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Helicopter Academy starting to look more appealing..

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So I keep seeing these posts of unemployed CFIs and pilots on the rocky quest to achieve 1000hrs. It makes sense though that if you are a 200 hour CFI/CFII and your school doesn't hire you, you're in for some tough times. So the question is, how can you ensure that you have a plan to achieve your goals?

 

I know the opinions of Boatpix/Helicopter Academy are not the best, but in terms of getting the hours and progressing on; its starting to look like a better option with the economy in mind. While the business practices can be questionable, they are getting in the hours. Will this be looked down upon? I'd like to know.

 

I also talked to a flight school (whos name will remain unannounced) who "guaranteed" a CFI job if you went from 0 to CFI. The school for some reason didn't sit that well with me (perhaps it was just the demeanor of the owner), but it is another option for getting that crucial time. There is a long waiting list to reserve a spot and the last I heard it was Ocotber 2013 to start, with a $3000 deposit <_< . They also have a spoken agreement with a tour company that operates turbines that most of their CFI's get farmed out to. I'd like to know your opinions on these types of schools.

 

Another option is buying a Helicycle or Mosquito XET, but I'll save that for another post!

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The down side of Boatpix is that they charge you to fly their birds in order to get you up to their 300 hour minimum. Which means paying for an additional 80 to 100 or so hours. Pretty poor option to pay an additional $20,000 for a job, but if it's your only option then that's all you have. There are a handful of schools out there which hire on their graduates (I actually come from one) with minimal time after graduating before beginning to work. (If you want to know which school I went through message me and I'll tell you). The other option you mentioned is the homebuilt option. One drawback is I believe the Mosquito is considered an ultralight which may turn off potential employers if you get 200hours rotorcraft and 800 hours ultralight.

 

When it comes to getting your magic 1000 if it was through a school or through an academy or Boatpix, I don't think a hiring manager will really care, most people have a negative attitude of paying $100,000 then having to pay an additional $20,000 for a a job. But if it's your only option and you're stuck, then you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

Hope this helps

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Here is another brand new member, with this being their first post, who is promoting Helicopteracademy/boatpix. Is this deja-vu? Or have I seen this before... <_<

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Last I looked that boatpix thing was only 60k, which I guess isn't bad (as long as you do get a job, and can keep it until you have the hours to find another one)? Where their program seems to be a crock, is for an already rated cfi, he's the one who has to pay an additional 20k to "learn" the contract! <_<

 

I've also heard of a school that was very busy and claimed to have an "in" with a tour company in the canyon, but they were more expensive than everyone else, and I had met too many cfis with horror stories from when they were there, so...

 

Since you're just starting out, I'd say go ahead with boatpix,...I mean really!,...what have you got to lose? Just let us all know how it goes!

:)

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Here is another brand new member, with this being their first post, who is promoting Helicopteracademy/boatpix. Is this deja-vu? Or have I seen this before... <_<

 

Haha I actually know what you are talking about. I've scanned a bunch of the posts about boatpix and there are a bunch of posters with 1 reply proclaiming how great boatpix/helicopter academy is. I'm not sure how to convince you I'm not the owner doing this again, but with this is mind, the suspected fake self promotion doesn't sit well with me. I'd like to train from somewhere that has professional and quality flight instruction, which makes me question boatpix/HA with these tactics. However, I do hate to bring on the massive risk of having my career in the balance of one job offer or bust :mellow:

 

I'd really like to get into helicopters as a career, so I suppose the question to ask is what to do if you are 200 hour pilot without a job? Its somewhat pushing me to go the fixed wing route as the time is cheaper (albeit more hours required with the new 1500 minimum), but a little more hobby oriented if things don't work out.

 

I was also considering purchasing a Helicycle (~60K, experiemental, & turbine time) and flying that around to build time. But without really knowing the industry or what they value, this could go unoticed or even laughed at when applying.

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It is easier to find your first teaching job than most think. When your'e done with your training, go to any flight school that you wish to work for and tell them that you have procurred 20 customers that have cash and want to get their private pilot's certificate with you being their instructor. Problem solved! The sooner that you figure out that the whole notion of having a career as a helicopter pilot operates on

"The Greater Fool Theory", the more money you can save! L.O.L. I hope that your journey treats you well.

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That is definitely a good idea...

 

BUT, what if the guy there tells you, "ok, have the first 3 of those customers call me, and you are starting on the day they make their appointments for their first lesson"? Of course, it will be easy if you do, indeed, have those 20 people... but probably you don't, at least I don't. Not 20, not 5, not even 1....

 

But I agree with the idea and the rationale of going and marketing yourself to the prospective employer. Whether it is that you have the 20 students "lined up and wait", or that you will implement the A or B advertisement plan that will bring custormers to the company, and so forth and so on... But if you do have that mentality, hopefully the school you actually went to shouldn't be so foolish, to have let you go...

 

edit: wow I am a CFI!!! (...poster) :unsure:

Edited by jim_222

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It is easier to find your first teaching job than most think. When your'e done with your training, go to any flight school that you wish to work for and tell them that you have procurred 20 customers that have cash and want to get their private pilot's certificate with you being their instructor. Problem solved! The sooner that you figure out that the whole notion of having a career as a helicopter pilot operates on

"The Greater Fool Theory", the more money you can save! L.O.L. I hope that your journey treats you well.

 

Brilliant!

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I am fairly certain that the "unannounced" program you were talking about is the same place I went to. I have nothing but good things to say about the place and their owners. They do exactly what they tell you they will do, even getting you into that turbine gig. I can give you several names of student who went through before, during, and slightly after me who are now flying in different stages of the turbine world, from tours up thru EMS. PM if you want more info. The school Im talking about is located in the SE USA

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I am fairly certain that the "unannounced" program you were talking about is the same place I went to. I have nothing but good things to say about the place and their owners. They do exactly what they tell you they will do, even getting you into that turbine gig. I can give you several names of student who went through before, during, and slightly after me who are now flying in different stages of the turbine world, from tours up thru EMS. PM if you want more info. The school Im talking about is located in the SE USA

 

PMed

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Carpenter, I sure hope you were joking. I find most employers value honesty over salesmanship. What kind of instructor lies to get a job? The same kind that will lie to a student to convince them to blow all their hard earned money on flight training that may not be right for them. Or may lie about an overspeed, or other potential boo-boos that may not have immediate consequences but could potentially hurt someone. That to me is unnacceptable. One of the reasons I am where I am is because of my integrity. The privilege of flying is built on integrity. Let's not muddy that to fiurther ourselves. I know... People do it all the time... But I dont condone it. I really don't care if it worked out for you or whether you think it is harmless or whatever either. Let's not put our future pilots that are reading this into a bad mold so early in their careers.

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Nightsta 1 ker,

You are missing my point. My point is that in order to traditionally obtain your next 1,000 hrs post training (meaning that you have 200 hrs) you will have to teach. In order to give instruction to obtain 1,000 hrs you will need to sign off 5 students from 0-200 hrs, or sign off 20 students to obtain their private certificate (at 50 hrs'ish). My comment had nothing to do with lying, my comment had everything to do with the FACT that there has to always be a greater amount of new students in order for previous students to progress. If you understand that this is akin to a PONZI type scenario and you understand that it is very difficult to get a job if your school doesn't hire you, then you'll understand my point that it would be very easy for any employer to hire you if can bring in my example of 20 private want to be's.

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So I keep seeing these posts of unemployed CFIs and pilots on the rocky quest to achieve 1000hrs. It makes sense though that if you are a 200 hour CFI/CFII and your school doesn't hire you, you're in for some tough times. So the question is, how can you ensure that you have a plan to achieve your goals?

 

I know the opinions of Boatpix/Helicopter Academy are not the best, but in terms of getting the hours and progressing on; its starting to look like a better option with the economy in mind. While the business practices can be questionable, they are getting in the hours. Will this be looked down upon? I'd like to know.

 

I also talked to a flight school (whos name will remain unannounced) who "guaranteed" a CFI job if you went from 0 to CFI. The school for some reason didn't sit that well with me (perhaps it was just the demeanor of the owner), but it is another option for getting that crucial time. There is a long waiting list to reserve a spot and the last I heard it was Ocotber 2013 to start, with a $3000 deposit <_< . They also have a spoken agreement with a tour company that operates turbines that most of their CFI's get farmed out to. I'd like to know your opinions on these types of schools.

 

 

In my opinion,

 

If we think of the cost of flight training as an investment, like any other investment, you’d want sound advice so the gamble is minimized and you can feel safe with your decision. Just as investing funds in the stock market, there a several ways to gather information to make your decision on what to buy. You can do it yourself by throwing caution into the wind and simply buy what feels good to you, or seek out a pro like Charles Schwab to guide your strategy or, search the internet where anonymous sources will provide you with all kinds of information, or simply talk with a homeless guy who lost everything in the market. Either way, it’s up to you….

 

Is HA a wise decision? I don’t know. I don’t know anything about them (nor need to). In fact, over the years, I’ve never met anyone who has attended their program. Ever. But, this shouldn’t be any type of barometer of the HA’s program. Therefore, the only suggestion I have is; go talk with working pilots face to face. Unlike stock market investors who like to keep secrets, pilots love to talk about their experiences. Therefore, head over to the local ENG operator, EMS operator or commercial operator and ask questions. Questions like; what was your first job as a pilot? I’m thinking, if he or she is civilian trained, the most common first job will be as a CFI. Not taking pictures of boats. In any case, just ask and they’ll tell ya.. It’s that easy……..

 

Plus, it’s difficult to answer a “what should I do” question. It’s reminiscent of the I Robot movie, where the guy who has the answers says “my responses are limited” and “you have ask the right question”….

 

Know this, there are no secrets. Training to teaching to turbine. Everything else is a wish-sandwich……

 

Lastly, it is impossible to say “we gaurentee a job”. Why? Liability…. Everyone does not have the physical, mental and emotional capacity to fly helicopters. Only a fool would believe so…. Furthermore, any school requiring a “down payment” or “pay 3K in advance” should be viewed as highly suspect….

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Nightsta 1 ker,

You are missing my point. My point is that in order to traditionally obtain your next 1,000 hrs post training (meaning that you have 200 hrs) you will have to teach. In order to give instruction to obtain 1,000 hrs you will need to sign off 5 students from 0-200 hrs,...

 

You're not going to get 200hrs from each student. According to 61.195h its going to be a while before you can even teach teaching! So;

PPL = 50hrs, you get 40

IFR = 40hrs

Com = 20hrs

That's only 100hrs per career student that you get. If they do 20hrs for the CFI/CFII (with a different CFII) then their total will be 130hrs. There's no reason they should have to pay a CFII for the remaining 70hrs!

 

So, 100hrs per student = you need 8 students to get to 1000hrs TT, but since you probably have around 40hrs non-PIC yourself you'll need another half student to get to the 1000hrs PIC you need to "apply" to a non teaching job!

 

Therefore its 8.5 students, just let that last student know you will be bailing before he's finished!

:lol:

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If you understand that this is akin to a PONZI type scenario

 

I beg to differ.

 

With a Ponzi type scheme, the victim is victimized unknowingly. With that, only a fool would jump into this endeavor without “knowing” the ramifications. I believe most folks are intelligent enough to understand these ramifications and proceed of their own free will.

 

No, not everyone can “live the dream”. However, who’s to say who can and who cannot….. CFI’s provide a multifaceted service for those willing to fork over the cash to fly a helicopter. It’s simply becomes a free choice by the consumer….

 

Furthermore, over a career, an instructor can sign his or her CFI signature literally hundreds of times……. Of those students, some go on to prosperous flying careers but unfortunately, most don’t. Like it or not, it’s a reality of the business. And, flight instruction is a business, not a scheme....

Edited by Spike

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In a ponzi scheme there is no good or service of value that is transacted. Therefore the claim that the flight instruction industry is one, has no merit. Unless of course if you say the flight time and training has no value.

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I think I get what Carpenter is driving at. In order for a new cfi to progress in his career he must create many new cfis, who in turn must create many new cfis, and so on... This reminds me of those pyramid scemes where in order to make money selling a product you must recruit more salesemen who "buy" the right to sell, who then in turn do the same to others!

 

Anyway, it is what it is, and as long as this remains a "dream job" overflowing with wanabees, it will never change!

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There's no reason they should have to pay a CFII for the remaining 70hrs!

 

 

I went on lots of flights with students where I never charged them or the school for instruction given. When a student was flying those extra hours, if invited to go and have a fun flight I saw it as just me going to enjoy flying and didn't charge.

 

Maybe that's why I got asked to go do those flights so much? The student enjoyed all the benefits of flying with a CFI at solo prices. I enjoyed flying and appreciated the extra flight time too much to be greedy and gouge the students.

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I think I get what Carpenter is driving at. In order for a new cfi to progress in his career he must create many new cfis, who in turn must create many new cfis, and so on... This reminds me of those pyramid scemes where in order to make money selling a product you must recruit more salesemen who "buy" the right to sell, who then in turn do the same to others!

 

Anyway, it is what it is, and as long as this remains a "dream job" overflowing with wanabees, it will never change!

 

I can see what you're saying, but I don't think it even needs to get that far. To progress, all a cfi has to do is fly with enough of any certificate level pilots, from student on up. I personally know a student in training who only wants his pph, and another, who has his pph, and doesn't want to progress any further. I also personally know some who would love to get started, but can't prioritize the funding.

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...To progress, all a cfi has to do is fly with enough of any certificate level pilots, from student on up.

 

Its like I mentioned above. With a ppl you get about 40hrs, so all you need is 21 ppl students to get to 1000PIC. Shouldn't take that long,...right?

:)

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Its like I mentioned above. With a ppl you get about 40hrs, so all you need is 21 ppl students to get to 1000PIC. Shouldn't take that long,...right?

 

In my opinion,

 

Flight instruction is a service oriented business. That is, CFI’s provide a service to anyone who wants to fly a helicopter or has a need to fly in a helicopter. Flights could be a photo flight, pipeline patrol, joy ride for Granma or simply flight instruction. With that, not all flight instruction flights are with career oriented students. Some do it as a novelty, some are hobbyists/owners, and some are career oriented but will never finish. Plus, not every career oriented student is posturing for the US market. In any case, attempting to calculate how many students a CFI needs to get to 1000 hours is futile… A CFI gets to 1000 hours by flying every chance he gets……

 

AGAIN, chose the right flight school and you won’t need to worry about where your customers come from. They’ll show up on their own and, for their own reasons…….

Edited by Spike
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In my opinion,

 

Flight instruction is a service oriented business. That is, CFI’s provide a service to anyone who wants to fly a helicopter or has a need to fly in a helicopter. Flights could be a photo flight, pipeline patrol, joy ride for Granma or simply flight instruction. With that, not all flight instruction flights are with career oriented students. Some do it as a novelty, some are hobbyists/owners, and some are career oriented but will never finish. Plus, not every career oriented student is posturing for the US market. In any case, attempting to calculate how many students a CFI needs to get to 1000 hours is futile… A CFI gets to 1000 hours by flying every chance he gets……

 

AGAIN, chose the right flight school and you won’t need to worry about where your customers come from. They’ll show up on their own and, for their own reasons…….

 

Those are some words of wisdom I will carry with me for a while....

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