, CP and owner are satisfied that the confidence and basic skills are there to bring it all back in one piece. Also, we try to keep students' thoughts realistic about the long-term effort and commitment required to reach - and succeed at - the professional level in this industry. That first solo is exhilarating, but I think it should be approached as more of a confidence-affirming experience rather than one used for confidence-building. It is barely a blip on the radar to get where most of our students are hoping they are headed, and the good ones realize that and approach it as just one milestone of many. Patience and persistence play a role from day one until retirement - shortcuts and rushing in aviation don't end well.

 

I have been really lucky, I've had fabulously realistic and devoted students and I LOVE teaching. :D

 

HG03

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Depending on the aircraft, it could be 20-30+ hours as several posters mentioned above or it could be less if your your in an aircraft other than an R-22/R-44. When I was doing my PPL(H) several years ago I noticed that part time students took longer to solo it seemed, versus the full time students which really shouldn't be a surprise if you think about it. Also the time will vary on the syllabus, training, instructor and also the student. I was a part 141 student and lived, breathed and showered Rotorcraft and aeronautical subject manner until I was blue in the face and drowning! It seemed that it was expected the student would be soloing sooner than later (typically under 20-hours), but that wasn't always the case as everyone is a little different and we retain things differently.

 

When you start, don't worry about when it happens as you will be the second person to know and it will be alot of fun when the surprise occurs! The thing that drove me nuts the most was the weight difference and having to compensate for it.

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I agree with Brushfire21 - the time necessary to achieve proficiency for solo flight will vary from person to person and from flight school to flight school. However, if you can manage to consistently fly a minimum of twice a week, you will not only solo sooner rather than later, but all of your flight training will be accomplished in fewer hours.

 

If you fly only once a week and/or take an occasional week-long break from training, you will find yourself learning the same one-hour lesson over and over again. I know of one student who, due to demands of his job, accumulated more than 70 hours over the course of two years... and still had not been signed off for solo flight.

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Our school has a similar philosophy to Kodoz' and most students solo somewhere between 30-45hrs, although there is certainly no required minimum outside the SFAR. It doesn't take them any extra time or money in the long run (unless anyone thinks 60-65hrs in an R22 for a PVT checkride is excessive?) and at that point student, instructor, CP and owner are satisfied that the confidence and basic skills are there to bring it all back in one piece. Also, we try to keep students' thoughts realistic about the long-term effort and commitment required to reach - and succeed at - the professional level in this industry. That first solo is exhilarating, but I think it should be approached as more of a confidence-affirming experience rather than one used for confidence-building. It is barely a blip on the radar to get where most of our students are hoping they are headed, and the good ones realize that and approach it as just one milestone of many. Patience and persistence play a role from day one until retirement - shortcuts and rushing in aviation don't end well.

 

I have been really lucky, I've had fabulously realistic and devoted students and I LOVE teaching. :D

 

HG03

 

To All, this is the correct perspective from a professional Instructor. I respect this point of view immensely! MikeMV

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To All, this is the correct perspective from a professional Instructor. I respect this point of view immensely! MikeMV

 

To EVERYONE EVER, correct is a point of view.

 

I would rather sign them off when they meet standards and let them experience what being a helicopter pilot is all about. I think the time in between 40-150 (200 for Robinsons) could be used to perfect their techniques. I can only do right traffic so many times. We know, 8,000 hours of cross country and you're god of forums, but frankly, there are 60,000 hour pilots that I wouldn't teach like.

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Before there was an SFAR for the R22, solos were averaging between 15 and 20 hours. I’m not sure what’s changed since then…. Students should be the same? Instructors should be the same?? To a certain extent the reg’s are the same??? So what’s changed?????

 

I surmise today’s schools have become overly paranoid and thus have developed a tendency to over-train. Plus they (the school) rationalize they’re providing better (read safer) training by convincing a student they need more training prior to solo. In the end, this paranoia causes the student to pay more so there is no incentive to train the “old fashion” way.. That is, train in the best interest of the student which means PIC time. Furthermore, extending training requirements to enhance a schools’ profitability is nothing new. Schools in the past that attempted to inflate the training hours didn’t last long because of the competition. Unfortunately today, it appears the competition is now struggling to the point where inflating hours is required just to stay in business……

 

For the student training to become a pro pilot, IMHO, solo in the R22 at 25 hours +/- 5 hours. A realistic target is Private check-ride at 55 hours +/- 10 hours so do the math backwards. I know I’m gonna get crap for saying this but…. Any more than this should signal red flags….

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To EVERYONE EVER, correct is a point of view.

 

I would rather sign them off when they meet standards and let them experience what being a helicopter pilot is all about. I think the time in between 40-150 (200 for Robinsons) could be used to perfect their techniques. I can only do right traffic so many times. We know, 8,000 hours of cross country and you're god of forums, but frankly, there are 60,000 hour pilots that I wouldn't teach like.

 

To R22139RJ, I did not say how many hours a pilot should be soloed at but I did compliment Heligirl03's mental approach to solo. I also did not say that hers was the ONLY correct approach to solo!

 

I do agree with you as to meeting a standard, and it must be your standard as you are the one signing the pilot off and accepting the responsibility for their safety.

 

As a military trained Aviator, I had to solo by 16 hours and soloed in 13.

 

So why the personal attack? Have I said I was God?

 

If you were to attend one of my Seminars and interact with me, you would see what I am trying to give back to Helicopter Aviation.

 

Also, what 60K Instructor would you not teach like? Is there a 60K helo CFI out there?

Best Wishes, Mike

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I soloed just a couple of weeks ago, I had about 30 hours and started with hovering went to lunch came back and did some approaches. I felt very comfortable with my skill level and had a great time.

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For the student training to become a pro pilot, IMHO, solo in the R22 at 25 hours +/- 5 hours. A realistic target is Private check-ride at 55 hours +/- 10 hours so do the math backwards. I know I’m gonna get crap for saying this but…. Any more than this should signal red flags….

 

Spike, I don't think you are too out of line nor should get crap for your comments.. and i totally agree about the red flags..

 

I do think that the root of the trouble is tho, in my limited experience, that schools are not turning out the best CFIs that they could for lots of reasons.. and the students are not getting the type of training or attention that produces pilots that are safe at those lower hours... thus they end up flying more. Some schools in this area are very unorganized and don't even use syllabus', the instructors come and go and the student gets passed around and no one really knows where they are in their training (in some cases this is related to students that aren't really focused, but for the most part is still a failing on the instructors part, in my opinion).

 

Of course (as usual) i also totally agree with Heligirl and Mike.. and this is part of the reason Mike has started his program and the guy should be treated with the upmost respect in every way as he's truly giving back from his heart and he has a ton to offer..

 

There is also the instructor that is focused on HIS hours and nothing more.. just flying to log the time and move on.. If the school operators are not paying attention to their business, and no one uses a syllabus, it's easy to miss students being used like this.. we have had two come to us from another school that had embarrassing hours and no solo or private ticket.. mostly due to lack of attention and being passed from instructor to instructor.

 

All of that being said, there are many different people out there with different skill levels.. some get it faster than others and some are not in a hurry, as was my case, i just wanted to fly and didn't care much about how many hours i was flying. We have a poll on our website about hours to private, last time i looked there were about 500 posters, not sure how accurate it is but it might shed some light on the subject for you: coloradoheliops.com

 

I think that there are schools out there that are intentionally overflying students for the $$, but i honestly think it's more related to poor organization and lack of training focus..

 

last comment:

 

'A student should be comfortable enough with an auto to hopefully walk away from the wreckage.'

 

hopefully we all are all striving for a little higher standard than that.. i know we sure are! :-)

 

aloha,

 

dp

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'A student should be comfortable enough with an auto to hopefully walk away from the wreckage.'

 

hopefully we all are all striving for a little higher standard than that.. i know we sure are! :-)

 

 

Absolutely we should be aiming for higher standards, but realistically a student who is ready to go solo at around 25 hours has, IMHO, a slim chance of performing a nice touchdown auto and not rolling the aircraft into a ball after an engine failure.

Edited by Trans Lift
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aloha,

 

dp

 

Like you, I also base what say on my experience. I also can’t disagree with your assessment of the (pathetic) situation.

 

Years ago, during a staff meeting, my first employer told us “Instructors are easy to come by, customers are not”.

 

If the current batch of CFI’s are the problem, then the simple solution is get rid of them. It’s either that or re-train them. It’s truly a disservice (read rip-off) to not train in the best interest of the student. Not using a syllabus or “passing students around” is again, not new. However, what is new is, nobody seems to care.

 

New students can’t advocate for themselves due to their ignorance. It’s the responsibility of the school and the instructor to do what’s best for the student and IMHO, 40 hours to solo is a bit excessive.

 

I’m also in total agreement with what HG03 and Mike said but really, shouldn’t all that go without saying? Has the Flight Training sector evolved to the point where we actually need to say things like; “we teach students not only how to fly helicopters, but how to fly helicopters safely”. Really, opposed to what? Or something like; “as a professional CFI, I provide my students with the best possible training”. Not to sound cynical, but isn’t that your J-O-B!

 

It’s been said here a bazillion times; helicopter flight training is not new nor is it brain surgery. There are no “new” angles or techniques. Application of the FOI’s and PTS’s is the same as when I was teaching so I’m not sure why anyone believes there’s a “better”, “safer” or “newer” method. It’s kind of like what Uncle Ted once said. “We don’t need new laws; we just need to enforce the laws we have”. For those you who don’t relate to Uncle Ted, we don’t need new methods to teach, we just need to utilize the methods we already have.

 

While I haven’t looked at your poll yet I’ll offer this; I once had to develop a flight training program for a group of Nigerian students who had never operated a motorized vehicle. In fact, the most complicated piece of machinery they’ve ever operated was a bicycle. Each student passed their Pvt check-ride under 60 hours and within 1 week of preplanned scheduled check-ride date. One student did it all in the minimum amount of time and passed on the exact day as scheduled. They all accomplished this with very limited English skills. I tell this story not to brag about me, but as an example of what motivated individuals can accomplish during basic helicopter training. In short, no excuses…..

 

As far as your last comment, I used to say; if a Student Pilot during solo flight experiences an engine failure and the student pilot survives the carnage, the pilot did his job. If a Private Pilot has an engine quit during flight and the pilot walks away from the carnage, then the pilot did his job. If a Commercial Pilot has an engine fail and the aircraft is intact, the pilot did his job. Now, after having experienced an engine failure my view has changed slightly. It’s now; if ANY pilot, and his passengers, walks away from a real full blown auto, then the pilot has done his job. There is no comparison to the real deal and if it’s happened to you, you understand……

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bsolutely we should be aiming for higher standards, but realistically a student who is ready to go solo at around 25 hours has, IMHO, a slim chance of performing a nice touchdown auto and not rolling the aircraft into a ball after an engine failure.

 

I should have also said that I would expect that the student should at least be able to perform a successful flare at the bottom and be able to walk away from it!

Edited by Trans Lift
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I should have also said that I would expect that the student should at least be able to perform a successful flare at the bottom and be able to walk away from it!

 

What if they are trying that fancy, "No Flare" auto that somebody posted not too long ago. ;)

 

 

Seriously though. Most of the students that I have soloed have all been right around 20hrs.

 

BUT! I also have a former student, who now has about 140hrs now and still hasn't soloed. He is older and didn't have the mental or physical accuity to satisfy me (or his current instructor) that he would be able to "walk away from the crash".

 

For me it really comes down to that, if I am not sure you will be able to survive an engine failure, or other emergency, I owe it to you, your family, and mine, to ensure you are supervised until you can.

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All i can say is wow this topic really sparked a fire lol, but no seriously i loved reading everyone's input so thank you ! you all sound like great instructors, I can only hope that come the end of august, i get an instructor half as good as you guys seem to be. all i want is good training. forget the money and politics of it all, what it boils down to for me is safety. i dont wanna be tought shortcuts, i want the full blown training. so cross your fingers and lets hope the school ill be attending will give me that ! once again, thanks for all the imput guys ! :)

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What if they are trying that fancy, "No Flare" auto that somebody posted not too long ago.

 

A student going solo probably wouldn't have even seen that one done, so I wouldn't be too worried about them trying it! :rolleyes: If they pulled it off I would be impressed though. :P

Edited by Trans Lift
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A student going solo probably wouldn't have even seen that one done, so I wouldn't be too worried about them trying it! :rolleyes: If they pulled it off I would be impressed though. :P

 

 

I saw it on the internet, it must be easy to do!

 

:lol:

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