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Enstrom helicopters

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Yes I have flown Enstroms (as a Commercial student, not a CFI), also researched a bit more when I thought I was picking up an Enstrom student.


From a flying standpoint, they are excellent trainers - stable, responsive, extremely safe, very managable autorotation, and more like a "real helicopter" (you know, the ones you get to fly someday).


However, from a financial and professional standpoint, it might not be the best choice. Costwise, you will spend up to $100/hour more per hour to fly an Enstrom. Since most (all) Enstrom schools are one or two-ship operations, a breakdown (which happens more often than in the other trainers) will ground you. On the professional front, if you are seeking a CFI job after your training, you will have a long search - schools generally require at least 100 hours in type (and many require 200 or even 300). So unless you find an Enstrom school hiring, you will be all but out of luck. Finally, there seem to be almost no Enstrom IFR trainers around, so you would have to do your IFR in another aircraft, at another school.


Bottom line - if you are training toward a professional future, as great as the Enstrom is as a training aircraft, you would be better served flying Schweizer or (gads!) Robinson. OTOH, if you are thinking about owning your own aircraft for pleasure or business, then the Enstrom is an excellent choice for a piston helicopter.

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Just out of curiosity, do those (Enstrom) companies pay better for their instructors because they demand more flight hours? Why do they demand more hours if Enstrom is easier to fly than Robbie or Scnitzer? Something to do with insurances?


-F- B)

This isn't Enstrom-specific, it's fairly generic to flight schools. It's not to say that a school can't hire an instructor with low time-in-type, it's just that they generally won't (the exception being Pathfinder/Robinson schools, they can't).


It's hard to do a salary comparison with Enstrom operators, because most of them are single-ship / single-CFI operations where the instructor is the owner, or is directly training the owner as an independant (this is what was offered to me). To my knowlege there is only one "official" Enstrom school in the USA - Falcon Helicopters in Denver, CO - and they might even be out of the training business now.

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