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Flight training


davidxplt
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Hello everyone,

 

 

I am almost ready to start my helicopter flight training..I was wondering if anyone could give me any ideas on a good flight school in the Dallas FT.Worth area.I have looked at a couple and like them very much but dont have alot of info from people about the 2 other than what I have got from the schools.

 

One of the schools trains you in schweizer 300 cb and the other in R22's . They both told me that there type helicopter was the preferred one to be trained in these days.Now I know that they are mostly just saying that to get me to join there school but I was courius as to what yall thought.. Thank you to all that respond

 

 

david

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I'll try to give an unbiased answer to the R-22 vs 300CB question:

 

The 300 is a purpose build trainer... it's what it was made for. It's a pretty stable helicopter, reliable and it easy for a student to learn to fly. This makes a great training machine.

 

Then R-22 was never meant to be a trainer so it's not as stable and forgiving as a 300CB. Almost everyone has a different view as to whether this lack of stability actually makes it the better trainer. Like the 300CB, the Robbie is a very reliable machine, plus it's a fair bit faster than a 300CB. It's a great trainer too.

It's main problem is lack of cockpit space. With only 2 seats compared to the 300's 3 seats, the R-22 can be a tight fit. I'm 6'2" and managed to barely fit when wearing my helmet... though I was quite comfortable.

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Try both and pick the one you like!

 

West Coaster is right....if you're really tall and/or wide, you'll be more comfortable in the 300. But if you're under 200 and 6'2 or so, either is a great ship.

 

I loved flying the R22. Fast, reponsive, etc. like a go-kart. The 300 was slow, stable, etc. like driving a school bus. I would recommend the 300 for doing instrument work though.

 

Pick one, stick with it through your private; then while building hours toward your commercial, fly the other one for 50 hrs. Try to get some R44 in there too.

 

You will find that there are MANY more R22s around than 300s. Last figures I saw said that 60-70% of the civilians in this country train in a Robinson. And, as for insurance, most insurance companies need more "in type" time (50+ hrs) when it comes to Robinsons versus the 300 where you may only need 10 hrs in type and check flight.

 

You'll also experience less down time due to maintenance when it comes to the R22. We had two R22s and two 300s. Those 300s were hangar queens and one of those was brand new!! I hardly ever had to do any maintenance on those 22s that was outside of the 100hr inspection.

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I've trained in Bell 47s, enstrom 280FXs, and the 300s. In my opinion it is better to start with the 300 because of the required throttle correlation on the part of the pilot. The R22 is governed and while this decreases workload, i think it would be better to train with something that did not have a governor. Turbines obviously do not require throttle management, so if you go straight from 22s to 44s to turbines, etc... you miss an important training aspect. Once you have reached your private level, I would try some other helis. Just my .02.

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R22 and 300CBi, apples and pears. People tend to praise the helicopter they trained in and talk down the other one. Here's more.

 

We used to have two R22s and two 300s (and an R44). Students always chose the R22s because of the lower per-hour cost. Then we had a month where both the R22s were out (remember the rotor blade recall? No, the OTHER rotor-blade recall). Every student that elected to try out the 300CBi also elected to NOT return to the R22. So we eliminated one R22 from the fleet, and began making sure that all new students flew both types before committing to one aircraft. Everyone elected to train in the 300, even with the higher per-hour cost. Finally, the R22 only flew on survey and photo flights (and even the photogs pretty much switched over to the 300 or the R44), so we dropped the leaseback on the R22.

 

As far as the "hangar queen" legend goes, here's a truth. With proper maintenance, you will have equal "uptime" for both aircraft. With less than proper maintenance, you will have better uptime on the R22, right up to the time where it comes apart. The 300 will break down on the ground if you neglect or abuse it, the R22 will break down (or up) in the air given equal neglect. Both are very safe if properly maintained and flown within their envelope.

 

So which is best? Doesn't matter. What matters is that you have a good CFI, working in a good program, and that the maintenance of the aircraft is top-notch. If all this is going for you, either aircraft will work just fine.

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As far as the "hangar queen" legend goes, here's a truth. With proper maintenance, you will have equal "uptime" for both aircraft. With less than proper maintenance, you will have better uptime on the R22, right up to the time where it comes apart. The 300 will break down on the ground if you neglect or abuse it, the R22 will break down (or up) in the air given equal neglect. Both are very safe if properly maintained and flown within their envelope.

 

How about, "with proper manufacturing from the factory"? That CBi was BRAND NEW and we had all kinds of problems with it. They wired the GPS antenna to COM2, the glideslope was screwed up, the muffler broke off the thing in 75 hrs because they used the wrong bracket, both wheels broke, etc. After I left, they had problems with a lead-lag damper, skid shock, something with the short-shaft. This was all before it hit 200 hrs.....and the aircraft was being used 90% instrument training.

 

The only problems I ever had with the R22/R44s was alternators, mags, and cylinders (all NON-Robinson parts.) Everything else pretty much fell within the standard maintenance schedule.

 

You can bash the R22 all you want (and you do), but there is no way that you can say a 300 requires the same or less maintenance than a 22. Just look at all the parts that require greasing or replacement/retirement at odd intervals.

 

I completely agree that both are very safe aircraft if well maintained and flown within the envelope.

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@flingwing

did your students give you any reasons why they switched to the 300s? Is it because they are easier to fly, autorotations? Can`t be the speed :D

 

Greg

Comfort (better seats, lots more room in the cabin), better visibility outside, stability, a feeling of security. We usually don't do autorotations on the first lesson or two (unless they really want to see them). Speed really isn't a concern to students.

 

Delorean, sorry to hear about the bad luck with the CBi - kinda hard to judge the quality and durability by one aircraft, still, having a new helicopter with so many issues is indeed frustrating. We had a Clipper II with the same kind of problems - in the first 100 hours we had to replace a fuel pump, M/R transmission output seal, Hobbes meter, and hydraulic accumulator. All under warranty, but the helicopter was down more than it flew for the first few months. Oh yeah, parts is parts - manufacturers spec the parts even when they don't make them (and the R22 cylinders are actually unique to the J2A - you won't find them on any other Lycoming). However, one of my favorite things about the R22 is the reliability of the engine - I've never had a problem with an R22 in that reguard. As far as total maintenance hours required, absolutely from hour zero to hour 2199, the 300 requires more maintenance. Things change a bit in the next two hours...

 

However, I was speaking of uptime, not maintenance required. Most of the added maintenance for the Schweizer (greasing, etc) does not cut into availability.

 

Our 2004 CBi has been pretty much trouble-free through its first 1,000 hours, except for an oddly spun bearing in the upper H-frame. Oh yeah, the newer-design ground handling wheels suck - those stupid little "ears" holding the axles are useless. As soon as the first set started to deform, we swapped the axle to the other set, then welded it - problem solved, still annoying. Lower coupling shaft problem? Well, that could have been an overspeed, or not. We have the STC lube kit on all ours - on the older (2,000-hour) CB, we've replaced the shaft once for an overspeed.

 

Anyway, I don't judge all Robinsons by our Clipper, nor do I judge all Schweizers by our CBi. I definitely have a preference for the 300 or R44 as a training helicopter (over the R22). So does Frank Robinson, at least he holds fast to his emphatic statement "the R22 was not designed to be a trainer". It can still be a good helicopter, and is.

Edited by flingwing206
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"The only problems I ever had with the R22/R44s was alternators, mags, and cylinders (all NON-Robinson parts.) Everything else pretty much fell within the standard maintenance schedule."

 

Funny--

 

we have about 1300 hours on our R44 police ship and the only problems we have ever had were alternator, mag and cylinder related.

hmmmmm...........

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