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Looking for cheap R44 time building in California?

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  • 3 weeks later...

What do you consider "cheap" and what is "if the price is right" amount. Let's start with what your flight school charges for an R44 and is it an Astro, Raven I or a Raven II. We have two R22's with cheap timebuilding in California but our Raven II is currently in Miami but there are "cheap" nonstop flights from Cali to Miami. You can call me at 561-346-2816. Our R22 rates are $250/hour and we are an advertiser here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

When you pay for 100 hours with us at $250/hour you then get a job with us for at least 100 hours


So $25,000 to buy a job. Apparently you can fly an R44 across the country as training for an R22 mariner photo flight. So much for 100 hours needed to learn how to fly a 22 with floats in circles.


And with that quote above, you really can't argue that you don't sell a job.

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Unfortunately the FAA FAR's don't include a section on reality. You know, the part about you can get a cert, but you really can't do much with it. The part about trying to find a job flying...doing anything, anywhere when you have 175 hours TT....or 190 in an R22 when the money runs out and you don't fly for 14 years until you can afford to pick up where you left off....(oops, that part was a bio).


Boatpix has a business model, that model seeks to reach pilots who are stuck in any number of places with their hours or experience. I'm not a huge fan of paying to play, but it serves a purpose, like any business. If I own a flight school and I charge 275 an hour and you don't like my rate, then don't fly at my school....go invest in the guy who rents the R22 for 225 and will be out of biz any day now with your money.


Bottom line, and I've said this before, if the Boatpix business model isn't what you would recommend to a friend, then don't recommend it. But you don't need to slam any business, just because it's not right for you.


I've never flown for Boatpix, and most likely never will, but I have known pilots that have used that experience successfully to get over a hump and move on with their career. Unlike Silver State, Boatpix is a real business model and it's been around awhile...and it just might be the right answer for someone who is stuck in their career.


It's easy to slam people and businesses on the web, and I'm not directing this post to any one person...or really even to any single business. There has been quite a bit of the negativity going around VR lately, so much so that I see where an admin had to close down a post just yesterday.


Bit sad for some of us that have successfully used VR to get to know other pilots and opportunities over the years.....oops, decade now.


I've met some really great pilots from this forum, some I consider dear friends, I've stayed at their homes, some have stayed at mine. We should really spend more of our time helping others learn how to best overcome some of the pitfalls in flying, both in landing real jobs and in operating the aircraft itself safely. That's probably more what Ray had in mind all those years ago when he started this site.


Fly safe,


Happy New Year to all of you.



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So, no cheap R44 time building in Cali, then?

Sorry, back on topic. None that I know of, and I fly So Cal every week...in fact just landed from a 1.8 hr flight. These opps come and go, but right now they are gone as far as I know. There are still some opps that come up flying birds back home from maintenance at VNY.....those pilots will post these flights on VR and they fill up the same day. Not usually an R44 though, more like Astar's, 205's and 407's.....

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  • 2 months later...

Well said - Goldy.


I started my career with Tom and Boatpix. Bought into the whole 300hr program and left with 1000hrs 22/44. Never once was I disappointed with anything in the organization. Tom has his knockers who constantly berate his operation but I (and many, many of my industry friends) moved on when the time was right (sometimes with a little shove from the Boss) into a new chapter which has worked out very well indeed.


I echo your sentiment......he provides a niche that appeals to many depending on their training/career status and circumstances (I was one of them) and if it isn't the right fit for someone then they are wise to not go down that path (and Tom doesn't want naysayers flying in his helis anyway - who would?).....but if the timing and finances work for the individual then the flying is so much fun and the "education" you get as a newly minted CFI is invaluable.


I have my own Florida based flight school now and still recommend Tom and Helicopter Academy/Boatpix to those inquiries that will have a good fit to start or further their career aspirations. Even though we are in close proximity to Helicopter Academy's home base, we don't compete with Helicopter Academy - our clients/students/customers are in a different league.


Tom is very up front about how much training will cost but he keeps his word on the agreement. My training cost EXACTLY what he said it would - within $30 and I didn't pay up front like some choose to do. In fact, after experiencing the less than decisive and variable (surcharge) style of some operators, we made that very honest and Str8 Up idea our company policy and name!


Seriously though, if you want to build a lot of hours and get real experience and are watching your training pennies then Tom is a good choice. If you are NOT needing to watch your pennies then come to us!


Thank you Goldy for being the calming voice of reason.

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