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Private Pilots renting helicopters and taking Passengers


Boatpix
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My culture is that I've read about many accidents over the years with private pilots taking passengers. Solo flights under the supervision of a cfi are one thing but this is carrying another soul onboard that might not understand the lack of expeience a private pilot really has. The Pathfinder program for Robinson helicopters requires 100 hours and factory school before they allow this. I've never allowed it because I've read in the newspaper about a competing school at my airport allow a solo student to take a helicopter for a solo flight that ended in a jailbreak and crash. Also because I've read about a private pilot at that same (defunct) school take a passenger to smash and kill themselves on the road to the airport. These both were from the airport where my service center is at. I might add that at the neighboring airport two police CFI's smashed that helicopter practicing autos. I know I miss out on revenue from these private pilots that want to rent but I think they are better off (and a LOT safer) flying with a cfi working on advanced manuevers. Now, you might say that I'm self serving because I want them to go out and take boat pictures (I do), but they are in the care an control of a CFI and learning with each tankful. I think the safety numbers fall in my favor, and I wish to protect lives and equipment. Anyone have an data to back up either side?

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Depends on the student. After I got my private, I wasn't ready to take a passenger up. Other students have different views, irrespective of school policy: a classmate of mine had his passenger shoot a video of them chasing a coyote low-level. At the time, the pilot was

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I have flown with enough 800+ hr Cfis that have done stupid things to know that ratings and hours don't necessarily equal a safe pilot.

 

So, when it comes to renting with passengers I believe its up to the rental company to determine for themselves if the renter is safe, and/or mature enough, to carry passengers.

 

For some pilots (especially Private ones), taking friends, family, and the occasional date, are the reason they got the rating.

:)

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Wow, I think that is pretty pilot specific. I knew one guy broke 100 hours and had never soloed. I took passengers up at somewhere around 65 hours. Maybe you should require a separate checkride after they have 100 hours in type, and if they are strong pilots and pass you let them take passengers at their discretion....with some caveats of course...like weather, mins. etc.

 

I haven't seen any statistics other than those that show the spike in accidents in the 200-300 hour range.

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So from what I've resd, because I don't feel like teaching or making a living flying the only way I can take anyone up is with a babysitter. It would seem to me that after instructing someone for any length of time you should be able to know if you would rent to him/her for solo flight,that should be one of your primary assesments not after they have their ticket. thats just my thoughts and yes I am a low time private pilot in both fixed wing and rotorcraft who just wanted to learn something new

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I understand both sides. From the stories posted it doesn't seem so much as a Private pilots ability as it was the decisions they made. Come on, a jail break and a suicide?

 

The botched autorotation I can understand however, most rental places don't allow for practice emergency procedures.

 

What is the point of becoming a Private Pilot if you can't take passengers? What needs to happen is true ADM needs to be taught. Aviation Decision Making is hardly ever taught if at all. That cycle needs to be broken.

 

Even 300+ hour CFIs are making bad choices.

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Evaluate the pilot, then check your insurance policy. If you are protected by liability insurance for a pax who might be injured or killed, then use your best judgement.

 

As quoted above:

 

For some pilots (especially Private ones), taking friends, family, and the occasional date, are the reason they got the rating.

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...I personally think anyone with less than 200 hours and a CFI rating should not be allowed to take up a passengers and THATS even pushing the limits of safety...

 

Damn! I'm sure glad you don't run my local school. :lol: With 600hrs you still wouldn't let me rent, just because I'm not a member of the "high and mighty" Cfi club! <_<

 

You realize, of course, that if you did run a school, you would be alienating any potential students/clients, who just wanted to be Private Pilots? :(

Edited by r22butters
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I'm the original poster. I asked if someone had any data on crashes. My memory is full of ppl crashes with friends and the poster that added the vidoe of the recent crash on the ballfield is an immediate example of poor flight school management in my opinion. Perhaps the FAA has it right because if you have a foreign ppl (H) license they will honor that ppl with a "restricted" license that allows you to fly solo but NOT carry passengers until you pass your CPL (H) with a checkride. Perhaps there is a reason for this. Perhaps they know. When you get to the top echelons of the FAA there is some real talent there. Some real experience. Perhaps they know that a foreign pilot is best solo rather than carrying another soul. You can auger yourself into the ballfield without carrying some gullible friend. We have that $100/hour subsidy from the photo company I own so its cheaper to fly on our program than own your own helicopters (trust me on this)and when I was at Heli-Success there was an interesting story. We had a PPL(H) that we trained an I told him my rule was that he could NOT take his lady friend for a ride. So, he did a checkride with a competing school and they approved him for some booty ride. They gave him high marks which warmed my heart. He called the other day and I was able to convey the story and pat myself for being "all knowing" but I'll stand by my decision to not allow any ppl(H) to take a friend for a ride. I don't even let my CFI's take a booty ride but who is going to pay you to fly a turbine and then allow you to take a booty ride? No one. Get used to it. I understand that some people got the ppl to take friends for rides. They are probably paying $300/hour for those ppl lessons when my students are paying an average of $200/hour and in the full program it nets to $157.50. It's tough for dad who paid to get junior a CFI that he can't fly with same but, hey, I gave junior a guaranteed job in an environment where no one is getting a job. Perhaps I'm a prick, but if I saved a life (and I believe I have) wouldn't you want to have a. a job and b. live?

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I'm the original poster. I asked if someone had any data on crashes. My memory is full of ppl crashes with friends and the poster that added the vidoe of the recent crash on the ballfield is an immediate example of poor flight school management in my opinion. Perhaps the FAA has it right because if you have a foreign ppl (H) license they will honor that ppl with a "restricted" license that allows you to fly solo but NOT carry passengers until you pass your CPL (H) with a checkride. Perhaps there is a reason for this. Perhaps they know. When you get to the top echelons of the FAA there is some real talent there. Some real experience. Perhaps they know that a foreign pilot is best solo rather than carrying another soul. You can auger yourself into the ballfield without carrying some gullible friend. We have that $100/hour subsidy from the photo company I own so its cheaper to fly on our program than own your own helicopters (trust me on this)and when I was at Heli-Success there was an interesting story. We had a PPL(H) that we trained an I told him my rule was that he could NOT take his lady friend for a ride. So, he did a checkride with a competing school and they approved him for some booty ride. They gave him high marks which warmed my heart. He called the other day and I was able to convey the story and pat myself for being "all knowing" but I'll stand by my decision to not allow any ppl(H) to take a friend for a ride. I don't even let my CFI's take a booty ride but who is going to pay you to fly a turbine and then allow you to take a booty ride? No one. Get used to it. I understand that some people got the ppl to take friends for rides. They are probably paying $300/hour for those ppl lessons when my students are paying an average of $200/hour and in the full program it nets to $157.50. It's tough for dad who paid to get junior a CFI that he can't fly with same but, hey, I gave junior a guaranteed job in an environment where no one is getting a job. Perhaps I'm a prick, but if I saved a life (and I believe I have) wouldn't you want to have a. a job and b. live?

All my pilots are allowed to use the helicopters for flying any of their family members. They do not become pilots in our organization until we know and trust them. Anyone going through our course can rent our machines for non-commercial activities. We would not sign them off for a check ride if we did not trust them to do the right thing. The statement about not allowing any PPL(H) to take a friend for a ride is a bit out there. This must be some kind of an insurance thing and your insurance company must not trust your judgement. You need to remove the PPL rating from your cost structure and teach only rated pilots your superior knowledge, so they can become a picture taking R22 driver with a commercial license. By the way, my pilots only pay for fuel when they use the helicopters for their family. $106.25 per hour for the FH1100. $361.25 per hour for the Huey. $212.50 for the BO105. Yes, all our pilots are trained to fly all our helicopters.

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Sounds as if your training standards aren't good enough. if you don't trust someone that you trained to Private Pilot standards to rent your helicopter that tells me your standards suck or at least that is the image it presents.

Edited by Rogue
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If a PPL candidate isn't fit to carry pax, in my view anyway, they shouldn't have been signed off to take the ride in the first place. That being said, I can see where the OP is coming from. I wasn't entirely confident taking pax when I had a PPL, but I knew it would still be safe to do so.

 

I dunno, I've been thinking about this thread since I first saw it, and it always comes back to my first sentence. If you're unsafe to carry passengers, you shouldn't be a rated pilot. But additional ratings and experience always help, with the weight being put on EXPERIENCE rather than ratings. If you've got one person with 150 hours of nothing but patterns and the requisite cross-country flights, that's one thing. If you have a person with 150 hours in unfamiliar airports, varying weather and airspace and some exposure to scenario-based emergency training, who will likely be the safer pilot?

 

Anyway, I took four different people up as a PPL, and they all lived to tell about it.

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Short answer, it's your business, you can do what you please. From a profit/loss standpoint I understand schools not being big on renting. There's a lot of risk for very little return. On the other hand, you send a very bad message when you tell your students they're not good enough to fly your helicopters with a passenger. The FAA has said they are when they get their certificate based on your training. I think the compromise most schools make is to allow their students to rent after some minimum of hours after they receive their private, with restrictions (no off airport landings, provide complete flight planning info approved by the chief pilots, no autos, running landings, etc.) You can say "no passengers" if you want, but the price will be when one of your students has to go to another business to rent a helicopter you can bet potential students will notice.

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One of the first instructors I flew with out here, had actually gotten his ratings at a different, local, school. I remember him telling me, that the school that trained him, didn't allow their own grads to even rent,...let alone take passengers! If a school told me I could not rent, even after training with them, I would find another school!

 

Has anyone ever checked the accident reports to see who has more, Privates plus passengers, or Commercials plus passengers? I'm sure Tour operators have had a few?

:huh:

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I think it comes down to risk analysis. A private pilot has shown themselves to be capable of carrying passengers otherwise they would not hold that certificate. However if they weather conditions are less than favorable, say a day with winds near the limits for the helicopter, it may not be advisable for that new pilot to carry passengers as they might be near the limits of their skill level. Sure they could probably handle it, but why put others at higher risk?

 

Likewise, if the private pilot has had practice in those winds and can comfortably fly the helicopter in a confident, controlled manner I see no reason why he or she shouldn't be able to take passengers.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Tom...what data are you looking for exactly? I have never had a PPL do any damage to an aircraft. I (we) have had many CFI's do damage to aircraft. That is pretty specific data.

 

Randy

Edited by randalrowles
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