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Roscoe P

Central Ca Training?

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Fresno has Mazzei (or Mazzie,) flight school and American helicopters I believe. Bakersfield has fixed wing and SRT helicopters, some people have mixed feelings about SRT though. I think there is some type of aeronautics college opening in Bakersfield but I think it's fixed wing only. Blue Sky aviation use to exist in Tulare but they closed down. There might be a few left overs that can give you instruction though in a r44. Just pm if interested. I could try and find out. The might be a school at Castle airport. Not sure if it ever opened.

Edited by Anonymous???

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The owner of SRT is a convicted felon...... So ..... Did time in Fresno county jail for lying to a judge in regards to his false claims about being a Green Beret.

 

Mazzei at KFAT or American at KFCH is your best bet.

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Specialized Helicopters in Watsonvelle is a great school in one of the most beautiful places in the state. I'm a little biased because I was a student there a few years back.

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my 2 cents...

 

I would say Mazzie or Specialized... Cost of living is most likely higher near Watsonville than it is in Fresno, and although Monterey and Santa Cruz are nice places to live (expensive), Watsonvillie is NOT! (cheaper)... Don't get me wrong though, I lived there for about 3 years and enjoyed it, but you won't want to live in Watsonville.

 

Yes Bluesky in Tulare is No Longer... American ...Blah...no thanks, same with SRT in Bako

 

Either way I would not really look at it as "Where can I do it the cheapest" because the reality is, if your self paying then they will all be very close in price since they basically all use very close to the same per/hr rate for a 22 or a 44 or whatever you decide to fly in. So what it comes down to is how many hours it takes you and how much ground school you need. The ground school in my mind is where you save yourself most of the money. Flight time is dictated by the FAA in order to meet the mins, but with the ground school/knowledge for all intents and purposes, its up to you. If you study your ass off on your own and can grasp the information without having your hand held by a CFI then you will save yourself money and time (which equals money). No matter where you go, if you need "remedial" training then your cost is going to go up...they will not just give you extra hours because you are not up to standards... They may build some extra time into their overall course cost when you look at it on paper, but I imagine if you didn't use all that time, you would be entitled to get some of that back. At least, personally, I would not attend a school that wouldn't refund unused flight hours...

 

I guess an important question I should have asked before typing all that is what are your goals/intentions with becoming a helicopter pilot?

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wow... blue sky went under? I recall flying in to Paso a few years back and they had just opened up a facilty over there too. It seemed to be the typical VA pilot factory. I contacted them once about doing one of the Aviation degrees. I was told I would need to come and do an actual full blown check ride with their DPE for every rating I wanted to credit towards my degree.

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wow... blue sky went under? I recall flying in to Paso a few years back and they had just opened up a facilty over there too. It seemed to be the typical VA pilot factory. I contacted them once about doing one of the Aviation degrees. I was told I would need to come and do an actual full blown check ride with their DPE for every rating I wanted to credit towards my degree.

 

Yes. Lost VA accreditation, did not meet the 80% VA students to 20% civilian or whatever the ratio was. It seemed like the VA is out to have flight schools shut down because of how much it is costing them. Even though Blue Sky didn't offer the ridiculous night vision and turbine transition that other schools offer which is what's making the VA fork out so much money. Blue sky cost about $90k of tax payer money and got you from Private to CFII in about a year or a little more.

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Call American Helicopters in Fresno (559) 233-4411... Ask for the owner John Tamaino.

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Yes. Lost VA accreditation, did not meet the 80% VA students to 20% civilian or whatever the ratio was. It seemed like the VA is out to have flight schools shut down because of how much it is costing them. Even though Blue Sky didn't offer the ridiculous night vision and turbine transition that other schools offer which is what's making the VA fork out so much money. Blue sky cost about $90k of tax payer money and got you from Private to CFII in about a year or a little more.

Some flight schools weren't following the guidelines that were required to receive VA funding. If they don't follow the rules, then they should have their VA funding cut.

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Call American Helicopters in Fresno (559) 233-4411... Ask for the owner John Tamaino.

I'm currently working there so I'm a little biased but I've had multiple students come from other schools who had been really frustrated with thier lack of helicopters or CFI availability. We have plenty of helicopters, instructors and an on sight DPE. We're also I believe less expensive than most of the other schools around.

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If I could give you a little advice, it would be to narrow it down to two or three and go see them in person. Schedule a meeting and go see the aircraft, facility, meet the instructors and get a vibe of the school. Never pay for everything in advance. Just pay as you go. I would also say to take a flight at each one…..it all counts towards your ultimate goal anyway! That's the only real way to know what school is going to work for you.

 

Also, you mentioned "as cheaply as possible" - You get what you pay for in this business. Nothing about it is cheap and any school that says they are the "cheapest" doesn't make them the best. When you're looking for an employer are you going to see who the cheapest is???!!!! Heck no!

 

Just some food for thought my man. Best of luck to you and fly safe!

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I agree with AS350 pilot. Make sure you look into a few different schools and even consider moving to a new location if being a helicopter pilot is your goal as a career. There are a lot of factors that should be considered when choosing a flight school. For great information about picking the best possible flight school for your goals, check out this blog.

 

http://www.besthelicopterflightschool.com/picking-the-best-helicopter-flight-school/

 

Good luck in your journey!

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