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I've been poking around looking at job postings and forums because I'm thinking of applying to the Silver State Helicopters school in Las Vegas. Does anyone have any experience with this school? From what I've read here, it seems that SSH seems to be hit and miss, both on a person to person basis and a school to school basis. I've been up to the school a few times (and will be many more times before I give them that kind of money).

 

It would seem that some of the concerns brought up here don't apply to the school in Vegas, as far as I can tell. First, the lack of copters and the difficulty in scheduling flight time. They've got 7 of them sitting in the hanger in the back of the building, I could see them from the window in the lobby, and when I took my demo flight, we went to a seperate hanger with several more.

 

Also, this "Guaranteed job" when you complete the course baffles me. I've never heard of any such guarantee until I started reading forums. The first visit to SSH, the CFII I spoke explained, rather bluntly, that they can't promise a job to every student who attends, but that they do hire all their instructors from people who take the course. A week later I took a demo flight, the one where the CFI pretended to let me fly around some. I asked him again about the hiring policy and he told me again that there is no promises, but in the time that he's been there, he's only seen one student turned down, and that was due to an irresponsible run-in with some power lines.

 

He also said during the flight that all the instructors are able to work as many hours as they want to take on, many working more than 40 a week. This seemed to indicate to me that they have a shortage of CFIs, which is good for getting hired and getting OT, but maybe not so great for scheduling flight hours as a student.

 

I should also add that I was turned onto flying and to SSH by an employee of SSH who was attending night classes at the community college with me. She answered phones or worked in the financial dept or some sort of non flying job like that. As we talked about it, she was off the clock and certianly out of earshot of anyone else from the company, and had little to gain from lying to me. She seemed to think it was an excellent program, except for the loans they give you, which have awful interest rates.

 

 

I'm still in the early stages of research into this whole flying thing, so I've got a ways to go. I'll have to take a loan out for this either way, so the idea of paying for it peicemeal doesn't really make much sense for me. They seem to have an impressive list of things they train you in, and I haven't seen anything mentioned here that they don't offer. Private, Commerical, CFI, CFII, external load, instrument, anything I'm missing here that I really need?

 

Any feedback or advice to an aspiring pilot would be most appreciated, thanks

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Go check out Leading Edge Rotorcraft down at Boulder City Airport. I flew with them about a month ago for a Vegas tour and R44 flight review. They had several R22s, R44s, and a Fly-It Sim trailer. They also had a RHC service center. The owner and the CFIs there are really nice and the rates were reasonable. I don't know what kind of financing they have, but I'm sure there's something.

 

http://www.leadingedgerotorcraft.com

 

.....And don't buy into that "guaranteed job" BS, because it's NOT guaranteed. Any flight school you research is more likely to hire their own people--so when you talk to them they'll ALWAYS say "Yeah maybe we'll hire you." But like ANY other job, they have to have an opening for you.

 

Go check out Leading Edge Rotorcraft down at Boulder City Airport. I flew with them about a month ago for a Vegas tour and R44 flight review. They had several R22s, R44s, and a Fly-It Sim trailer. They also had a RHC service center. The owner and the CFIs there are really nice and the rates were reasonable. I don't know what kind of financing they have, but I'm sure there's something.

 

http://www.leadingedgerotorcraft.com

 

.....And don't buy into that "guaranteed job" BS, because it's NOT guaranteed. Any flight school you research is more likely to hire their own people--so when you talk to them they'll ALWAYS say "Yeah maybe we'll hire you." But like ANY other job, they have to have an opening for you.

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Just wanted to let you know that First Flight Aviation offers helicopter flying instruction at the North Las Vegas Airport. They use Schweizer 300C helicopters and they offer a pay as you go training program.

 

I don't have any direct experience with SSH so I can't comment on them, other than to confirm they do seem to have a good number of R22s at the NLV location.

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there's some decent CFI and CFII there yes they have alot of aircraft just be carefull The price is pretty steep now there's alot of Stuff you don't need that they try to tell you you need first by your own headset a good one and your own books dont worry about external load cause there not set up for it and I've never seen them do it . And with turbine transition most companys will train you when you have the minimum hours usually about 1000 or better . But get your Instrument rating oh yeah I heard they got a new GM there that is Trouble .

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  • 4 weeks later...
We also discovered that lvflyer is actually not a pilot. Mostly BS!

 

i dont think it matters if he is a pilot or not, he is still able to know facts and see a lie when it is sitting right in front of his face. I am not a "pilot" in your eyes either as I have not completed all my ratings because of SHH's lack of ability to train. So, it is completely erroneous that you would think if he is not a pilot that his statements are BS. But you know what occurs to me??? Since you ARE a pilot and sounds like you proclaim to be an experienced one...you would not know any of the details us SSH students have struggled through since you did not train through SSH to experience them, you have not been screwed out of many thousands of dollars. So, you know what you can do to yourself with your left thumb.

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Well, I can tell you this...

 

That First Flight Aviation, is a first class outfit...

 

High Time CFI's... Great Owner... Just an AWESOME SCHOOL...

 

 

Located at the North Las Vegas Airport

 

 

Plenty of flight time available... The flight school is expanding and with the option of 9 helicopters, there will be NO waiting for flight time.

 

Give them a try.

 

Pay as you go or get a loan thru one of their programs. Where the money comes to you and you pay for your time.

 

Not to some other school that is going to take all of your money and you hardly ever get to fly.

We all know what school that does that...

 

check out FIRST FLIGHT AVIATION you will be glad that you did...

 

702-647-4111

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Well, I can tell you this...

 

That First Flight Aviation, is a first class outfit...

 

High Time CFI's... Great Owner... Just an AWESOME SCHOOL...

Located at the North Las Vegas Airport

Plenty of flight time available... The flight school is expanding and with the option of 9 helicopters, there will be NO waiting for flight time.

 

Give them a try.

 

Pay as you go or get a loan thru one of their programs. Where the money comes to you and you pay for your time.

 

Not to some other school that is going to take all of your money and you hardly ever get to fly.

We all know what school that does that...

 

check out FIRST FLIGHT AVIATION you will be glad that you did...

 

702-647-4111

 

See, there are plenty of Legit schools out there. Dont be a sucker like me.

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I'll put a stop to the false accusations about me at the risk of exposing who I am. Jerry come and get me. It's only libel if it's not true. I have over 800 hours PIC, over 100 in R22, Multi engine commercial instrument. Probably more hours than most here. I even own my own aircraft. Have for years. Enough said. What else would you like to know?

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WELL, AS I SAID BEFORE...

 

If you live in Las Vegas or close to it.

 

I suggest that you check out FIRST FLIGHT AVIATION Located at the North Las Vegas Aiport.

pretty close to SSH.

 

 

1. You can pay as you go and at your own pace.

 

2. You can apply for one of their loans - which YOU get the money and disperse it as needed.

 

3. The CFI's their have OVER 1,000hrs, so you get SAFE and EXPERIENCED instructors.

Not these 300 hr robbie wonders CFI's. ( main reason for the other schools amount of accidents ).

 

4. Fly the Schweizer 300, far more reliable, safe and easy to fly then the Robbie. With the cyclic between

your legs where it is supposed to be.

 

5. All of your ratings $ = First Flight 62,000 - SSH 70,000

 

Not only can you save yoursef 8,000 - but you can fly everyday if you want too.

 

 

The owner of First Flight Aviation is top notch and she runs her school the same way.

 

With the option for 9 Schweizer 300 helicopters, you will never have a problem getting flight time.

 

 

The school has an R-44 Raven II coming soon and a turbine due around the summer.

 

Call FIRST FLIGHT AVIATION 702-647-4111

 

Good Luck....

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I wonder how First Flight got back into the business? Jerry got his start from purchasing the helicopter side of training from First Flight. It was my understanding that they had a non-compete clause signed. I guess it was just another lie from Jerry. Seems odd though since he set up shop right next to First Flight hangars. I may be mistaken on the name since there are several schools in North Las Vegas and a club in the same building as Jerry. I know first flight has a supply store in another building so I might have my business names mixed up. Whichever one Jerry is next to is who he purchased the rotorcraft business from. I think that's where he got his 500 from and possibly his first couple ships that crashed in the first couple months.

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Your thinking of WEST AIR....

 

Jerry first went to flight school back in 2000 at a school called MOJAVE AVIATION out of Henderson. - Although SSH says been in business since 1989 or something close to that...

 

Mojave cloesdown, after two crashes.... One by a CFI and the other one was hit by a plane landing that lost it's nose gear and into the only remaining helicopter parked in transient parking.

 

Jerry, still a student, at that time... Basically said, I got some money, I will buy an R-22.

 

He bought one, put it at West Air and then another and then another.

 

Now... Now sure if Jerry figured he can make more money on his own or if there was issues between Jerry and West Air, but the helicopters were pulled out...

 

SSH opens and whala....

 

About 2003.... A few investors came in, who had some money to throw around.... Bamb, all of these helicopters, 500's, jet rangers, other schools popped up, etc.... All because of these investors...

----------------

 

Now First Flight Aviation.... Has been open for like 20+ yrs.... They have just recently got into the helicopter scene and have developed a nice ROTOR program.

 

Now First FLight is about $10,000 less then the $70,000 that SSH wants paid UP FRONT....

 

First Flight allows you to PAY AS YOU GO.... so you hold onto your money OR your loan.

 

If you get a loan... you get the money.... you give it to the school as needed....

 

A recent student of SSH, went to First Flight as he claims that he was only allowed to fly about 3 times a month. He says too many students, not enough helicopters/instructors... He is happy at First Flight and is flying 4 or 5 days a week. If he wants to fly 10 times a week, he can...

 

Fly safe........

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Your thinking of WEST AIR....

 

Jerry first went to flight school back in 2000 at a school called MOJAVE AVIATION out of Henderson. - Although SSH says been in business since 1989 or something close to that...

 

Mojave cloesdown, after two crashes.... One by a CFI and the other one was hit by a plane landing that lost it's nose gear and into the only remaining helicopter parked in transient parking.

 

Jerry, still a student, at that time... Basically said, I got some money, I will buy an R-22.

 

He bought one, put it at West Air and then another and then another.

 

Now... Now sure if Jerry figured he can make more money on his own or if there was issues between Jerry and West Air, but the helicopters were pulled out...

 

SSH opens and whala....

 

About 2003.... A few investors came in, who had some money to throw around.... Bamb, all of these helicopters, 500's, jet rangers, other schools popped up, etc.... All because of these investors...

----------------

 

Now First Flight Aviation.... Has been open for like 20+ yrs.... They have just recently got into the helicopter scene and have developed a nice ROTOR program.

 

Now First FLight is about $10,000 less then the $70,000 that SSH wants paid UP FRONT....

 

First Flight allows you to PAY AS YOU GO.... so you hold onto your money OR your loan.

 

If you get a loan... you get the money.... you give it to the school as needed....

 

A recent student of SSH, went to First Flight as he claims that he was only allowed to fly about 3 times a month. He says too many students, not enough helicopters/instructors... He is happy at First Flight and is flying 4 or 5 days a week. If he wants to fly 10 times a week, he can...

 

Fly safe........

 

You almost have it right.

 

Jerry purchased an R22 with partners and kept it at Henderson. The partners leased the R22 to Mojave after the accidents. I think they may have called themselves Silver State for ownership, but the current manifestation didn't occur till Jerry sold his business, bought out his partners, and hired his instructor for his current scam. His intention from day one was to baffle with BS and con others to give him money up front then do what he could to make sure the flight hours weren't provided. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my research tells me that the operating cost of an R22 is $125 per hour. Jerry pays his instructors $20 per hour. The cost of operation if you maintain your own repair shop is far less. I witnessed the results of 3 wrecks that occured in the first few months sitting in the hanger. One was tightly covered due to evidence of fatality. He told me that he purchased the rotorcraft rights from West Air and had them sign a non-compete. Along with that purchase I think cam with one R22 and one 500, his personal ship. Every other ship he had for the first year were owned by others and they were leased. some of those owners were not compensated fully, especially after the accidents and his insurance was cancelled. Jerry's sole purpose has been to seperate unsuspecting victims from their money without providing the services that he advertises. When Keybank agreed to loan to the students and give Jerry all the money upfront that was his goldmine. He took most of the first crop and put it into his 500 and his office space. To pass his groundschool is quite and acheivement. It is designed to confuse and designed to wash out students, thus allowing Jerry to justify no flight time. Many instructors have left because of these practices. I can't even count how many times a helicopter was grounded due to shoddy repair. I guess that's what you get when you rebuild wrecked ships. I guess now that he has conned many out of their money he now owns R22s, but I think that will soon come to an end. Maybe not though since the wicked always seems to prosper.

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You almost have it right.

 

Jerry purchased an R22 with partners and kept it at Henderson. The partners leased the R22 to Mojave after the accidents. I think they may have called themselves Silver State for ownership, but the current manifestation didn't occur till Jerry sold his business, bought out his partners, and hired his instructor for his current scam. His intention from day one was to baffle with BS and con others to give him money up front then do what he could to make sure the flight hours weren't provided. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my research tells me that the operating cost of an R22 is $125 per hour. Jerry pays his instructors $20 per hour. The cost of operation if you maintain your own repair shop is far less. I witnessed the results of 3 wrecks that occured in the first few months sitting in the hanger. One was tightly covered due to evidence of fatality. He told me that he purchased the rotorcraft rights from West Air and had them sign a non-compete. Along with that purchase I think cam with one R22 and one 500, his personal ship. Every other ship he had for the first year were owned by others and they were leased. some of those owners were not compensated fully, especially after the accidents and his insurance was cancelled. Jerry's sole purpose has been to seperate unsuspecting victims from their money without providing the services that he advertises. When Keybank agreed to loan to the students and give Jerry all the money upfront that was his goldmine. He took most of the first crop and put it into his 500 and his office space. To pass his groundschool is quite and acheivement. It is designed to confuse and designed to wash out students, thus allowing Jerry to justify no flight time. Many instructors have left because of these practices. I can't even count how many times a helicopter was grounded due to shoddy repair. I guess that's what you get when you rebuild wrecked ships. I guess now that he has conned many out of their money he now owns R22s, but I think that will soon come to an end. Maybe not though since the wicked always seems to prosper.

 

 

YUP YUP YUP

 

That's all 100% true...

 

It's just a matter of time.

 

The problem... All those poor students, will NOT get their money back.

 

I wonder why the Attorney General has not got involved in these cases...

 

 

I am also willing to bet that I probably know you.... as I used to fly at SSH..... (shhh don't tell anyone)

Definately not on a resume.

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Not quite 100% true.

 

At our location we run all new R22's/R44's with excellent repair/servicing. We are rarely grounded due to maint. issues. Although the ground school course does have a 90% minimum passing score requirement, students have very little problems passing it. They are willing to study hard for something they want badly. All of our students are flying and none are being held back by ground school requirements. I have heard of other SSH locations holding students back from flying when they did poorly in class, but this did not go over well and to my knowledge it stopped. SSH wants students to fly because this is how they continue to justify purchasing more aircraft. Aircraft parked on the ramp serve no purposes. The MD500 was purchased from a family in Ca, not from West Air. SSH may have some serious issues, but some of these generalizations made on here are just plain incorrect.

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I am glad i found this thread. The last three months i have been stressing over heli school. I live here in Vegas and have a good job along with other things that i would not want to move to another state for, although i have been considering it for flight school. I knew about all the problems with SSH so i did not want to attend. Untill now i didnt know of any other schools in the Vegas area. I would be going to school for the professional side of it, so for my CFI. I was just wondering now if anyone has anything to say about these two other schools i just found out about, Leading Edge Rotorcraft and First Flight Aviation. Any input would be much appreciated.

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Not quite 100% true.

 

At our location we run all new R22's/R44's with excellent repair/servicing. We are rarely grounded due to maint. issues. Although the ground school course does have a 90% minimum passing score requirement, students have very little problems passing it. They are willing to study hard for something they want badly. All of our students are flying and none are being held back by ground school requirements. I have heard of other SSH locations holding students back from flying when they did poorly in class, but this did not go over well and to my knowledge it stopped. SSH wants students to fly because this is how they continue to justify purchasing more aircraft. Aircraft parked on the ramp serve no purposes. The MD500 was purchased from a family in Ca, not from West Air. SSH may have some serious issues, but some of these generalizations made on here are just plain incorrect.

 

Well, all I can say is that I'm a current student at SSH in San Diego and yeah, there have been some growing pains - all companies who want to grow have that. Still, I'm taking my commercial checkride within the next week, and I'm pretty confident I'll pass. The instructors here are all very good and many of them are former students that I happen to know. No, there's no guarantee that you'll be hired and Jerry mentions that in the seminars. However, they want you to graduate, and they want to hire you. I think maybe some "former SSH students" weren't very proactive in getting their flight hours, which you have to be with your CFI in a setting such as this - or maybe attended a branch that was brand new, I don't know. What I do know is that SSH SD started with 3 R22s and an R44 a year ago, with an excellent maintenance hanger already in place. We now have about 15 aircraft, including two new R44 Raven IIs, and safety is constantly observed and stressed. In fact, SSH's safety standards are much higher than what the FAA requires. They've worked with me from the beginning, and the 90% on the tests is completely obtainable if you do the work. As for the loan, c'mon guys, you can refinance that. No, it's not a perfect school, no school is. But my personal experience at SSH in SD has been a very positive one. Pretty sure the majority of my fellow students would agree.

Edited by raptor
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Well, all I can say is that I'm a current student at SSH in San Diego and yeah, there have been some growing pains - all companies who want to grow have that. Still, I'm taking my commercial checkride within the next week, and I'm pretty confident I'll pass. The instructors here are all very good and many of them are former students that I happen to know. No, there's no guarantee that you'll be hired and Jerry mentions that in the seminars. However, they want you to graduate, and they want to hire you. I think maybe some "former SSH students" weren't very proactive in getting their flight hours, which you have to be with your CFI in a setting such as this - or maybe attended a branch that was brand new, I don't know. What I do know is that SSH SD started with 3 R22s and an R44 a year ago, with an excellent maintenance hanger already in place. We now have about 15 aircraft, including two new R44 Raven IIs, and safety is constantly observed and stressed. In fact, SSH's safety standards are much higher than what the FAA requires. They've worked with me from the beginning, and the 90% on the tests is completely obtainable if you do the work. As for the loan, c'mon guys, you can refinance that. No, it's not a perfect school, no school is. But my personal experience at SSH in SD has been a very positive one. Pretty sure the majority of my fellow students would agree.

 

So I guess youll be on the defense stand supporting SSH when we are at trial. Boy, will you be embarrassed. Keep in mind that there is a difference in your instructor's goal, general manager's goal, and corporate's goal of what they *want* you to complete. I think there is a lot that is kept from the instructors by the managers, and kept from the managers by corporate. While you are in training everything really does seem legit, but you can not deny all SSH students inherent predisposition of the pyramid scheme that will eventually reach a summit and leave hundreds of students without the proposed job opprtunies and without the oppurtnity to get back any refunds rightfully owed.

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there wasnt much interpretation to be done, they said " how would you like to make 50 to 80,000 a year as a commercial helicopter pilot, you can do it in as little as a year, SSH wants you, come to our seminar, blah blah blah, no payments needed, deferred payments until 6 months after course completion"......... they made it sound like you train, and get a job off the bat making that much... i wish

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there wasnt much interpretation to be done, they said " how would you like to make 50 to 80,000 a year as a commercial helicopter pilot, you can do it in as little as a year, SSH wants you, come to our seminar, blah blah blah, no payments needed, deferred payments until 6 months after course completion"......... they made it sound like you train, and get a job off the bat making that much... i wish

 

Yup, sounds like the whole "misrepresentation" bit. Its funny that a few months ago they were advertising "$50,000 - $100,000. Cant they make up their mind? I didnt think the industries salary fluxuated that much that quickly. I heard their radio ad saying more to the effect of: "You can be a commercial helicopter pilot in less than a year." They obviously dont over-emphasize the "can" part of that statement. Absolute best case scenario IF enough instructors and helis are available AND weather is good most of the year AND you dont work for a living. A year down the road when you dont even have a private rating, they will use all these accusations against you when you start compaining about it taking too long (while the interest on your loan is accruing).

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I don't have personal experience with SSH. What I do have is a point of view and something to think about. SSH leases a heck of a lot of helicopters and from what I have read most crashed were not being operated at the school. I may be incorrect here but just look into it before placing blame and please don't just take someones word unless you know them personally, people are pretty vendictive.

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