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Request For Time-building Advice

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Good morning all, I would like your advice on an issue, especially from the graybeards on the board like Goldy, Mike, Dennis, Francis, et al...

 

The consensus I have seen over the past few years has been consistent and pretty emphatic regarding advanced training, namely: "don't pay for advanced training out of your own pocket, because when you get hired your employer will train you anyway."

 

But what about this scenario: I'm an inexperienced helicopter pilot--approximately 170 hours (50 in R44) and zero turbine time so far, of course. I just completed my commercial rating and am now working on CFI. I have an opportunity in front of me to ferry a Bell 206 LongRanger to Alaska. It would be about 20 hours of flight time, including international border procedures and everything else incidental to a long cross country--in short, a terrific training experience, I think. But I would have to pay my own way, at a reduced rate. Rather than $750/hour for the B206, my share would be paying $250/hour.

 

What do you think? Would you do it, for the chance for the turbine transition training as well as the cross country experience?

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I recommend that you use the money you would spend on the B206 flight and apply it towards your CFI & CFII.

 

Then, use funds for Robinson Safety Course.

 

Also, make sure you meet SFAR 73 in R22/44 for instruction.

 

Mike

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Additional info: my CFI and CFII training will be covered under my GI Bill, and I already have my reservations for the Robinson course in June. I will be SFAR 73 compliant (200 Robinson hours) or close to it by the time I finish CFII. Also, I do have extra money stashed away in my savings account (I have been saving cash for seven years in preparation for this career change I began last summer.)

Edited by Cod

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Normally, I'm not a fan of paying for a ferry flight but if you have everything else locked down and scheduled.... that would be one heck of a great experience.

 

It would be an amazing trip from the back seat. You might be able to bring another person and cut your costs by half, and still get the experience of a lifetime

 

Going back and forth across the lower states is cool, but I've seen that from the air and ground way too many times.

Edited by Pohi

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Good morning all, I would like your advice on an issue, especially from the graybeards on the board like Goldy, Mike, Dennis, Francis, et al...

 

The consensus I have seen over the past few years has been consistent and pretty emphatic regarding advanced training, namely: "don't pay for advanced training out of your own pocket, because when you get hired your employer will train you anyway."

 

But what about this scenario: I'm an inexperienced helicopter pilot--approximately 170 hours (50 in R44) and zero turbine time so far, of course. I just completed my commercial rating and am now working on CFI. I have an opportunity in front of me to ferry a Bell 206 LongRanger to Alaska. It would be about 20 hours of flight time, including international border procedures and everything else incidental to a long cross country--in short, a terrific training experience, I think. But I would have to pay my own way, at a reduced rate. Rather than $750/hour for the B206, my share would be paying $250/hour.

 

What do you think? Would you do it, for the chance for the turbine transition training as well as the cross country experience?

 

Pay your own way as in cover your expenses, or pay a percentage of the hourly operating costs of the helicopter?

 

If you're covering your costs such as hotel and meals, fine. If a professional ferry pilot or a commercial pilot is assigned to and paid for the trip, is expenses should all be covered, and if you're tagging along, it's reasonable that you pay your own.

 

If you're expected to pay for any of the cost of operating the aircraft, however, such as hourly costs, fuel, etc, then it's absolute bullshit.

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Career advancement wise, save the cash and when the time is right, like when you have 1000 hours or so, spend it on a factory school. Employers and their insurance providers put a higher value on factory transitions over a handful of turbine time……

 

Vacation wise, sure go for it. IMO, it would be better than blowing it in Vegas……

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Save the money. Yes, it'd be a fun adventure, but you'll come across plenty of them down the road and you won't have to pay for it when you do.

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Moreover, you may be paid to do it, and, it will seem like a vacation……. Patience is a virtue in the helicopter industry although not prevalent in today’s society….

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no.... nein.... njet.... no way, Jose.... fat chance, Moriarty....

 

here's why. At 170 hrs TT, you don't need to concern yourself yet with turbine time, you need TT. And experience. Raw Stick time.

 

$5,000 is a hefty chunk of change. I'd be on the hunt for a way to maximize my flight hours. Build ratings and piston helicopter time. Don't worry about turbine time. Later. That comes later.

 

Frankly, the whole turbine time issue is borderline silly. They are mostly way easier to fly. Lots more oomph, and a good R-22 stick is usually flabbergasted when he gets to play with a turbine. If you can proficiently manage an R-22, two up, full fuel, on a hot day, over the trees and around Sugarloaf mountain, your stick skills and power management are good.

Flying a turbine is easier in many ways, more power, but -CAUTION- the flip side is that you can do a whole lot more expensive $$$ damage, very quickly. So insurers and interviewers like to see turbine time, because they worry about you costing them money.

 

It's interesting in the Gulf, how R-22 guys promoted up to a Bell 206, are in hog heaven, with big smiles, empowered by lots of grunt and extra horse power. By and large, these guys (and gals) do very well. Put these guys in a Bell 407, and they are insufferably happy, singing in the shower and kissing old ladies. (and the girls kissing old men - hell, maybe there is hope for me yet) But take a 2,000 hour former Military stick, who has only flown Blackhawks, and put HIM in a Bell 206, and listen to him griping about that under-powered heap of old technology scrap. He'll over torque it in a heart beat, if he's not very careful. And he will have to learn to "fly"/handle the 206. These Blackhawk guys have other (valuable) skill sets, often in high demand, and many employers will be happy to place these guys straight into an S76. I've never talked to a 2,000 Blackhawk jockey who casually changed to instructing in an R-22. But I bet he'd entertain me over a beer.

 

At your stage, 170 hrs TT, all those games & excitement are yet to come. Patience. Don't worry yet about turbine. It's just a big old, noisy, metal rubbish barrel, tipped over on its side, into which we squirt lots of Jet A fuel and compressed air, (and then light it.... :P ) and there's no big mystery about it. Far more important is to work on getting every rating you can get, and bang up your TT.

 

Doesn't matter if it's an un-sexy old piston bird, paint peeling off, seats torn, pigeon sh*t on the windscreen, and duct tape on the toaster, just FLY that puppy like you stole it.

 

170 TT is a super time to be at. Lots of dreams, and lots of excitement still to come.

When I had 170 TT, what the hell was I doing? Um. :) Somewhere around there I was calling Rotterdam International Airport, (from London, UK) asking for permission to come in. In an old asthmatic Starduster biplane, open cockpit two-holer. With patches on the fabric. "No problem", they said. You call us on frequency XXX.zzzz" "I can't", I said. "I don't have a radio."

"Why you do not have radio?" said the nice Dutch Tower Controller, in surprise.

"Because I can't afford one!"

"Oh", he said. "No problem! We give you light signals!"

And so it came that one happy trainee neophyte dreamer with puppy eyes flew himself across the channel, (map & compass) (teeth chattering.... f@#k it was cold) arriving at Rotterdam International between 12.50 and 13.10 as appointed, received a fusillade of green rockets, and happily touched down ahead of the patiently waiting airliners.

 

My point: all is possible to the time-building enthusiast....

 

:rolleyes:

Edited by Francis Meyrick
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Yes the goal is to build your filight time....that said, at $250 an hour.....that's the same as renting an R22 and flying around in the pattern. You struck a chord with me, cause I love cross country flying. Lots more challenging and more fun.

 

So don't look at it as building turbine time, if you're going to spend the 5K building time anyway, do it in a 206 flying long distance. Plan to stretch your back at every break....those 206 seats are not my favorite.

 

If you were trading time in a 206 for $750 an hour vs. hours in an R22 at $250 I would say don't do it, pick up more hours in the R22.......in this case, go have fun.

 

But Fly Safe!,

 

Goldy

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Um. :) Somewhere around there I was calling Rotterdam International Airport, (from London, UK) asking for permission to come in. In an old asthmatic Starduster biplane, open cockpit two-holer. With patches on the fabric. "No problem", they said. You call us on frequency XXX.zzzz" "I can't", I said. "I don't have a radio."

"Why you do not have radio?" said the nice Dutch Tower Controller, in surprise.

"Because I can't afford one!"

"Oh", he said. "No problem! We give you light signals!"

And so it came that one happy trainee neophyte dreamer with puppy eyes flew himself across the channel, (map & compass) (teeth chattering.... f@#k it was cold) arriving at Rotterdam International between 12.50 and 13.10 as appointed, received a fusillade of green rockets, and happily touched down ahead of the patiently waiting airliners.

 

My point: all is possible to the time-building enthusiast....

 

:rolleyes:

Now that's an awesome memory!! Of course, it was a cross-country flight!

Edited by Goldy

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Now that's an awesome memory!! Of course, it was a cross-country flight!

 

I was (am) kind of innocent, wide eyed newbie, and I dreamed up all sorts of novel entertainment involving old hairplanes, heli-whoppers, para-shoots and motorsickles. . And GIRLS. Usually stuff I thought was a REAL GOOD idea. At the time. Beforehand. Uh-huh. With the benefit of forty years plus flying and matrimonial hindsight, I just shiver. Stiff drink, and pretend it never happened. Wasn't me. I is a pro-pro-prolapticeeee-proFESSIONAL. (Sigh...) It takes a lot of time (2-fingered) to write 'em all down, so I reckon I've fessed up to maybe 15% of young&dumb. So that should leave me plenty of material writing/scribbling up 'till I'm ninety-nine.

 

(from the growing list on www.chopperstories.com....)

 

Here's one awesome memory... of being a dual rated CHIEF FLYING INSTRUCTOR....and setting a suitably Prolapeeee 'fessional Tone...

 

Of Helicopters and Humans (Part 24)

 

:mellow:

Edited by Francis Meyrick

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Different strokes. I've always looked at cross country experience as some of the least valuable flight time. I don't keep track of it in my logbook, and haven't for many years.

 

I'm not a fan of building "time." Time means nothing. If it's all about hours, one might as well simply falsify them; it's the fastest way to "build time." Building experience, however, is quite different, and it may be as simple as the way one approaches a flight. Rent the airplane or helicopter for an hour; go look at the autumn leaves changing, and there's a hour of flight time. Spend the hour shooting approaches, doing landings, working in the wind, and there's some experience.

 

It's one thing to tag along on a cross country trip and learn something along the way, see the sights, and experience a real flight from A to B. No issues with someone paying for their own hotel and meals.

 

If the owner of that helicopter is hiring a commercial pilot and paying him as a professional to move that helicopter, then the tag-along being asked to pay part of the cost of the flight is tantamount to selling a job. It's a commercial job; it's something that merits pay. One does not work as a professional and pay to do it. One gets paid.

 

If the owner wants a second pilot, he or she needs to pay a second pilot. If the owner doesn't need a second pilot and you're simply tagging along for the experience, then you shouldn't pay to do it. the cost of moving that aircraft needs to be borne by the owner/operator; selling a seat on an hourly basis along the way is not the way to do it.

 

Technically, if you're paying for that time, you're paying to be transported from one location to another. Moving cargo or persons for property or hire from one location to another needs to be done under Part 135. Think about it. It makes you a paying passenger.

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Avbug, I agree with what you are saying, but I don't think it's black and white for a guy at my rookie experience level. Perhaps a better way to phrase my question would be: "Is Alaska/Canada cross-country experience worth paying for out of your own pocket?"

 

The fact that it would be fun in a B206 is sort of incidental to the issue, considering the XC and weather experience that could be gained by flying a mission like this one--which wouldn't really be the same as "watching the autumn leaves changing!"

 

PS: thanks much to all you guys for your input!

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"Is Alaska/Canada cross-country experience worth paying for out of your own pocket?"

 

No……

 

It would appear you just want someone else to tell you what you want to hear….. However, I’ll make it crystal clear. If you desire experience, then I suggest you take the $5K and go to Western Helicopters and get a few hours doing EP’s in their 500. This training will make you a 10-times better pilot then flying a 206 making a weather decisions or figuring out how to cross the border…… Moreover, the Western training could possibly save your life, and the lives of others, someday….. No gray....

Edited by Spike
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All, thanks much for the advice--I'll take a pass on this flight!

 

VR,

 

Cod

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Honestly, I'm not real big on paying for time building. However, I remember being a <1000 hour civilian piston only pilot. When I was considering either the military or that first civilian turbine job, I was asked a number of times if I had any turbine time. If it was only an hour or two, I don't think it would make a difference. If you can log a good 20 hours in the turbine though, I think that might be worth it.

 

As others have stated, it's not all about hours (though it's hard to get a job without the hours I do agree). Flying a turbine is somewhat anticlimactic. I had over a thousand hours when I joined the Army only to say to myself, "Really, this is all a turbine is. What's the big deal?" Nonetheless, it's not just the hours but the experience. 20 hours of turbine time is an "experience" that you might not otherwise have when you reach that magic number. It just might be 20 hours of "experience" that the next guy doesn't have. It also might convince that first tour operator that you aren't as likely to overtemp his helicopter. Personally, I think that last line is malarkey but I'm probably not the one that is going to hire you.

 

If it's 5k to spare, I say it's an experience to consider, especially with the border crossings and some nice country to see other than the traffic pattern.

 

I guess I'm just about doing things that set yourself apart. Buying time for the sake of buying time is one thing. Buying for the experience is another.

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