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addition of helicopter rating

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Hello - I am an ATP, airplane (single and multi) and fly for a major US airline. I am interested in adding a private helicopter rating. My goal is to buy a copter to fly for fun, to be kept on our ranch. My husband has the same ratings, job and goals. I have a couple questions if anyone has some advice:

1. What would be the best helicopter for our needs? I am 5'9" and 145, my husband is 6'4" and 220.

2. I am concerned about how hard it will be to obtain insurance, and the cost. What can we expect there?

3. Any recommendations for a school near Dallas, TX?


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1. that really just depends on your financial situation. You could probably pull off an R22, but it is certainly not going to be comfortable for your husband at 6'4" and the maximum seat weight is 240 lbs. On top of that, if you were both planning to fly at the same time, you would be limited to a maximum of about an hour and 40 minutes of flight at best. My recommendation would be an R44 if you can afford it. It would give you a greater power margin to work with so you wouldn't be just squeaking by all the time, and would extend your range. Of course if money is no issue then it opens up alot of options, but i'm guessing it is at least part of the equation here. attached is R44 operating costs estimates.



2. If you choose an R44, pathfinder insurance is available from Robinson at about $10,000 per year. The coverage however is much less then that of other companies which would cost about 20,000 per year. Attached is a good summary of the pathfinder insurance.


3. Sky helicopters in Garland is supposes to be very good. I took a tour of their facility once, but never got to fly with them. It was a great place to learn, as it is a dedicated heliport.





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Why don't you both fly a bit in a helicopter to see if you really want to pursue it. I have a similar career path to yours, and only fairly recently got my commercial/instrument rotary. I know a place not terribly far from Dallas, where you could stay the weekend, get some flight time (rotary, dual) , and see if it turns out to be something you really want to do. Being dual rated has some very enjoyable benefits.

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