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Nor Cal Training, No schools, please help


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Hello,

 

I live in Northern California (Sacramento) and trying to find a good school. We have Silver State but they are crooks so I won't go there but when they came in they killed off all the competition. I have tried PJ's which is in Red Bluff (2.5 hours away) but their training helicopter crashed (while working, no students) and the only lead I have is Precision which appears to be a good school in Oregon but it is 10 hours away which is a killer. BTW, Precision was very honest and answered every question I had, both the good and bad and realistsic goals and what the industry currently demands you to be employeable. To go to precision I would have to quit my job and spend 100k to be employable so that is currently not an option. Does anyone know an instructor in my area that would be willing to take on a student part time to full time depending on what we can work out. I will take any suggestions both good and bad or any comments. One friend suggested I move to Oregon for a year and sell cars while going to school, it would be OK but I would leave the wife home with the 4 kids and she is supportive but there are limits.

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments

 

Nick

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I have not had any experiance with them personally, but have a good friend (becoming a Blackhawk driver on Uncle Sam's dime) that knows a few of the guys here:

 

http://www.highsierrahelicopters.com

 

Not very far from Sacto ( I believe in Placerville), and have not heard anything negative at this point. Let me know what you find out if you don't mind.

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High Sierra is sounding better and better to me, what is funny is today at Staples a guy walked in with his Silver State Helicopter bag so I talked with him for a few minutes and gave him my email. Hopefully he will contact me and I can get the real scoop on Silver State. Do you know if High Sierra has an introductory flight, I have seen other schools that will do a one day intro with you which include a few hours on the ground and 1 or 2 in the air for around $200 which is fair. I would like to meet the folks and get a feel for how we work together. They sound like a good crew and I like the small but growing school also and it is currently the closest school that I have not heard any bad things about which is also good.

 

This forum rocks

Thanks for the excellent information

 

Nick

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I talked to Doug today at Sierra to set up a demo flight if you will. He was very honest and straight forward and had incredible knowledge and experience and this was just a few minute conversation.We even share some of the same old stomping grounds, me stomping, him flying of course. He said he is getting a Schweizer but it has to go to the shop so all the maintenance is up to date which is fine with me. I didn't ask about the Robinson, maybe later when I go for a check ride. So far everything looks good and I see no reason not to continue.

 

Nick

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I talked to Doug today at Sierra to set up a demo flight if you will. He was very honest and straight forward and had incredible knowledge and experience and this was just a few minute conversation.We even share some of the same old stomping grounds, me stomping, him flying of course. He said he is getting a Schweizer but it has to go to the shop so all the maintenance is up to date which is fine with me. I didn't ask about the Robinson, maybe later when I go for a check ride. So far everything looks good and I see no reason not to continue.

 

Nick

 

Talk to a fellow named Claudio who operates a R44 out of Lake Tahoe, he will tell you the real truth about Doug.

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Guest pokey
Talk to a fellow named Claudio who operates a R44 out of Lake Tahoe, he will tell you the real truth about Doug.

 

i would think the person to tell the "real" story would be Doug himself,,,,, like the song goes WTF is alice ( errr i mean claudio) <_<

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i would think the person to tell the "real" story would be Doug himself,,,,, like the song goes WTF is alice ( errr i mean claudio) <_<

 

I have to agree, Doug was up front and honest with me and told me things I wouldn't have said, my impression was he is pretty honest and loves flying. I've been around and can figure out the real and the crap information. I think we all have a little dirt under the house and from the way the helicopter industry seems to work you have to have some shifty skills just to survive. He had a new helicopter that had the maintenance hosed up so he was sending it in to be updated instead of assuming it's correct and running it with my butt on the line. I think I will give him the benefit of the doubt and keep my eyes and ears open at all times.

 

Thanks for the heads up

 

Nick

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hey Nickmarine

Doug is also HH60pilot on this forum. He has always been very helpful to everybody here and shares his knowledge freely. I talked to him on the phone about a wide variety of helo subjects a few years ago and he seemed like the real deal. As opposed to me!

 

PS: Keep your eyes open anywhere you go! The more places you go the more you will know. My former instructor opened a school in Watsonville, CA and I would highly reccomend it, (Specializedheli.com)but it's a ways from Sacto. They fly Robbies.

Also I did a flight review at Rancho Rotors in Rancho Muireta, give them a look too. (use a Bell 47)

Oh, and get a 1st class medical before spending the $$$.

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Thanks for the heads up on the Medical, I just had a doctors appt and tests were given and all are normal but at 40 I will get the certificate first to make sure. I did a google search for Rancho Murieta and found 3 accident reports, 2 plane and one helicopter and I got a bad vibe from it. Likely unwarranted but still there as I'm sure you understand. Any advice on the best way to get a medical certificate, any pitfalls or expensive traps to avoid, besides a doctor with big fingers or cold hands.

 

Nick

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Hello again!

Yep Rancho had a bad summer last year. a sheriff's Huey made a precautionary landing there after the fatal one in Folsom. Then about a month after I did my review, a girls had a tail-rotor malfunction and landed it hard, serious injuries...I think she's OK now. The Bee had a crazy story about a horse dragging her to help... amazing or BS I don't know.

 

I assume they are using the other B47 that was located there. Those have more problems than a Robbie but you will definitely survive the crash. I did my first and only full-down autos there. Piece of cake in the old, OLD Bell! You might want to drive out there just to see what a small operation looks like. maybe?

 

As for the medical, call any local school (fixed-wing or helo) and they will give you a list of doctors. I was leery of the guy in downtown and ended up going to one by K & Bus80. I don't know if he does the 40y/old and over tests. He was quick and professional (warm hands) no poking involved...

 

*Go to lenscrafters or where ever to make sure you're 20/20 with glasses or contacts before. That's a must.*

 

I believe all the DME's are about the same rate. If it's $10 more at one place vs another you might want the higher priced one. As I said before the guy in downtown sounded cheap&scary.

 

Is the school in Lincoln still open? You should really check them all out...

 

If you want a head start you can always buy the books now and start learning. The classroom is good for questions, but you really end up self-teaching yourself A LOT of the general info on your own. 80% I'd say.

 

 

Good luck

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You are just full of good information, I did go to the eye doctor who did a full test and he said my vision had normal age deterioration and he could sell me a pair of glasses for $300 or I could get a set of+1 from walmart for 10 bucks to use when reading.

 

Questions:

Will I need to get a report of what the Eye doctor did and take it to the Medical?

 

Is there a good place online to get your books cheap and are the same books used by everyone? I wonder if I can buy some used ones from a previous student.

 

Is there training online or on a website that is the book content online, I 'm thinking if there is it is a pay-per-view option.

 

Just wondering, I can ask Doug what his school uses when I see him.

 

Thanks for all the good advice

Nick

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Will I need to get a report of what the Eye doctor did and take it to the Medical?

 

The Medical Examiner will give you eye tests. You just want to make sure you can pass with 20/20, corrective if needed. So I think the reason for the previous advice was to make sure you're already 20/20 and get corrective lenses if needed and have no surprises. Even if you were 20/20, age and staring at a computer can change that.

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