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Colorado Pipeline Patrol


RkyMtnHI
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We started one of our yearly pipeline contracts this week and thought you might like to see some photos of the Eastern Slope. We'll move to the Western side of the divide next week and have more photos of those flights. We fly almost 3000 miles of pipeline in Colorado alone now.

We are not bragging about this folks, just sharing and encouraging you to find a school that has these types of programs for their pilots in training (i think Hillsboro does this too).. so far in the past two months our pilots, some of them pre private, have gotten over 100 hours in an L3 for FREE, flying with very high time pilots in the mountains (7K plus). There are a few schools out there that do this sort of stuff.. (for real), find them and get your training there. It prepares you for your future. Not only do our students get the flying experience, they learn how to operate state of the art Laser equipment and produce deliverables to the companies. It's not just about the flying.

sincerely,

dp

http://s298.photobucket.com/albums/mm243/RkyMtnHI2/Eastern%20Slope%202012/

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.448668358485971.105682.168764329809710&type=1

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Not only do our students get the flying experience, they learn how to operate state of the art Laser equipment and produce deliverables to the companies. It's not just about the flying.

 

 

Awesome. Logging the time a little would be cool, but being able to learn an industry and actually go out and WORK in a helicopter learning a skill is just about as valuable as logging the time. Learning a crew position that is an actual marketable skill in addition to getting a license? Nice!

You will end up with a CFI (assuming they go on to complete it) who has actually worked in the industry vs a 175hr CFI who has never seen anything but an R22. Plus youll have a pilot who has actually experienced the demands of getting the product out, and over the course of a 100hrs in a Jet Ranger in the mountains, Im sure that new pilot is going to come out with a few stories that start out with, "No kidding.....there we were, and all of the sudden.........."

 

Good for you guys and your school and allowing your students to get out there and experience "life". FLying through the mountains at 7000 your going to learn SOMETHING regardless of whether or not your holding the cyclic. Just being able to fly with a pilot who is thinking out loud while he flies in a mountain environment is invaluable experience.

Edited by Flying Pig
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Wish I lived in Colorado. Never seen a school that offers these types of opportunities to students. All too many schools and operators have forgotten the word "mentoring". It goes deeper than just paid flight instruction. Keep up the good work there you guys! I love seeing your updates and photos on Facebook. You are one of a few operators that we try to emulate.

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blah blah blah... I don't believe it.

 

he said "students get the flying experience"

 

That doesn't mean they can log anything.

 

I get the experience of being there during the mission.... just don't daisy it up too much while being so quick to slam boatpix types...

 

"WORK in a helicopter learning a skill is just about as valuable as logging the time."

NO WAY.... that is a sector that is small and unless you have the TT your "copiloting" won't mean a whole lot.

 

Listen, not trying to be a downer here... just trying to call it what it is and be clear about it.

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I sure wish I had gotten some opportunities to sit in on real helicopter work being conducted by operators that I trained with. I never got that chance. Even if you don't get to log time, I think that getting to participate, use equipment, and see what different missions is all about is a benefit to future helicopter pilots. How can you say that it's not?

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I respectfully disagree with apiaguy. I think any exposure low hour pilots can get to the real world is valuable. Even sitting in the backseat with an experienced pilot up front working in the real world can give great lessons to the new pilot. Not to knock flying around the pattern learning the basics, I just think that exposure to commercial flying is a great thing for newer pilots, especially pilots earning their commercial certificate of CFI's moving on in the world.

 

Also, getting experience with some of the high tech tools that are used in the utility world can help a pilot in their job search later on. I missed out on a good opportunity during my own job search because I didn't have any exposure to some of those tools.

 

I can also say that while I was a CFI, I was given a few opportunities to go along on commercial jobs, and occasionally get some turbine time while ferrying the aircraft. The pilots that I flew with spent a lot of effort teaching me lessons on flying in the real world, lessons that I found valuable when I did move into the real world for the first time. It also helped me build connections that I may not have had otherwise.

 

Flying, and especially learning to fly well in the commercial world is not all about what you can put in a logbook.

 

I should mention that I have no affiliation with Colorado HeliOps.

Edited by C.R.O.
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, some of them pre private, have gotten over 100 hours in an L3 for FREE, flying with very high time pilots in the mountains (7K plus).

 

I think that's great. I imagine if they're logging it then they're in the copilot seat getting stick time. The pic could have their cfi so why not log it. Just sitting in the helo with the high time guy/gal the student will learn a lot. Even if they couldn't log it and the hours won't help get a job they may make new contacts hanging out in that environment. On top of it all it's FREE! Not at all like boatpix as mentioned earlier. Free valuble experience that will make students better pilots wether they log it or not. DP this is the kind of thing you talked about doing from the get go. Glad to see you're following through and it's working out.

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You never know what contact may lead to another contact. I started frost control in a UH-1 with about 500hrs total time based off of working with a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy who was looking to train up a young guy with ties to the area who he could invest some time into and not have to worry about him running off to the next job.

So if its not a big deal, you have nothing else better to do, and its free, do it. If your choosing between on school or another and one is just a plain old school and one offers you the chance to work between lessons in the industry, go for it. The original poster didnt say anything about scoring you a job right out of school, they just said you can tag along, maybe log some time and learn to work some sensitive equipment.

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What’s there to buy? It’s obvious the PIC is a CFI and simply lets the left seater manipulate the controls and learn something beyond the training environment along the way. And, it's legit loggable time. This kind of stuff happens all the time….. Plus, its good business creating a win-win-win scenario………. That is, satisfied customers are the nexus to additional customers…..

 

Again, this is why picking the right flight school is so critical. Choose the wrong school and you can find your cash, not to mention your dreams, spinning down the crapper. Choose the right school, and you may find these types of opportunities falling into your lap……

 

Likewise, I have doughnut affiliation with CHO……

Edited by Spike
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I don't think there are dual controls in the aircraft. It says students "have gotten over 100 hours in an L3 for free". I didn't see anything about flight time. Looks to me like it's in the back. Am I wrong? When I was training in the late 90's, over three years I spent about 300 hours in the back of a 206 as an infrared photographer. I got maybe 30 hours of dual. Did I learn a lot? Not really. Did I have a lot of fun? Yes. The back seat time in a turbine was fun for a newb, but it wasn't worth much in the long run. I'm guessing CHO is getting some very cheap labor for whatever thing-ama-jig the student is operating.

Edited by helonorth
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Sorry it took me so long to get back to this.. nice to see the topic progressing with folks with much more experience than i chiming in. Thanks for the good words.

 

First i want to say what i think every day: I LOVE HELICOPTERS !! It’s a tough biz and there are some snakes in it, but i guess you see that everywhere, i just didn’t expect it in aviation.

 

I will try to answer all the questions, i am very busy getting ready to head west and as always am in a hurry and probably wasn’t clear. Sorry if my numbers don’t add up exactly, i was trying to be conservative in my quick post earlier. If you are wondering if we are going by the regs, absolutely. From the start we have been very focused on doing things right, does that mean we always do everything right, NO, but we are sincere and try our best and we are learning a ton.

 

Do our pilots in training get to log time? Sometimes, when the regs allow. Last year we leased an L3 from one of the best Utility Companies on the Planet. The helicopter came with an 18,000 hour pilot, one of the best i have ever flown with. Four of our team members helped ferry the bird both ways from the West Coast & back (two each way). They got about 5 hours each (5 hours cross country with a VERY experienced professional pilot, that’s also 5 hours in the back each). There were also many ferry flights during the contract when we didn’t have pipeline guys in the helo and the equipment was not installed, the team got an additional 26 hours between them. That is, flying in the mountains, up to 14,000 feet (we were on O2 for three days due to the time at altitude), with an amazing pilot that has done pretty much every type of flying. I ended up with seven of the hours last year only because i was the one in the back and didn’t have a team member to put up front. So, for you sticklers, we flew almost 100 hours last year with 36 being logged..

 

Oh, and i almost forgot the most important part; imagine spending a month with the 135 check pilot from one of the best Utility Companies.. if you didn’t go to work there you could put him as a reference.

 

After that contract we went back to the West Coast to participate in a pipeline test, one of my team members went with to learn the system (CFI w about 500 hrs). While we were out there he got to fly about 7 hours in an L3, two with the OWNERS of the Utility Company. The day we were leaving the Owner that runs the biz stuck his head into the room we were in and said: ‘Ben, when you get to 1500 hours you have a job here, i hope Dennis doesn’t mind if i steal you!’. Someone said that the contacts are one of the most important benefits of this type of program, and i have to agree. And HELL yes i mind if he takes one of my best guys, but that’s what we do, like our kids, we raise them to leave! :-) So, imagine Ben didn’t take that job, but gave the Owner as a reference, and he said; ‘yeah, i tried to hire Ben, if you don’t want him send him my way’.. you think that might help get him hired?

 

Last Month we also did an animal count up North, we flew over 120 hours on that job all in an L3, some of our team got to ferry the helo up and back when there were no scientists on board, when they were we just flew along for the ride (we sat up front on those flights with the controls removed), it was a blast and we all learned a ton, we also flew it home into the mountains at the end of the week and back, about 3.3 hours each trip. We got up at 3am and busted our butts as ground crew, we rode in the fuel trucks and helped, we washed the helo, i even cleaned up puke in the back seat.. YEP, getting real world experience. On that subject, i flew about 70 hours in the back seat of an L3 last year all over Colorado, found out that it’s a lot of work, and not fun every day, especially when its the 20th day and you have deadlines... but i have never learned more about flying than on those flights and i was in the back seat. Every day we participate in flight planning, weather, weight and balance, i could go on an on but i think you get the picture. So, for you sticklers, we have flown about 170 hours this year with 60 more to go.. with about 30 logged so far this year (i think, remember i am estimating as i’m not the one logging the time, just paying the bill!) :-) Also, the students that operate the system on their own get $100 per day. This year we didn’t get the long cross country flights because we are leasing a ship from here in Colorado, but, our team is getting about the same amount of time flying back an forth to it’s home town in the mountains. They are flying with a 7,000 hour pilot that has flown his whole life up here and we learn from him every day (even across the dinner table discussing this biz). I make sure the pilots we hire have their CFI so our team can log time, although, i don’t think that’s the important part, but everything else that comes with; inspiration, focus, reality, mentorship, contacts.. I couldn’t agree more with Spike, Fying Pig & C.R.O. on this subject! Most of our team members that get the time are commercial pilots or above, but last year our office girl who had her private license got 1.7 and landed in her moms yard for lunch out on the Western Slope. We did have one team member this year with a private get some time, but i paid for that out of my pocket because he busts his ass every single day.

 

Today the L3 went West for that part of the contract, it left with two of our CFI candidates, one in the front and one in the back, they are landing half way and splitting the ride. They will bring our crew car back later today (one of our other team members drove it over and flew to this side in the L3 last week). This means that i have to drive three hours to the airport tomorrow to start the contract, but that’s what this is all about. We even took along a student from one of the the other local schools for the ride...

 

rotormandan, thanks for that, it’s true, this has been the focus since before day one, hopefully others will follow suit and give back...

 

Lastly, the systems we are using in the back seat are state of the art, and very complicated, they mess up all the time, it’s a constant learning experience. Then we get out of the helo and do reports, editing, spread sheets, tons of other stuff that ‘isn’t what i signed up for’.. but that’s one of the first things i learned about this biz.. it’s not all about the flying, that’s the fun part, that’s the easy part, the hard part is the ‘total package’, and if you want to stand out you have to work on that package every day. It also weeds out the folks that are on cruise mode, they simply will not make it in this biz.

 

I know there are other schools/operations out there that are doing this (thanks Falko), find one that cares about you and your future.

 

sincerely,

 

dp

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At Fort Rucker you get a decent amount of time just being a passenger in the back. You can treat it as a tourist event or pay attention and learn from the people up front flying. Radio calls. Checklist procedures. Who cares if you're logging time? It is experience in the air, and you can still learn and gain from it. People pay big money to fly around country like that and just take photos.

 

Just my 2 cents. Sounds like a cool deal!

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So, for you sticklers, we flew almost 100 hours last year with 36 being logged..

 

I guess it wasn't obvious to some........

 

Thank you for pointing out the exact, specific, precise, detailed, explicit, clear, albeit obvious explanation that, at times, the duals were installed and the kids got to log some time....

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OK,

 

I want to add that in April the Heli Ops owner, CFI staff, pilots and Pilots in Training were given a Bell 206L-III introductory course covering General Specs, Limitations, Normal and Emergency Procedures, Systems Descriptions & Weight & Balance, etc.

 

Those trained were given a Course book with Bell factory materials/info and it contained the factory refresher training written test. Heli Ops maximized the opportunity for pilots of various experience levels to expand their knowledge of helicopters and operations beyond the flight school environment. This was provided at no charge as in "Free".

 

A Fuel/Endurance/Loading Scenario Chart with exact weight & balance airframe numbers was created and shared. One of the CHO Pilots in Training spent a few hours working this up in conjunction with an experienced 206L instructor and also learned how to create/apply it to other airframes/helos. (R44, etc.)

 

Mentoring CFIs/pilots was a topic of the NTSB meeting I attended for 8 hours on June 19th. Another topic was offering real world opportunities to pilots to learn ADM and Risk Management methods.

 

Full disclosure, I do consult at Heli Ops and other flight schools and I did teach the B206L Intro there.

 

Mike

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I guess it wasn't obvious to some........

 

Thank you for pointing out the exact, specific, precise, detailed, explicit, clear, albeit obvious explanation that, at times, the duals were installed and the kids got to log some time....

Oh, spike you can be so touchy! The post had an air of "truthiness" about the flight time (as I figured). Lots of free advertising going on around here, too. But hey, let's not sweat the small stuff.

Edited by helonorth
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And why would you think that?

 

For one thing, there have been much more blatant attempts at "free advertising" than the OP:

"HelicopterAcademy.com is the best school in the world, and a 141 school. They have the cheapest rates and a job guarantee. They are the only school that can guarantee you a job because the owner also owns this huge nationwide boat photo company. Almost all turbine jobs require that you carry people that might be unfamiliar with helicopters and to protect the flying public (executives, medivac) the insurance companies require that the pilots have a lot of hours. This isn't true for flight training or photo and that's why if you have a CFI and 100 hours doing the contract they can get you into a job. This isn't a VA approved school but if you want career flying a helicopter your first job is guaranteed at this school and most others schools will tell you to walk when you get your cfi. If that happened to you there is hope by clicking on "jobs" on the website."

 

Second: Both of these companies have paid advertisements on this site, and the moderators seem to ignore these 'infractions'.

 

Third: I did not read the OP as an ad at all. I read it more as a "Hey guys, we are really excited about what we are doing and some of the opportunities we have been able to afford our students and staff. check out these pictures." instead of "Hey guys, look at us! If you learn to fly with us you might get some free time in a 206L!" But I suppose that is all how you want to read into it.

 

I have absolutely no affiliation with CHO. None. But I like the way they do business and I enjoy seeing how other companies do real world missions and instruction. If we can't talk about these types of things without it being labeled as "advertising" then what can we talk about??

Edited by nightsta1ker
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