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Ugh... I need help.


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This is my first time posting, and yes I searched so please go easy on me. (Hides behind HMMWV).

 

My name is Jay, I'm 21. I got out of the Army in 2002 after I suffered an injury in OSUT. I've done a few jobs since then and after hurting my back at my current job (Lawn Spray Tech) I decided I was tired of doing nothing with my life and I needed to go back to school. It's always been my dream, to rule the world, design and test armored vehicles, or be a helicopter pilot. The first one is going to take a few years, the second seems improbable, and the third is doable. Here is my problem(s).

 

1. I know what I WANT to do, but what I CAN do (due to money, area, etc) are two completely different things.

2. So far I've talked to three flight schools within my area. One didn't even answer the phone (Only things I could find online were negative). The second lied about their qualifications. The third talked to me for about three seconds and then blew me off. It's hard to find any flight schools in my area that are online, or I can find something about. I've considered a school 350 miles away and even Mazzei? but I need real world advice, not the spin machine created by the prospective companies.

3. This is really the only job I want to do, but the other jobs I could tolerate would require me quitting my job and moving. (Even though I live in a major metropolitan center, the only school for techincalcourses (i.e. ASE mech) is an hour away.) So no matter what, if I want to go back to school I have to move.

4. I cannot keep my current job and go to school full time. (6am to 6pm, an hour to the school, 4 hours there and an hour back would kill me.)

5. I have a dog, so I'd like to keep her around.

6. I plan on working part time.

7. I've been out west before and I loved it except for certain people...

8. I just need to know what to do, I've done some soul searching and it's told me to get the hell out of the town and do something.

9. Financing is a huge thing... I could make the payments, given what I've told I'd make once I found a job. My dad and maybe my granpa would be willing to co-sign for me.

10. So any advice, pointers, etc would be well appreciated... I've heard the horror stories abotu SSH and I've decided that's not an option. I also tried to find some info on First Flights but the website's FUBAR.

 

Thanks, Spook.

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Calm down a little bit, you don't need to jump in with both feet, Just quite yet. You have the GI-Bill and that will pick up about 60% of the bill after you obtain your Private Pilot Certificate. By now you have figuired out that its not cheap. Ok That being said. how do I get from this spot you are in now to were you want to be.

 

The question becomes what is it that you really want? Now you could do your private pilot certificate in a airplane and save a bunch of money. Then go into the helicopter for commercial and so on. There are a lot of ways to skin the cat if you will. You may have to be a little creative, but the pay off is going to be not having to service a whole lot of debt. I like dogs and most of the pilots I know do too. So traveling with your dog should not pose much of a problem after all when Dog is Spelled backwards what do you get? There are a lot of good schools around. Maybe the local guy just was having a bad day, we all have those, and get along in this business you will need to thicken the skin a little, this dose not mean you have to be a push over, it just that the industry is very much a hand to mouth existance, both for pilots and operators. So some times people are rude for no other reason than, gee why are you asking me something. While I don't like it much myself, you have to get over it, its really nothing personal.

 

Its good to see young soldiers "Home from the Wars" Thank you for the service to the Nation.

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Hey Jay, What part of the country are you in? I'd assume being from an Army background you've been in and around helicopters and aren't jumping into this immediately like many freshmen posters do. I'd recommend getting a 1st, at least 2nd class medical, just to make sure you don't have any hidden ailment preventing your future in aviation. Then, take and intro flight and get behind the controls. If all that turns out well, go for it!

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Hey Jay, What part of the country are you in? I'd assume being from an Army background you've been in and around helicopters and aren't jumping into this immediately like many freshmen posters do. I'd recommend getting a 1st, at least 2nd class medical, just to make sure you don't have any hidden ailment preventing your future in aviation. Then, take and intro flight and get behind the controls. If all that turns out well, go for it!

 

My first day of "Basic" was my 17th birthday.

 

OSUT=One Station Unit Training (Basically, it's Basic (BCT) and AIT (Advanced Indiv Training) rolled into one and compacted.

 

I want it, and I'm doing everything I can to do it, however... I'm a little gun shy so to speak, lots of bad experiences with this type of thing.

 

Nope... 2002.

 

I can't really limit to local when there's no local schools lol.

 

Thanks for the wishes.

 

I'm not sure if I do have the GI Bill to back me up, they don't tell you the whole story with how much you have to pay out and how much you're actually get. I'll search online, but I'm not sure if I'm eligible.

 

I believe if your going to do something, don't half-ass it. You don't train in a tank, to fight in the ocean.

 

How do you guys fly with a dog?

 

I talked to Mazzei today, I was very impressed by the spokeperson, but I need real world answers... the reviews section helps, but it's not anywhere near complete.

 

The thing I hate about the schools is getting shifted around... noone seems to be able to answer the biggest question I have... financing. I plan on calling back but it makes me not want to go to a school when they either refuse to answer the phone (Aguila?) don't have the proper equipment (Florida Training Center or some such) and don't have the correct contacts to get financial aid (Heliflight). The Feds don't help either when they can't even find me the right school. I'm trying not to take things personally, but when I'm going to invest 60k+ into something, I expect results. :)

 

Please don't think me for serving. I'd take the place of any soldier, living or dead if it meant they could be home with their families. I feel horrible for being here and wish every day that I were back.

 

Hi HeliZach, right now I'm in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I'm not sure where to get a AEM? Med test. I've been in tanks, apcs and humvees, never a heli, but I've been around support units before and admin, not much but it's what I got. I would've taken the flight but Florida Flight or whatever screwed that up.

 

Thanks for the advice everyone. I need any info people can provide on paying bills, housing and financing... I look foward to one day maybe working with some of you.

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Have you looked into Helicopter Adventures in Titusville? It's only probably 4 hours south of you and I'm pretty sure you could get some of your questions answered there, even if you dont end up attending. They're an accredited technical school also which is important when its time to get a loan, and have experience with G.I. Bill funding. You can pretty much go at your own pace there too, which means you can work at least part time easily. They have over 30 aircraft (R22, S-300cbi's, and cb's, and jetrangers) which means maintainance and availability issues are short lived. Contact Sam Willenbacher and set up an appointment to get the skinny and definitely get a demo flight to see if you're really into it. It sounds like exactly what you're looking for and if its not it will be a good start. The most important thing when looking for a school is to VISIT IT! Also, the FAA's website has a searchable database of AME docs, should cost about $70.

 

Helicopter Adventures, Inc.

 

P.S. Forget about SSH

 

Good Luck

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You probably don't have the GI Bill. You have to pay in $100/ month for the first 12 months of service and then fulfill at least 2/3 of your original committment to get it. It sounds like you weren't in long enough to do either.

 

Did you check with Aquila? I don't have any personal experience with them but I think they are pretty close to you. The other thing that you can do is go to a small GA airport and ask around. There are probably some small schools (one or two instructors with one or two helicopters) closer than you think. Also don't forget about the yellow pages. My school didn't advertise but once I found out their name, I found their website, went to visit them, and viola.

 

I got my funding through Pilot Career Foundation.

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My first day of "Basic" was my 17th birthday.

 

OSUT=One Station Unit Training (Basically, it's Basic (BCT) and AIT (Advanced Indiv Training) rolled into one and compacted.

 

Dang man, I'm sorry. You never got the chance to get a good start. Are you a disabled Vet? There might be some programs out there for you as a Vet. See if you can find a school that uses Sallie Mae. Might be your best bet if you have co-signers.

 

My 2 cents................good luck and keep us posted.

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The thing I hate about the schools is getting shifted around... noone seems to be able to answer the biggest question I have... financing. I plan on calling back but it makes me not want to go to a school when they either refuse to answer the phone (Aguila?) don't have the proper equipment (Florida Training Center or some such) and don't have the correct contacts to get financial aid (Heliflight). The Feds don't help either when they can't even find me the right school. I'm trying not to take things personally, but when I'm going to invest 60k+ into something, I expect results. :)

 

Please don't think me for serving. I'd take the place of any soldier, living or dead if it meant they could be home with their families. I feel horrible for being here and wish every day that I were back.

 

Hi HeliZach, right now I'm in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I'm not sure where to get a AEM? Med test. I've been in tanks, apcs and humvees, never a heli, but I've been around support units before and admin, not much but it's what I got. I would've taken the flight but Florida Flight or whatever screwed that up.

Check out the Jax Navy Flying Club. (904) 777-8549 or (904)777-6035. Ask for Janet Hoover or any of the CFIs there. I am a CFI there, so obviously there is some bias wirh this post.

 

The JNFC is at NAS Jax. We don't have any helicopters, but the rates are $70/hr for a Cessna 172 and $23/hr for instruction. A fixed wing PPL would be way cheaper there. As for your comment about not training in a tank to fight in the ocean...that is the way the US Navy trains helo pilots. I got 100 hrs in a T-34C before moving on to TH-57s and eventually SH-60Bs.

 

I am going to Aquila to get my helo add on to my CFI & CFII after my airplane CFII checkride in April. They were nice and answered the phone when I called. They also have VA approval of their syllabus (Just not helo CFI/CFII add on for fixed wing CFI/CFII).

For your medical try Jacksonville Family Practice on University Blvd, Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Selander does them there for $85 and it isn't too far from Jax Beach.

 

Come on out to JNFC and I'll take you up for a flight some time.

 

Rob Lyman

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my friends boss flys with his english mastiff in a 44.. that aside if you are in florida i would look at hai in titusville, palm beach helicopters in palm beach ( i went there and am very satisfied ).. theres also ocean helicopters in palm beach as as well. im not one to bash a school so i wont, but i will let you know that somewhere on the forum an individual was dealing with them and things didnt seem the way the did on their site and so forth. good luck and welcome back

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New question for you older guys... My Grandfather is all foward for me getting my license, if I can get it within 200 miles or so. I was talking to Mazzei and was very impressed, however the distance, price and financing, as well as getting a job and paying existing bills all worry me. However, my Grandmother hates the idea and wants me to be a cop at the local CC... it's hard when someone you love wants you to do something you hate. I respect and like cops, however I don't want to be one.

 

Another unamedsource I talked to today warned me not to take the Turbine transition course or the external load training... is this a good or bad piece of advice?

 

I plan on going to HAI maybe next weekend. I plan on taking my intro flight sometime this week.

 

Locked, they offered it too me under some weird program but since I didn't have a job at the time, I had to decline it... I'm still not sure if I'm eligible.

 

Aquila didn't answer. What is the Pilot Career Foundation?

 

What should I do with her (my dog) while I'm in school? She was rescued off the street and I'm not going to let her be passed off again. Also, how hard is it to check emails and get online while at school?

 

I hate to ask, but could someone help me get my foot in the door? I know alot about guns, getting good deals on hard to find things and esp rebuilding classic fords (73-79) I'd be willing to work something out if someone could get me a reference. (I know it's alot to ask for since noone personally knows me, but I'd be willing to pay my dies and follow orders so to speak.)

 

They don't do disabled anymore. I love my country but even people with broken/messed up backs, don't even get anything anymore. Maybe my Grandpa and most likely my dad will co-sign.

 

Thanks for the guide CHC and Helliboy

 

Rob Lyman I might take you up on your offer, how many ground/pic or dual? Hours would I need in order to move on to my commercial helo rating? Thanks for offering to help. I would have to do it on the weekend depending on work.

 

Thanks again HeliZach... Where can I score me decent flight gear? Laugh if you want, but I miss my kevlar.

 

Warpig, can you tell me more about HAI and Palm Beach?

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Go to Tomlinson Aviation, Inc. in Ormond Beach, FL. They'll take great care of you and they have the VA program and Sallie Mae so you've got some options. They also are not a massive school like HAI so you'll actually get an experienced instructor who will remember and have lots of time for you. Their website is www.tomlinsonaviation.com. I did all the way through my commercial there. They have an awesome setup and the area is inexpensive to live around.

 

Good luck

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Jay,

 

Take a look below at the minimum flight time requirements you need.

 

The hours for commercial helicopter, listed below the airplane private ratings, can be fulfilled by airplane time except where it says specifically it cannot. I tried to highlight those in red. The advantage to the airplane time vs the helicopter time is that 40 hours of dual (instructed) airplane time will cost $3729 and 40 hours of dual helicopter costs $ 10400.

 

I think you will find that more things carry over from fixed wing to rotary wing than don't.

 

Private Single Engine Airplane

(a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in §61.107(B)(1) of this part, and the training must include at least—

 

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;

 

(2) Except as provided in §61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes—

 

(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

 

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

 

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

 

(4) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a single-engine airplane, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test; and

 

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least—

 

(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;

 

(ii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

 

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

 

 

Commercial Helicopter Rating

c) For a helicopter rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft category and helicopter class rating must log at least 150 hours of flight time as a pilot that consists of at least:

 

(1) 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in helicopters.

 

(2) 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least—

 

(i) 35 hours in helicopters; and

 

(ii) 10 hours in cross-country flight in helicopters.

 

(3) 20 hours of training on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(B)(3) of this part that includes at least—

 

(i) 10 hours of instrument training in an aircraft;

 

(ii) One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in day VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure;

 

(iii) One cross-country flight of at least 2 hours in a helicopter in night VFR conditions, consisting of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and

 

(iv) 3 hours in a helicopter in preparation for the practical test within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.

 

(4) 10 hours of solo flight in a helicopter on the areas of operation listed in §61.127(B)(3) of this part, which includes at least—

 

(i) One cross-country flight with landings at a minimum of three points, with one segment consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and

 

(ii) 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern).

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There are two drawbacks to doing the commercial rotorcraft add-on to an airplane private pilot. First is the PIC time - you will have to spend a lot of time (35 hours) flying around by yourself. Someone who is essentially a new helicopter pilot would be much better served spending that time getting dual instruction. To be honest, if you think that 15 hours of dual (of which four will be spent doing long cross-country) in a helicopter will bring you to commercial standards, you are in error - most times, this might get you to the point of being able to solo.

 

The second drawback is that if you are actually that 1-in-100,000 person who could pass a commercial checkride with 15 dual/35 solo hours, you would be a 50-hour commercial helicopter pilot. Well, nobody will hire a 50-hour helicopter pilot. The helicopter hours minimum for CFI is generally 200 (or 300) hours, the minimum for the next level (ag, photo, rides) is usually between 400 - 500 hours, and of course, for everything else, 1000 - 1500 hours.

 

If you want to fly helicopters, train in helicopters. If you don't have the money, work your butt off for a year or two, then train in helicopters. If you go the fixed-wing + add-on route, in the end, it will take longer and you will have less to show for it on the helicopter side. The only time the dual-rating thing makes sense is when you want both airplane and helicopter ratings because you don't know what you want to do.

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You're in the best area of the US. There are more helicopter flight schools in Florida than everywhere else!

 

Buy a 10 hour block and start training for your PPL and then decide wether you want (can do) it or not. It's not just getting the license like buying a car. I've seen 20% quitting during PPL training at reputable schools. Either they under-estimated or just didn't have the feel. If you can't hover in 10 hours and being close to solo, it's going to be very expensive.

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#1- Call the VA today and see if you have any educational benefits under any program. You have to use them by a certain date or they will expire. Tell them what you want to do and see if they can give you suggestions or advice about how to make it happen.

 

#2- http://pilotcareer.org/ is an organization that is dedicated to helping people realize their dreams of becoming professional pilots. The people there are super-nice and very helpful. I got a loan through them and all my training is being done at part 61 schools or through flying clubs.

 

#3- Many smaller flight schools don't have the staff to answer the phones during business hours. The school where I did my PPL was like that. Go visit Aquila on a VFR day, during business hours and hang around until you get to talk to someone.

 

#4- Put in job applications at sporting goods stores that have a gun department. Get yourself a job and live on Ramen noodles until you finish your training.

 

Fling is right (as usual) about training in both. I did my helo PPL first and now I'm doing my FW add-on. The reason I'm doing it is so that I can rent a 172 and take my family on a trip without breaking the bank. I also think that a dual rated pilot might have an advantage getting hired at a place that operates both.

 

There is another good reason to do helicopters first that hasn't been mentioned yet. It's called the law of primacy. Generally, when things go wrong in an airplane you have time to fix it even if your first reaction is wrong. If you train in airplanes first, you will have airplane reflexes. The reflexes that you need in an airplane will get you killed in a helicopter. In many helicopter emergencies, you only get one chance to respond and the response must be the right one.

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I don't really have the capabilty to drive to all the schools I want to look into... can I get some further info on Aquila and the one in Ormond Beach? I find out tomorrow how much long I'm going to be out.

 

Just call Tomlinson 877-FLY-HELO... you'll probably end up talking to Brian or Cindy... they'll give you all the info. If you have any other questions about them, just send me a message on this site, and I'll help you with the ins and outs.

 

I trained with them from 2002 to 2004. I endorse them so much, because they helped me find a way to pay for the training even though I was still in college supporting myself. If you really want to fly, Neal and Brian will help you find a way. They bent over backwards for me, and now I'm flying for the Army because of the credentials they got me. Just my 2 cents.

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Just call Tomlinson 877-FLY-HELO... you'll probably end up talking to Brian or Cindy... they'll give you all the info. If you have any other questions about them, just send me a message on this site, and I'll help you with the ins and outs.

 

I trained with them from 2002 to 2004. I endorse them so much, because they helped me find a way to pay for the training even though I was still in college supporting myself. If you really want to fly, Neal and Brian will help you find a way. They bent over backwards for me, and now I'm flying for the Army because of the credentials they got me. Just my 2 cents.

 

Well, I got fired today due to my back injury... that's just great...

 

Now I have to move up the funding, jobs and housing issues, can they help with that?

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Well, in a way the area itself can help with your housing and job issues. Tomlinson has the VA funding, Sallie Mae, and Pilot Finance financing programs, and they can work with you on which combination can help you. For the housing, they have a house that has a spare room or two or non-local students that they rent out. If that's not available, the Ormond Beach/Daytona Beach rental market is very cheap due to an oversupply in housing. At one point, I had a 3 bedroom apartment that included cable, water, and trash included for only 680 a month! For the jobs, I'm assuming both during and after your training. There are lots of jobs in Daytona which is only a couple miles from the Airport; and they'll probably pay somewhat better than any "hangar rat" job. As for the post-training job scene... they usually only take CFIs that train there, and if anything, they'll help you find a job. No one can guarantee 100% job placement though. Anyone company that does is full of BS.

 

My best advice to you man, is call Tomlinson. I haven't been there but to visit twice since 2004, and they can give you a better idea of the what's going on both at the school and in the market. Plus man, anybody on this forum can give you volumes of advice but until you actually experience it for yourself, anything we say really is moot. Give them a call, pay them a visit, take a demo ride and get some on scene advice... I know you'll be pleased with them and they will do what they can to help you.

 

Good luck,

Alex

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This is my first time posting, and yes I searched so please go easy on me. (Hides behind HMMWV).

 

My name is Jay, I'm 21. I got out of the Army in 2002 after I suffered an injury in OSUT. I've done a few jobs since then and after hurting my back at my current job (Lawn Spray Tech) I decided I was tired of doing nothing with my life and I needed to go back to school. It's always been my dream, to rule the world, design and test armored vehicles, or be a helicopter pilot. The first one is going to take a few years, the second seems improbable, and the third is doable. Here is my problem(s).

 

1. I know what I WANT to do, but what I CAN do (due to money, area, etc) are two completely different things.

2. So far I've talked to three flight schools within my area. One didn't even answer the phone (Only things I could find online were negative). The second lied about their qualifications. The third talked to me for about three seconds and then blew me off. It's hard to find any flight schools in my area that are online, or I can find something about. I've considered a school 350 miles away and even Mazzei? but I need real world advice, not the spin machine created by the prospective companies.

3. This is really the only job I want to do, but the other jobs I could tolerate would require me quitting my job and moving. (Even though I live in a major metropolitan center, the only school for techincalcourses (i.e. ASE mech) is an hour away.) So no matter what, if I want to go back to school I have to move.

4. I cannot keep my current job and go to school full time. (6am to 6pm, an hour to the school, 4 hours there and an hour back would kill me.)

5. I have a dog, so I'd like to keep her around.

6. I plan on working part time.

7. I've been out west before and I loved it except for certain people...

8. I just need to know what to do, I've done some soul searching and it's told me to get the hell out of the town and do something.

9. Financing is a huge thing... I could make the payments, given what I've told I'd make once I found a job. My dad and maybe my granpa would be willing to co-sign for me.

10. So any advice, pointers, etc would be well appreciated... I've heard the horror stories abotu SSH and I've decided that's not an option. I also tried to find some info on First Flights but the website's FUBAR.

 

Thanks, Spook.

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