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A Whirlwind few days

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The past few days have been a whirlwind of sorts for me and my pursuit of a career as a helicopter pilot. I finally scheduled a demo flight with a school here in the San Antonio area that I have been interested in. Luckily, due to a change in my work schedule last week I had the last two days off so I scheduled the demo flight for Thursday, late morning. I met with the chief pilot who gave me a run down on the company, training and helicopters. We spent some time in the simulator they had flying from the airfield to San Antonio airport, about 25 miles south.


It came time for the real thing. The R22 was smaller than I had expected compared to the Schweizers I had flown previous. It was comfortable like getting into a pickup. Once in the air he handed me the cyclic and was pretty much hands off during most of the level flight from the airfield to San Antonio airport. He said that since we were headed in that direction anyways he could pick up some equipment he had there for repair. Apart from the greater sense of flying with the wind gusts and minor turbulence and real world objects down below the flight went very similar to the simulator. Although we did have to expedite across the runway to get out of the way of an inbound Southwest 737. Apart from the takeoffs,landings and approaches I pretty much was in control of the helicopter. It gave me a greater sense of confidence. The instructors approach was that how do you know if it's you or the instructor that was controlling if he had his hand on the stick.


I was very impressed with the school and the instructor and how relaxed I felt. I went back yesterday to take the awareness training for the R22 since we didn't have time the day before and decided right then and there to sign up. Hoping for my first lesson that day we were unable to due to schedule conflicts. So we scheduled it for this morning. This gave me last night to read through the training syllabus as the school is a Part 141 and starting reading through the stack of books I acquired.


Well the instructor just called and asked if I could come in an hour earlier. This should be a fun adventure.

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I'm not sure if your post was a wind up, but I would be hesitant to pursue training at a location that would bust regs on the premise of saving time:


Per SFAR 73:


(a) Awareness Training:


(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, no person may manipulate the controls of a Robinson model R–22 or R–44 helicopter after March 27, 1995, for the purpose of flight unless the awareness training specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section is completed and the person's logbook has been endorsed by a certified flight instructor authorized under paragraph (B.)(5) of this section.




If that was the chief flight instructor, he should know better.

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Was that HEI in bulverde? I was looking at taking some classes down there. I live off Starcrest and watch those 737's take off and land all day (and night, unfortunately).

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I don't know if it counts and forgot to mention it. I was given a brief awareness review before we did go in the air. It was the next day that I watched an awareness video on the R22. Sorry about that. Not trying to get anyone in trouble.

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