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Uni of North Dakota


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I had someone asking me today what I knew about UND. I don't know that much about it so I looked it up online. I came across the price of their helicopter training. It is INSANELY EXPENSIVE. What is the reason for this?

 

The instructor fee is $105 per hour. I've never heard of that type of price for instruction at a flight school.

 

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I know a CFI that works up there. They train in 300's and Bell 206 for instrument. I would guess the turbine to be part of the reason for the high cost. A lot of there students are international or military. They have a lot of contracts with international companies. Sounds like a great place to work/train. That is an expensive CFI cost but I've actually seen more...$160 for a fixed wing instructor at a small college.

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I went to UND, airplane and helicopter. The cost is threefold. First as a student you pay tuition for the non-aviation college classes and you pay extra tuition for the aviation classes. Two it's a huge company that likes to buy things, such as corporate jets, you get to pay for that. Three, the helicopter department really just trains contract students for the Army and big oil, and with government contracts, well, obviously the F22 was not designed with cost in mind.

 

I should say the cost also pays for some high time instructors. Some are awesome, some are terrible, but overall they are experienced.

 

The aviation classes are nice, is it worth the cost? I ask myself that every day, my instrument was $35,000 the sim costing $300 per hour.

 

The management was also very very heavy in pushing the "pilot shortage thing" I don't think in a malicious sort of way though.

 

You can get financing very easily since it is a college after all, whether or not it's a good idea to get a loan for what UND costs is up to you.

 

Most of the people I met did not enjoy UND, but it seemed to work out for some of them.

 

UND is a very interesting place, I could talk for hours about it, so I'll stop myself here, but feel free to contact me if you like or post here.

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Sounds like it might be a great place to be a CFI.

 

I am currently a CFI at UND, and we are paid well but not great. I still have to settle for "Cup o'noodles" to eat most times.

 

The majority of our CFI's are Salary but the select few that are not are making:

 

CFI = $25 - $30/hr

CFII = $30 - $35/hr

 

The helicopter department has 9 H300's with one more on order, 2 B206's with one more coming, and 2 Frasca FTD's which are leased not owned by UND which is why they are expensive, we have to charge what those that own it say.

 

UND aerospace as a whole (Fixed wing and Heli's) no longer has the corporate jet which was donated to UND by Cessna aircraft and never flown except by a couple management people. We do have a Citation II research jet which is funded by the department of atmospheric science NOT the aviation department, and we have 2 King Air C90's that are currently paid for by Air China, No non-air china students will see any of their money go to the King Air's.

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$300 an hour for the sim. I don't care how experienced the instructor is, that is crazy expensive. $35,000 for an Instrument, holy sh*t.

 

This thread is purely out of interest by the way because I was so shocked by the pricing. I don't see why someone would spend so much money doing this course when they are paying for it themselves. (Not military or contract) :blink:

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$300 an hour for the sim. I don't care how experienced the instructor is, that is crazy expensive. $35,000 for an Instrument, holy sh*t.

 

This thread is purely out of interest by the way because I was so shocked by the pricing. I don't see why someone would spend so much money doing this course when they are paying for it themselves. (Not military or contract) :blink:

 

The reason for such high rates is like Shaun said. UND is a huge company, and with 9 H300's that get about 100 hours a month on them, we have a large maintenance department, line facilities, fuel trucks and tugs that all have to be paid for. It's nice because we don't have to fuel our selves, the helicopters are always washed/cleaned and inspected daily, line pulls them in the mornings and puts them away at night for you, all we have to do is Pre-flight and fly. Yes, some of that stuff needs to be learned first hand, but that's why we have un-controlled/attended fields too.

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The reason for such high rates is like Shaun said. UND is a huge company, and with 9 H300's that get about 100 hours a month on them, we have a large maintenance department, line facilities, fuel trucks and tugs that all have to be paid for.

 

Bristow Academy has a fleet of 50 aircraft, mostly 300's, and a huge maintenance team. They are (or were) flying 100 hours every two weeks on each ship. Still way way way cheaper.

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UND aerospace as a whole (Fixed wing and Heli's) no longer has the corporate jet which was donated to UND by Cessna aircraft and never flown except by a couple management people.

 

I was talking about the previous jets and bonanzas, and UND still has to pay a lot for the mustang. There is so much more fluff beyond that, you finance the fixed wing flying team for example. I'm not going to debate the value of such enterprises, maybe it does help with job placement for the airline guys, but the original question was about cost.

 

Another cost beyond the price per hour is of course your tuition. I would say one third of the classes the classes were good, human factors helicopter aerodynamics. However you pay and have to take classes like the history of airline transportation, long range navigation, and a slew of gen end stuff you will never use.

 

An aviation degree seems pretty meaningless in the helicopter industry, at least it has been for me, maybe someone else can comment on that.

 

Angelfire will have to give an update about the maintenance/aircraft availability. During my term I flew maybe once every two weeks and there was a time when every single helicopter was down for maintenance costing UND about $12,000 per day in lost revenue. Apparently the mechanics were told to focus on the airplanes first and foremost. I was also personally bumped for the contract students all the time. And with my choices to get instrument current again being a $300 sim or the 206, well....

 

I guess I would say don't go to UND and take the extra money and buy more hours, but it has definitely worked out well for some, are there are some great people there. It's also a fun environment, lots of well traveled professors and aviation knowledge.

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