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Helicopter insurance and the IR certificate


yzchopper
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A few questions:

1.)How many insurance companies are out there that insure helicopter operators and what are their names so I can contact them?

2.)How many pilots have actually used their instrument ticket because the job required you to have it?

3.)What helicopters are actually certified for instrument flying?

4.)Does the company you fly for (that requires you to have the IR certificate) pay for you to stay current or do you pay out of pocket?(Whether you fly instruments or not)?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Steve

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There are only a few underwriters, but lots of brokers around to go thru. I've used a couple different brokers and prices are about the same since the same few underwriters are bidding the policy...

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A few questions:

1.)How many insurance companies are out there that insure helicopter operators and what are their names so I can contact them?

2.)How many pilots have actually used their instrument ticket because the job required you to have it?

3.)What helicopters are actually certified for instrument flying?

4.)Does the company you fly for (that requires you to have the IR certificate) pay for you to stay current or do you pay out of pocket?(Whether you fly instruments or not)?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Steve

 

1. I fly for a county government and we self insure.

2. Don't use it right now but will start for training purposes in the next few months.

3. Lots of them. We are moving to the 429 which is IFR certified.

4. We have IPCs every 6 months but are also encouraged to fly practice approaches between missions and as time allows. I do not pay to keep current.

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2.)How many pilots have actually used their instrument ticket because the job required you to have it?

 

Of the thirteen non-CFI jobs I've come across over the years, only one said I had to have the IR, it was flying photos in an R22.

:)

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Weather you disagree with it, or not. Weather you like it, or not. You MUST obtain an Instrument Rating if you want to be marketable in this business. Why? The majority of the jobs that are considered pinnacles of the industry will definitely require you to have it. If you dont believe this, simply check the jsfirm.com website and see how many operators require the rating. If youre still in denial about it, then dont get the rating and see where that gets you……

Edited by Spike
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Thank you for all the replies. I have been thinking of getting my IR, but it does seem to be a rating that most do not use once they receive it. If insurances and underwriters are betting that it makes you a better and safer pilot, well they have lost that bet (to some degree). If you look at most accidents, the pilots were IR (and I think over confident) crashed and more often than not those accidents were in a job that it's mandatory like EMS. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have the IR but it does seem pointless at times for jobs that you would never fly if it was not VFR, such as aerial application, powerline, aerial photos, and tours. These jobs require it but why, when you need great weather and visibility for the work you doing. Again thanks for all the replies.

 

Steve

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Thank you for all the replies. I have been thinking of getting my IR, but it does seem to be a rating that most do not use once they receive it. If insurances and underwriters are betting that it makes you a better and safer pilot, well they have lost that bet (to some degree). If you look at most accidents, the pilots were IR (and I think over confident) crashed and more often than not those accidents were in a job that it's mandatory like EMS. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have the IR but it does seem pointless at times for jobs that you would never fly if it was not VFR, such as aerial application, powerline, aerial photos, and tours. These jobs require it but why, when you need great weather and visibility for the work you doing. Again thanks for all the replies.

 

Steve

 

 

My instrument rating saved my life. Period. I went inadvert in the mountains. If i did not have my IFR cert i would be dead... That being said, best money i have ever spent....

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Like everything else, this industry is a business. If an operator can save money by requiring you to have your IR, you're going to have to get it. If a school can make more money by only hiring CFIIs, then you're going to have to get it.

 

I've heard more than one CFII say they would never fly a helicopter into real IMC, but oh' well.

 

As long as this industry is overcrowded, you're gonna have to play by the rules of the game,...so get out your wallet.

:)

Edited by r22butters
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As long as this industry is overcrowded, you're gonna have to play by the rules of the game,...so get out your wallet.

 

This is a matter of perspective….

 

The more qualified you are, the less crowded it is…..

 

Despite the status of this industry, you must ALWAYS play by the rules. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS….

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Thank you for all the replies. I have been thinking of getting my IR, but it does seem to be a rating that most do not use once they receive it. If insurances and underwriters are betting that it makes you a better and safer pilot, well they have lost that bet (to some degree). If you look at most accidents, the pilots were IR (and I think over confident) crashed and more often than not those accidents were in a job that it's mandatory like EMS. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have the IR but it does seem pointless at times for jobs that you would never fly if it was not VFR, such as aerial application, powerline, aerial photos, and tours. These jobs require it but why, when you need great weather and visibility for the work you doing. Again thanks for all the replies.

 

Steve

 

 

Something else to consider.... How do you know the pilot's that crashed "at most accidents were IR?" I imagine it is because the job requires it. So take the next logical step and imagine how many more IIMC accidents there would be if it was not a job requirement and it was strictly VFR pilots. The weather minimums stay the same irrespective of wether you have in instrument ticket or not.

 

I don't think it's necessarily overconfidence leading to the accidents, so much as pressure (even if it's self induced) to get a job done. The fear of IIMC plays a major role as well. If the first thing you feel losing ground reference is panic and an immediate need to get out of that situation, you may make some lousy decisions. As if you weren't doing that already to find yourself in the situation in the first place.

 

Having said that, having my instrument training paid off when I went inadvertent (in a 206), and now I get to fly helicopters IMC intentionally (EC135, A109 AW139). When it's something you've done a few times, it takes the fear out of it.

 

Lastly, it really is out of our hands. Having the instrument opens more doors and it doesn't really matter how we feel about it until we are doing the hiring. Someone else's company, someone else's requirements. It is what it is.

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Thank you for the information and on your experiences. I still plan on getting the IR just thought it was a little ridiculous that it's required for jobs that you would in no way ever need it or even come close to IIMC. Again thanks.

 

Steve

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That is probably due to a lack of experience on their part.

 

Very true. The majority of "active CFII's" probably have no actual IMC time. I've always thought it was completely ridiculous that a pilot could obtain their IR and then become a CFII with 0 actual imc time. When I was at the peak of being an active CFII I would've been comfortable in imc because I was practicing everyday with students. Now that it's been awhile I wouldn't be.

 

Thank you for the information and on your experiences. I still plan on getting the IR just thought it was a little ridiculous that it's required for jobs that you would in no way ever need it or even come close to IIMC. Again thanks.

 

Steve

 

For a lot of the jobs it's required mainly to weed through the resumes and shorten the stack. It will make you a better pilot though. You'll be more precise sooner than if you hadn't gotten 1 and you'll have a better understanding of the ATC system.

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...just thought it was a little ridiculous that it's required for jobs that you would in no way ever need it or even come close to IIMC...

 

,...or even have the instruments to help you if you did.

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I've always thought it was completely ridiculous that a pilot could obtain their IR and then become a CFII with 0 actual imc time.

 

That's one way of looking at it. Another is that it allows significantly more pilots to train and get certified without the insane cost of flying an IFR certified helicopter for the certificate. Ask the JAA how they do it, and let me know if you still think it's ridiculous the we we get it done. I believe the FAA figures that the pros outweigh the cons in this situation. But, I agree, a little actual goes a long way, especially hand flying it.

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