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Fixed Wing to Helo


bdl1769
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Not sure if this has been discussed on here before but here's a little background before my question...I'm applying for the Army WOFT program and spend a good bit of time in that forum. I'm also getting ready to start flight training through my local college but its fixed wing. My question is what can I expect to remain the same when I start flying helos?? I know radio comm., flight planning, etc won't be too different but what will "transfer"?? Thanks!!

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I'm doing the opposite right now. HighNFast is right... outside of knowing airspace, most regs and comms, not much will transfer. The operational profile of any helicopter is going to be entirely different than an airplane in almost all aspects. It won't be too hard, but it will be different.

 

By the way, it's definitely a plus having dual ratings. Good luck.

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I agree that airspace, ATC ops and radio work will be the same, except where and how it applies to helicopters.

 

On the "flying"side I do not think fixed-wing training is entirely useless. Energy management is the most important thing all pilots learn (i.e. Pitch, power, airspeed, altitude, gravity, etc.)

 

While some of the "habits" are definitely different, the basic knowledge of energy management can be transferred and used.

Edited by MileHiR44
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I'm doing the opposite right now.

 

What?You're flying planks????

 

By the way, it's definitely a plus having dual ratings. Good luck.

 

Are there many schools that teach both where having a dual rating is a plus?

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I saw a job ad not too long ago for a CFI that stated "dual rating a plus". Plus I figure if I'm a CFII heli and a MEI, I've got two different areas of aviation I can get rejections from instead of one.

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Duel rating is pretty worthless from my experience, a very small number of companies operate both aircraft, however they want a large number of hours in both.

 

Take the cost of your fixed wing, divide it by $100. That's how many extra hours you could have in helicopters and that is all that matters.

 

My degree and fixed wing shenanigans cost the equivalent of 1,000 hours.

 

They want hours, whatever resume booster you might imagine, dollar for dollar is better spent on time. Get rid of insurance premiums and maybe that would change.

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A lot of people minimize the importance of having the navigation, radio, airspace and just overall being comfortable in an aircraft when it comes to migrating from planes to helicopters. Having those things lets you completely focus on flying the aircraft, which is difficult to learn.

 

It certainly doesn't buy you much, if anything, in the long run, but when I first started with R22s it took a lot of the stress off.

 

But if you're in career-mode and do not plan on flying planes for a living...skip the fixed-wing.

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I'm gonna go opposite most of these responses (like I nearly always do) and say that LOTS of stuff will transfer. There is something very important in learning to fly airplanes or helicopters. Airmanship... The only real difference I can see in the two is which direction you wiggle the sticks to make it do what you want. Flying is VERY visual and if you have flown a number of airplanes you will understand what different sight pictures look like and that will corelate to sight pictures in the helicopter... sure, you can always say it is different, but that depends on the aircraft.. not necessarily the type.

I started in helicopters...got 12 hrs. R22, did airplanes for hundreds of hours, came back to finish helicopters and fly both regularly. Don't discount the similarities unless you're just trying to save a dime.

Edited by apiaguy
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I agree with apiaguy 100%. If you can master fixed wing flying the transition to helicopters will not be difficult. You will also be familiar with most of the knowledge required in flight school.

 

Remember that you get out of training what you put into it.

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I disagree. I have trained a good few guys that were fixed wing and they found the physical flying of the aircraft quite difficult. There is always the exception of course. A lot of the knowledge transfers but they also have to pick up the helicopter aerodynamics. I think it still takes most guys doing the add-on at least the minimum time required to get a PPL for a non-aviator starting off.

Edited by Trans Lift
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We urge people wanting to get into aviation, to go ahead and get their private fixed wing first, and then do the helicopter add on. We do a lot of helicopter add ons. The folks that do the add on are more comfortable in the air and already know the basics for navigation, radio, and general knowledge. We find that in almost every case we can do the sign off for the ride in about 25 hours. We've done a lot in 20 hours. You can get the private fixed wing for about $8,000.00 and add the helicopter for another $8,000.00. You now have $16,000.00 in a private rating and are qualified for the fixed wing or the helicopter. If you go the strictly helicopter route you've got around $16,000.00 in a private helicopter license. By the way, we do both fixed wing and helicopter training, it opens up a lot more options.

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Hey guys-

I am a CFII and have taught in both categories as well. I remember one of my helo students had lots of small airplane time, to include some aerobatics. He NAILED the hover on lesson two - I've never seen anything like it. In the same week I had a gentleman (very nice guy) who was a Falcon 2000 instructor at Flight Safety. We probably spend 10-15 hours trying to get the normal approach to private standards. The lesson? You just never know.

 

From my own experience transitioning from airplanes to helos, and watching other students, I think that there are PLENTY of skills that transfer positively. Energy management was mentioned earlier. I would also add visual cues during maneuvers. I always taught the fixed wingers to look out when changing power to watch for associated pitch changes. Well, of course that still applies. Even visual cues from the final flare in an airplane landing can be transferred to the flare at the bottom of an auto. How about instrument skills? The scan, procedures, not to mention doing approaches at twice the speed. There's lots of good transfers.

 

Of course, there are negative transfers. I hate to admit this, but every once in a blue moon, I catch myself leading a turn with pedal. :(

 

Regarding the dual ratings, I don't recommend it. I haven't found a "professional" job that would even allow me to fly both. HOWEVER, it helped me land two jobs as a CFI. It ended up being the "thing" that set me apart. Again, I don't recommend it, but it isn't completely useless either.

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