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Piston Heli to purchase


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Good morning guys! Have any of you flown a Rotorway A600 or Exec 162F? IF you have, is it a pretty good Heli to fly and maintain? Me and the wife were talking last night and she was asking how much I was going to spend on a Heli IF I can get my private license….I said 100 maybe 125k tops….so, I am pretty limited from what I can see on owning my own heli for recreational use.


I have had my eyes on a Rotorway A600 Talon and the Rotorway Exec 162F, I have seen on Barnstormers a R44 Astro for $114,000, R22 Beta for $83,900, Rotorway Exec 152F for $28,000. My question is, would these be a good Heli to have and reasonable to maintain? Also, I have started a diet and also back to working out to lose some weight..I am currently 265lbs.


Once I get to the point (after I get my lic) then I will start looking hard and heavy, and also get someone who actually knows what to look for and questions to ask….but in your honest opinion, are any of these good ships to have?


Also, what is the average cost per hour I can expect for a Heli like this? Sorry, I really don’t know anything about owning a heli and have no clue what to ask.


Anyways, thanks for your help!

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Welcome to the forum...! I can only offer up my thin nickel...you'll get other opinions guaranteed:-) But I am likely an anomaly compared to others as I have owned both the Rotorway and the Robinson (both 22 and 44) and have been flying helis since 1980...so after a couple thousand hours my perspective will be a little different...I've been around the forum long enough to know you will see differing opinions...and these are only mine.


I loved the Rotorway, I loved the whole concept...build it yourself, maintain it, fly it your self...it was affordable, a blast to build and fly...but, (there's always a but) having gone that route and now having owned two certificated helos, I have a much different understanding and perspective. I share that for what it's worth.


In the years since I built and flew my Rotorway (and I will grant you they have made some important enhancements and strides in the past 30+ years) I have come to innately and intimately understand the intricacies and complexities of helicopter aerodynamics, flight, and maintenance. I am a VERY careful and cautious pilot, however, I have been caught in flight conditions and turbulence that I feel would have been marginally safe at best in a home built or experimental helicopter... due to the stresses of normal and sometimes unexpectedly not normal flight.


Through the ongoing maintenance of my two certificated helos, it has become very clear to me that maintaining my own ship...to the standards I've come to respect, would be difficult at best unless you are a trained A&P yourself.


So here is the bottom line for me...if you love to build stuff, are intrigued about being meticulous on your maintenance, and you are planning to fly solo 98% of the time, and to hover around the pasture at very low altitudes, then I think experimental can be a fun way to go.


If you plan to fly at altitude, fly family and friends and do it with a level of confidence in the safety, I'm buying a certificated machine every single time. But do so knowing that the rental costs that you see from your local flight school for training is roughly the cost per hour that it will cost you to own your own ship... As you might imagine they monitor their costs very carefully to make some slim profit...so At the end of the day, their costs are pretty well what your costs will be on an hourly basis. Those hourly costs can be much higher if you are flying only 50 or so hours or less per year. If I can't afford to buy a ship outright, I'm far better off just renting until I can...while saving to buy if that is the route you want to go.


Like any aircraft, fixed or rotary, you have to have sufficient discretionary cash to cover the unexpected costs, and there are always some of those the pop up...If you look to buy mid life or high time machines, your trusted A&P is your best friend and can help you make a well informed decision. Otherwise, your joy of ownership can become less than gratifying pretty quickly.


Hope that helps in some way...

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Thank you Rich1, I truly appreciate that. My idea is just to fly pretty local..maybe within 20 miles or so, maybe a tad more. My wife would be with me maybe 1/4 of the time, if that.


The main reason I am looking at the Rotorway is my 14.5yr old son has always been interested in helicopters. He plans on going into the military and fly Blackhawks so I would love to keep him zeroed in on flying. So, my thought process is building one in the shop with my son would be some awesome father/son bonding time, we could learn about the machine and also have something to fly whenever we wanted until he goes into the military. I also plan on sending him to get his private license when he gets of age. I am doing all I can do to keep him heading in the direction of flying.


I hope doing it this way is not bad a bad direction to go....maybe once he gets off in the military I can purchase a certified Heli...but that is a few years away.

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  • 1 month later...

rich is right and he will always be right you kno the saying if it flys floats or f .hire it .but we like to own our own car or whatever so the heli s no different.hand it back pay your bill and walk.im in a fix there s a 280 c commin for sale nearby mint small money but the experts say only buy turbo enstrom as the non turbo is underpowered .ive no enstrom exp save for 2 hrs and in that time if learned this is a safe machine the one to own i think ?.good luck with what ever you buy

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