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Currently looking at schools and open to any suggestions


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I'm new to the forum and tried to find the answers to my questions but have not so far. Apologize if I have not seen the right post yet.

I am 32 years old, and realizing that a career in helicopters is the direction I want to go. Right now I'm living in northern, CA and have been doing research on schools. I am willing to live anywhere in the country and would like to hear others opinions on schools to consider. I would like to train in high elevation, not only for a more challenging experience but because I love living in the mountains more than anywhere else. Also just wondering if there's any insight about doing any ground school work through an online company? Would it save money/money/be beneficial? Any information would be greatly appreciated

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I'm from Northern Cali as well, far Northern Cali (Red Bluff to be exact.) Look into Leading Edge Aviation up in Bend, Oregon. It was a 5 hour drive from my home town once I moved, which made it nice and easy to come back and visit family. Great school with a great training program, and fairly busy. You'd be operating up around the mountains at 3400'MSL+ with a good mix of all the seasonal weather which makes the training atmosphere excellent. Some may claim Leading Edge is just a pilot mill; they are a busy school yes, but do provide an excellent training curriculum and atmosphere to learn.

 

I completed all of my ratings through Leading Edge Aviation, minus my ATP which I haven't accomplished quite yet. They've become quite the company. They use to be strictly a rotary wing flight school, but have since expanded to provided fixed wing training, and have purchased several FBO's at local airports to offer greater services. The company does have some burn/fire contracts during the summer in Bell 206Ls (rumored to be upgrading to 407s soon down the road), so theres potential to move into the fire/utility world with them after you finish instructing.

 

I'd recommend you at least give them a call. You won't be disappointed.

 

https://flyleadingedge.com/

Edited by RagMan
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I'm from Northern Cali as well, far Northern Cali (Red Bluff to be exact.) Look into Leading Edge Aviation up in Bend, Oregon. It was a 5 hour drive from my home town once I moved, which made it nice and easy to come back and visit family. Great school with a great training program, and fairly busy. You'd be operating up around the mountains at 3400'MSL+ with a good mix of all the seasonal weather which makes the training atmosphere excellent. Some may claim Leading Edge is just a pilot mill; they are a busy school yes, but do provide an excellent training curriculum and atmosphere to learn.

 

I completed all of my ratings through Leading Edge Aviation, minus my ATP which I haven't accomplished quite yet. They've become quite the company. They use to be strictly a rotary wing flight school, but have since expanded to provided fixed wing training, and have purchased several FBO's at local airports to offer greater services. The company does have some burn/fire contracts during the summer in Bell 206Ls (rumored to be upgrading to 407s soon down the road), so theres potential to move into the fire/utility world with them after you finish instructing.

 

I'd recommend you at least give them a call. You won't be disappointed.

 

https://flyleadingedge.com/

 

 

Thanks RagMan for the response. I was actually looking at this school as I lived in Bend for a couple years ago and really enjoyed the town. I'll definitely give them a call. Thanks

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Also Silverhawk in Caldwell Idaho. I went there, taught there as well. Great school and its growing in leaps and bounds. They really do things right there.

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Go learn where conditions are challenging, real weather, storms, tornadoes, hail, ice, dust storms, lots of wind, high elevation. Places like California and Florida churn out weak pilots who cower and run away at the slightest bit of rain or wind. Can't blame them, there is no weather in CA.

And go learn in or close to Bravo airspace, you'll get to talk to TRACON and make decent radio calls.

Also, if you stay away from these overated places, once you're an instructor you'll have a better chance of doing some actual work like powerline patrols, wildlife surveys etc.

Flying tours and flying photographers around is hardly work :)

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Go learn where conditions are challenging, real weather, storms, tornadoes, hail, ice, dust storms, lots of wind, high elevation. Places like California and Florida churn out weak pilots who cower and run away at the slightest bit of rain or wind. Can't blame them, there is no weather in CA.

And go learn in or close to Bravo airspace, you'll get to talk to TRACON and make decent radio calls.

Also, if you stay away from these overated places, once you're an instructor you'll have a better chance of doing some actual work like powerline patrols, wildlife surveys etc.

Flying tours and flying photographers around is hardly work :)

That real weather and actual work is all yours hot shot.

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