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Thoughts on trainers


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Hey all.....took my intro flight a couple of weeks ago and am considering going all the way. But I am concerned about one thing....the aircraft. The school uses the Hughes/Schweizer 269B as a trainer but it looks like most of the schools use the R22. What are your thoughts on these aircraft as far as preparing for commercial? Does it really make that much of a difference in the early phases of the training? I want to make sure that I am not in an obsolete aircraft right out of the box if you know what I mean :unsure: . Thanks in advance for any input.

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From everything I've found out... the aircraft you train in really isn't that important. You just need to have 1,000 hours to get a "real job." In order to get that 1,000 hours, you will probably instruct. A lot of schools train in the Robinson. So... if you know of a place to build your hours w/out flying the Robbie, go for it. Personally, I'm going to fly Robinsons... but that's just me.

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Hello to a fellow pre-student!

 

You may want to do a search on this forum as its been discussed a few times before. But in a nutshell, to be in instructor in an R22 you will need to have logged 50 hours minimum from what I understand. If someone else knows better, please chime in.

 

Personally I am not a big fan of the R-22, small, cramped and not much safety margin compared to the 269/300 series (in my opinion). I am not a student yet, but starting my flight training in August and have done a bit of research and have taken some rides, so that is where I am coming from at this point in time.

 

I have decided to do my PPL(H) in a 269/300, and then transition and do some/majority of the time in an R-22 during my CPL(H), so down the road I will be able to instruct in it to build hours. There are more places to get a CFI job that have R-22's than 300's. My choice in schools ended being one that had both the R-22/44 and 300, this way I can get some time in all three by the time I am ready to be let loose on the world. Building the magic 1000 hours PIC time in a 269/300 alone could take longer if you aren't doing the R-22 time to be an instructor. As most of the school use R-22, getting CFI jobs whil eonly being able to instruct in a 269/300 could also be a little harder, but can be done. There are stories of those that have done it without R-22 time, but it seems to be more of an exception than a rule. Some will have differing opinions, and thank goodness for freedom of thinking and experiance greater than mine.

 

You asked the question about the 269/300 being ancient. The aircraft is still in production, and from doing some reading today from the Schweizer website that shows there increasing production to meet a higher demand for the aircraft. It seems more and more schools are adding it to there inventory. Its a roomier cabin, more contempory controls than the R-22, and the 300CBi version is fuel injected. Calling the 269/300 ancient is out of the question in my humble opinion. Also, one last note, Sikorsky is the parent company and has dumped a bunch of money to streamline there operation, increase production, along with some hub bub about a possibly new product coming down the road for the helicopter industry.

 

I hope this has helped, and good luck! Keep us posted on how things are going.

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We'll put the whole R22 v 300CBi thing aside, and boil it down to this:

 

A majority of schools use the R22. Therefore the majority of new CFIs will be looking for R22 jobs. Even though the 300CBi has no SFAR requirements, you are no more likely to get a 300CBi job with only 50 hours in type than you are to get an R22 job under similar circumstances.

 

Put more simply still, your chances of getting hired after training are the same no matter which of the two you trained in. Choose the one you like, or the school you like, or the location you like. $50K and a year or two later, you'll find a job.

 

Now if you want to debate the relative merits of each aircraft as a trainer... ...nah, not right now. :rolleyes:

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Hi,

 

I thought you only need 25 hrs on type for instructing on it.

For the R22, it's 50 in the R22. FOr the R44, it's 50 in Robinson helicopters, of which 25 must be in the R44.
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Hello to a fellow pre-student!

 

You may want to do a search on this forum as its been discussed a few times before. But in a nutshell, to be in instructor in an R22 you will need to have logged 50 hours minimum from what I understand. If someone else knows better, please chime in.

 

Personally I am not a big fan of the R-22, small, cramped and not much safety margin compared to the 269/300 series (in my opinion). I am not a student yet, but starting my flight training in August and have done a bit of research and have taken some rides, so that is where I am coming from at this point in time.

 

I have decided to do my PPL(H) in a 269/300, and then transition and do some/majority of the time in an R-22 during my CPL(H), so down the road I will be able to instruct in it to build hours. There are more places to get a CFI job that have R-22's than 300's. My choice in schools ended being one that had both the R-22/44 and 300, this way I can get some time in all three by the time I am ready to be let loose on the world. Building the magic 1000 hours PIC time in a 269/300 alone could take longer if you aren't doing the R-22 time to be an instructor. As most of the school use R-22, getting CFI jobs whil eonly being able to instruct in a 269/300 could also be a little harder, but can be done. There are stories of those that have done it without R-22 time, but it seems to be more of an exception than a rule. Some will have differing opinions, and thank goodness for freedom of thinking and experiance greater than mine.

 

You asked the question about the 269/300 being ancient. The aircraft is still in production, and from doing some reading today from the Schweizer website that shows there increasing production to meet a higher demand for the aircraft. It seems more and more schools are adding it to there inventory. Its a roomier cabin, more contempory controls than the R-22, and the 300CBi version is fuel injected. Calling the 269/300 ancient is out of the question in my humble opinion. Also, one last note, Sikorsky is the parent company and has dumped a bunch of money to streamline there operation, increase production, along with some hub bub about a possibly new product coming down the road for the helicopter industry.

 

I hope this has helped, and good luck! Keep us posted on how things are going.

 

What is the reasoning behind doing the 300 for your PPL, and then changing to the R22?

 

In my experience people who have learned to fly an R22 first can fly a 300 no trouble at all. Not quite the same the other way around. (I have a couple of thousand hors in each aircraft).

 

Also bear in mind that before you can instruct in the R22 you must have 200 hours total time in helicopters. This stems from SFAR 73. No such requirement exists for the 300.

 

Keep us posted on your progress.

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Thank you, very helpful.

 

Is this the same for all models of helicopters or just the Robinsons? Is there something especially different about them? I am learning in an Enstrom and have only looked into a Robinson. I see the difference in the cyclic. Is there more to it?

 

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Brianmech - you are training in one of the highest inertia helicopters around- the Enstrom. The Robbie is the lowest around. You lose an engine in a R22 and you have about 1.2 seconds to enter the auto or the blades will start slowing down so fast they can stall...and thats a really bad thing.

 

Its not that the bird is bad- its just different, so due to what the FAA perceived was a lack of understanding ( read..training) on these differences they developed SFAR 73 to help reduce the number of accidents....

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The Robbie is the lowest around. You lose an engine in a R22 and you have about 1.2 seconds to enter the auto or the blades will start slowing down so fast they can stall...and thats a really bad thing.
This is a bit of an urban legend. You all know I'm no big fan of the R22 as a trainer, but this "1.2 seconds or die" thing has to be put in the correct context.

 

The R22 has enough inertia in the rotor system to sustain level cruise flight (no loss of altitude or airspeed) for 1.2 seconds following an engine failure. To sustain level cruise, the pilot would have to be raising the collective as the rotor slowed down. If you have been to the safety course or received solid SFAR training, this is made abundantly clear. While I have not tested how long you have if you simply fail to lower the collective, I do know that it is a fair bit longer that 1.2 seconds.

 

Then there is the overused (and inaccurate through omission) phrase, "if you can fly the R22, you can fly anything". This is true, as far as it goes. The R22 is the lightest, twitchiest, lowest-inertia rotor, "different" cyclic-equipped certificated helicopter out there. Getting out of any other certificated helo into the R22 (even the R44) is initially a challenge. However, once you figure out the unique nature of the little beastie, it is an easy helicopter to fly. The complete phrase should read: "if you can fly the R22, you can fly anything, if you can fly the (insert other piston trainer here), you can fly anything, except an R22" (at first). (PS, I also have plenty of time instructing in R22, R44 and Schweizer.)

 

The day somebody comes up with a single piece of actual evidence that the R22 makes better helicopter pilots, I'll eat my words. The R22 certainly makes lots of pilots - good, bad, and indifferent. However, let's look at some facts. The H269 series was designed in response to a military solicitation for a training and light-utility helicopter. The R22 was designed as a personal transport - an inexpensive way to fly helicopters. The largest and most successful school in the civilian world chooses to use the 300CBi exclusively for primary training. To date, the 300CB and CBi have an unmatched safety record in training - even if you take only the R22 helicopters manufactured since the 300CB began service, they can't match it. 32 years after the first prototype, the R22 is still having trouble with cracks and delaminations in the rotor blades. Of all the factors that will affect your skill and ability as a pilot, whether you trained in an R22 or 300CB is not one of them.

 

In the end, you'll choose your ride based on your location, wallet and your level of desperation to get into the cockpit. Either choice will have similar results on the other side of an IFR rating and 1,200 hours or so. The only difference will be how much or little you enjoyed your first steps into the industry.

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This is a bit of an urban legend. You all know I'm no big fan of the R22 as a trainer, but this "1.2 seconds or die" thing has to be put in the correct context.

 

The R22 has enough inertia in the rotor system to sustain level cruise flight (no loss of altitude or airspeed) for 1.2 seconds following an engine failure. To sustain level cruise, the pilot would have to be raising the collective as the rotor slowed down. If you have been to the safety course or received solid SFAR training, this is made abundantly clear. While I have not tested how long you have if you simply fail to lower the collective, I do know that it is a fair bit longer that 1.2 seconds.

 

And don't forget, as per Tim Tucker, that 1.2 seconds is at:

 

MAX gross weight - 1370 lbs

VNE - 102 knots

LIMIT manifold pressure

.....and straight and level, unaccelerated flight, and (or corrected to) a standard temp & pressure

 

 

So, you're at all of you're limits--the worst place to be. Chop the throttle at such a high pitch angle on ANY helicopter at max gross weight and you better believe the rotor RPM gonna drop fast. Here's the kicker though, at that speed, you don't even need to lower the collective at first. Remember all the charts with HP-SECs?

 

You have at least 4 seconds that you can maintain altitude by bleeding off the speed--from VNE. So that's 1.2 seconds, plus at least 4 seconds of kinetic energy stored in your speed. Once you pass anout 50 knots, get the collective down, because you're running out of kinetic energy. Remember ke=mv^2, sooooooo at 100 knots you have FOUR times the energy you have a 50 knots.

 

Now look at it the other way......if you're flying at 53 knots (at the bottom of the power curve), you have a very low blade angle. If you chop the throttle you probably could hold your a/s and altitude for several seconds. BUT, you don't have as much kinetic energy stored stored in your speed. From the SFAR 73 course, it's 1 sec from 46 to 0 knots, and 1 sec from 60 down to 50, so that extra 7 knots between 46 and 53 can't bring it to more than maybe 1.5 seconds stored in your speed (then plus any potential energy in your altitude which you will convert into RRPM as you decend.)

 

So, in either situation you have 4-5 seconds of kinetic energy that you can use FAST. It's all about energy management in an auto.

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OK guys, guilty as charged, I used the worst possible case scenarios. However, I am trying to convey a simple thought to a guy who has 1.6hours of flight time. Now read my post, and read yours...which one does a guy with 1.6 hours understand ?????

 

Besides last time I flew with Robinsons Chief Test Pilot I took about 1 full second to enter the auto on a sim engine failure and his comments to me were " lil faster next time on the collective"....I wouldn't wait 4 seconds in a robbie for all the money in the world !

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...read my post, and read yours...which one does a guy with 1.6 hours understand ?????
Unfortunately, probably the one with the erroneous information.
Besides last time I flew with Robinsons Chief Test Pilot I took about 1 full second to enter the auto on a sim engine failure and his comments to me were " lil faster next time on the collective
I've never flown with Robinson's Chief Test Pilot (I did fly with a particularly uninspiring flight-school owner who obviously didn't want to be there). However, I imagine if it took a second from the time the needles split until an experienced pilot got the collective down in a training situation, I'd say the same thing, even sitting in a Schweizer!
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I'll say thank you to both of you. Its a very helpful discussion. Staying away from any definite time frame, my question was answered in that with an R22 you have to get that collective down "right quick" to do an auto. And that would be the reason for special training on it. Makes me happy to be training in an Enstrom. Now if I can just get the hang of that correlated throttle....oh heck, I need to get the hang of the whole machine. :lol:

 

Unfortunately, probably the one with the erroneous information.I've never flown with Robinson's Chief Test Pilot (I did fly with a particularly uninspiring flight-school owner who obviously didn't want to be there). However, I imagine if it took a second from the time the needles split until an experienced pilot got the collective down in a training situation, I'd say the same thing, even sitting in a Schweizer!
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Now if you want to debate the relative merits of each aircraft as a trainer... ...nah, not right now. :rolleyes:

 

What about now? :P Just kidding man. Thanks for the input guys, doesn't sound like the Schweizer will be a bad way to go, may just have to switch when I go for the CPL to make my job search as a CFI a bit more open. :D

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I'd say that for people with little to no flying experience (like me) you will end up flying the machine that the school has. Which is how I did it. Most of the schools I see us the R22 or Schweitzer. I chose the school I did based on its proximity to me and they are using an Enstrom. I am of the mind that I will probably try to become a CFI in the future so I will just have to get the training in the machine used at the school I find. And I would think that once you have the basic skills it will transfer to just about any machine.

 

Best Thing I would get out of this conversation............choose the trainer you feel more comfortable in. :D
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The school/instructor is far more important. A good instructor will teach you to fly anything and will keep you safe during training.

 

Most companies don't even ask where you trained in. When you have your license and the hours that's enough. By the way the magic 1000 hours means you flew about 800 hours after your training and survived, that's the benchmark.

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