Jump to content

private or commercial first?


Recommended Posts

I think I know the answer to this but I am a commercial fixed wing pilot looking for a commercial add-on. Should I go for my private and then my commercial or just get my commercial add-on. I am familiar with the additional solo I would need to go the commercial (35 hours PIC of which known of my dual would count) route but think that would be beneficial anyways. also it will cost me around $1000 to fly (I am about 3 hrs round trip to a DPE) and take my checkride. One checkride would seem better then two. Anyone take the commercial route first? Or do most people just the private then commercial route?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you doing this for fun or for a career? If fun, do two rides because that PIC building time you can take family, friends, and not be all the endorsement regs about where & when you can fly.

 

If you're trying to just get the commercial done and out of the way, you might consider knocking that PIC time out solo because of the DPE cost & delay. However, the commercial checkride--just like the fixed wing one you took--is held to much higher standards and takes extra dual......dual that you won't be receiving PIC time for. And PIC time is very important for insurance & state regs (especially in EMS).

 

I would call your local FSDO and try to arrange the ride with an Inspector. It might take a long time to get them to fly one in for you, but it'll be a free ride with all the expenses on the US Government. For Robinson checkrides here in St. Louis, they used to fly a guy in from the FSDO in Louisville, KY. After a few trips the local FSDO paid for some of their guys to get checked out in the R22 & R44, and nominated several local instructors to get their DPE. Paying to fly a DPE in is BS.....the FAA has to provide you with an Inspector one isn't [reasonably] local.

 

One other note, why not go ahead and do the Private ride, THEN do your commercial & CFI in the same ride? Then the instrument & CFII in the same ride again. I used do that all the time with my students. And MAYBE, since they're all add-ons for you, you could do all FOUR in one ride. That's what I'm going to do in the airplane.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And MAYBE, since they're all add-ons for you, you could do all FOUR in one ride. That's what I'm going to do in the airplane.

 

fwiw, a DPE is limited to 2 checkrides in one day. same applies to a inspector from a FSDO. ( some DPE's work around this by giving 2 checkrides, then doing the oral for the third one, then completing the flight portion the next day.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know, but I think that the 35 hours of PIC are much more productive if they are done after you have your private. You can then do the PIC with an instructor and do something other than fly around burning holes in the sky. We've talked about this before, but I started out with the intention of doing the Commercial add-on as well, ended up doing the Private then the commercial. I still haven't found anyone that has done a Commercial add-on without doing the Private first.

I think Delorean has the right idea with the Private first, then combine the com/cfi, then the inst/cfii.

 

Fly Safe

Clark B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were going your route, I would find a 141 school and do it add on and then you don't have to do all the PIC flights. Much more structured and there's no benifit to getting your private first. Having said that, you won't be able to carry pax until you're rated, but the hours doing this route shouldn't be much more than had you gotten your private initially, depending on your aptitude to helicopters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I currently have 2 students going straight for their commercial add-on, without doing the private ride first.

 

 

Doing the math here (part 61), looking at the regs on what you have to do, if you go for private first you have: 3 hours x-c training, 10 hours solo and 3 hours night so you have 16 hours plus the time you spend getting ready to solo and the time you spend polishing your maneuvers.

Say you spend 7 hours before you solo (commercial fixed wingers usually picks up stuff pretty quickly) and 10 hours to polish maneuvers, both low numbers mind you. That comes out to about 33 hours for your private. But still only 10 of them as PIC (plus your checkride). So you need at least 25 more PIC, of which at least 5 night have to be solo, in preparation for your commercial, total comes to about 58 hours (33 from private, plus 25 PIC for commercial). This is assuming you do everything in minimum hours

 

If on the other hand you go straight for commercial: You spend the same time to get signed off for solo, 7 hours. You have to do 35 hours solo to get your PIC......that comes out to a total of 42. You also need 2 hours day, and 2 hours night x-c dual......so total of 46 hours.

Then you have to spend some time polishing your maneuvers, say 15 hours. This brings the total up to 61 hours......so about 3 hours more than the option above.

 

 

So cost-wise, they amount to pretty much the same amount in my eyes. If you get your private first you will have extra cost with an additional check ride, and potentially taking friends and family up, which does not benefit you a whole lot in a training aspect.

All in all, both ways will take you to your certification in about the same amount of hours (read: money) and time, just depends on how you wanna get there.

Edited by flyby_heli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I know the answer to this but I am a commercial fixed wing pilot looking for a commercial add-on. Should I go for my private and then my commercial or just get my commercial add-on. I am familiar with the additional solo I would need to go the commercial (35 hours PIC of which known of my dual would count) route but think that would be beneficial anyways. also it will cost me around $1000 to fly (I am about 3 hrs round trip to a DPE) and take my checkride. One checkride would seem better then two. Anyone take the commercial route first? Or do most people just the private then commercial route?

 

I did my private first. The prep for the checkride gave me a lot more discipline--which I needed. I then worked on my instrument add-on and commercial at the same time. I got my commercial next, then CFI, finished up my instrument and CFII add-ons. It would have worked out better, but I had a school that would train you without much for goals (I had to pretty much dictate what my lessons would be once I soloed), plus I took a lot of friends for rides after I got my private instead of concentrating strictly on the instrument rating. I had a lot of fun, though! I would recommend the same route for almost anyone.

 

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK- consider this a really stupid angle to take..but....What ever happened to acquiring the skill needed to fly the helicopter? As a fixed wing pilot you probably have some great skills......which are exactly the opposite of what you need to do in a helicopter. All this talk about saving a few hours to go one route or the other doesnt take into consideration how many hours its going to take to make you a proficient helicopter pilot. Not everyone acquires that skill in the bare minimum of hours. In your case, the radio and airspace is a no brainer, but it may take some time to "un" learn a few airplane skills. Learning to really use the pedals...learning not to dive the ship like you would in a stall in a plane....changing some of your instinct during emergency procedures..etc.

 

So bottom line. I would get my skills up, go private, then go commercial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK- consider this a really stupid angle to take..but....What ever happened to acquiring the skill needed to fly the helicopter? As a fixed wing pilot you probably have some great skills......which are exactly the opposite of what you need to do in a helicopter. All this talk about saving a few hours to go one route or the other doesnt take into consideration how many hours its going to take to make you a proficient helicopter pilot. Not everyone acquires that skill in the bare minimum of hours. In your case, the radio and airspace is a no brainer, but it may take some time to "un" learn a few airplane skills. Learning to really use the pedals...learning not to dive the ship like you would in a stall in a plane....changing some of your instinct during emergency procedures..etc.

 

So bottom line. I would get my skills up, go private, then go commercial.

Some valid points here, but.......

 

Since the actual checkrides are identical (except on a private the autorotation can be straight in or 180 at the examinors discretion) just with higher standards at the commercial level, it should not take that much extra effort to get to a level where you are able to keep the ship within 50 feet of your altitude instead of 100, or within 5 knots of assigned airspeed instead of 10. You need the "helicopter flying" skill to do your private license too, so wether you spend an extra 10-15 hours acquiring that skill before your private or you go straight for your commercial should not matter that much. The time you spend doing dual training to acquire this skill can not be logged as PIC either way, so even if the person doesn't finish in minimum hours, the cost and timeframe will still be pretty much the same for both options.

 

Most commercial fixed wing guys have so much "aviation" already in them, that they know what it takes and they learn much faster than the average student.

At least that's my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK- consider this a really stupid angle to take..but....What ever happened to acquiring the skill needed to fly the helicopter? As a fixed wing pilot you probably have some great skills......which are exactly the opposite of what you need to do in a helicopter. All this talk about saving a few hours to go one route or the other doesnt take into consideration how many hours its going to take to make you a proficient helicopter pilot. Not everyone acquires that skill in the bare minimum of hours. In your case, the radio and airspace is a no brainer, but it may take some time to "un" learn a few airplane skills. Learning to really use the pedals...learning not to dive the ship like you would in a stall in a plane....changing some of your instinct during emergency procedures..etc.

 

So bottom line. I would get my skills up, go private, then go commercial.

 

In my training, I didn't find that I had to "unlearn" any of my airplane flying skills. The control principles are similar between the two. For example, they both climb and descend due to an excess or deficit of power, respectively. And going faster or slower requires pitching the nose down or up, as appropriate. To increase your descent angle on an approach, you reduce power on both; to decrease your airspeed you pitch the nose up.

 

The control principles are similar, but the methods are different. Helicopters and airplanes have completely different flight controls. So learning to fly a helicopter is not a difficult process for an airplane pilot. There is nothing to unlearn, but many NEW things to learn. If you have a helicopter student that is an airplane pilot and is shoving the cyclic forward to level off from climb or initiate a descent, then he/she is probably not a very good airplane pilot either.

 

Of course, there are some things you don't do in a helicopter that you CAN do in an airplane. And these involve diving or shoving the cyclic forward abruptly. It is not a common practice to "shove" the nose down abruptly! That is not how you level off from a climb or avoid an imminent stall, or even recover from a stall. If you do that in an airplane, you won't get mast bumping, droop stop grinding, or some other disasterous result; you'll merely float a few things in the cabin. But it is not a normal maneuver. If you dive an airplane, you will pick up excessive airspeed rather quickly. Once again, it CAN be done, but a 20-degree pitch down descent is by no means a normal maneuver!

 

In a helicopter, you make an approach by gradually slowing the ship until you're at zero airspeed and a 3-5 foot hover simultaneously. NEVER try that in an airplane! :o Oh, and don't ever try to land an airplane on the top of a building, or on an off-shore oil platform. That can be as bad as mast bumping in a helicopter.

 

(Aerobatics notwithstanding.) :D

 

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

fwiw, a DPE is limited to 2 checkrides in one day. same applies to a inspector from a FSDO. ( some DPE's work around this by giving 2 checkrides, then doing the oral for the third one, then completing the flight portion the next day.)

 

I know that DPEs are limited to giving TWO people at ONCE the oral portion of checkride. Where did you see that they could only give two checkride in one day?

 

As far as FAA inspectors, I've seen them do 5+ checkrides somedays. They can also do obscure things like, giving the oral portion of the ride to a whole classroom, let two CFI applicants give each other a checkride while they sit in the back, etc. They pretty much have free reign as long as everything in the PTS is met as I understand it. But I'm sure it varies by FSDO and the inspectors themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that DPEs are limited to giving TWO people at ONCE the oral portion of checkride. Where did you see that they could only give two checkride in one day?

 

As far as FAA inspectors, I've seen them do 5+ checkrides somedays. They can also do obcure things like, giving the oral portion of the ride to a whole classroom, let two CFI applicants give each other a checkride while they sit in the back, etc. They pretty much have free reign as long as everything in the PTS is met as I understand it. But I'm sure it varies by FSDO and the inspectors themselves.

 

 

simple. just call the FSDO in your area and talk to the program administrator for the DPE's and ask him.

 

i will take a look through my documentation, but i believe the directive for 2 checkrides a day came from ok city. their interpretation was it usually takes 4+ hours to administer one checkride (if done by their standards) so the number was limited to 2.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that DPEs are limited to giving TWO people at ONCE the oral portion of checkride. Where did you see that they could only give two checkride in one day?

 

As far as FAA inspectors, I've seen them do 5+ checkrides somedays. They can also do obcure things like, giving the oral portion of the ride to a whole classroom, let two CFI applicants give each other a checkride while they sit in the back, etc. They pretty much have free reign as long as everything in the PTS is met as I understand it. But I'm sure it varies by FSDO and the inspectors themselves.

 

If you look in FAA Order 8710.3E, Chapter 5, Paragraph 11. A., you will see the limitation on the number of exams an examiner can give in a day.

 

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you look in FAA Order 8710.3E, Chapter 5, Paragraph 11. A., you will see the limitation on the number of exams an examiner can give in a day.

 

Jeff

 

thanks jeff!

 

A. Number of Practical Tests Per Day. An examiner must not conduct more than two original airman certification practical tests (i.e., initial issuance of a Recreational Pilot Certificate, Private Pilot Certificate, Commercial Pilot Certificate, ATP Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, Flight Engineer Certificate, or Instrument Rating) in any 24-hour period, unless that examiner has received written permission from the supervising FSDO. A practical test in this paragraph means a certificate action that is completed (i.e., issuance of FAA Form 8060-4, FAA Form 8060-5, or a letter of discontinuance).

 

 

They can also do obscure things like, giving the oral portion of the ride to a whole classroom, let two CFI applicants give each other a checkride while they sit in the back, etc.

 

from the Designated Pilot and Flight Engineer Examiners' Handbook:

 

D. Testing More than One Applicant at a Time. Except in the circumstances listed below, applicants must be tested individually and separately. The FAA has determined this practice of restricting simultaneous testing ensures confidentiality and the quality of the test. Only the supervising FSDO may approve simultaneous testing, and only under the following conditions:

(1) Simultaneous testing must be limited to the oral portion of an aircraft type rating practical test.

(2) No more than two applicants may be tested simultaneously, and only if they were trained in the same aircraft and training course. If an applicant prefers to be tested separately, the examiner must conduct the test individually.

(3) Simultaneous testing may not be permitted for the original issuance of the grade of pilot certificate (i.e., 5-7

8710.3E 4/21/06

private pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, or ATP certificate).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

unless that examiner has received written permission from the supervising FSDO

 

Only the supervising FSDO may approve simultaneous testing,

 

Like it says, the FSDO is in control of the DPEs via that book. But an FAA Inspector does not work out of that book and can perform all kinds of different tests as he or she see fit. I have personally been involved in checkrides contrary to the conditions laid out in the DPE book (as an applicant and the instructor to applicants.) This is why I perfer to use FAA Inspectors for checkrides rather than DPEs.....lots of options and no examiner's fee. But then again, we have a very librel FSDO staffed mostly with high time ex-military helicopter pilots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much folks for the input and advise. I really appreciate it. So on top of my commercial add-on what is the typical amount of hours one might need to get their CFI? I would love to get it and have been looking at the regs. unsure how much time is required or typical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once you have got your commercial rating you can go straight for the CFI, same day if you want. That is as long as you are qualified, have taken your two written tests, and have been signed off for your oral/practical exam. There are no hour-requirements.

 

Normally though, it takes at least 10+ hours extra. You will have to learn to talk a lot more during the maneuvers, and explain what you are doing. You will also have to fly the ship from the opposite side of what you are used to, this takes a couple hours getting used to in the beginning.

Then you have to be able to determine why the maneuver didn't work out as planned, and what needs to be fixed/how to fix it.

And last but not least, the fulldown auto needs to be mastered.

The oral portion of the exam also seems to have quite a bit higher standards and different questions then the commercial one.

 

I recommend doing all your checkrides with the same examinor if possible. This way you "get to know" him, and know what he is looking for. And he will more than likely not ask you the same questions over on the different rides (unless he finds a weak area that is). It will also calm your nerves on the second and third ride, because you have already flown with the guy before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recommend doing all your checkrides with the same examinor if possible. This way you "get to know" him, and know what he is looking for. And he will more than likely not ask you the same questions over on the different rides (unless he finds a weak area that is). It will also calm your nerves on the second and third ride, because you have already flown with the guy before.

 

I concur. I took all five helicopter checkrides with the same examiner. After a couple rides, you start to develop a rapport with the examiner. And that's a good thing.

 

Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...