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  Hey guys, first time poster, just getting into RW

 
Got a question for y'all, I'm currently a 5k tt fixed wing ATP and CFI, working at a nice part 91 fixed wing gig, good amount of low level experience, and odd ball flying, my flying job allows me a good amount of free time, so I want to monopolize on my open time and do something I always wanted, getting into in the RW world.

I found a 141 school, 30hrs and I could get my CPL RW add on, mins I know, all of that would be in a R22 minus the instrument time which would be in the R44, for a bit more money I could do it all in the 44, if I go with mostly the 22 I would still come out a RW CPL SFAR in both the 44 and 22. Also have a friend who is a RW CFI, he's been helping me getting some hours when he can on relocation flights and the like.


What would be the probability, or marketability, of me getting a seat with one of the R44 tour operators to start building time with say 40-50hrs in the 22/44 but over 5,000TT fixed wing???


Thanks!

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I've got 15,000 hrs rotary wing, what are the chances of me getting a fixed wing slot with 40 hrs F/W?

 

Zot. zilch. You will probably have to build time considerably, at your expense, before they will talk to you. But your Plank stories will go down well in the coffee room.

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54 minutes ago, Disguise Delimit said:

I've got 15,000 hrs rotary wing, what are the chances of me getting a fixed wing slot with 40 hrs F/W?

 

Zot. zilch. You will probably have to build time considerably, at your expense, before they will talk to you. But your Plank stories will go down well in the coffee room.


plank?

 

 With those hours, pretty good chance, obviously entry level stuff, like the FW version of what I’m talking about, say banner tow, 182 Dropzone, CFI, I don’t think you’d have that hard of a time. 
 

 The biggest issue you might have is your attitude, I’ve seen in some people just better diet and exercise can make them feel better about themselves and help improve their outward attitude towards others. 
 

 Legit I’d be happy to recommend a drop zone, diet and gym if you like

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2 hours ago, PRJ said:

Attitude is all this guys has. He dismisses every post and brags about flight time he probably doesn’t have. Best to ignore him.


 Thus is the internet I guess 

 

Any thoughts on me getting a seat with a tour company with my experience?

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Most tour operators will require about 500 hours of helicopter PIC time for a job (and at least 50 or so in type like an R44). You CFI will carry some weight as will your fixed-wing low altitude time, but at this early stage it is more what the companies insurance provider demands than the company owner. I recommend getting you ticket then converting your CFI, then earn the hours that way. You should be able to land a tour job after about 18 months of instructing (assuming you are working for a school that attracts students to). 
 

I wish you the best.

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47 minutes ago, PRJ said:

Most tour operators will require about 500 hours of helicopter PIC time for a job (and at least 50 or so in type like an R44). You CFI will carry some weight as will your fixed-wing low altitude time, but at this early stage it is more what the companies insurance provider demands than the company owner. I recommend getting you ticket then converting your CFI, then earn the hours that way. You should be able to land a tour job after about 18 months of instructing (assuming you are working for a school that attracts students to). 
 

I wish you the best.

  Thanks

 Id still need 200RW time for the SFAR to instruct no?

 

 Have you heard of any of the R44 tour operators letting a candidate ride/fly right or left seat on 2 pax flights with one of their higher time pilots who is also a CFI in the right seat to help build hours to mins?

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I don’t think you would need the 200 hours of rotary to instruct but not being a CFI I could be wrong. You would need the SFAR (R44) training in any case.

Tour operators make money for having butts in seat so I think (and could be wrong) that filling a seat with a trainee would be a bit of a waste. You can look at Helicopter Academy (.com). They have some kind of a deal where you fly for them at a lower rate (something like $250 an hour) under the Boatpix banner. I only know one person who did it and he was happy enough.

 

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3 hours ago, PRJ said:

I don’t think you would need the 200 hours of rotary to instruct but not being a CFI I could be wrong. You would need the SFAR (R44) training in any case.

Tour operators make money for having butts in seat so I think (and could be wrong) that filling a seat with a trainee would be a bit of a waste. You can look at Helicopter Academy (.com). They have some kind of a deal where you fly for them at a lower rate (something like $250 an hour) under the Boatpix banner. I only know one person who did it and he was happy enough.

 


Part 61 SFAR No. 73Robinson R-22 / R-44 Special Training and Experience Requirements

....

(5) No certificated flight instructor may provide instruction or conduct a flight review in a Robinson R-22 or R-44 unless that instructor—

(i) Completes the awareness training in paragraph (2)(a) of this SFAR.

(ii) For the Robinson R-22, has had at least 200 flight hours in helicopters, at least 50 flight hours of which were in the Robinson R-22, or for the Robinson R-44, has had at least 200 flight hours in helicopters, 50 flight hours of which were in Robinson helicopters. Up to 25 flight hours of Robinson R-22 flight time may be credited toward the 50 hour requirement.

...”

 

My thought on the tour thing, is if it’s just one person or two, I could ride up front and get the hours of the other pilot was a CFI, doesn’t cost the company anything, can even call me a co pilot for the safety marketing

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Ahhh…Robby specific rules! I’m not a Robinson guy so I missed that reality. Sorry for the poor info. 
 

As for your tour plan…it never hurts to ask, and I am not the expert on this, but I think they try to fill all three empty seats in the R44. 

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On 6/6/2021 at 11:01 AM, PRJ said:

Attitude is all this guys has. He dismisses every post and brags about flight time he probably doesn’t have. Best to ignore him.

 

Even if he has a bad attitude...he's correct on this topic.

Fixed wing hours will mean very little for rotary jobs...they have rotary specific mins for a reason...insurance reasons.

 

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1 hour ago, adam32 said:

 

Even if he has a bad attitude...he's correct on this topic.

Fixed wing hours will mean very little for rotary jobs...they have rotary specific mins for a reason...insurance reasons.

 


 So typically what are the mins for these operators?

 

Do many have the anyone the chief pilot approves mins?   I know quite a few 135s and some 91s on the FW side of the house have that

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3 hours ago, NineThreeKilo said:


 So typically what are the mins for these operators?

 

Do many have the anyone the chief pilot approves mins?   I know quite a few 135s and some 91s on the FW side of the house have that

Depends on the job...1500tt and 1000 in helicopter is common. Fixed wing time helps but not all that much. 

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8 hours ago, adam32 said:

 

Even if he has a bad attitude...he's correct on this topic.

Fixed wing hours will mean very little for rotary jobs...they have rotary specific mins for a reason...insurance reasons.

 

I agree, but he could just say just that. He is a jerk and nearly every post he makes includes a sly note of his time. I appreciate any point of view that is constructive when people come here to learn, but I have grown intolerant of people who need to brag while they dismiss any other idea or goal. 

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7 hours ago, NineThreeKilo said:


 So typically what are the mins for these operators?

 

Do many have the anyone the chief pilot approves mins?   I know quite a few 135s and some 91s on the FW side of the house have that

The minimum I have seen is 500 hours in helicopters. 

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No offense meant, but what makes you think you'd be a safe and competent single pilot to carry passengers with only 40-50 hours in a helicopter? I know guys who have switched over with your number of hours and they didn't fly any better than the guys who started with no hours. Their advantage was in already having knowledge of radios, airspace and a general air sense but that quickly goes away when they still have just as little understanding of how to fly the machine.

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13 hours ago, Thedude said:

No offense meant, but what makes you think you'd be a safe and competent single pilot to carry passengers with only 40-50 hours in a helicopter? I know guys who have switched over with your number of hours and they didn't fly any better than the guys who started with no hours. Their advantage was in already having knowledge of radios, airspace and a general air sense but that quickly goes away when they still have just as little understanding of how to fly the machine.


 Perhaps they were rote, or so procedural in their flying they were almost rote. 
 

 I have some hours already, and in cruise it’s really not that different, weather, DA, airspace, general procedures, lots of the systems, it’s still flying a wing, if you actually understand WHY you’re lowering the collective and honestly grasp what it does, a auto rotation and a engine failure in a plane are pretty similar, AOA of your wing fixed or moving) and energy mgmt. 

 

 we shall see, I think lots of the translation issues are from people who just learn to procedure or regurgitate theory vs understanding it, I’m still low time RW, and will be when I get done with training, for sure, 100%, and I have tons to learn, but I’m just not having the translation issues in FW-RW I hear people say one might have.  

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Hi,

I tend to agree with most of the posts here, you'll need substantially more than 40 to 50 hours.  Just take a look somewhere like JSFirm at tour jobs.  Try this link, I did some of the leg work for you!

https://www.jsfirm.com/AllLocations/All/pilot-rotary wing/searchpopularjobs

If I remember right from my cursory glance you'll see that the minimums for the jobs you're talking about range from 300 to 500 hours in helicopters and 50 to 100 hours in the R44.  Will they take less based on your fixed wing experience?  My suggestions is to call and talk to a chief pilot, that's the way to find out.

As for the idea of flying in the other seat doing R44 tours, again you could ask, but this seems unlikely to me.  No way the R44 tour operator I flew for would have done this.

If you are serious about doing it this way I would prioritize your time in the R44 and start making connections with the companies you imagine working for.  The information you get from them will be way better than the stuff you get on an internet forum!

Good luck,

Orin

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5 hours ago, Orin said:

Hi,

I tend to agree with most of the posts here, you'll need substantially more than 40 to 50 hours.  Just take a look somewhere like JSFirm at tour jobs.  Try this link, I did some of the leg work for you!

https://www.jsfirm.com/AllLocations/All/pilot-rotary wing/searchpopularjobs

If I remember right from my cursory glance you'll see that the minimums for the jobs you're talking about range from 300 to 500 hours in helicopters and 50 to 100 hours in the R44.  Will they take less based on your fixed wing experience?  My suggestions is to call and talk to a chief pilot, that's the way to find out.

As for the idea of flying in the other seat doing R44 tours, again you could ask, but this seems unlikely to me.  No way the R44 tour operator I flew for would have done this.

If you are serious about doing it this way I would prioritize your time in the R44 and start making connections with the companies you imagine working for.  The information you get from them will be way better than the stuff you get on an internet forum!

Good luck,

Orin

 
How are most people building that time?

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21 hours ago, NineThreeKilo said:


 Perhaps they were rote, or so procedural in their flying they were almost rote. 
 

 I have some hours already, and in cruise it’s really not that different, weather, DA, airspace, general procedures, lots of the systems, it’s still flying a wing, if you actually understand WHY you’re lowering the collective and honestly grasp what it does, a auto rotation and a engine failure in a plane are pretty similar, AOA of your wing fixed or moving) and energy mgmt. 

 

 we shall see, I think lots of the translation issues are from people who just learn to procedure or regurgitate theory vs understanding it, I’m still low time RW, and will be when I get done with training, for sure, 100%, and I have tons to learn, but I’m just not having the translation issues in FW-RW I hear people say one might have.  

There are similarities helicopter to airplane operating airport to airport. But, that's not where helicopters are most useful.

A helo is to go where there are no airports, perhaps no actual facility at all. Often, the destinations are ad hoc: okay, we need something, here, now; or this that the other thing or somebody needs to be somewhere. Unimproved, improvised destinations are also often far from weather reporting. You deal with the weather you see from the pilot seat, not the area/terminal forecast.

These aspects of using a helicopter were why the US Army spent three-quarters of flight school time developing skills beyond stick wiggling before the candidate was a qualified aviator.

(Old guy leans back, looks at ceiling and sighs) When you're between 500 and 1000 hours stick time you know enough to get in real deep, in situations you would have avoided before, and which you would learn how to deal with later- often that means not doing it the way you thought it would be done before you had thousands of hours.

I know I did things very, very differently at 5000+ than I did before....

Edited by Wally
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Again, this isn’t about high time. This is about building time. The OP doesn’t like the most likely answer…instructing. The only other option I can see is buying your own helicopter an paying for your own hours. 

Forget the “high time” debate. I just finished an HAI seminar where they noted, quite sadly, that most helicopter accidents (pilot related) are by pilots with over 5000 hours. Why? Current thinking is what I see a lot here - the “listen to me sonny-boy I have 9 billion hours and know more than the guys who designed and built this thing” types of guys.

The issue here is how to get time to get to your first real gig. I am sure others have ideas but it seems to me the options are to instruct, military flying, or paying your own freight for the first 500 hours of helicopter time.

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There isn't a tour operator around that'd let you sit up front for free. You'd be taking the best seat in the house from a paying customer.

In cruise flight there aren't a lot of differences but helicopters don't make any money in cruise, they make money inside the height-velocity diagram. A better metric for helicopter experience would be landings (or sling cycles), but the FARs are written for airplanes so hours is what everyone uses. There's a big difference between a 5000 hr helo pilot and a 5000 hr airplane pilot. There's also a big difference between a utility helo pilot and an IFR helo pilot and a military helo pilot. Usually if we want a change of scenery it involves starting back at the bottom of the pay scale. What you're looking for is below the bottom of our pay scale. That probably reduces your options to being a CFI, or maybe Boatpix, or if you're lucky some cherry drying. You could also buy/build your own helicopter. Most of us don't make enough to do that, mostly because we fly them for a living.

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On 6/5/2021 at 6:16 PM, NineThreeKilo said:


What would be the probability, or marketability, of me getting a seat with one of the R44 tour operators to start building time with say 40-50hrs in the 22/44 but over 5,000TT fixed wing???

 

Slim…… However, nothing is impossible but in a word, slim......

You will need to gain the hours needed to get qualified AND compete with other entry level pilots who have way more than 40-50 hours RW time……. Time is one thing. Your competition is another.......

Realistically, you probably should not plan on being any different than any other entry level RW pilot. That is, pay your way to a CFI gig and build time from there. After that, you build your time to qualify for the next level of opportunities and someday down the road, your FW time will be more valuable to potential employers….

So the short answer is, get your CFI and teach, just like everyone else…..

Oh, and Mericle on the Hudson hero, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger once said “experience matters”.  The only measurement of experience in this business is by the number of hours in the seat… In this case, RW hours…..

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