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Anyone ever setup a small training school


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Just wondering if anyone out there has ever setup a small training school. Maybe even just one heli?

 

Anyone know broadly speaking what typical costs would be. Would want to lease an R22. Have insurance for 200hr pilots ($15K?) and what one needs to do re FAA.

 

What would be the response to sub contracting the services and equipment to other small schools?

 

Any ideas, links, comments etc would be much appreciated.

 

I'm really thinking small scale intially, mostly to gain hours when the time comes.

Edited by i4iq
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the school that i instruct at has a new 22 for training and 2 older aircraft for the dirty jobs, we have a new 22 on the way and unfortunately just lost our 44. its a small operation ( chief instructor but then again im the only instructor besides the owner). any info i can help with id be glad to share. pm me and we will discuss more. good luck, however if this is just an hour building gig i would advise against it but contact me and we will talk more.

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I started a flight school last year and would be happy to discuss my experiences with you if you drop a line to me at doug@highsierrahelicopters.com.

 

What I can tell you in general is that you are going to need to have enough money set aside ($20k min) to get the ball rolling.

 

Insurance will cost you around the $15k that you mention, unless you go with Pathfinder, which will be about half that amount (based on ~$100k hull value). Keep in mind that Pathfinder is usually not going to give you full hull coverage on the aircraft, so you'll be exposed generally around 20% of hull value if there is an accident. Another issue with Pathfinder is your instructors have to have a minimum of 300 hours helicopter time even though SFAR 73 only requires 200. If you plan on using an R44, they will have to have 500 hours of helicopter time. Your down payment with Pathfinder will be about $2k for the policy and monthly payments of $700-$800 should be expected for R22 coverage.

 

There is really nothing that needs to be done with the FAA if you are instructing under Part 61, but putting in a call to your local FSDO couldn't hurt anything.

 

Sub-leasing out to other schools is going to depend on what the leasing company that owns your equipment says.

 

Make certain that you do a thorough budget/cash flow forecast and don't forget the cost of all of the small items, including the paperclips. Some of the things that you may not realize is the cost of your fictitious business statement and a business license could cost you anywhere from $100 to $1k depending on your location. There are other start-up expenses to consider. To get my logo, business card design, and letterhead design came to ~$1,300. Don't forget about the deposit for the helicopter, and any deposit required by your landlord for your office and hangar space. Yes, most leasing companies are going to require that the aircraft have a hangar.

 

Advertising expenses can run more than you might realize. Before opening for business with the first class of students, I had spent ~$5k in radio advertising and another $1k or so on print advertising.

 

You'll want to look into the cost of Workman's Comp Insurance, every state has different requirements and the cost can vary greatly from state to state, as do the fines for operating a business without if your business is required to have it.

 

Look at needing to fly at a minimum of 30 hours a month to cover your expenses and you'll need more like 50 hours a month to have money to start covering your personal costs of living.

 

Drop me a line if you have any questions.

 

Doug

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I started a flight school last year and would be happy to discuss my experiences with you if you drop a line to me at doug@highsierrahelicopters.com.

 

What I can tell you in general is that you are going to need to have enough money set aside ($20k min) to get the ball rolling.

 

Insurance will cost you around the $15k that you mention, unless you go with Pathfinder, which will be about half that amount (based on ~$100k hull value). Keep in mind that Pathfinder is usually not going to give you full hull coverage on the aircraft, so you'll be exposed generally around 20% of hull value if there is an accident. Another issue with Pathfinder is your instructors have to have a minimum of 300 hours helicopter time even though SFAR 73 only requires 200. If you plan on using an R44, they will have to have 500 hours of helicopter time. Your down payment with Pathfinder will be about $2k for the policy and monthly payments of $700-$800 should be expected for R22 coverage.

 

There is really nothing that needs to be done with the FAA if you are instructing under Part 61, but putting in a call to your local FSDO couldn't hurt anything.

 

Sub-leasing out to other schools is going to depend on what the leasing company that owns your equipment says.

 

Make certain that you do a thorough budget/cash flow forecast and don't forget the cost of all of the small items, including the paperclips. Some of the things that you may not realize is the cost of your fictitious business statement and a business license could cost you anywhere from $100 to $1k depending on your location. There are other start-up expenses to consider. To get my logo, business card design, and letterhead design came to ~$1,300. Don't forget about the deposit for the helicopter, and any deposit required by your landlord for your office and hangar space. Yes, most leasing companies are going to require that the aircraft have a hangar.

 

Advertising expenses can run more than you might realize. Before opening for business with the first class of students, I had spent ~$5k in radio advertising and another $1k or so on print advertising.

 

You'll want to look into the cost of Workman's Comp Insurance, every state has different requirements and the cost can vary greatly from state to state, as do the fines for operating a business without if your business is required to have it.

 

Look at needing to fly at a minimum of 30 hours a month to cover your expenses and you'll need more like 50 hours a month to have money to start covering your personal costs of living.

 

Drop me a line if you have any questions.

 

Doug

 

Hey Doug. Where is your school located?

Paul

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Hi Paul,

 

I'm in Placerville (PVF).

 

Doug

 

Hey Doug. I live in Foresthill and have a business in Newcastle. If you ever need a professional seat warmer "^) give me a buzz...

 

I thought the school in Placerville has been operating for quite a while. Did you just buy it or did you start it from scratch? How is it going for you? I heard that someone started one in Lincoln recently. My daughter got her PL from there but he closed it down after she got done and she moved on to Hillsboro Aviation up in Oregon where she is now a CFII and will have her magic 1,000 this coming summer.

 

If you want to, check out her website at:

 

http://www.welcomevillage.com/erin.htm

 

Paul Huston

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Hey Doug. I tried using your e-mail address and going to the website but alas, they don't work. I really would like to talk to you about your business.

Paul

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Sorry guys, I've been away from the computer for the past couple of days. But, there was no email from anyone. I know that Hostway was doing some service on the mail servers this week, however the test email that I sent to my work email account went through just fine. If you sent me a PM through VR it will go to my AOL account and I'll be certain to get it. Don't feel bad, you're not the only one in the past couple of weeks to send me an email that I did not receive.

 

Doug

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Guest 13snoopy
I started a flight school last year and would be happy to discuss my experiences with you if you drop a line to me at doug@highsierrahelicopters.com.

 

What I can tell you in general is that you are going to need to have enough money set aside ($20k min) to get the ball rolling.

 

Insurance will cost you around the $15k that you mention, unless you go with Pathfinder, which will be about half that amount (based on ~$100k hull value). Keep in mind that Pathfinder is usually not going to give you full hull coverage on the aircraft, so you'll be exposed generally around 20% of hull value if there is an accident. Another issue with Pathfinder is your instructors have to have a minimum of 300 hours helicopter time even though SFAR 73 only requires 200. If you plan on using an R44, they will have to have 500 hours of helicopter time. Your down payment with Pathfinder will be about $2k for the policy and monthly payments of $700-$800 should be expected for R22 coverage.

 

There is really nothing that needs to be done with the FAA if you are instructing under Part 61, but putting in a call to your local FSDO couldn't hurt anything.

 

Sub-leasing out to other schools is going to depend on what the leasing company that owns your equipment says.

 

Make certain that you do a thorough budget/cash flow forecast and don't forget the cost of all of the small items, including the paperclips. Some of the things that you may not realize is the cost of your fictitious business statement and a business license could cost you anywhere from $100 to $1k depending on your location. There are other start-up expenses to consider. To get my logo, business card design, and letterhead design came to ~$1,300. Don't forget about the deposit for the helicopter, and any deposit required by your landlord for your office and hangar space. Yes, most leasing companies are going to require that the aircraft have a hangar.

 

Advertising expenses can run more than you might realize. Before opening for business with the first class of students, I had spent ~$5k in radio advertising and another $1k or so on print advertising.

 

You'll want to look into the cost of Workman's Comp Insurance, every state has different requirements and the cost can vary greatly from state to state, as do the fines for operating a business without if your business is required to have it.

 

Look at needing to fly at a minimum of 30 hours a month to cover your expenses and you'll need more like 50 hours a month to have money to start covering your personal costs of living.

 

Drop me a line if you have any questions.

 

Doug

That was an excellent post for a newcomer to read. How is your school doing, if I may ask?

Regards,

mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Mark,

 

Things overall are going good, but we are waiting for the main rotorbaldes to get back from Robinson so that we can get the bird back in the air. One of the blades was found to have a bad spindle bearing and the blades are there for repair. They were sent AOG on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to get them back in the next day or two.

 

I have three new students getting ready to start training, bringing the total up to nine students. I'll have four students going full time, and five going part time. I'm starting interviews for a new CFI later this week. I've been open for seven months now, and am quite happy with the way that things are going. I sold off my business in Lake Tahoe last month so that I am free to concentrate all my energy on the business in Placerville and growing the flight school.

 

Doug

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