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bstroh

Help Researching School

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Hello everyone, I'm looking into getting my CPL and can only find one school within several hours' drive from where I live, but am having a hard time finding current information about it. It's called Helipro, Inc. and is based in San Luis Obispo, CA. I've tried searching the forums here but everything regarding this school is 5-10 years old. I was hoping somebody could tell me a little more about this school, whether they typically are able to hire on graduates as CFI's, whether they're fairly priced, etc.

 

I have a friend that went to a place called Del Rio Aviation in Paso Robles, CA, but their website seems somewhat broken, and the only reviews I could find were all on Yelp, all 5 stars, and all written on the same day. Not trying to imply anything here, but that seems a little strange to me.

 

One final question: what is the job market in general like on the central coast of California? I'm very aware that I'll probably have to travel for most jobs, especially the first few, but if at all possible I'd like to stay somewhat close to home.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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A couple yrs ago Del Rio did have a 300C. They are an Ag operator and had a 500 and a jet ranger. The 300 for the school was sort of a side part. But it was there and wasn't bad looking. At least work a look. As far as jobs........ You'll be hard pressed to find anything with low time on the coast outside of a cfi somewhere.

Edited by Flying Pig

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Thanks, I'll give them a call and see if I can check it out.

 

I'm fully prepared to work as a CFI to build hours, I was just a little curious about the job market after that.

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One thing to ask.... when i went there, the owner wouldnt allow any full touch down autos. For your CFI you have to to them. When i asked how that was going to work, he said I would have to find another helicopter to rent for my check ride. I never attended the school. I checked it out, had 1 ground lesson with the instructor and then found out that little tie-bit of information.

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Del Rios not bad, people there are nice and are usually busy. I've seen helipro but haven't heard anything good or bad, nice part is San Luis Obispo is a beautiful area. Specialized helicopters is more north, never flown there but a buddy of mine has and had good things to say.

 

In all cases as I'm sure you're aware be ready to move. You may get you training in central California and end up working in the midwest for a few thousand hours. The central coast has a lot of agriculture work and a few utility companies; San Francisco has news and tours. When you're time building you could potentially work in SLO or be as Far East as Florida, just something to be ready for. If you have any questions feel free to PM me, good luck and have fun.

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I've recently started researching heli schools that have a CPL program. I've had a few people recommend Silver Hawk in Idaho and from what I've read and been told it sounds like a good place to learn. Recently I've come across a school called ApexHeli out in Florence Oregon, their website sounds like a thorough program, but that's about all the I formation I've been able to find on them. I was wondering if/what anyone's experiences have been with either school.

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...San Francisco has news and tours...

News choppers I see 'em all the time, hear 'em on the radio too (usually just idol chit chat), but in twelve years of joyriding around the city, not once have I seen (or heard on the radio) a tour chopper.

 

In fact once I got a random call on my resume from a guy who said he ran a tour operation with an R-44 out of the very same airport from which I rent. Never heard of his company before, never seen his chopper around the field, never seen any ads for rides posted anywhere,...?

 

I would think that tours exist in the Bay Area, but if there are specific tour operators (i.e. not a school just giving rides on the side) they don't seem to be very busy?

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Del Rios not bad, people there are nice and are usually busy. I've seen helipro but haven't heard anything good or bad, nice part is San Luis Obispo is a beautiful area. Specialized helicopters is more north, never flown there but a buddy of mine has and had good things to say.

 

In all cases as I'm sure you're aware be ready to move. You may get you training in central California and end up working in the midwest for a few thousand hours. The central coast has a lot of agriculture work and a few utility companies; San Francisco has news and tours. When you're time building you could potentially work in SLO or be as Far East as Florida, just something to be ready for. If you have any questions feel free to PM me, good luck and have fun.

Looks like I've got some more research to do, thanks for the tip.

 

Yes, just about everything I've read says that I'll have to move for most jobs, and I'm okay with that.

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News choppers I see 'em all the time, hear 'em on the radio too (usually just idol chit chat), but in twelve years of joyriding around the city, not once have I seen (or heard on the radio) a tour chopper.

In fact once I got a random call on my resume from a guy who said he ran a tour operation with an R-44 out of the very same airport from which I rent. Never heard of his company before, never seen his chopper around the field, never seen any ads for rides posted anywhere,...?

I would think that tours exist in the Bay Area, but if there are specific tour operators (i.e. not a school just giving rides on the side) they don't seem to be very busy?

SF Helicopter Tours has been in business for years..... And, they're on the GGF everyday of the week........

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SF Helicopter Tours has been in business for years..... And, they're on the GGF everyday of the week........

Yes, I have heard of them (even have one of their brochures), yet given the friendliness of the fog and the fact that we're both going up for the same reason (sightseeing) I have always wondered why our paths have never crossed?

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I see SF heli flying every time I'm in the city. Looks like a cool gig. Specialized Helicopters in Watsonville is a great place to learn to fly. Great people and an awesome area to live and fly in.

 

I may be a little biased….I did all my training and worked there as a CFI until I had my 1,0000-ish hours. You can check them out at- specializedheli.com

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