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Minding the gap


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Hey All,

 

Looking at a career change, but doing the math on the whole helicopter thing is driving me batty!

 

Since I have 300hrs Fixed wing PIC with an instrument rating (and can easily get my Comm, Multi / Comm), The requirements are a little looser for me to transition into rotary (at least for the add-on ratings). The question then becomes, how do you go from the 100hrs or so you have after getting a CFI to the 2000 hours required to get a job?

 

Not everyone can possibly do the CFI route, and quick mental math shows that at $300/hr on the cheap side x 2000 hrs is 600K!!! So what other options are there?

 

having trouble wrapping my mind around the gap between starting flying and making money.

 

-Texan

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You are right that not everyone can do the CFI route... the others that don't go the cfi route 95% drop out and the other 4% have a connection with an operator and the remaining 1% are independently wealthy.

Typically nobody pays outright for 2000 hours. If you have the financial means you could buy your own helicopter and get your ratings then offer commercial services. I wouldn't advise such a move, but it is what I did.

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You don't need 2,000 hours to get a job.

 

I know a handful of pilots that have gotten tour jobs (flying A-Stars/EC130's) at 1,000 hours.

 

You will also have more than 100 hours at CFI. If you get through CFII you should have closer to 300 hours.

 

To get to 1,000 hours CFI is the most logical way to go about it.

 

Should cost anywhere from $50,000 to maximum $70,000 to get through CFII. And I would disagree that $300/hr is the cheap side. I pay way less than that....just my 2c

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To get a job as a CFII you'll need 200hrs helicopter if the school that trains you hires you, 300-500hrs helicopter to get a job with a different school. Once you've aqcuired between 1000 and 2000hrs PIC helicopter you can try for an entry-level turbine job in Alaska, the Grand Canyon, or the GOM.

 

If the add-on ratings only get you 100hrs helicopter you will have to buy your way up to 200-500hrs either renting, or through time-building operations.

 

For most wanabees there are only two options, CFII or Military! If you cannot do either, I suggest you stick with fixed-wing!

Edited by eagle5
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To get to 1,000 hours CFI is the most logical way to go about it.

 

Should cost anywhere from $50,000 to maximum $70,000 to get through CFII. And I would disagree that $300/hr is the cheap side. I pay way less than that....just my 2c

 

I think your numbers are a bit old. I paid 75K for mine and most CFIs I talked to paid 70-100k

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Hey All,

 

Looking at a career change, but doing the math on the whole helicopter thing is driving me batty!

 

Since I have 300hrs Fixed wing PIC with an instrument rating (and can easily get my Comm, Multi / Comm), The requirements are a little looser for me to transition into rotary (at least for the add-on ratings). The question then becomes, how do you go from the 100hrs or so you have after getting a CFI to the 2000 hours required to get a job?

 

Not everyone can possibly do the CFI route, and quick mental math shows that at $300/hr on the cheap side x 2000 hrs is 600K!!! So what other options are there?

 

having trouble wrapping my mind around the gap between starting flying and making money.

 

-Texan

 

In my opinion,

 

If you choose to jump into the helicopter world, you’ll need to look at it as starting all over again. While your FW time will add to your PIC and total time, helicopter operators will only want helicopter time. Plus, the majority of applicants you’ll be competing with for open helicopter positions will have the 200 hours. Therefore, view this as the benchmark to achieve (along with a few others) ….. Simply put, to posture yourself for entry level helicopter CFI employment, your best case scenario would be; Commercial Helicopter with CFII ratings and 200 hours total helicopter time with time in the S300, R22 and R44 and meeting the R22/44 SFAR73 requirements (this is why you’ll need 200 hours). Anything short of this will require a miracle…….

 

If you do your research properly, you’ll be able to attach dollar amounts to the above scenario. After that, whatever amount you come up with, add anywhere from 15 to 25 percent……

Edited by Spike
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You will also have more than 100 hours at CFI. If you get through CFII you should have closer to 300 hours.

 

Really?? You should only have about 180 or so after your CFII if you are anywhere close to minimums. 300 is waaaaaayy out there.

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To get a job as a CFII you'll need 200hrs helicopter if the school that trains you hires you, 300-500hrs helicopter to get a job with a different school. Once you've aqcuired between 1000 and 2000hrs PIC helicopter you can try for an entry-level turbine job in Alaska, the Grand Canyon, or the GOM.

 

If the add-on ratings only get you 100hrs helicopter you will have to buy your way up to 200-500hrs either renting, or through time-building operations.

 

For most wanabees there are only two options, CFII or Military! If you cannot do either, I suggest you stick with fixed-wing!

 

 

Pretty much works the same on the fixed wing side.

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Pretty much works the same on the fixed wing side.

 

That sucks! I always thought they had a few more options, like Alaskan bush pilot, or something?

 

The best way to have a career in aviation is to first build a successful career doing something else, then lease an aircraft and start your own business! This way no one can tell you your logbook isn't fat enough, and if things don't work out, you've got something solid to fall back on!

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Really?? You should only have about 180 or so after your CFII if you are anywhere close to minimums. 300 is waaaaaayy out there.

 

The strange thing is; the Robinson SFAR should have diminished the number of R22’s/44’s in the training sector but it didn’t. Flight schools used it as an opportunity…. There was a day when, you took your commercial ride at 150 hours and the next day, you took the CFI…. It appears those days are way sFAR gone…

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Haha, myabe so Spike but you should still have a CFII at around 180. I'm a schweizer guy so it didn't matter. That 300 hour thing is BS in my opinion, money making racket that a lot of places take advantage of!

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That sucks! I always thought they had a few more options, like Alaskan bush pilot, or something?

 

The best way to have a career in aviation is to first build a successful career doing something else, then lease an aircraft and start your own business! This way no one can tell you your logbook isn't fat enough, and if things don't work out, you've got something solid to fall back on!

 

Flying as a for profit business is almost a pipe dream.

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Was I taught wrong? I will reference the SFAR later but, I thought it was 200 hrs, 50 of which had to be in a Robinson R22, to instruct in the R22, and 50 of which had to be in a R44 to instruct in an R44. For the R44 25 of the required 50 hrs could be substituted by time in the R22, but not vice versa.

 

Where does the 300hr requirement come in?

 

I have heard of students finishing training in Robinsons well under the 200 hr mark, sad thing is with the SFAR they don't save much money if any since they still have to buy time to reach the 200hr minimum to be an instructor.

 

Again, I will have to look it up later, but it don't sound right. Too tired now, good night all.

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(5) No certificated flight instructor may provide instruction or conduct a flight review in a Robinson R–22 or R–44 unless that instructor—

(i) Completes the awareness training in paragraph 2(a) of this SFAR.

(ii) For the Robinson R–22, has had at least 200 flight hours in helicopters, at least 50 flight hours of which were in the Robinson R–22, or for the Robinson R–44, has had at least 200 flight hours in helicopters, 50 flight hours of which were in Robinson helicopters. Up to 25 flight hours of Robinson R–22 flight time may be credited toward the 50 hour requirement.

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The 300hr mark is a Pathfinder Insurance requirement for instruction. Unfortunately this is the primary insurance provider for Robinson products as it is usually the cheapest option. They are somehow owned by Robinson, although I believe they are officially located on a Carribean island.

 

Some schools help with this gap by having a single aircraft that is insured elsewhere, so CFIs start out teaching only in that one until they've surpassed 300hrs. I've heard it said that this is Robinson's way of indirectly affecting the increased use of their products for instruction since the SFAR. Frankly :lol it just seems to be another business venture making oodles of $$$!

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