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Learning with R22 and R44, or just R44?


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Hey everyone,

 

I start flight school at the end of this month, and I will be getting my PPL through CFI-I. I have the option to do all of my training with the R44, or I can get my PPL with the R22 and do the rest with the R44. I can't decide which option would be better. Either way, the program is 100% covered by my veterans benefits, so cost is not an issue. The main factors i'm concerned about are which option will make me a better pilot, and which option will increase my chances of employment after school. I'm also a little concerned that I may go over the 200lbs max before I do my PPL checkride. I have until Tuesday to make my decision, so any feedback before then would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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I would get your PPL(H) in the R-22, instruments in the R-44, and then R-22 for commercial, CFI CFI II. You need 200 hours in helicopters to instruct in the R-22 and R-44 helicopter, 50 hours must be spent in the R-22 and 50 in the R-44 helicopter. However, you can credit up to 25 hours of R-22 time for the 50 hours of the R-44 time (SFAR 73, at the beginning of part 61, when you get a FAR/AIM). So you need 200 hours TT, 50 hours in the R-22 and 25 Hours in the R-44 to be able to instruct in them.

 

If and when you get an instructing job, most students will train in the R-22 because its cheaper, that is why you should spend most of your time in them. Also the maximum seat weight is 240 pounds not 200 (or is that a school limitation?).

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HP, Most schools limit their instructors' weight so they can accommodate larger students without limiting the fuel too much.

 

I agree with most of your time suggestions, except I would do the CFII in the R44 and some of the commercial. You need an endorsement from a DPE to instruct in the R22 and R44 and as I understand it, it is an endorsement for each separately. So you will need to be able to do the commercial maneuvers in the R44 also.

 

I would also suggest that if available, to get some time in the 300 during your commercial training. While the majority of schools use the R22, there are many out there that use the 300. That way you have covered about 95 to 97% of the schools out there.

Edited by rick1128
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All R44 time would severely limit your entry-level employability! A weight of 200lbs or more would severely limit your entry-level employability,...and possibly your next level light turbine employability!?

 

You may want to check to see if your school will even hire someone with all R44 time, or with a weight of 200lbs or more! Because if they won't, I'd suggest either losing some weight, or finding a school that flies the S300!

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Thanks for your advice everyone, I'm going to do my PPL in the R22. Weight isn't too much of an issue. If I get too close to 200lbs (it must be a school limitation) dropping weight would be very very easy for me. It makes sense that there would be far more instructor jobs on the R22 since it's cheaper to operate and cheaper to learn on. I would also assume having experience with two different rotorcraft rather than just one would make me a more well rounded pilot. I've heard many pilots say the R22 is extremely fun to fly anyways! (Not that anything wouldn't be fun) Unfortunately, the 300 isn't an option at my school. They only have 22's and 44's, and they say they're getting rid of all their 22's and replacing them with 44's, so they're pushing their new students to get all ratings in the 44 to make them "more likely to get hired"

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"...and they say they're getting rid of all their 22's and replacing them with 44's, so they're pushing their new students to get all ratings in the 44 to make them "more likely to get hired""

 

This throws up a HUGE RED FLAG for me! A school that only teaches in the R44 seems like just a money making scam,...BEWARE!

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"...and they say they're getting rid of all their 22's and replacing them with 44's, so they're pushing their new students to get all ratings in the 44 to make them "more likely to get hired""

 

This throws up a HUGE RED FLAG for me! A school that only teaches in the R44 seems like just a money making scam,...BEWARE!

 

There will probably be a lot more of this because of the 100% paid gi bill.

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There will probably be a lot more of this because of the 100% paid gi bill.

 

Exaactly! Buzz, why would you think the school is shady? Let's see, I consider the R44 much safer for a student than an R22. Better in the auto, less movement in turbulence, harder to get into a low-G, easier throttle control in case of governor loss due to bigger and heavier blades, and on and on. So if I owned a school, and would lose no students by dropping the R44, I would do it in a heartbeat. (hurts just to think of the insurance bill!) And of course, it costs more, and I make more profits. That's what a business is designed to do...make money in exchange for fullfilling a need.

 

That said, the R22 is a great little helicopter for what it is. I would encourage the OP to fly both ships, just like most posts have suggested.

Edited by Goldy
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Registered to do my ppl on the R22 today, thanks again for all of your advice everyone. I completely understand why my school would push their students to fly only the R44, it's just a little disappointing I had to use outside resources to get the straight facts on it. Other than that, it seems to be an outstanding school and i've heard nothing but good things about it. Thanks again!

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Exaactly! Buzz, why would you think the school is shady? Let's see, I consider the R44 much safer for a student than an R22. Better in the auto, less movement in turbulence, harder to get into a low-G, easier throttle control in case of governor loss due to bigger and heavier blades, and on and on. So if I owned a school, and would lose no students by dropping the R44, I would do it in a heartbeat. (hurts just to think of the insurance bill!) And of course, it costs more, and I make more profits. That's what a business is designed to do...make money in exchange for fullfilling a need.

 

That said, the R22 is a great little helicopter for what it is. I would encourage the OP to fly both ships, just like most posts have suggested.

 

I agree that the R44 is a better training aircraft than the R22 in general, but there are some benefits to the R22 as well: In the R22, you are basically always at or near MGW, so you are forced to manage power, and you learn to do all manoeuvres and emergency procedures accordingly.

A R44 with 2 people on board has basically unlimited power and can teach you some seriously bad habits if the instructor doesn't find away to prevent it. That can lead to trouble the first time they fly a fully loaded one on a commercial mission. Some people come out of school with 100hrs R44 time, and have never experienced what it's like to fly one with 4 people on board.

 

If you train in an R44, make sure that you also learn how to fly it at MGW. Load the back seats up with ballast, do some confined area landings and autos.

Having some R22 time will help, too.

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There will probably be a lot more of this because of the 100% paid gi bill.

 

Is that in reference to getting a degree? Trying to get started and get the most out of mine. Sorry OP for this slight hijack!

 

Corey

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A Jet Ranger would be an even better helicopter than the R44 to train in! You'd be getting experience in exactly what a ton of commercial operators fly,...and its much safer than the R22!

 

I guess schools should get rid of their R22s and "PUSH THEIR STUDENTS" towards the 206! That wouldn't be "shady" at all?

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If the gi bill will pay for it they should train in the 206. Are there any rules that limit the hourly cost? The problem to getting rid of the 22 is not all of the students have the gi bill so getting rid of them cuts out part of their perspective students.

 

A brand new CFII with 150-200hrs all in a 206? Good luck finding work!

 

If a school were able to convince their newbies to do all of their training in the R44, then what happens to those 200hr R44 CFIIs if the school cannot hire them?,...or if they do, but there isn't enough GI Bill students to go around?,...or if the school closes before you get enough hours to move on?

 

An unemployed low hour CFII with only R44 time? That's something I would definitely NOT want to be!

 

25hrs! That's all the R44 time you should ever pay for!

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If you plan on losing weight, do it before your instructing career. Once I started teaching I couldn't keep those cold beer off my lips. It's about the only pleasure I could afford and a good way to relax after a series of wtf moments.

 

The 22 is a good option. Flying a fully loaded 22 will make you a better pilot than a 44 with 2 people. Power management will be non existent in a 44 unless you go to the higher altitudes but doing maneuvers would be a bad idea at 10,000.

 

Worry about your training first, then your career. A lot of posts here are about where you'll be in 200 hrs, concentrate on the moment. Good luck with your training.

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I'm an all R44 student at Guidance. It isn't shady. It's me having a desire to fly helicopters, and I'm over the weight rating for the R22. I went into it knowing the employment struggle I could face. My goal is to keep losing weight till I can fly the R22 during my second commercial semester or my CFI semester. If I can't, worst case is I take a semester off so I can finish in the R22. My school requires 200hrs and an SFAR endorsement to instruct in either the R22 OR the R44, so hopefully the odds turn out in my favor for getting hired. Worst case? I don't get hired, and work in a happy career as an A&P mechanic, having fulfilled my dream of flying a helicopter. Either outcome ends up with me happy. It's up to the student to know the potential outcomes of their training should they choose to do all R44 training. But a school shouldn't drop the R22 completely and make their students train in the 44.

 

As for why not train in a 206 because it's as "shady" as R44 training? That's just a dumb comparison. One is a slightly larger Robinson piston pounder that costs less than $500 per hr to rent, and the other is a 5 seater turbine that is over $1000 per hr to rent, with MUCH higher maintenance and operating costs. It's an apples to oranges comparison. Anyone offering training for pvt thru cfii in a 206 is scamming you.

 

I did a flight from Prescott to Flagstaff today, 28 deg C, 7100 ft, 2250 lbs take off weight, hover was over max continuous power. Was a challenging take off at high DA. Def a learning experience that the R44 doesn't let me experience much.

Edited by superstallion6113
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I think it's shady to sell flight training by giving students the idea that they will be hired by that school. Especially if that flight training is in a more expensive helicopter than what you normally see students training in. "Rent our R44 because if you don't we wont hire you."

 

Training in an R44 isn't shady, they way they are selling it is.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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I think it's shady to sell flight training by giving students the idea that they will be hired by that school. Especially if that flight training is in a more expensive helicopter than what you normally see students training in. "Rent our R44 because if you don't we wont hire you."

 

Training in an R44 isn't shady, they way they are selling it is.

 

I agree with you there. But all schools that offer R44 only training don't belong in that shady boat.

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I agree with you there. But all schools that offer R44 only training don't belong in that shady boat.

 

You have to wonder though, at least I do, why only the R44? The S300 is perfectly capable of handling heavier students for less money!

 

200hrs in the R44 vs. 400hrs in the R22 for practically the same price!? I'm surprised the people who give out the GI Bill money haven't looked into this? If too many GIs use the money on all R44 training could the program run out of money quicker?

Edited by eagle5
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As far as learning power management in the 22vs the 44..absolutely!

 

If you are not planning on teaching, you really don't need the 22 time at all. I would rather have all my hours in a 44/300 and some 206 than the typical 500 hours of R22 and some R44 here and there.

 

Not everybody teaches!

 

Good luck to the OP, sounds like he is on his way!

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Here are the reasons to go from 0-CFII all in the R44;

 

1. You weigh more than 240lbs and are UNWILLING to travel to a school which uses the 300 or the Enstrom.

 

2. You don't care how much it costs because you have tons of money, or someone else is paying for it.

 

3. You couldn't care less if you ever find work as a pilot.

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I agree with you there. But all schools that offer R44 only training don't belong in that shady boat.

 

I agree, my "shady" comment was in response to the following post.

 

They only have 22's and 44's, and they say they're getting rid of all their 22's and replacing them with 44's, so they're pushing their new students to get all ratings in the 44 to make them "more likely to get hired"

 

That's what I said was shady. Not flying the R44 for training.

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