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Will it really take 55-60 hrs to get my Private add-on?


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Hi, new to the forum here, so sorry if this is the wrong place for newbie/FAQ type of questions.

 

I am a low-time private fixed wing pilot (350 hours TT) and want to transition to helicopters with the goal of ultimately pursuing a career in flying.

 

I was told by a local flight school to expect it to take at least 55-60 hours to get my helicopter add-on. I got my PPL fixed wing in 41.5 hours. I realize that learning to fly helicopters is more difficult than flying airplanes, but I have a hard time understanding why it will take 55-60 for an add on, considering that a certificated fixed wing pilot is already proficient with the material that is common among the categories, such as weather, ATC, airspace, navigation, etc.

 

Is it really typical to spend this much time on an add-on? Or is this flight school trying to juice me?

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According to the posts I've read on this site over the years - I guess that is the industry standard these days.

 

As you already know it depends on you a lot and as I found in my training experience I would travel the extra mile and pay the extra dollar to find an old crusty CFI with tens of thousands of hours and lot of teaching experience, at least for your primary. After that you should have a good enough grasp of the principles that you can survive/suffer the inefficiency of motion and inadequacy that is common in the 200 hour CFI category.

 

As you said, radio calls, tower communications, airspace and regulations should already be a known quanitity to you. There are some specific FARs for the helo that you will have to learn. If you dig into the FARs it is actually possible to add-on in like 19 hours. I personally didn't find flying the helicopter very difficult. Not bragging though it sounds like it, it just came easy for me. You may have read in airplane rating about "ground shyness". My instructor used to tease me that my sphincter muscle was the strongest muscle in my body because the only time I messed up is when I sucked the seat cushion up my behind. When I did that it caused a chain reaction that manifested itself into doing weird stuff with my hands and feet. It was hardest for me to learn "normal approaches" the airplane guy in me wanted to fly down to the tarmac at 70 knots and flare.

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You will need to find a school that flies something other than R22/44. You aren't allowed to solo in these until you have 20 hours by regulation in them which bumps your add-on up to at least the 30-40 hour range. I had an add-on student last year who finished at 40 in the R22.

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The hardest thing to learn is how to hover, I think it took me around 10hrs (but I'm a slow learner). Since your already a pilot, I imagine the rest shouldn't be all that difficult (depending on how long it takes you to convince yourself that you can have zero airspeed and still be airborn?).

 

Like mentioned above, train in other than an R22 (i.e. an S300 or Enstrom) and you can shave off a few more hours. 55-60hrs,...I seariously doubt it takes that long to "add-on"!

:)

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Sounds like avoiding training in an R22 and/or 44 might be shooting yourself in the foot. From my understanding the majority of flight schools operate Robinson, and if you don't have the time and unique FAR rating you're s.o.l. when looking for a CFI position.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong?

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Sounds like avoiding training in an R22 and/or 44 might be shooting yourself in the foot. From my understanding the majority of flight schools operate Robinson, and if you don't have the time and unique FAR rating you're s.o.l. when looking for a CFI position.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong?

Or if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the position I found myself in the person that put me to work considered my choice to avoid Robinson products to be good Aeronautical Decision Making and he values good ADM over piloting skills, in fact he values good customer service skills over piloting skills (not that being a good stick isn't important but an awesome stick with crappy customer relationship skills and bad decision making skills is pretty much worthless)

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No, it is not typical for an add-on to take that long. The students I had that were add-ons were the easiest to teach as they knew pretty much exactly what they were getting into. They just needed to learn how to fly the helicopter. Some could even passibly hover from the first lesson. Figure around 40 hours, but some have been able to do it in less. I also don't think it's true that helicopters are harder to fly than airplanes.

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Let me first state that I am not a fan of thread creep just for the sake of it, but I've decided to post this because I'm seeing some misleading information being added to this conversation that may confuse the relative beginners that are asking questions in this thread.

 

I'm also not a fan of Robbies. I'm glad that i'm well past that point in my career. But, they were quite useful at one point in my career.

 

Or if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the position I found myself in the person that put me to work considered my choice to avoid Robinson products to be good Aeronautical Decision Making and he values good ADM over piloting skills, in fact he values good customer service skills over piloting skills (not that being a good stick isn't important but an awesome stick with crappy customer relationship skills and bad decision making skills is pretty much worthless)

 

Rogue,

 

Does your boss consider himself a higher authority than the FAA on the airworthiness of one particular type of airframe over another. ADM has nothing to do with the make and model of aircraft that you fly. If you think that it does, I suggest you read FAA AC 60-22 Aeronautical Decision Making. Maybe you could print off a copy for your boss also while you're at it.

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stand corrected....

for that matter... if you are looking for a career and fall into the initial robinson trap it won't make much difference if you take 55-60 hours to add on as you'll have to spend 200 hours in it to be able to teach in it. I'd like to say the robinson trap is much like the retiring vietnam pilot trap for initial students. Since you have 350 airplane hours... make them count for something... AVOID the robinson and finish your CFI in helicopters in 50 hours (or as close as you can to that).

 

I'd just add on for Darren that in my opinion I don't think you have to be a genius or have any FAA power to recognize that the robinson R22 for initial training is not the best idea all things considered... but then again people don't have much regard for their safety until it is too late.

Edited by apiaguy
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I'd just add on for Darren that in my opinion I don't think you have to be a genius or have any FAA power to recognize that the robinson R22 for initial training is not the best idea all things considered... but then again people don't have much regard for their safety until it is too late.

 

Neither is 200 hour pilots teaching zero time pilots, but let's be realistic about the system that is currently in place. A low time instructor with Robbie time has more options than one without.

 

 

I said he was "not wrong". As in he is correct. To get into this business without Robinson time would be a mistake. I never flew them and I have lost out on some opportunities.

 

I also agree, chosing what aircraft you fly isn't exactly part of ADM!

 

 

 

Sorry about that Helonorth, I got into a bit of a roll there as I was reading through the Anti-Robbie posts and did not read your post correctly. I'll edit it out.

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Let me first state that I am not a fan of thread creep just for the sake of it, but I've decided to post this because I'm seeing some misleading information being added to this conversation that may confuse the relative beginners that are asking questions in this thread.

 

I'm also not a fan of Robbies. I'm glad that i'm well past that point in my career. But, they were quite useful at one point in my career.

 

 

 

Rogue,

 

Does your boss consider himself a higher authority than the FAA on the airworthiness of one particular type of airframe over another. ADM has nothing to do with the make and model of aircraft that you fly. If you think that it does, I suggest you read FAA AC 60-22 Aeronautical Decision Making. Maybe you could print off a copy for your boss also while you're at it.

 

wow really........ *sigh*

 

1. PURPOSE. This Advisory Circular (AC)

provides introductory material' date=' background

information, and reference material on

Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM). The

material in this AC provides [b']a systematic

approach to risk assessment[/b].....

 

please explain to me how exactly assesing an aircraft that was not designed to be a trainer and identifying the risk associated with training in an aircraft not designed to be a trainer is not ADM

 

since you the way you addressed this was quite frankly pretty rude lets take it one step further -

 

ADM has nothing to do with the make and model of aircraft that you fly.

So I have a mission. I need to fly 500 pounds of cargo and 195 pound passenger to a remote mountain top camp site. I have the choice between a Robinson R-22 and a Bell 206. After I identifying the needs of the operation and the risks involved tell me how deciding which aircraft make and model has nothing to do with the decision making process.

 

shall I go on ?

 

and as far authority goes I'll put his 40 + years, 20k plus hours of experience, A&P license and position as a hiring authority against whatver you bring to the table.

Edited by Rogue
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Doesn’t matter what anyone believes the R22 was manufactured for. The fact remains; it’s the most popular civilian training platform out here and has the lowest DOC of all the piston machines so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Plus, due to its inherent instability and low rotor inertia, it produces relatively good pilots. Simply said, its cake going from a R22 to a S300 (or any other machine) but the opposite can’t be said. If you are competent in the R22 you can pretty much fly anything.

 

Attempting to enter into this business as a CFI without being Robinson SFAR qualified, will severely limit your employment opportunities. It becomes a simple math equation. Are there exceptions? Of course, but not many…..

 

An add-on should be done at or near the minimums. If you are thinking pro-helo-pilot, it doesn’t really matter as it’s already been pointed out, you’ll need that Robinson SFAR qual to compete in the marketplace…

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So I have a mission. I need to fly 500 pounds of cargo and 195 pound passenger to a remote mountain top camp site. I have the choice between a Robinson R-22 and a Bell 206. After I identifying the needs of the operation and the risks involved tell me how deciding which aircraft make and model has nothing to do with the decision making process.

 

shall I go on ?

 

and as far authority goes I'll put his 40 + years, 20k plus hours of experience, A&P license and position as a hiring authority against whatver you bring to the table.

 

 

So now you're comparing a Bell 206 to an R22 for the same mission.......

 

I don't think it takes 40 years of experience to shoot some holes in that one Bro. While you're at it let's throw a AS350 B3 into that awesome little analogy and call the guy who chooses a 206 a much worse Aeronautical Decision Maker!

 

ADM was clearly not designed to compare airframes. Let's not tarnish a great piloting tool by applying it to asinine "which is the better trainer" arguments.

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I didn't have any robbie time when I got my first CFI job at Bristow Academy but they are a predominantly S300 school. As Spike said, 22's are used by a ton of schools and I would also recommend having at least the SFAR when finished with your training.

 

I wouldn't worry so much bout 44 time but if you decide to invest in some it won't hurt either. In my opinion, the 300 is a far nicer trainer and I would much rather teach in one. I never liked 22's and only have about 1.5 hours in them. I have about 450 hours in a 44 doing commercial work but they are a much nicer aircraft than the 22.

 

I also agree that ADM has nothing to do with deciding whether or not to fly in a 22!!

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I'm sorry, thats too much of a waste of time & $$$. I instructed a 2500 hour fixed wing ag pilot and completed his commercial helicopter add on with 55. some hours. Right at the minimum. He completed a private check ride with 30 hours and accumulated the PIC required with me to make him proficient for a commercial check ride at 55. some hours. It all depends on the individual and their experience but this gives you a perspective of an extreme on the other end of the spectrum. So with your fixed wing experience and however dedicated you are, you should be minimum 30 hours and maximum 40 hours if you have a good instructor. (At the time I was about a 400 hour CFI- so finding the right instructor doesn't necessarily depend on his hours either, but do be careful in your IP selection).

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So now you're comparing a Bell 206 to an R22 for the same mission.......

 

I don't think it takes 40 years of experience to shoot some holes in that one Bro. While you're at it let's throw a AS350 B3 into that awesome little analogy and call the guy who chooses a 206 a much worse Aeronautical Decision Maker!

 

ADM was clearly not designed to compare airframes. Let's not tarnish a great piloting tool by applying it to asinine "which is the better trainer" arguments.

 

You know you had a point with what you said but for some reason instead of arguing the facts you basically attacked a very dear personal friend of mine.

 

If you don't believe selection of an airframe has anything to do with the decision making process at many different levels then you seriously need some remedial training number one. Number two I see you blatantly ignore directly answering my question - again avoiding arguing the facts of the matter and choosing to make personal insults because you have no facts to back your weak argument.

 

I see you have no problem with seeing how an R22 cannot complete the same mission as a Bell 206, the gross difference was exageratted to emphasize the point- I was pretty sure I would need to exageratte it to that level for you to be able to see the difference. So you agree it would be a bad decision making process to try and use a R22 to complete that mission. Congratulations you have graduated from step one of remedial training.

Edited by Rogue
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To emphasize the point even more - why as a private rated helicopter pilot may a pilot act as pilot in command of any helicopter in the world that does not require a type rating except for a Robinson ?

Why does no other helicopter require special rules and requirement in order to fly it ?

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Plus, due to its inherent instability and low rotor inertia, it produces relatively good pilots. Simply said, its cake going from a R22 to a S300 (or any other machine) but the opposite can’t be said. If you are competent in the R22 you can pretty much fly anything. That is false logic, you are implying that learning in anything other than an R22 would not make a good pilot. I know a LOT of military pilots that were weened on TH55s that would say differently.

 

Attempting to enter into this business as a CFI without being Robinson SFAR qualified, will severely limit your employment opportunities. It becomes a simple math equation. Are there exceptions? Of course, but not many….. agreed

 

So you admit, it is inherently unstable and has low rotor inertia not exactly good qualities to have in a primary trainer.

Edited by Rogue
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It propably will be less than 60 hours. but more than 40 on the R22. So if the school said 50 to 60 hours, that is maybe not too far away from the truth. And if you are done faster, good for you.

 

I did the commercial add on in about 70 hours, but had longer breaks in between. I can only recommend to actively say the instructor what you need and whats waste of your time and money.

 

for example,I said to my instructor that if we are flying longer than 5 minutes straight and level, you are wasting my time and my money. Cause thats what i have been doing for about 14000hrs. Flying a heli is not magic. Its just another flying machine. If you squeese the max out of your instruction, that will make a hell of a difference how much you learned after your initial training.

 

Have fun and dont count the flighthours you did training.

 

...but be demanding how you spent those hours...

 

L

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