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Hey,

 

I don't know Doug, but he has always been helpful to me. He does have a current job listing, Highlighted even, in the jobs section. So, it would look like he is not trying to duck and run?

 

 

 

Job posting

 

 

 

Good Luck

Edited by mechanic
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Sorry to hear that. Hate to see people loose a business. I have always tried my buisness idea's part time to see if they would catch on and support me. I have not found a good full time business that I can afford to start up yet, lol.. I have always been in service of some sort and service equals hard work to make a dollar...

 

 

 

Again, hope all will work out for you guys and Doug.

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I'm not freaking out .....yet. Hopefully we'll get a call before Christmas. If there's one thing I've learned in my short 3 years of flying is nothing ever happens the way you planned. You have to be very flexible and patient sometimes. On the other hand..... a simple phone call would be nice. People don't like being left in the dark.......especially when they've payed for services not yet rendered.

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I came to High Sierra from SSH in August. Since then I recieved my Commercial and hopefully will be able to finish up my CFI. I liked the way Doug is always around. At my old school I only saw the owner of the company a couple times....when he came to town to throw his baited hook out to potential students. Doug, on the other hand, sat around for my whole commercial checkride, bought some champagne and passed it out at the end. I thought that was great! He got the DPE to drink for the first time in 20 years. HA! Anyways, I think this is just another bump in the road.

 

 

 

betr_thn_Icarus Posted on: Jul 28 2006, 11:33

 

Group: VIP Member

Posts: 21

Joined: 14-September 05

Member No.: 2,165

 

 

The Schweizer is there I have flown it. All books are included in the course unless something has changed. As far as the man in Tahoe is concerned he used to instruct me and we all have our opinions on people, some more than others. I deffinately have mine. There may be more to the story than he says. The school is dedicated to the students, that's what I can tell you. I go there, that should tell you how I feel about it. I'm not into putting myself at financial risk anymore than you are. Research is always your friend. I have met people that have known Doug from his past just by chance and they all have nothing but good things to say about him.

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I would advise anyone to approach a start-up Helicopter school with extreme caution. Make sure there is a classroom facility, hangar, an instructor, a mechanic nearby and a helicopter. Pay by the hour, regardless of reduced rates for paying in bulk.

 

Definately "pay by the hour" and it doesn't matter if it is a small school or a large one (or large appearing one). Aviation is a lousy business...the cost of the equipment is expensive; the maintenance is expensive; the insurance is expensive and coming up with the capital to cover all these is nearly impossible. Lenders won't lend to a flight school...no history, no security, no guarantee of customers, so where's the best place to get working capital? Advance payments from the students. It amounts to an interest free loan to the school...with no security. And it doesn't matter what size the flight school is because the business model doesn't scale. They are all...regardless of size...subject to the same high costs and the same risk that the new customer in-flow will slow. In fact, a larger school has an even greater risk because its fixed costs are greater. Bottom line: don't pay in advance what you can't afford to lose. In business good intentions and a smile are not a substitute for working capital.

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Why anyone would put up a "substantial" amount of buckaroos prior to receiving anything in return is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy beyond me. As matter of fact? IF someone wants my $$ B4 i recieve the goods?--then i would "offer" a nice interest rate, like say the same as a hi-rate credit card, + any incurred lawyer fees to collect my $$ and anything else that i could think of at the time ! ( ALL up front, of korse ! )

 

remember: it takes a heck of a lot less time to drop a check IN the mailbox, than to sit by it hoping one comes back

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Wow, if these rumors are true, that is really too bad. I have always viewed Doug's contributions to the VR Community as very valuable--he has an impressive aviation resume. It's very hard to run your own business (the vast majority fail), much less one with such high overhead. Hopefully, if these rumors are true, Doug and High Sierra Helicopters will make it right for those negatively affected.

 

-V5

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I feel that I also have an obligation to confirm this story.

 

I will start by saying that I have always like Doug as a person, however as a business man I have a different opinion.

 

I started at High Sierra in Feb. full time from beginner with intentions to go through CFII. Doug has been horrible at over promising, not returning phone calls, not paying his bills on time for maintenance (Georgetown airport), fuel (his credit card was declined numerous times at the gas pumps at PVF), bouncing checks to instuctors, behind on his lease payments on his helicopter (preventing us from flying), and not even knowing how much money has been paid to him, by me, for my flight training! Doug owes me 10 hours and I hope I get to fly them off if he does get going again. I now have 90.3 hours since Feb. flying (full time) and am still a little ways from taking my check ride. I have passed my written. I took the year off from working in order to do this and would have liked to be further along.

 

I will second everything said here.

 

The heli in question was N557DC.

 

Again, I like Doug as a person. Not his business practices.

Jim T

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Keep in mind that I am not out at High Sierra, and I don't have any money on deposit with Doug. That being said, I have talked with Doug, and I think he is just going through a tough time. All you students out there do know what all has happened, and why he is having difficulties. Again, I am not out there, but I can empathize with you, that you have a lot of money tied up. I am just wondering if bringing all this up on this open forum is really going to help your cause at all?? You are all acting like you are just putting out a warning to any new students, but if he isn't answering his phone, and the lines are disconnected, how do you think he is recruiting new students?? I can understand your frustrations, so don't think I am saying it is ok for him to keep your money, or not return phone calls, I just think this is something that you may have been able to resolve without trying to destroy the reputation of his school and his name. A couple of you have stated that you will still fly with him if he gets back up and going, just to fly off the money he owes you. This states to me that you understand his hard times, and that you believe he will try to get the school going still. If you have this belief, and want him to get re-started, you shouldn't be trying to destroy him at the same time.

 

Again, I hope I don't step on all of your feelings, I would be VERY frustrated if I had a huge amount of money on deposit ($5000 is huge to me LOL), and there wasn't even a helicopter or instructor to fly. Just saying that bringing this all out on here won't help him get re-started, and it definately won't help you folks get your money back or get flight time in a school that he can't re-start....

 

I don't know what the answer is here, but you all seem to know and trust Doug. Maybe you can find a way to give him the benefit of the doubt? That being said, it is easy for me to think he deserves it, but again I don't have any money involved.

 

I am truly sorry for you guys, as for Doug, because I think everyone agrees that he is a pretty good guy, who ran into some hard times. I think everyone also hopes he can turn it around.

 

I hope that I haven't overstepped my bounds, I just felt that I had better say something on the subject, as I have a small idea of what Doug is going through.

 

Good luck to all involved.

 

Dave

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DebosDave,

 

hey I understand your position, Maybe you could help save this mess and his reputation and just pass the word on to Doug that he should Tie up his loose ends, atleast for the time being, and drop these guys and phone call, It sounds like Doug is a good guy and even good guys make bad mistakes, but I definetly think a phone call is warrented, just to touch basis. It appears as if doug is running from his problems and not putting them on hold. Atleast these guys would know his own intentions if he would call them, and it sound like these guys would stop the postings and just wait around.

 

but if you just wait around and doug is gone, no heli, no phone, not seen at all, these guys don't know what doug is up to or even if he is alive. Doug needs to call these people and let them know what exactly is going on and not push them aside, which is easy to do when you owe someone money...

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First off, don't take what I said as a defense for Doug, I would not handle the same situation in the same way. But, I hope I never have to find out just how I would respond or not. All I know is that he had a vandalism issue with one of his helicopters that put him back a ways, and then had a CFI continually damaging his aircraft. I don't know what else has happened, but my guess is if the guy had to move out of his house, it is a bigger problem than any of us can say. What would be best for everyone, is if Doug would come on and give his side of the story, until that point we are all just speculating.

 

I don't know Doug, I just had the opportunity to talk to him about his business, and it seemed like he was going through a tough spot. However, it appears that the trouble was more than he let on to me.

 

Like I said, I am not in your position, and I would be VERY UPSET also, just trying to suggest that maybe this would have been better resolved somewhere else than a public forum. If he doesn't have a school to be ruined, then what's the point of bringing this up here? If he left his house and his "business" what makes you think he is going to stick around here?

 

Again, I am very sorry for all the students of High Sierra Helicopters, and I also happen to feel badly for Doug, because I don't think he just grabbed and ran with your money. I am not saying he doesn't have a responsibility to your students who put a deposit down, just saying I don't think he diverted the money or pocketed it, but I guess until we here from Doug, none of us really know.

 

To answer your question Rotorookie, I am in the process of starting up a training school, but I will be involved with an established school, with hanger space, office space, and a helicopter. I would not leave my house, and my town and move to the other side of the country. But, I also can't comprehend why Doug has done this, if that's what he has done. So, without being in his situation, I guess I really can't say. I have to believe there is a better way to resolve this than packing up and leaving, so if that is indeed what happened, I can only say I feel horribly for you guys out there.

 

Dave

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Again, I am very sorry for all the students of High Sierra Helicopters, and I also happen to feel badly for Doug, because I don't think he just grabbed and ran with your money. I am not saying he doesn't have a responsibility to your students who put a deposit down, just saying I don't think he diverted the money or pocketed it, but I guess until we here from Doug, none of us really know.

 

He didn't "divert the money or pocket it"? What'd he do with it put it in a Swiss bank account. Of course he diverted it...to living expenses. The money is most probably never to be seen again and it sounds like HSH was a scam.

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I don't want to say I told you so... but a few months ago I brought to your attention Doug and HSH and his unscruplous dealings with Claudio in Tahoe. I mentioned how he took advantage of Claudio and had a R22 repossed. He was defended by someone who is now complaining here. I don't like saying this now but I tried to warn everyone on this forum. I would hope if anyone knew anything about someones business dealing, good or bad, they would come forward with it and not worry about " how great a guy " he was and not want to hurt his feelings. ...anyone who takes adavantage of someone in aviation whether it be Doug or Silver State need to be accountable. We all have problems...we just handel them in different ways.

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