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Initial Flight Training


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Hey All,

 

I am a current high school freshman, looking to begin flight training this summer. In the Seattle Area, I have a few schools available, all but one flying the Robinson R22. However, I am currently 6'2, about 210 pounds, and will likely reach 6'5, 260 pounds by the end of high school. With the R22's strict weight and balance requirements, this leaves me hesitant to begin in the R22. One school operates the Schweizer 300 series, which I heard is more accommodating for people my size. Is this the case? Will I be able to fit into an R22 with an average sized instructor? Also, I heard the R22 is a better initial trainer as it includes a governor, would this make it a better choice?

 

Sorry for the packed post,

Spencer

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Hey All,

 

I am a current high school freshman, looking to begin flight training this summer. In the Seattle Area, I have a few schools available, all but one flying the Robinson R22. However, I am currently 6'2, about 210 pounds, and will likely reach 6'5, 260 pounds by the end of high school. With the R22's strict weight and balance requirements, this leaves me hesitant to begin in the R22. One school operates the Schweizer 300 series, which I heard is more accommodating for people my size. Is this the case? Will I be able to fit into an R22 with an average sized instructor? Also, I heard the R22 is a better initial trainer as it includes a governor, would this make it a better choice?

 

Sorry for the packed post,

Spencer

Spence- Unless you have 30 inch biceps, 260 is a bit big for a guy 6-5. I'm a pretty big guy at 6-5, 240...and 240 is the max seat weight in the R22. Just find a 120 pound blonde gal CFI...ok, she doesn't have to be blonde,....and you'll be fine. You don't need full tanks when training, most of your flights should be an hour or 1.2......that also saves on weight. Besides flying at max gross is a skill you should get good at, cause you'll be doing a lot of it later in life.

 

Who knows what airframe will be the up and comer in a few years. There are a few new contenders in the marketplace. I'm not a fan of the 300 simply because Sikorsky, the owner, isn't a big fan of the 300. If they were, it would show in their marketing and support of their product. 2 years ago they didn't even have a 300 on display at Heli Expo (I missed this year).

 

Chances are you want to learn in whatever airframe you are going to teach in. Good luck in your future flights.

 

Goldy

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Also, I heard the R22 is a better initial trainer as it includes a governor, would this make it a better choice?

Yummy. Wait for it... wait for it... somebody is gonna rise to this bait... I'm thinking...

 

?? :D

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Pilotspencer- I started my training at 6'4" 226lbs in an R22 in the Seattle area way back when. That isn't a problem for you. What will be a problem is if you desire to make a career out of this training being above 200lbs. Some will argue this as there are always exceptions. The flight schools more than likely won't say this to your face as they want to pick your pocket for $. If you are seeking flying opportunities for recreational purposes you will be okay and Seattle is a wonderful place for training with its scenic beauty. Good Luck!

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pilotspencer- That is correct, however that was many years and owners ago and at the former location at the north end of the field. If you want to make a career attempt with this training you'll best be served by going to Snohomish Flying Service and fly the Schweizer aircraft. You will not be able to become an instructor in the Robinson products at your weight, barring a rich uncle that will hire you. I don't know your personal situation, but do your research before you get ripped off unless you are independently wealthy. Look at the job ads and you will mostly see restricted weight requirements of 185 or less. Send me a PM if you would like some personal coaching. Good luck in your endeavor.

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Since the R22 is out of the question, would there be a benefit of a few hours in an R44? Cash flow is not limitless, as I will start out with about $2,000 but acquire more cash once I receive my Eagle Scout, which will cover roughly 3/4 of the process. I am looking for a summer job after this year, which should give me enough. So, would it be wise to spend some of that on R44 time?

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Yummy. Wait for it... wait for it... somebody is gonna rise to this bait... I'm thinking...

 

?? :D

I'd take a whack at it but the bullshit claim is usually that the 300 is a better trainer because it doesn't have a governor.

 

In other words we robbie rangers are spoiled!

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Hey All,

 

I am a current high school freshman, looking to begin flight training this summer. In the Seattle Area, I have a few schools available, all but one flying the Robinson R22. However, I am currently 6'2, about 210 pounds, and will likely reach 6'5, 260 pounds by the end of high school. With the R22's strict weight and balance requirements, this leaves me hesitant to begin in the R22. One school operates the Schweizer 300 series, which I heard is more accommodating for people my size. Is this the case? Will I be able to fit into an R22 with an average sized instructor? Also, I heard the R22 is a better initial trainer as it includes a governor, would this make it a better choice?

 

Sorry for the packed post,

Spencer

Since you say you're going to start this summer and you are currently 210lbs I'd say at least get your private rating in the 22, you are light enough. If you gain too much weight later you can always switch to the 300 (that is if its still around, the one near me dissapeared a few years ago and I haven't seen one since).

 

Its definitely easier to go from the 22 to the 300 than to later find out that you can't find work in the 300 and have to turn around and get 50 hours in a 22!

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It only applies for the R22 and 44 but only 5 hours from the 22 to 300? Also, what is the transition from the 22 to 44 like?

Not too bad. I switched back and forth between them this last semester and I just had to remember the 44 was more sensitive. You really should have no issues besides maybe a few bad pick ups and set downs at first.

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While considering this as a career, check out the job postings. You may notice that many have weight limits. 225lb seems to be popular, which you fit into now but with your predictions, you will not later on. Also, consider this factor when choosing where to train, and ask the school about it. Schools at higher elevation in hot areas ( high DA) set limits below factory seat weight, because you couldn't put enough fuel in an R22 to have time for a reasonable lesson.

 

If you have a shot at making it into pro football, I'd say go for it, chances of making it happen depend on hard work and sacrifice either way, and NFL players make a shitload more than heli pilots do.

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Hey Spencer,

 

First of all, what do your parents say about this? I ask because I have two kids, a freshmen and a sophomore, and when you ask the questions you do, I think of my own kids asking the same questions (and they haven’t yet, thank goodness). With that, please understand, you’re a freshmen in high school. That is, at your point in life, getting an education is way more important than flying a helicopter, by a factor of 100. Specifically, flying helicopter as a career will always be an option well through your 30’s. You see, as you get older, a degree is far more difficult to get and I don’t think I need to remind you how important a degree is in today’s job market. Right?

 

Mind you, if my kids asked the same question, I’d tell them the same thing….

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Spike- My parents know I have loved everything that flies since preschool so they have grown accoustomed to flying. They were thrilled with me attending FW flight training, but still a little worried about RW. After going on their first helicopter ride last week they seemed much more into the idea. They strongly encourage the idea of student first, and all other priorities such as athletics and flying are second. That means they do not entertain the idea of a flying degree from UND/SUU/USU, so I would likely major in something other than flying.

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