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MD 500 Factory Course


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If anyone has attended the MD 500 factory pilot course I could use some first hand information. I proposed to my boss that as his chief pilot flying primarily 500's that he send me to the course. I do a lot of low and slow work inside the shaded area of the height/velocity diagram and am interested in anything that can increase my chances of survival in a bad situation. He is interested but wants more information about what they teach there that is so great and justifies the cost. I am looking for ammunition to convince him but on the other hand if pilots who have attended it don't feel it's worth it then I would want to know that too. Also if anyone knows of anyone other than MD teaching advanced autos and EP's in the 500 as well or better than the factory I would be interested in that too.

 

Thanks.

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I do not have any experience with the MD school but I have attended the Bell and Eurocopter school. With this being said, the best training I’ve ever received is when I attended the 500 EP course at Western Helicopters. I highly recommend them especially if you’re a Lima-Lima pilot (low-level). Plus Pete Gillies and Bob Spencer are the PhD’s of the helicopter industry and will take you far beyond the edge of the envelope. Give them a call…..

 

http://westernhelicopters.com

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When I first read this I was thinking Western and then read spikes post and second his advice. They do initial training for insurance sign offs as well if that's needed, and they know EP's forwards, backwards and full down autos (day or night) along with VR training if needed.

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When I first read this I was thinking Western and then read spikes post and second his advice. They do initial training for insurance sign offs as well if that's needed, and they know EP's forwards, backwards and full down autos (day or night) along with VR training if needed.

 

What Spike and Brushfire said...if it's 500 training, go to Western.

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I called Western and MD and they both said they would custom tailor a training program to me. Western's flight time was half the cost though and it sounds like their training is more in depth. Also they said if I took the vertical reference course as well as advance autos they would only charge me for one ground school. So far I like what I hear I just need to look at their curriculum and convince the boss to pay for it. ;)

 

Thanks for the input

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I called Western and MD and they both said they would custom tailor a training program to me. Western's flight time was half the cost though and it sounds like their training is more in depth. Also they said if I took the vertical reference course as well as advance autos they would only charge me for one ground school. So far I like what I hear I just need to look at their curriculum and convince the boss to pay for it. ;)

 

Thanks for the input

 

 

Go to Western, you will not regret it! Some of the best training available anywhere. They can take you to mountains at 10,000+ feet , deserts, hot, cold you name it. It is all close by. If you can not go there try Helistream at SNA. They do all the 500 training for the federal LEO's (all branches).

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I've done my recurrent training in Western Helicopter's 500 for 4 years now. You won't find two more experienced MD 500 instructors than Bob Spencer and Pete Gillies.

My underwriter actually reccomended Western over the MD school.

 

Fly

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey Tenancious -

 

When I purchased my MD500, I was given the choice of going to the factory school or doing my training with Chin Tu through Civic Helicopters at KCRQ. As someone else pointed out, my insurance company (Sutton James) recommended him higher than the factory school. They went so far as to remove the required minimum flight time in type should I pass Chin's course.

 

From what I understand, Chin was a test pilot for MD on the 500s (as well as others) for many years before embarking on his own and forming Civic out of what used to be Flight Trails (the MD finishing center) located at CRQ.

 

Civic can be reached at (760) 438-8424. Chin is not cheap - I think around $200/hr but he is worth every penny, enough so that I fly with him every three months concentrating on emergency maneuvers.

 

And no - I don't get any kickbacks for the recommendation !!

 

:lol:

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