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Tomorrow I am going to an interview with Silver State Helicopters in Melbourne, FL. I have heard some bad things about this place. I went to the seminar last thursday and everything sounded great and it did'nt seem to far fetched then again I dont know about heli training. Is this place as bad as people say it is or have they changed at all? I am not going to sign anything tomorrow just to get a better feel for the place. thanks

 

Jordan

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Hi Jordan,

 

Take some time when choosing your school. It might pay of in the long run to look around a little. I myself went to HAI in Titusville, just north of Melbourne, and have been quite happy here. You should come by before you decide.

 

What ever you might choose, good luck.

 

Torstein

CPL/IR (NO)

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Tomorrow I am going to an interview with Silver State Helicopters in Melbourne, FL. I have heard some bad things about this place. I went to the seminar last thursday and everything sounded great and it did'nt seem to far fetched then again I dont know about heli training. Is this place as bad as people say it is or have they changed at all? I am not going to sign anything tomorrow just to get a better feel for the place. thanks

 

Jordan

 

 

Hi,

 

I've read some topics on them in the past. However, the forum has asked everyone to not comment on them because of a lawsuit. So, I can't tell you anything specifically and I don't think anyone else will either (to honor their request), but ... you can do your own research by going to google and typing in: "silver state helicopters, truth". Obviously not everything online is 100% accurate, so I would encourage you to just use sound judgement in what you believe/not believe, and check each school out thoroughly no matter who you use. I know when we have students calling, I find the best way to help them make a decision is to allow them to speak to present and past students (we obviously get the student's permission to give out their number first!!) - they're the ones that will give you the best 'judgement' anyway (good OR bad)! Any reputable school is going to allow this and they should be proud to have you call their students - I know we do our best to treat and teach our students well so we can be proud of our school! Hope this helps you in your search!

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Tomorrow I am going to an interview with Silver State Helicopters in Melbourne, FL. I have heard some bad things about this place. I went to the seminar last thursday and everything sounded great and it did'nt seem to far fetched then again I dont know about heli training. Is this place as bad as people say it is or have they changed at all? I am not going to sign anything tomorrow just to get a better feel for the place. thanks

 

Jordan

 

I worked for them in Utah for a few months. The manager and cheif flight ins. had it out for everybody. Rules started to pop up everywhere, like if you didn't get a 100% on your tests that the school gives you, then you aren't able to fly for a week or so. Most students had over 80 hours with no private license in sight. Also some students took over a year to get their private. In my opinion, I wouldn't trust them, especially since you are dealing with a bunch of money. I did not know that the school that I trained at was a scam until five months after I started training, when the money was all gone, all $80,000 of it. So, in other words students that attended Universal helicopters in AZ, UT, or CA, spent $80,000 on just their private license. We had to come up with another loan which covered us until we reached our CFI. We needed another loan for the CFII so we can work for the school that trained us. which is what they require. It doesn't end there. If you do not have the right personality, it does not matter that you just spent over $100,000 on flight training. If the school doesn't like you they will get rid of you.

 

 

 

J.R.

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A couple ideas:

 

I worked for them in Utah for a few months. The manager and cheif flight ins. had it out for everybody. Rules started to pop up everywhere, like if you didn't get a 100% on your tests that the school gives you, then you aren't able to fly for a week or so.

 

This acutally makes sense in my mind, not the 100% pass requirement if in fact true but the school work requirement. You've got a number of hours to fly for your private and commercial license (40hrs and 175hrs). There are also curriculum requirements for your checkrides, etc that have to be met. You don't want to get your flight hours and curriculum out of whack so in order to combat those that want to fly but aren't responsible enough to do the book work along side there are restrictions to limit that imbalance. It wouldn't be in the interest of the students nor the school to have students piling up in the school and not graduating. By limiting your flight time based on book work accomplishment you don't have to worry about running out of flight time before you hit your hours limit. Seems like a protection to me for the students. Hence the problem below if not regulated.

 

Most students had over 80 hours with no private license in sight. Also some students took over a year to get their private. In my opinion, I wouldn't trust them, especially since you are dealing with a bunch of money. I did not know that the school that I trained at was a scam until five months after I started training, when the money was all gone, all $80,000 of it. So, in other words students that attended Universal helicopters in AZ, UT, or CA, spent $80,000 on just their private license. We had to come up with another loan which covered us until we reached our CFI. We needed another loan for the CFII so we can work for the school that trained us. which is what they require. It doesn't end there. If you do not have the right personality, it does not matter that you just spent over $100,000 on flight training. If the school doesn't like you they will get rid of you.

J.R.

 

This is exactly what those policies are intended to prevent. By forcing the students to pass off curriculum along the way you should have sufficient flight time to pass off both your private and commerical requirements.

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I went to an enrollment interview back in February. All I'm going to say is do NOT sign any contract without having a lawyer translate it into plain english that you understand completely. Realize that every other school in the U.S. will school you WITHOUT ever having to sign any contract. Mind you, the first contract is authorization to release funds to Silver State, but beware of other contracts.

 

Buyer beware.

 

Later.

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A couple ideas:

This acutally makes sense in my mind, not the 100% pass requirement if in fact true but the school work requirement.

This is exactly what those policies are intended to prevent. By forcing the students to pass off curriculum along the way you should have sufficient flight time to pass off both your private and commerical requirements.

 

the FAA pass/Fail line is 70% or greater (as of 20+ years ago) the having to pass at 100% is BS. (by the by I passed my A&P at 98.5%)

 

SSH is doing nothing more than paying the board members an exsurbenate (sp) some of money :angry: :angry: :angry:

 

the early baby boomers are the group (minute part of) of people that has created the Enron "greed is good" attitude in the current corperate world and why we face having to deal with the low wages and HS working conditions.

 

rant complete for now. :angry:

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It wouldn't be in the interest of the students nor the school to have students piling up in the school and not graduating. By limiting your flight time based on book work accomplishment you don't have to worry about running out of flight time before you hit your hours limit. Seems like a protection to me for the students.

 

The "purpose" is more likely to limit the students flying because there are not enough aircraft to accomodate the number of students. And, if SSH is still charging 10% of the program price per month, there is no risk from them "letting students pile up"; they get paid whether the student uses all of the contracted hours or not.

 

 

Tomorrow I am going to an interview with Silver State Helicopters in Melbourne, FL.

 

You're going to "interview" with SSH??? For what, the privilege of giving them $65,000 (closer to twice that if you finance it)? You're the customer. You're buying 200 flight hours of training and some ground school...you're not going to get a guarantee of anything else.

 

PS: that 200 hours can be had less expensively elsewhere...shop around.

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Im not going to sign anything trust me. I will definately look at other places.

 

Jordan

 

The "purpose" is more likely to limit the students flying because there are not enough aircraft to accomodate the number of students. And, if SSH is still charging 10% of the program price per month, there is no risk from them "letting students pile up"; they get paid whether the student uses all of the contracted hours or not.

You're going to "interview" with SSH??? For what, the privilege of giving them $65,000 (closer to twice that if you finance it)? You're the customer. You're buying 200 flight hours of training and some ground school...you're not going to get a guarantee of anything else.

 

PS: that 200 hours can be had less expensively elsewhere...shop around.

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I live north of Orlando so its about and hour drive to Melbourne.

 

Jordan

 

Montu,

 

Do yourself a favor and visit Tomlinson Aviation in Ormond Beach. If you have any questions, email me for my phone number. dmpaul@seadogdiver.com

 

 

Regards,

 

Paul

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I've thought about it and I am not even going to go tomorrow. I will just call them and tell I cant go.

I'll take a look at Tomlinson or HAI. thanks for all the very helpful comments.

 

Jordan

 

 

Visit: www.thesilverstatetruth.com and www.swiftchopper.com

 

You can use your own judgement as to what is true and what is not. But I have to tell you, there has been much heavy non-discriminatory research done on the owner and operations of SSH and all of whats been revealed has turned out true and uncontestable.

 

The owner has been verified to be a con-artist. In consideration of the way things are run at SSH, it is evident his intentions with the company are not wholesome. In short time this is going to negatively impact thousands of people one way or another. One of two things will happen: the school will fold and tuition that is paid upfront will not be recovered or will only be partially recovered by current students; or the company will stop expanding and stop recruiting and will simply finish training the remaining students. In any case, SSH will not be able to provide the jobs it has assured potential students/customers, communities, and local governments.

 

Assuming SSH completes training the current bunch of students (far-fetched assumption) and you are one of them, you will be alone in an ocean of 200hr pilots scratching and fighting for the very few positions nationwide that will even hire such. While employers realize the vast amount of willing candidates to chose from, salaries will drop even lower.

 

But almost anything is possible. I, personally, wouldnt wager a [non-refundable after 10 months] $70 grand plus interest on it, especially in light of the presented circumstances.

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I've thought about it and I am not even going to go tomorrow. I will just call them and tell I cant go.

I'll take a look at Tomlinson or HAI. thanks for all the very helpful comments.

 

Jordan

 

Just to add my 2 cents I am a SSH student in Houston so far none of the online myths have materialized. I've been there 2 months they require a 90% on each quiz to pass, if you fail you must review with an instructor and retest to make sure you understand the material. Is that a bad thing? So far all I have experienced is a challenging school with dedicated instructors. I'm sure there are other schools as well in your area that might be as good or better, my point is that in your research you should take the online hype with a grain of salt and track down some current students of any school you're interested in. That's the only way to get a first hand educated opinion.

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Well I need to hear from current or past Melbourne, FL students then.

 

Jordan

 

 

 

Just to add my 2 cents I am a SSH student in Houston so far none of the online myths have materialized. I've been there 2 months they require a 90% on each quiz to pass, if you fail you must review with an instructor and retest to make sure you understand the material. Is that a bad thing? So far all I have experienced is a challenging school with dedicated instructors. I'm sure there are other schools as well in your area that might be as good or better, my point is that in your research you should take the online hype with a grain of salt and track down some current students of any school you're interested in. That's the only way to get a first hand educated opinion.
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Well I need to hear from current or past Melbourne, FL students then.

 

Jordan

 

SSH has not yet established themselves in Melbourne, so you won't be able to talk to any past students from that particular location. I have been living in Melbourne for a while now, and I went to HAI in Titusville. Don't let advertising influence your decision. Go check out a few schools in person. Living near Orlando, you have at least 5 to choose from. Good luck with your choice.

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Jordan, do go to the interview. Listen to what they say. Plus you might get a helo ride. You don't have to accept what they offer you, but it hurts you not to at least get to experience the interview. Just do not sign anything without a lawyer looking at it and advising you of its contents.

 

Later.

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I would be interested to see if he lets you take the contract home for review. If they do, then I would want to know if they would accept you into the program pending the loan application.

 

Oh wait...you must have already got approved for the loan, otherwise you wouldnt have an interview appointment....funny how that works, huh?

 

No, other than at SSH, it's not typical business practice.

 

 

i have an interview with them in melbourne tommorow. going into it quite skeptical with a TON of questions. sounds too good to be true. i will post my findings soon afterwards. this is a great site!!

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I am currently a student at SSH and have not had any problems. Plenty of helicopters and instructors,

all of which are former SSH students. I work a regular job and this school takes up a lot of time. I don't think I would push through nearly as fast with out the contract. It forces you to go at it full speed. Everyone has a different situation, so you need to find the school the works best for you. As far as the hours go, if you don't fly at least 3 times a week the CFI's are on the phone telling you to get in. If you need any extra help with ground, there is always someone willing to help. There are plenty of students who drop out for various reasons, but I don't see anyone who has completed the program complaining.

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i have an interview with them in melbourne tommorow. going into it quite skeptical with a TON of questions. sounds too good to be true. i will post my findings soon afterwards. this is a great site!!

 

You might want to ask why they think you should give them $65k (in advance and with no guarantee the cash will be there throughout your training) when the owner is bailing out.

 

By FRANCIS McCABE

REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

Airola selling majority share of helicopter business

 

Sheriff hopeful says he 'can't serve two masters'

 

Jerry Airola announced Tuesday he is selling the majority share of his helicopter empire to a local investment group.

 

"An agreement I made, which I did not make public for the sake of my employees, that is, if I made it through the primary election I would sell the business," Airola said during a meeting with the Review-Journal's editorial board.

 

"I understand you can't serve two masters," Airola said.

 

Airola founded and heads Silver State Helicopters, a multimillion dollar helicopter business. He is also running for sheriff of Clark County against Undersheriff Doug Gillespie.

 

Airola will maintain ownership of 30 percent of the company and will be chairman of the board of the company for three years according to the sales agreement, he said.

 

Airola said he has signed a letter of agreement with a group of investors under the title SBC who are purchasing 70 percent of the company.

 

Airola did not disclose the sale price because, he said, he is bound by confidentiality agreements.

 

The closing date on the deal is Nov. 15, he said. The general election is Nov. 7.

 

Airola founded Silver State Helicopters in 2000. The company provides helicopter services and flight school training in 12 states. Before opening that business, Airola ran a water purification system company in Las Vegas. He had a brief law enforcement career in California before moving to Nevada.

 

Airola's businesses have been dogged by lawsuits for not paying bills and from unhappy customers who claimed he didn't live up to his promises. A federal lawsuit involving 21 former flight school students seeking tuition reimbursements is pending in San Diego.

 

Airola also faces a pending suit in Utah bankruptcy court from a group of investors who were ripped off by a former business associate of Airola. The investors say Airola got $3.5 million that was illegally diverted by the business associate.

 

Airola, who points to the rapid growth of his company as evidence of its success, disputes all of the allegations.

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I am currently a student at SSH and have not had any problems. Plenty of helicopters and instructors,

all of which are former SSH students. I work a regular job and this school takes up a lot of time. I don't think I would push through nearly as fast with out the contract. It forces you to go at it full speed.

 

If you need someone pushing you now how are you going to get up the motivation to get hours 201 through 1,000? You're just buying the flight time now; that's easy, just borrow money and show up. But once you are a CFI you've got to work for those hours. First work to get an instuctor job (e.g., go where the jobs are and hustle to get the job) and then work to keep the job (e.g., bring in students and live on very low pay). Hope you have plans for the pay cut you're going to take when you finish training and start instructing. And I wouldn't count on SSH being your employer...not with the owner bailing out.

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You might want to ask why they think you should give them $65k (in advance and with no guarantee the cash will be there throughout your training) when the owner is bailing out.

 

By FRANCIS McCABE

REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

Airola selling majority share of helicopter business

 

Sheriff hopeful says he 'can't serve two masters'

 

Jerry Airola announced Tuesday he is selling the majority share of his helicopter empire to a local investment group.

 

"An agreement I made, which I did not make public for the sake of my employees, that is, if I made it through the primary election I would sell the business," Airola said during a meeting with the Review-Journal's editorial board.

 

"I understand you can't serve two masters," Airola said.

 

Airola founded and heads Silver State Helicopters, a multimillion dollar helicopter business. He is also running for sheriff of Clark County against Undersheriff Doug Gillespie.

 

Airola will maintain ownership of 30 percent of the company and will be chairman of the board of the company for three years according to the sales agreement, he said.

 

Airola said he has signed a letter of agreement with a group of investors under the title SBC who are purchasing 70 percent of the company.

 

Airola did not disclose the sale price because, he said, he is bound by confidentiality agreements.

 

The closing date on the deal is Nov. 15, he said. The general election is Nov. 7.

 

Airola founded Silver State Helicopters in 2000. The company provides helicopter services and flight school training in 12 states. Before opening that business, Airola ran a water purification system company in Las Vegas. He had a brief law enforcement career in California before moving to Nevada.

 

Airola's businesses have been dogged by lawsuits for not paying bills and from unhappy customers who claimed he didn't live up to his promises. A federal lawsuit involving 21 former flight school students seeking tuition reimbursements is pending in San Diego.

 

Airola also faces a pending suit in Utah bankruptcy court from a group of investors who were ripped off by a former business associate of Airola. The investors say Airola got $3.5 million that was illegally diverted by the business associate.

 

Airola, who points to the rapid growth of his company as evidence of its success, disputes all of the allegations.

 

 

dang fry, i wish i had that info. prior to today. it was not mentioned. anyway, the process went pretty good. no pressure on their part to sign anything(and i did not), even though it was a great sales pitch. (i will elaborate more through PM or phone call if anyone has input or questions) the up front cost is a hard pill to swallow, and will probably lead me to another, more flexible & less expensive school. thankfully to some of you, i have done some extensive reseach and gathered some valuable info.

 

cheers!!

 

Keith

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Bottom line: SSH is probably not a good investment. I would look elsewhere no matter what. I've never heard this much negativity from any flight school ever. I'm probably going to check out Helicopter Adventures, INC(HAI). They have a school in CA and florida and have a well structured program that includes External load training and high density altitude training. There training fees are pretty low compared to other flight school's helicopter rental fees. They train primarily in the schweizer 300CB and CBi, but have r-22's also. They are the only school in the united states to offer CAA/JAA CPL training. They post there financing info on there web page, but ask stufdents to contact the particular lenders on their own. No contracts and sounds like they aren't out to become a money vacuum like SSH.

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hey Jack,

 

i will be visiting HAI tommorow at the florida location. from what i hear, they are well respected in the training field. i have all but forgot about using SSH. the free flight was fun though!! :D

i'm extremely excited about starting this venture and another book in my like!

 

take care...

 

Keith

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