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Are Flight Schools Doing Their Job


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Are Flight Schools Doing Their Job  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Are schools doing a good job educating clients about life after training?

    • No
      11
    • Yes
      4
    • Not sure
      5


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Hi guys;

 

I passed my PPL written last week and I'm getting ready for the checkride, studying and generally just being nervous as hell :wacko:

I did pretty well in my written (mid nineties) and I'm a pretty decent pilot - I think :)

Googling and researching I stumbled across this forum and thread, and since it really struck a chord within me I thought I'd register and participate. I read all your posts and there a bunch of very interesting and valid opinions I think - I also think an opinion from a soon to be (hopefully) pilot might contribute.

 

I did a shedload of research before I started my training, I had a reasonably comprehensive albeit high level view of what I was letting myself in for, but the there as some aspects that I was totally oblivious to, things which I really feel I should have been briefed on before starting training, things which may have changed my mind or not, who knows. Some of these might be specific to the flight school I selected, some might be generic problems. Since I've only spent time at the flight school I'm currently at I have nothing to compare my experiences with or to. Also I actually changed instructors about halfway through which was both a good and a bad thing in my opinion. What I do know for sure is that some of these issues have left a real bitter taste in my mouth. Even though I intend to go all the way up to CFI and hopefully with hard work and some luck one day in the not so far future a job as a helicopter pilot, a dream come true, I still regularly doubt myself about whether I should continue or not. Anway, so:

 

1. The amount of time / hours / money it would take to be "ready" for the checkride.

 

The picture that seems to be painted by almost every flight school (and yeah I've looked at a few) is that a PPL is obtainable in the FAA 40 hour minimum. In fairness most flight schools also state that this depends on student ability / performance but especially in the beginning they very much deliver you the idea (especially when talking about money) that you'd be spending a total around the 40 hour mark. This is rubbish because based on what I've seen, and knowledge I have now gained from talking to instructors and operators in the area, there simply has and never will be anyone that from scratch (no prior experience) could be ready for a private checkride after 40 hours of flying helicopters, regardless of how good they are - and if anyone tries to claim otherwise, I apologize in advance but I would be happy and comfortable with calling them a liar. The average seems to be around 70 hours which is almost double the total you're pitched before you start training. If the difference was say 10 hours I'd have had less of an issue or no issue at all with what can only be called fabrication and a distortion of the truth.

 

2. The reluctance of CFI's to teach autorotations, LTE, loss of tail rotor, and emergency procedures in general. My first actual autorotation was at 55 hours which now looking back is ridiculous. And by actual auto I mean being on the controls and allowed to do at least the entry of an auto. My first settling with power and LTE was at 65 hours after I'd gone eeeeerm, shouldn't we be spending time on emergency procedures, wtf There seems to be a general reluctance to teach emergency procedures; all I can attribute it to is CFI's who either get instructed to minimise the time teaching them due to the dangerous nature of them or whether it's simply inexperience of CFI's which is difficult to believe because they seem to be very quick to demonstrate them? I'm not bashing CFI's, I'm just perplexed at the reluctance to teach emergency procedures or letting go of the controls when I do get the chance to actual do an auto. It's incredibly frustrating and considering I'm getting ready for a checkride, and according to me I absolutely suck at autorotations because in total I think I've only done about 5 of them, partially, say no more.

 

3. Burnt-out CFI's

 

Again, based on my humble and meagre experience I conclude that most CFI's are only in it for the hours i.e. to get to their 1000 or so hours at which point they can start looking for a job. I get it, I really do, they're paying their dues, I really get it. But when I'm spending an absolute fortune trying really hard to get as much out of it as I can, and I have to put up with training from instructors who really don't give much of a damn whether I end up a pilot or a really good / safe pilot, well that's just not good is it. I try and stay positive and I try and keep at it as much as I can. I don't expect the CFI to spoonfeed me, I am prepared to do the legwork. I expect my instructor to recognize the areas I need to improve as opposed to ask me at the beginning of every lesson "so what are we doing today then". I expect him to direct my learning and to guide me to my goal, provide direction and enthusiasm. Instead I see a lot of disinterest, or feigned interest and only real interest regarding when the next lesson can be, so they can build their hours. It's very discouraging especially when every dollar counts (in this economy especially) and every hours is prescious - yeah I have a full time job :)

 

Finally, I don't mean any disrespect to anyone specific. On the contrary I have great respect for any person who has a pilot rating (of any description) as well as those like myself who are trying. Becoming a pilot is the single most amazing thing I've ever done and I really really want to continue, it's just that it feels like student pilots are not really a priority to anyone, when they should be. Just my opinion. I'd love to read some responses.

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I also think this isn't just a plight of the helo industry, I think it's something that my generation is coming to grips with - you have to work hard to be successful. I know there are plenty of mid-20s MBAs eating a sh*t-sandwich right now because they thought that an MBA with a ton of debt is a ticket to that sweet +70k finance office gig with nice air conditioning and hot secretaries. In reality, you gotta suck it up as an intern or mailboy for a couple years to get that paid entry level job to hopefully work your way into that spot. To think this is something specific to our industry might be a little shorted sighted and kind of a "woe is me" attitude. Just my opinion.

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My goal, at that point, is to do everything in my power to create a pilot that is capable of passing that first flight interview. The rest is up to them.

 

Can you be my CFI?

 

Anyways, my school definitely has let me know of two major challenges. Getting that first job, and then later getting that turbine job. I can't think of a time that they sat down and told me how hard it will be to get that job, but they also never said it would be easy. I'm one of those people that looked at the cost, and knew about all the studying and went for it because it is what I want to do. Now I am doing my best in my training and I will try to nail that first job.

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I also think this isn't just a plight of the helo industry, I think it's something that my generation is coming to grips with - you have to work hard to be successful. I know there are plenty of mid-20s MBAs eating a sh*t-sandwich right now because they thought that an MBA with a ton of debt is a ticket to that sweet +70k finance office gig with nice air conditioning and hot secretaries. In reality, you gotta suck it up as an intern or mailboy for a couple years to get that paid entry level job to hopefully work your way into that spot. To think this is something specific to our industry might be a little shorted sighted and kind of a "woe is me" attitude. Just my opinion.

 

That's a very very good point Hotdogs.

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Can you be my CFI?

 

Anyways, my school definitely has let me know of two major challenges. Getting that first job, and then later getting that turbine job. I can't think of a time that they sat down and told me how hard it will be to get that job, but they also never said it would be easy. I'm one of those people that looked at the cost, and knew about all the studying and went for it because it is what I want to do. Now I am doing my best in my training and I will try to nail that first job.

 

The student definitely has to meet the instructor half-way. It's team work from the moment you get in the cockpit for the first time, to the day you pass your check ride(s). Unfortunately, as has been discussed plenty on this website, there are a ton of obstacles that must be overcome, everything from egos to language barriers, instructors getting that first turbine gig before they finish their students... you name it, we've read about it. I would like to think that most schools do a fair job of pointing out the hardships that must be faced to become a career helicopter pilot. As far as "the fool and his money soon will be parted statements"... well, we all wanted to do this job. Regardless of what we were told, if we really want to do it, we must endure.

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I've done that. The problem is I didn't really need a folder, they all fit on one index card! Low time pilot jobs are almost never advertised, and pretty much always word of mouth,...know someone who knows someone who knows someone, at the right time, and at the right place!

 

Hmm, after reading this I took BH206L3's advice and ended up with a 6 page word document, and I'm not done with it yet. Thanks BH206L3 that is something I hadn't thought of in the past, but I believe it will be a valuable tool.

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One of the best tools an upcoming prospective applicant can have is the Helicopter Association Internationals Annual. Contained within, is a list of all of its members, the types of operations they conduct, where they are located, the aircraft they fly and most importantly, the full names of their staff members. A motivated student will sit down, after a day of instruction, and highlight possible future employers in order to generate a game plan. In this business, successful futures don’t just happen; they are planned and executed….

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I got this from that R66 schools's site;

 

"We help our students to get a better career prospects and turbine experience is one of the basic requirements today to start into the flying career!"

 

Who needs turbine hours to start their career? It seems some schools out there are still full of sh*t!

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But wait, there’s more……

 

“The minimum FAA requirement for CFI Rating is 40 hours of ground training and 25 hours of flight training.”

 

Not quite........

 

61.183 Eligibility requirements.

 

To be eligible for a flight instructor certificate or rating a person must:

 

(a) Be at least 18 years of age;

 

(b)Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's flight instructor certificate as are necessary;

 

( c ) Hold either a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate with:

 

(1) An aircraft category and class rating that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and

 

(2) An instrument rating, or privileges on that person's pilot certificate that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought, if applying for—

 

(i) A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating;

 

(ii) A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating;

 

(iii) A flight instructor certificate with a powered-lift rating; or

 

(iv) A flight instructor certificate with an instrument rating.

 

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing listed in §61.185 of this part appropriate to the required knowledge test;

 

(e) Pass a knowledge test on the areas listed in §61.185(a)(1) of this part, unless the applicant:

 

(1) Holds a flight instructor certificate or ground instructor certificate issued under this part;

 

(2) Holds a teacher's certificate issued by a State, county, city, or municipality that authorizes the person to teach at an educational level of the 7th grade or higher; or

 

(3) Is employed as a teacher at an accredited college or university.

 

(f) Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.185(a)(2) and (a)(3) of this part that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

 

(g) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in §61.187 of this part, appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;

 

(h) Pass the required practical test that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought in an:

 

(1) Aircraft that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the aircraft rating sought; or

 

(2) Flight simulator or approved flight training device that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the rating sought, and used in accordance with a course at a training center certificated under part 142 of this chapter.

 

(i) Accomplish the following for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane or a glider rating:

 

(1) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor indicating that the applicant is competent and possesses instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures after providing the applicant with flight training in those training areas in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins; and

 

(2) Demonstrate instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures. However, upon presentation of the endorsement specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this section an examiner may accept that endorsement as satisfactory evidence of instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures for the practical test, provided that the practical test is not a retest as a result of the applicant failing the previous test for deficiencies in the knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures. If the retest is a result of deficiencies in the ability of an applicant to demonstrate knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures, the examiner must test the person on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery instructional procedures in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins;

 

(j) Log at least 15 hours as pilot in command in the category and class of aircraft that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and

 

(k) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the flight instructor rating sought.

Edited by Spike
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Great topic, but I think I am leaning in favor of most schools. It really is up to any customer how they choose to spend their money. I say most schools, because I know of very few that will "lay it out" for a new student. Many will truthfully answer questions if you ask, but if you want to show up and spend $300 an hour, most are fine with that.

 

My hat is off to those that want to initiate and educate every prospective new wanna be pilot customer, but ethically, I think most schools are there to produce a safe pilot who can pass the test and carry around a certificate.

 

The rest is really up to each one of us to educate ourselves beyond what our school taught us. Some schools offer more advanced and practical lessons with experienced pilots like MIkeMV at the chalkboard. Those are the exception and certainly not the rule.

 

When you chose your college and laid down 50K did you ask what job they would guarantee you when you graduated? Wasn't it up to you to get the paper, and then go search out the real world? Use that training as a starting point and advance your skills from there?

 

I just dont see much difference between the way most flight schools educate you and most colleges do.

 

Thanks to many pilots willing to give back, each of us has the opportunity to learn more.

 

What distinguishes a lot of pilots is whether they make the effort to keep learning after the checkride is over.

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When you chose your college and laid down 50K did you ask what job they would guarantee you when you graduated? Wasn't it up to you to get the paper, and then go search out the real world? Use that training as a starting point and advance your skills from there?

 

I just dont see much difference between the way most flight schools educate you and most colleges do.

 

I keep seeing this type of comparison between college and flight school, but I don't get where its coming from?

 

College is expanding your education, that's why every major still has to take two years of general ed, which is like a continuation of high school. The biggest difference between college and flight school, though, is that even though you ultimately get a degree in a specific field, you may actually find yourself working in a completely different one. Many employers just want a degree, they don't care what its in, others like having specialists to handle certain issues that arise in the company. A college degree will eventually get you a better paying job, especially if you don't waste it on something lame, like 18th century french poetry, or whatever liberal arts crap!

 

With flight school its either fly for a living, or get in line at mcdonalds with the other high school grads, which is more a kin to any "trade school", but not college!

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I have to agree with eagle5 on this one. Flight training is useless for everything but flying. Just like a CDL is useless for everything but driving, and a commercial diving certificate is useless for everything but diving. Some of those career fields have more demand than others. I wouldnt compare flight training to any accredited education.

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Hey Johnnyb, although I am one of the newest members here, still... welcome!

 

You did well, making the last post mentioning the previous one, because it would probably go unnoticed (I am talking for myself).

 

As far as the hours are concerned. You are right, the mean is (that's just an own estimation, don't start shooting at me) well above 60 hours. And it makes sense: if you are training in an R22, you cannot solo before the 20hour mark, and then you still have a few things to do, so it's pretty hard to get your PPL in the 40s or 50s. However, most of the civilian training pilots will have to pay for their first two hundred hours (or the biggest chunk of that) anyway, so you are not really missing out much, by getting your PPL at 70hours TT. The only major difference it will make is being able to log that PIC time, since after your PPL you get to log everything as PIC.

 

For the autorotations, and EPs in general, I think all of us are on the same boat. It sounded a little weird to me that they didn't show you an settling with power sooner, since I was demonstrated one on one of my first flights. But it didn't make any difference, anyway. To be honest, I wasn't even at a level to understand and realize what was going on. One of these moments that the CFI goes "do you feel/see how we are plummeting off the sky, do you see how mushy the controls are?" and you go "yes, sure...." because that's the right thing to say.

 

But I believe that everybody knows that a PPL pilot is unable to autorotate. The objective, to my perception, is to be able to do the right steps, so you (and your passengers if you have any) can survive the landing/accident. I have said it before in this forum, that should the engine quit in one of my solos, my immediate objective is to create a survivable crash.

 

Lower that collective, get that airspeed, so at the bottom of it you have some RPMs to work with. The helicopters have proven that they can take much of the impact, as long as you fly them all the way to the ground. And that's the best advice that I have heard, both here, and on several other sources: no matter what, keep flying the aircraft. (well, somewhere I have also read that "if nothing else seems to work, stick your arms out the window and flap them as if your life depends on them," which you also might consider). Oh, and if possible, try not to be on the downwind, cause that won't help a bit.

 

For the burnt out CFIs, I don't have much to say. If asked, something like 90% of the CFIs will respond they love instructing, and that they are gaining so much, and that they wouldn't mind doing that on a permanent basis. Do they say that because they believe that, or because that's the right thing to say, I do not know. What I know is that you are paying too much money, so you are definitely entitled into having a say in where and how you spend it. If you think that an instructor is not fully applying himself to your training, go and try finding someone else, who would appreciate a little more your money, your hopes, dreams and ambitions, and of course the help you are providing him towards reaching the magic number of hours...

 

my .02

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Hi guys;

 

I passed my PPL written last week and I'm getting ready for the checkride, studying and generally just being nervous as hell :wacko:

I did pretty well in my written (mid nineties) and I'm a pretty decent pilot - I think :)

Googling and researching I stumbled across this forum and thread, and since it really struck a chord within me I thought I'd register and participate. I read all your posts and there a bunch of very interesting and valid opinions I think - I also think an opinion from a soon to be (hopefully) pilot might contribute.

 

I did a shedload of research before I started my training, I had a reasonably comprehensive albeit high level view of what I was letting myself in for, but the there as some aspects that I was totally oblivious to, things which I really feel I should have been briefed on before starting training, things which may have changed my mind or not, who knows. Some of these might be specific to the flight school I selected, some might be generic problems. Since I've only spent time at the flight school I'm currently at I have nothing to compare my experiences with or to. Also I actually changed instructors about halfway through which was both a good and a bad thing in my opinion. What I do know for sure is that some of these issues have left a real bitter taste in my mouth. Even though I intend to go all the way up to CFI and hopefully with hard work and some luck one day in the not so far future a job as a helicopter pilot, a dream come true, I still regularly doubt myself about whether I should continue or not. Anway, so:

 

1. The amount of time / hours / money it would take to be "ready" for the checkride.

 

The picture that seems to be painted by almost every flight school (and yeah I've looked at a few) is that a PPL is obtainable in the FAA 40 hour minimum. In fairness most flight schools also state that this depends on student ability / performance but especially in the beginning they very much deliver you the idea (especially when talking about money) that you'd be spending a total around the 40 hour mark. This is rubbish because based on what I've seen, and knowledge I have now gained from talking to instructors and operators in the area, there simply has and never will be anyone that from scratch (no prior experience) could be ready for a private checkride after 40 hours of flying helicopters, regardless of how good they are - and if anyone tries to claim otherwise, I apologize in advance but I would be happy and comfortable with calling them a liar. The average seems to be around 70 hours which is almost double the total you're pitched before you start training. If the difference was say 10 hours I'd have had less of an issue or no issue at all with what can only be called fabrication and a distortion of the truth.

 

2. The reluctance of CFI's to teach autorotations, LTE, loss of tail rotor, and emergency procedures in general. My first actual autorotation was at 55 hours which now looking back is ridiculous. And by actual auto I mean being on the controls and allowed to do at least the entry of an auto. My first settling with power and LTE was at 65 hours after I'd gone eeeeerm, shouldn't we be spending time on emergency procedures, wtf There seems to be a general reluctance to teach emergency procedures; all I can attribute it to is CFI's who either get instructed to minimise the time teaching them due to the dangerous nature of them or whether it's simply inexperience of CFI's which is difficult to believe because they seem to be very quick to demonstrate them? I'm not bashing CFI's, I'm just perplexed at the reluctance to teach emergency procedures or letting go of the controls when I do get the chance to actual do an auto. It's incredibly frustrating and considering I'm getting ready for a checkride, and according to me I absolutely suck at autorotations because in total I think I've only done about 5 of them, partially, say no more.

 

3. Burnt-out CFI's

 

Again, based on my humble and meagre experience I conclude that most CFI's are only in it for the hours i.e. to get to their 1000 or so hours at which point they can start looking for a job. I get it, I really do, they're paying their dues, I really get it. But when I'm spending an absolute fortune trying really hard to get as much out of it as I can, and I have to put up with training from instructors who really don't give much of a damn whether I end up a pilot or a really good / safe pilot, well that's just not good is it. I try and stay positive and I try and keep at it as much as I can. I don't expect the CFI to spoonfeed me, I am prepared to do the legwork. I expect my instructor to recognize the areas I need to improve as opposed to ask me at the beginning of every lesson "so what are we doing today then". I expect him to direct my learning and to guide me to my goal, provide direction and enthusiasm. Instead I see a lot of disinterest, or feigned interest and only real interest regarding when the next lesson can be, so they can build their hours. It's very discouraging especially when every dollar counts (in this economy especially) and every hours is prescious - yeah I have a full time job :)

 

Finally, I don't mean any disrespect to anyone specific. On the contrary I have great respect for any person who has a pilot rating (of any description) as well as those like myself who are trying. Becoming a pilot is the single most amazing thing I've ever done and I really really want to continue, it's just that it feels like student pilots are not really a priority to anyone, when they should be. Just my opinion. I'd love to read some responses.

 

1. If you fly 5 days a week there's no reason why you cannot get your ppl in 50hrs,...or even 40! We had a guy do that in just one month! Its when you fly part-time (less than three times a week) that the hours will start to rack up. That's why I always recomend that people save enough money for one rating, then bust it out full time!

 

2. Your first auto was at 55hrs!? You should have been shown/practicing them before you first solo, and 20hrs is plenty of time to get good enough to solo (I did it at 22hrs).

 

3. No cfi will admit they are teaching just for the hours (although when they bail suddenly it makes you wonder)? Just think about it. If your cfi said they're only teaching because they have to, would you really want them as an instructor? Anyway, everyone must teach before they can move on, that's just the way it is! I believe everything would perhaps go more smoothly if we were all up front and honest about it, but like its been said, all cfis love teaching and would do it forever, if it paid a liveable wage.

 

"So, what are we going to do today?" That's happened to me to,...drop the unprepared douche before you get milked too much! Cfis are supposed to have lessons planned,...especially at the ppl level!

 

To be frank, I would suggest you find a cfi who is an experienced career pilot (after all it is your sh*t load of money!). If you're ever in Oregon, stop by Jerry Trimble Helicopters. He's one of the "old guys", fun to fly with and a great cfi. Guys like him make it worth all that money!

Edited by eagle5
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Johnny B

 

Welcome to the VR forums :-)

 

It sounds like you might be having a bad experience so far. I agree with the replies so far. I think a lot of your frustration comes from your last concern that you posted though.

 

Completing ratings in the minimums (or very close) can and does happen.

 

Autos and ep's... These are taught (by the schools I know) prior to solo, at a level of competency so that the instructor knows the student will be safe in the event of an emergency while solo.

 

Instructors.... Well, this is discussed in many threads here. In this case, I believe that an instructors motivation or care about their student will be manifested in their students progress. If an instructor cares, spends time, and applies the effort to make sure the student understands what is going on then the student will most likely enjoy training, pick up things quicker, and progress faster. If the instructors are just there to pad their logbook, the results will be unfortunate for the student.

 

Before you give up on the dream, maybe try another school and see if your outlook changes a bit.

Edited by Pohi
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Johnnyb,

 

I suggest once you complete your Private Certification, you should move on to another school.

 

70 hours for Private Certification is on the high side of average and usually used as an excuse for poor instruction and/or gouging in general, if not both..

 

200 hours total time should not be viewed as the CFI graduating target. The CFI graduating target should be just over 150 hours. Mind you, you should have the funds for 200 hours in order to meet the Robinson SFAR 73 requirement. With that, read and understand the minimums set forth by FAR PART 61 and make every attempt to hit those marks. Not the schools, not what a CFI tells you or, what you read here..

 

As a Private Pilot applicant you are required to perform an autorotation per the PTS. As a Certified Private Pilot, you should be competent with performing an autorotation as you'll have the privilege of carrying passengers. As PIC, 100% of the liability/responsibility falls on you...

 

If you ever have an issue at any time, speak up. Some will respect you more for doing so....

Edited by Spike
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I believe everything would perhaps go more smoothly if we were all up front and honest about it

 

I cannot agree more, this was really the core of my post I think, and the main issue I have.

Flight schools and CFI's especially as the ambassadors of what the school represent has the responsibility to deliver what they promise.

It generally seems to be a case of the truth upfront about how long a rating actually takes is bad for business. Sad really...

 

And thank you for all your responses and welcomes guys :)

I look forward to gaining a lot from all your experiences and posts, I hope to be able to give back when I can!

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NATIONWIDE PILOT SHORTAGE!

The shortage is actuall of extremely high time pilots with decades of experience. Entry-level jobs are next to impossible to find, as there are just too many job seekers and too few jobs available.

 

 

This is a fun thread!

Edited by eagle5
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I have watched this thread for the last few days and it is interesting to read the comments. Keith I agree it is a disease. I am the President of 'Helicopter Pilots Anonymous _ International' you are still invited to join. There are daily meetings at various airports and heliports around the world.

 

Over all flight schools are not preparing students for the industry. Not so much in the area of the 'real scoop' on the job market. That is more the student's responsibility to research. The school, should answer the student's questions as honestly and completely as they can. But overall, IMHO, it is the student's responsibility to do the research and ask the questions.

 

Where they are failing the students are little things and not so little things. Autorotations; just the minimum to pass the checkride. And not wonder students are scared to death of them. Some of the best autorotation training I ever got was when I did the Robinson safety course. We should be teaching that to all students, no matter what helicopter they are flying. Referring the the H/V curve as the 'dead man's curve'. That is probably the worst thing we can do to a student when discussing autos.

 

Cross country training. Students can't get across town without the GPS, let alone 50 miles away. Take the GPS away from the student and they are totally lost. Can't read and understand a chart if their life depended on it. And it does. Students should be introduced to the GPS and/or VOR to meet the PTS standards, but should to their dual cross-countries under pilotage and DR. As we all know, they will do their solo xc's with the GPS. Not all helicopters have a GPS installed and what happens if the GPS goes down? Plus students do xc's airport to airport. Thanks to the feds. That is not the real helicopter world. Last month, I gave a student a cross country to a road address for his dual commercial day cross country. And he had a heck of a time figuring out how to do it. This gentleman is an FAA inspector doing the commercial add-on for his own personal enrichment. When he told the principal helicopter inspector in his office what I did, the inspector's response was 'Good, that how helicopters really operate'.

 

Flight schools are an environment of their own. Unfortunately, many instructors and students seem to think that is how the industry is as a whole. They don't understand how the Chief Pilot, DO and DM fit into the picture. They don't understand where they fit within a company other than a flight school. Plus seem to have a hard time understanding that their assigned helicopter represents their paycheck and they need to take care of it as best they can.

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