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Some Insight please.


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I'll keep it short and simple. I have 6hrs in a R-22 and of course I need more to even think about my PPL. I want to purchase a Robinson. I'm an A&P so the maintenance would go through me. Would it be a good idea to first purchase the R-22 or R44 and use this to build more time, lease, or just wait until I have my private first. The money in the end would be waaaaaay less than going through a school. I did the math, 50 hrs at the rate my instructor is charging would cost me $13,000 for my PPL. Even if I finance the Robi for a year and built lets say a thousand hours and went all the way to my CFI II. I've only invested around $60,000 give or take. Yes, I say a thousand hrs because I work in Afghanistan 60/60. So my time home I would be seriously flying everyday. Cross country and you name it. To me in the end its all about hours. After reading tons of post from pilots, the hardiest part is paying for the hours. So if you were in my shoes what would you do. Thanks.

 

PS

Yes!!!!! I've used the search bar, Yes, I've read "Whats your first job" I've looked for this topic.

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Best advice I ever got was on this site. Pay for your Private and re-evaluate when you get there. Flying is fun, flying for a living is work.

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Flying for fun is also expensive and usually unsustainable for most people. That's work. However, I've been flying for a living for about 10 years and still seriously cannot believe this is what I do in exchange for money, benefits and a retirement.

Edited by Flying Pig
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Well I never made it to a thousand hours, but I did get close enough for some jobs. However in my experience employers want work experience not hours. An R-44 tour operator who hires at 500hrs would rather hire a 200hr cfii who taught his way to 500 then someone who just bought those hours flying around willy nilly. Even the guys at Papillon said they prefer a 1000hr cfii to someone with a thousand hours and no work experience.

 

If I had the finances to consider buying an R-22 I'd buy one and just stay a happy ppl!

:)

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If you positively know you want to own a helicopter and can afford to feed it then go for it. For experience building, in my experience this concept works well for fixed wing machines especially with a partner, but less well for rotary due to higher purchase cost, operating expenses, and insurance rates.

My opinion on a ballpark guess only...in CA a 300K used R44 will cost you somewhere close to 25K+ in sales/use tax the first year and 13K+ per year for insurance. Add in 4K for hanger,15K for annual and inspections (at 200hrs/year use) and your almost at 60K projected expenses before you have turned a rotor. If you are flying anything close to the 1000 hours per year you mention then the depreciation and maintainence costs will put tears in your eyes. If you do flight training or other revenue generating use for the aircraft then you'll need commercial insurance coverage and thats probably 20K.+ Other members can likely provide a more detailed reply and more rigorous answer on ways to reduce these costs.

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Thanks for the help. Yeah I understand the cost, trust me. I'm currently working as an A&P and I see the cost of parts. I'm trying to get the most for my money and trying to build time. I don't see how purchasing a R22 and fly for lets say 8 months. Build 500 hrs, thats still time. Experience flying, cross country around the city...where ever. Or try and build time at a school where I might build 200 hrs in 8 or 10 months. Time is Time.

 

Like everyone else the idea is to land a job. I'm not trying to invent the wheel just trying get the most out of my dollar. Use my A&P as an advantage by doing all the maintenance myself.

 

Thanks!

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Time isn't just time. For instance, turbines are easier to fly than pistons, though it is easier to smoke an engine on starts. The reason turbine time is valued is because that means someone entrusted you with a million dollar plus machine. That's why trying to get 10 hours of ferry time isn't worth it. Just because you got 1000 hours screwing around doesn't mean you'll get a job. Employers want to see that you can be trusted, and someone else paying for it is how to show that you can be.

 

If I were you, I'd look at buying an R44 and leasing to an operator that does both flight training and utility work (get one with a cargo hook). Get the terms such that it cuts down on your flight training costs and get your instrument and Part 135 minimums taken care of. Help them with maintenance and learn your bird. Network, network, network.

 

But first, pay for your private at a flight school. You don't know what you don't know yet.

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Thanks for the help. Yeah I understand the cost, trust me. I'm currently working as an A&P and I see the cost of parts. I'm trying to get the most for my money and trying to build time. I don't see how purchasing a R22 and fly for lets say 8 months. Build 500 hrs, thats still time. Experience flying, cross country around the city...where ever. Or try and build time at a school where I might build 200 hrs in 8 or 10 months. Time is Time.

 

Like everyone else the idea is to land a job. I'm not trying to invent the wheel just trying get the most out of my dollar. Use my A&P as an advantage by doing all the maintenance myself.

 

Thanks!

 

Time is not time and just because you’re an A&P doesn’t necessarily mean you can save money on your own machine. Simply put, it sounds like you want to own a machine just to build time in order to advance into bigger and better pilot jobs. In my experience, this is not a viable path to helo-pro-pilot status. If you search further maybe you’ll see the patterns which lead to success cuz this option isn’t one of them……

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FWIW, I know a guy who owns an R44 and is leasing it to an operator and came up here to fly it around when it's not working. He didn't get his night time, so he can't work in it. While he was told that wasn't going to be part of the deal, the company has needed a pilot on occasion, but he can't do it because he can't work Part 135. Chance favors the prepared mind.

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I see and understand where you guys are coming from. Thanks for all the info. Like I said, I'm not trying prove anyone wrong or trying to reinvent the wheel. Flying is an experience and thats exactly what I'm trying to do. Thanks.

 

The “experience” you should be attempting to gain is what employers normally look for in new-hires. That is, time as a CFI. That said, if you have the ability to purchase a machine and start a flight school business, you’d be able to accomplish what you were initially proposing rather than purchasing just to fill the columns in a logbook…..

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Bet. Thanks for all the reply's back. Good advice from some people who've been around the block. Thanks! Knocking out PP then pull the trigger on a R-22. I live in Austin. Emailed one school and those nutt cases told me I couldn't use any of their CFI's if I fly my own. probably insurance reasons.

 

Another avenue is; contact the flight schools in your area and find out if they’ll do a lease-back with your helicopter. That way, your machine will make money to offset the cost when you fly, plus providing another machine to the flight school. You own it, they operate and maintain it. You can help with the maintenance while learning the ins-and-outs of wrenching on a Robinson product. This is assuming you’re not wrenching on Robinson products in Afghanistan……

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