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why the bashing?


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RLC939,

 

I don't use JH very much either as I don't care for how "negative" the site is. VR is totally different, there is never harmful bashing going on here very long. Once it starts, if it is in anyway detrimental to the site, the VR moderators do a great job cooling it down or knocking it off. Overall, everyone is helpful here and full of great advice. This site has already paid dividends and I have not even started my training yet. dslmtrcle put it perfectly. I hope you like it here!

 

Jake

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RLC939,

 

I'm new to the site as well, but ever since I've been on this site, I have read alot of strong opinions and personal experiences. And personally, it is very informative. I have been out of my area for about 8 months now, and I have learned a lot about the schools that I am interested in, and I feel I'm more prepared to visit these schools now. I can pretty much weed out the 1 or 2 post that appear to be pure bashing. But when its 10 to 20 post from different people, bashing or just plain negative comments, its gonna throw up a red flag in my book. So if someone post a comment about a school that appears to be bashing but is very informative, personally, I'd like to hear it, and I will make my decision. That's just my opinion, "no bash intended"

 

JJNM

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Entertainment value?

 

Seriously, I've noticed that the "bashing" mainly comes from a few people. They had a bad experience and are warning others of the possibility of getting screwed and venting their anger. It happens everywhere; from work to the news to government programs. We all have our opinions and beliefs, and part of that is sharing those with others.

 

It's like one guy I worked with a long time ago. He kept haranging me to become a born-again christian. He kept telling me about the eternal life in hell, salvation, and all that. Finally, he said"Jesus loves you." one too many times and I kicked him in the nards. I got fired. Then I joined the Air Force. See what happens when you get pissed off at 19?

 

Later

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Entertainment value?

 

Seriously, I've noticed that the "bashing" mainly comes from a few people. They had a bad experience and are warning others of the possibility of getting screwed and venting their anger. It happens everywhere; from work to the news to government programs. We all have our opinions and beliefs, and part of that is sharing those with others.

 

It's like one guy I worked with a long time ago. He kept haranging me to become a born-again christian. He kept telling me about the eternal life in hell, salvation, and all that. Finally, he said"Jesus loves you." one too many times and I kicked him in the nards. I got fired. Then I joined the Air Force. See what happens when you get pissed off at 19?

 

Later

 

 

Hey Witch.... Jesus Loves You!!!.....lol...JK

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I don't mind the factual information and constructive critisizm, but when a person makes a post to defend an organization or correct some incorrect information in a professional manner, he gets slammed on all sides, and yes, your assumption that I was refering to SSH is correct. I happen to be one of the cases that has not been abused in anyway by the company, and I have not seen or heard any of the other students complain about the way things run. It just makes me wonder where the information comes from when what I read on the internet is not what I see, and I am actually there in the trenches. I regularly associate with pilots from PHI, AirEvac, AirLife and a few other Law Enforcement Air Units, and they have never said a negative thing about SSH. Is it just an internet thing?

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Hey Witch.... Jesus Loves You!!!.....lol...JK

Cyber kick in the nards to you :P

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I happen to be one of the cases that has not been abused in anyway by the company [silver State Helicopters], and I have not seen or heard any of the other students complain about the way things run.

 

Sounds like you are motivated and you will probably be successful. Best of luck to you.

 

But a couple of questions, are the terms of the financial commitment to SSH as inflexible as I have heard and, if they are, did you understand fully before you were committed exactly what you were getting into?

 

I mean, is it true that your loan proceeds are fully advanced to SSH within a few months of entering the program and, does SSH charge 10% of the contract price per month? If so, then your full loan monies are totally non-refundable in less than 10 months but the program takes, generally, at least 18 months and in most cases two years or more.

 

Also, pretty much the only way to get from 200 to 1,000 hours, where you would be employable as other than an instructor, is as an instructor and, if SSH does not hire you it will be difficult (but certainly not impossible) to find an instructor position elsewhere.

 

So, after 10 months you have fully committed about $160,000, the program cost plus interest on the loan, to this occupation and if you stop at any point between then and 1,000 hours all you have to show for it is, basically, a private pilot's license (i.e., if you can't generate a continuing income stream from a commercial pilot's license then it really isn't any more than just a PPL).

 

Do you...and all the other students...see things differently? I don't mean, are you less cynical about SSH's program because obviously you are based on your post. I mean, is what I have described essentially factually accurate? And if so, did you know all this when you signed on?

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I have been very motivated about this opportunity, and have been since I first heard about it.

It's not all just flying and studying, I get along very well with the instructors and can't wait to be doing it myself.

The cost of the class "according to the web-site" is $69.000, when I started I was only charged a total of $59.000. I have taken out loans before and knew what I was in for, but it is a move I was fully willing to make. The whole amount was forwarded to SSH over about a 6 month time frame, I have no idea where the 10% contract price comes from, I have not heard of that. I do however, play the state lottery a little more than I used to.

 

In my case, It will probably take just under two years to complete because of family and work issues, I don't get to go as often as I want to. However, this does not bother me and It's no one elses fault. There are a small group of students that have committed most of their time to the class and will probably finish in less that 18 months.

The instructors here are like everyone else in the business, they do not plan on instructing their whole life and get the time and experience they need to get a job elsewhere. They rack up a lot of time here, they are running four classes and about 150 students at present. I know of several instructors that started here with the 200hrs they finished the class with and in under a year are well over 1000hrs. So the possibility of getting a job here when I finish is very possible, I have seen about 10 instructors leave since I started, not because they hated it but because they got the jobs they were trying to get to begin with. I do not believe that SSH can hire all the people that they graduate from the course at once, but the way the turnover is and as many locations as they have, it would not take very long at all to get a job with them. In the past they hired from outside the school, but I recently read that because of a few classes that were finishing up, they were going to give them first shot at the vacancies.

 

I think that there is some truth to most post's about the program, but it is truth based on individual experience and not an epidemic as some may have you to believe, the biggest complaint I see is about the financing and the way SSH collects their money. What a lot of people don't understand is the fact that you don't have to borrow the money from the lender that SSH uses, you can borrow the money from anywhere you see fit. We have several students that payed cash for the class up front and several that went thru different lenders. I try not to worry about the way everyone else handles their business and take care of my situation first.

 

I also hear a lot about the seminar that Jerry puts on, if you have never been to one, go if you get a chance. He is a natural born public speaker and very high energy, but it is a sales pitch like with any other product someone is trying to sell. There is no deception in what he is saying, but a lot of the selling points that are rare occurrances an average educated person can pick up on. Yes, the money he is talking about can be made, if you are willing to stick with the company and relocate at a whim, which most of us can't.

I read about some people that go to his seminars just to debunk what he is claiming, it makes me really wonder why they bother? I think if I had that kind of time I would be spending it with my family or something more constructive. I think when I went to the seminar I was just thinking of getting trained and licensed so that I could fly, I am old enough that I did not care about of all the window dressing and hype.

I got to meet Jerry after the seminar and found that he was very down to earth and did not mind talking about subjects other than the school and flying. He is very motivated and loves what he does, I think we all strive for that type of attitude. I think I actually saw a few people that were only there to get ammunition to put on the internet, they were the ones with note pads sitting in the far back corner and seemed to be in their own world, usually wearing a white short sleeve shirt with a tie and tennis shoes. haha

 

In the time I have been there I have not heard anything negative from any of the students, and they range from college students to professionals. The only complaint is about getting cancelled flights due to the weather, but we all know we can't control that.

 

 

Anyway, I tend to ramble on sometimes, but if I can answer any questions concerning the school, I will make my best effort based on my experience.

 

Take care

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The cost of the class "according to the web-site" is $69.000, when I started I was only charged a total of $59.000. I have taken out loans before and knew what I was in for, but it is a move I was fully willing to make. The whole amount was forwarded to SSH over about a 6 month time frame, I have no idea where the 10% contract price comes from, I have not heard of that. I do however, play the state lottery a little more than I used to.

 

Thanks for the reply, you seem to have thought this through completely. When did you start at SSH? I ask because I believe that the 10% per month charge was begun with the recent price hike to $69,900.

 

You mentioned family a couple of times, do you think a helo pilot career will be compatible with your family lifestyle? Not that most careers don't put a strain on family at some time or another but, piloting jobs, especially early in the career, tend to be in locations that are...let's say, not quite Wally and Beaver's neighborhood (Maybe I should have used a more recent show, huh? I don't watch TV much).

 

Anyway, thanks again for the reply.

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Regardless of whatever else an operator does their obligations are: 1- the safety of their employees, customers, and the innocents on the ground; and 2 - to do right by their people (student & employee) so that the entire training industry doesn't get a black eye.

 

The only question that needs to tbe answered is: Does SSH have those two principals at the top of their list?

 

If you really want to get a feel for how a school is to train at, and hopefully work for, then try to get the students who have been there a while and the CFIs to talk about their experiences. If they won't talk or if the cons outweigh the pros then THAT is a red flag worth paying attention to.

 

As with everything else in life you must keep your eyes open and educate yourself to the realities of the situations you are about to enter. If you can't do that then you've no place in the cockpit of a helicopter - of course you may be able to learn to fly an airplane :-).

 

Remember the old saying "if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is". Websites like this can give you a reality check. Such as: How much can a CFI really expect to make?

 

Well, at a busy flight school a motivated CFI can probably fly an average of 100 hours per month (average of 4.5 flight hours per day which will probably be a work day of 10 hours; average 22 working days per month - 2 days off per week); and say that you have a generous employer who pays their newly certificated CFIs at $20/flight hour - that CFI will have a gross income of $24,000 per year; but let's say that this is a REALLY motivated CFI and he can average 150 hours per month (average of 6.8 hours per day and that's a lot of work) then his gross income jumps to $36,000. But let's say you're superman and you don't care if you only get to see your family on your days off (of course you'll probably spend most of that time sleeping) then you might get to fly the FAA regulated maximum of 8 flight hours per day (which could be a working day of as much as 16 hours) that's an average of 176 flight hours per month and a whopping $42,240 per year. So, factoring in the instructor burnout that WILL come long before you are able to maintain this type of working schedule, you can see that being a CFI is not necessarily something you want to do for very long if making a good living as a pilot is your goal.

 

Which is not to say that there are not people out there making good money as CFIs - the reality is that these are people who decided to dedicate themselves to this end of the profession or, more likely, these are senior pilots who have decided to spend time instructing while they determine their next career move.

 

Do your research and know what you are getting yourself into - especially if you are committing your family to the effort as well. If you can do this then you will be hard pressed to find a more fullfilling way to earn a living.

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I have been in the class for about a year now, just working on instrument at this point.

I think that I would be better off in aviation, as far as family goes. The work I do now is high stress and keeps me away from home alot, and the pay stinks. I think the lowest paying helicopter job would be twice as much as I make now..or pretty close. But either way, I would enjoy it more and if I have to be away from home for a week or two at a time, we are already used to that.

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I cannot tell you if it's any different or not, just saying that I would enjoy it more than what I do now.

If you can't enjoy what you do for a living, then you are probably in the wrong profession.

If you are indeed a helicopter pilot and had a career before that outside aviation, why did you change?

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RCL939,

 

Wow, you make really good points, (Seriously). And my investigation revealed this. Most post that I have read that were negative about SSH, came from a former student, or a potential student that decided not to attend. So RCL939, I really hope you are sincere in your postings, cause I am going to look into SSH now, and find out for myself. Anybody wanna jump on the SSH band wagon? "All you mofo's getting on the bus, get on the bus!! All you Mofo's getting off the bus, get off the bus!! This bus is moving, I got a schedule to keep....

 

Hey RCL939, you think you can get some of your other students post as well??

 

Thx

 

JJNM

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