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Training Time Frame & R22/R44 Mix


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I am a couple hours in to my Private Pilot License. I am training in the R44 (the school I have chosen to train with, only has R44s, but their rate is very aggressive (349 wet dual incl tax)) and I like the idea of having my PPL in the R44 because of it's ability to carry 4 people and being a little more stable.

 

After I have my PPL, I am considering pursuing IFR, Commercial, CFI, CFII part time (as I need to keep my full time job to make ends meet). I figure this will take 3-4 years and then I am guessing it will take a year or 18 months to get up to 1000 hours as an instructor. Will the fact that I took say 5 years to get to 1000 hours be seen as a negative for a potential employer?

 

Based on my research on this site and on the net in general, it's my understanding that as a 300 hour pilot with only R44 experience, I'll have a hard time finding a job since a job at this hour level is likely to be as an instructor and majority of schools train in R22. This makes sense to me. What about as a 1000 hour pilot, will R22 or R44 matter? I understand that if I get half way to 1000 and then something happens with the school, I could be in a jam.

 

Thanks for any input, the posts on this forum have been very educational.

 

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If you only have R44 time, you'll have a VERY hard time find work as an instructor, if you can find it at all. Your best bet, if you decide to continue down the 44 rabbit hole is to do everything in your power to make sure you get hired on at your school.

 

Even guys with a mix of hours in the 22 and the 44 have a hard time finding that first job. I was in that boat. After I finished CFI-I, it was 6 months before I found a job. And the only reason I landed this job was because the pilot flying here is a friend of mine. Some might actually call it networking, since he was my ground instructor early on in my training.

 

As far as once you hit 1000 hours, I don't think it'll matter much unless the job you're applying for requires X amount of hours in the R22 or R44. Some jobs require time in type, others don't. At that level, though, most employers will transition you into their aircraft.

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The view from the cockpit is the same, so I wouldn't waste money on the 44 unless you intend on buying one. Even then as a 22 pilot you only need 5 hours in the 44 to fly it, 25 hours to teach in it, so again I wouldn't waste money on it. If that's all the school has find another school, again unless you just want to fly recreationally?

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it was 6 months before I found a job. And the only reason I landed this job was because the pilot flying here is a friend of mine. Some might actually call it networking, since he was my ground instructor early on in my training.

 

 

Yes, several of us would probably call that networking, and it's not only the most effective, it is the way the majority of pilot jobs still get filled...

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Thanks for the input folks.

 

I understand the importance of networking. I am a software engineer who has been in the industry for 15 years. Most of my jobs have been obtained by working through my network. Getting bored of high tech and I am contemplating commercial flying for a change of scenery.

 

I think I'll wrap up my PPL in the R44 and if I decide to go any further with it I'll seek out a school with an R22 or maybe look into purchasing one for use during my training.

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Yes, several of us would probably call that networking, and it's not only the most effective, it is the way the majority of pilot jobs still get filled...

 

 

Yup. I know that at it's core, it's definitely networking, but it doesn't feel like it. It feels like I made a friend who respected me as a pilot before I even HAD a certificate.

 

 

Point being that it works.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the input folks.

 

I understand the importance of networking. I am a software engineer who has been in the industry for 15 years. Most of my jobs have been obtained by working through my network. Getting bored of high tech and I am contemplating commercial flying for a change of scenery.

 

I think I'll wrap up my PPL in the R44 and if I decide to go any further with it I'll seek out a school with an R22 or maybe look into purchasing one for use during my training.

 

If you plan on purchasing one, just make sure you know what you're getting into regarding cost of operation. ie scheduled maintenance, unscheduled maintenance, and insurance.

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