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I'm hoping to start my helicopter training next month at NC Rotor and Wing (finally get to add to my .6 of logbook time) and my goal is to be a part time CFI until I "retire" in 25 years or so, or get tired of IT, which ever comes first. But in reading the pilot classifieds, there seems to be a general requirement of 180-200 Lbs. as a maximum for an instructor in the R22. I'm 6'2", 230 trending downward from 24*, what are the chances of finding employment as a r-22 CFI that weighs more than 200 Lbs.

 

Marlon

 

P.S. You can add "good for your health" to flying helicopters, as I've not been this motivated to put down the keyboard and get back into shape since god knows when.

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Your going to need some light students! At my school they require students & instructors not weight more then 210 pounds. I weigh in at 210 and my instructor is 205. It makes it really tough. Have to take doors off and take very little fuel.

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The school I'm at has a 200lb limit for instructors. With the R-22 once you get paste 400lbs in front you start running into CG limits. You can buy a little room with the doors off, but you're still going to be fuel limited. You shouldn't have a problem if you go with an S300 or R44, though...

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well good luck,

 

Im in the same boat as you, Im at 220 and still have some room to spare, I was 210 last summer, anyhow, the way I see it is to get some training in both for myself. I live very close to a small robinson school and I will probably get my private there, then I want to transition into a sweitzer school a couple of hours away, get my hours there and possibly just teach in the sweitzers and have experience in the robbies, that way when I do break 200 hours, hopefully teaching before that in a sweitzer, i will have my 200 tt and fifty of which in a robinson, that way if I am 210 or just on the limit, i may be able to teach in both.

 

but to make a long story short, us bigger guys are always going to be better off training and teaching in the sweitzer instead of trying to make it work in a r22, it just doesnt make sense. I cant beleive they would make a training helicopter that will not really hold two average size guys. I mean two guys at 200 pounds will be pushing the limit and cannot carry full fuel.

 

best of luck.

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As pointed out above, why didnt they make the Robbie able to carry slightly more weight. Im not talking about huge amounts, but if they could have made it so it would cope with say two 230lbs guys, it would be a lot more useful.

 

At the end of the day, if you have a big build (like myself), you dont even have to be overweight to still be too heavy for the R22. Which is a pain.

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As pointed out above, why didnt they make the Robbie able to carry slightly more weight. Im not talking about huge amounts, but if they could have made it so it would cope with say two 230lbs guys, it would be a lot more useful.

 

At the end of the day, if you have a big build (like myself), you dont even have to be overweight to still be too heavy for the R22. Which is a pain.

 

 

 

I feel you man, I am just about ten pounds over weight for my size, I have a very muscular build and still work out quite a bit. when i was in college, I was addicted to working out and I put on thirty five pounds in two years, now I just cant take that away, plus I was filling out cause i was still young. but man I feel as if I am a minority, or a fat ass or something. the instructor told me I would never get a job and my jaw just dropped. Because the robbies don't carry hardly any weight, it just makes me want to hate them and fly sweitzers anyway. that is so true about robbies limiting there market to only half the people in america. I think average size for a thirty year old man now is five foot eleven inches and two hundered pounds or something like that. but thirty years ago it was five foot ten inches and 170 pounds. anyway, I know i am not the only one in this boat and I also know that I would not have a single issue training and teaching in a sweitzer helicopter...

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Hey, im glad to see youre gonna attend NC rotor and wing! ok, i addmit, i work there. but it is a great school. I'm sure youve talked to Todd or Craig, theyre good guys, they'll treat you well. anyway, i would suggest getting down below 200. a 2 followed two other numbers doesnt look good when employers want a CFI. 190 is more marketable. especially with the R22. Good luck to you! im sure i'll meet you sometime.

 

kevin

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Fly an Alouette and you can be 300 pounds plus.

Bossman

 

 

Bossman-

 

I would love to be able to train in a turbine aircraft (especially since I am trying to lose 15 lbs to get under 240 to train in the R-22) but I have a couple of questions:

 

1. If it is really so economical to fly an Alouette, why aren't more schools doing it?

 

2. What good is spending extra to train in a turbine aircraft, if after getting my Comm, CFI, and CFII ratings, I have to spend another 750 hours teaching in R-22s or S-300s? Especially if after getting 1000 hours most companies will pay for turbine transitions when they hire? (offshore, tours, etc.)

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The R22 was not designed to be a trainer. That's why it is weight limited. It is a coincidence that it is the most popular trainer in the world. People like it as a trainer because is cost effective and reliable.

Get your weight down to 205-210 max, and you can find CFI work.

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Awesome.... a thread for big dudes!

 

I am sliding downward from 230, and although under the seat weight on the robbie, it just doesnt make sense to train in it for me. I am in the 300 and its great for us bigger guys. You can take fuel!

 

Before I decided on training where I am, I looked at Vortex in Louisiana. Great place! I loved the school, but the all-robbie fleet made me a bit nervous. Not in the training aspect, but when it came down to instructing. In my best shape I am about 199.999 pounds. After doing the math, it seemed to me that the speed of my hour building could be reduced due to the fact that I could not train just anyone who walked through the door. I would only be able to train smaller folks, which in turn could slow down the process.

 

I also looked at Van Nevel Academy in Century, Florida. They train in all turbine aircraft. (FH1100) It is slightly more per hour than the training I am currently doing in the Schweizer 300c, and COULD be a great place to train if they start building aircraft again. If they started building aircraft, and IF you could get on as an instructor there, then you walk out with 1000 hours of all turbine time and also as a factory pilot. Factory pilot means nothing unless they are manufacturing aircraft of course. Now, if you could not swing the instructor gig, you will have to then spring for 50 hours of robbie time on top of it all so that you could instruct in Robinsons. If you were to go instruct in Schweizers, then I believe all you would need are whatever hours would be required by your employer in order to do so.

 

Anyhoo, I am training in the 300C and I really like it. As I get smaller, I will also pick up enough robinson time to improve my chances at getting the CFI job down the road.

 

I have to agree with the initial poster.... not only has this helicopter thing been good for my mental health, it is good for overall health as well!

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Most Schweizer schools say they require 50 hours in the 300 for insurance. I have heard of insurance approving CFI's with less time in make and model though. If I were to do it all over again I would get at least 50 schweizer and at least 50 R22 and if possible 50 R44. From my own job searching experience, this would greatly increase the number of job possibilities as a CFI. You have to have 200hrs in helicopters to get a R22 job (SFAR 73) and most flight schools require 300TT because they use Pathfinder insurance. Schweizer schools can hire CFI's with less than 200 hours, but there are a lot less of those schools around.

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Bossman-

 

I would love to be able to train in a turbine aircraft (especially since I am trying to lose 15 lbs to get under 240 to train in the R-22) but I have a couple of questions:

 

1. If it is really so economical to fly an Alouette, why aren't more schools doing it?

 

2. What good is spending extra to train in a turbine aircraft, if after getting my Comm, CFI, and CFII ratings, I have to spend another 750 hours teaching in R-22s or S-300s? Especially if after getting 1000 hours most companies will pay for turbine transitions when they hire? (offshore, tours, etc.)

No one ever said it was economical to train in an Alouette. It is not. We offer the training to people who want to take advantage of turbine power, and to people who are larger and cannot get into the 22's, and some who are even stretching it for the 300C's. We make almost nothing on the training. If we're lucky we'll make $40.00 per hour. If something breaks it takes a lot of hours to recover the cost. Our pipeline and fire fighting business is good. This helps pay the bills.

I don't have an answer to your question on what good the turbine training will be if you have to go to teaching in a 22 or 300. I just know that if you are a helicopter pilot, you'll be able to fly almost any helicopter you crawl into, after some transition training on the quirks of the different types and models.

The "What good is turbine time" question has been raised many times. The only thing that I can say to that is that any time is good. Experience is the best teacher. I think you should try to get time in as many types and sizes that you can.

The cost of training in the Alouette's is not that far from the cost of the 22 or 300. This is not to say that you'll find an Alouette anywhere else in the country going for $300.00 per hour. You will not. The going rate for these machines is $600.00 per hour, plus pilot. We offer this to people who may not be able to afford the $600.00 Alouette or the $750.00 Jet Ranger. If someone does not want the turbine time for $300.00 per hour, "DON"T DO IT"!!!!!! It's here, it's available, you can use it toward any rating you are seeking. If you've got 20 hours in a 22 or 300, and want a change, come get 10 hours in an Alouette and go back and finish in the 22 or 300. We don't care if you get your rating with us or not. Come fly and have fun in the mountains of West Virginia. It's what we offer. Take advantage or not. It's always a choice.

Mike

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Bossman: Just do me a favor and don't raise the rate before I'm ready for some turbine time ;)

 

I wish you were closer, but at least it's less than a day of driving to WV from NC.

We just three days ago started a new student from NC. He's from Blowing Rock. The wind and weather has not been too cooperative since he's been here, but it will get better. You are more than welcome anytime you want to come see us. Right now, fuel would be the only reason to raise the rates. As long as we can keep it below $4.00 per gallon, we'll be able to stand the cost.

bossman

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That is good to know. Im 6ft 240-245 lbs. I know I need to lose some weight but even when I work out and excersize the lowest I get to is 230 lbs. I received my private for rotorcraft in an r22 and only have about 85 hours. Do you guys see a future for me in an r22? In a 300? Is there a market for guys like me in the helicopter industry? I want to make the career change but dont want to hit a dead end in the future after spending thousands of dollars.

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No one ever said it was economical to train in an Alouette. It is not. We offer the training to people who want to take advantage of turbine power, and to people who are larger and cannot get into the 22's, and some who are even stretching it for the 300C's. We make almost nothing on the training. If we're lucky we'll make $40.00 per hour. If something breaks it takes a lot of hours to recover the cost. Our pipeline and fire fighting business is good. This helps pay the bills.

I don't have an answer to your question on what good the turbine training will be if you have to go to teaching in a 22 or 300. I just know that if you are a helicopter pilot, you'll be able to fly almost any helicopter you crawl into, after some transition training on the quirks of the different types and models.

The "What good is turbine time" question has been raised many times. The only thing that I can say to that is that any time is good. Experience is the best teacher. I think you should try to get time in as many types and sizes that you can.

The cost of training in the Alouette's is not that far from the cost of the 22 or 300. This is not to say that you'll find an Alouette anywhere else in the country going for $300.00 per hour. You will not. The going rate for these machines is $600.00 per hour, plus pilot. We offer this to people who may not be able to afford the $600.00 Alouette or the $750.00 Jet Ranger. If someone does not want the turbine time for $300.00 per hour, "DON"T DO IT"!!!!!! It's here, it's available, you can use it toward any rating you are seeking. If you've got 20 hours in a 22 or 300, and want a change, come get 10 hours in an Alouette and go back and finish in the 22 or 300. We don't care if you get your rating with us or not. Come fly and have fun in the mountains of West Virginia. It's what we offer. Take advantage or not. It's always a choice.

Mike

 

Bossman- Thanks again for answering my questions. I didn't mean to seem negative or skeptical, I was just honestly interested. I hope that I can find the vacation and money to take a road trip for some turbine time.

 

(Hey honey, how about a vacation in the mountains of West Virginia?!...) Think she'll go for it? ;)

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klmmarine,

Tell the wife it's a business trip. She may be more apt to go for that, than a vacation to West Virginia. If she's not into hunting, fishing, 4 wheelers, and helicopters, there may not be a lot for her to do on your vacation. Come see us.

Mike

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Lately there has been more and more discussion about cheap turbine training on here and other websites. I don't think student pilots realize what they are getting themselves into when they attend these schools. Here's the problem:

 

Robinson and Schweizer are the top two training helicopters in the country. To teach in a Robby you need 200 hours helicopter, at least 50 in the Robbys. For a Schweizer you need 5 hours PIC. After attending one of these cheap turbine schools, where do you think you are qualified to instruct? One place, that's it, right where you trained. You have successfully reduced your instructing prospects down to 1 employer. Now, you need to get 50 hours in a Robinson, OR get 5 hours in a Schweizer, which doesn't sound all that hard. The problem is, there's no shortage of Schweizer guys running around, so you're bottom of the barrel. Sure you can try to find work other than instructing, but go have a look at the employment classifieds and tell me how many jobs there are out there for low time guys OTHER than instructing. The turbine time is useless without the TOTAL time. Lose a little weight, save a little cash, and help your job prospects: train in a Robby or a Schweizer.

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Lately there has been more and more discussion about cheap turbine training on here and other websites. I don't think student pilots realize what they are getting themselves into when they attend these schools. Here's the problem:

 

Robinson and Schweizer are the top two training helicopters in the country. To teach in a Robby you need 200 hours helicopter, at least 50 in the Robbys. For a Schweizer you need 5 hours PIC. After attending one of these cheap turbine schools, where do you think you are qualified to instruct? One place, that's it, right where you trained. You have successfully reduced your instructing prospects down to 1 employer. Now, you need to get 50 hours in a Robinson, OR get 5 hours in a Schweizer, which doesn't sound all that hard. The problem is, there's no shortage of Schweizer guys running around, so you're bottom of the barrel. Sure you can try to find work other than instructing, but go have a look at the employment classifieds and tell me how many jobs there are out there for low time guys OTHER than instructing. The turbine time is useless without the TOTAL time. Lose a little weight, save a little cash, and help your job prospects: train in a Robby or a Schweizer.

nsdqjr,

Can I be safe in thinking that you do not want to partake of our low cost turbine time? What exactly do you mean when you refer to "these schools"? At least 50 in Robbies, does that mean that you could have 150 in other types? You can either fly a helicopter and instruct in a helicopter, or you can't. Does your thinking mean that if the pilots that want a job with us have only trained in a Robby, we are not going to hire them? I think not. We can fly with a potential student or a job applicant and tell within the first 15 minutes what kind of attitude they have toward flying. The attitude is 75% of the learning curve. I'd like to fly for 15 minutes with you and check out your attitude. We hire pilots that only have a commercial license and teach them real world flying. They get 600 to 700 hours a year flying with us and go on to bigger and better things. This is the way of the helicopter pilot. We know that most of the guys that show up in West Virginia are here for the experience, and we try to give them that. As I said before, helicopter time is time, a potential employer does not pick a logbook apart, he flies with the applicant and tests his or her stick and attitude. The time is an insurance thing. I've seen 200 hour pilots that I'd go to war with, and 5000 hour pilots that I would not hover with. So, come fly with us and let's see which category and class you would fall into.

bossman

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nsdqjr,

Can I be safe in thinking that you do not want to partake of our low cost turbine time? What exactly do you mean when you refer to "these schools"? At least 50 in Robbies, does that mean that you could have 150 in other types? You can either fly a helicopter and instruct in a helicopter, or you can't. Does your thinking mean that if the pilots that want a job with us have only trained in a Robby, we are not going to hire them? I think not. We can fly with a potential student or a job applicant and tell within the first 15 minutes what kind of attitude they have toward flying. The attitude is 75% of the learning curve. I'd like to fly for 15 minutes with you and check out your attitude. We hire pilots that only have a commercial license and teach them real world flying. They get 600 to 700 hours a year flying with us and go on to bigger and better things. This is the way of the helicopter pilot. We know that most of the guys that show up in West Virginia are here for the experience, and we try to give them that. As I said before, helicopter time is time, a potential employer does not pick a logbook apart, he flies with the applicant and tests his or her stick and attitude. The time is an insurance thing. I've seen 200 hour pilots that I'd go to war with, and 5000 hour pilots that I would not hover with. So, come fly with us and let's see which category and class you would fall into.

bossman

 

"These Schools"= Schools that offer low cost turbine training. Fairly self-explanatory.

 

I know absolutely nothing about your operation, and have said nothing negative about your operation. What it all boils down to is requirements. As per SFAR 73, in order to instruct in a Robinson helicopter you must have at least 200 hours helicopter, with at least 50 of that in the Robby you want to instruct in. Having said that, if a student were to complete their CFI at a school that doesn't use Robinson helicopters they are not going to be able to instruct in them. Once you pay for a CFI, throwing 50 hours in an R22 on the end of that is an expensive proposition.

 

The Schweizer has no requirements other the 5 hours PIC required by 61.195(f). This isn't as costly as getting the 50 for a Robby, but is still an additional expense that could have been avoided had they trained in that aircraft to begin with. Also, as I stated in my other post, if I had a handful of resumes from prospective instructors who had time in my aircraft, and one resume from a guy with only 5 hours in my aircraft, his would end up on the bottom, regardless of his turbine experience.

 

I'm aware that you can hire whomever you like, the question is, how MANY can you hire? I'm not the guy that wrote the rules for this industry. I know there are other jobs out there, but bottom line, the fastest way to get hours is to instruct. Instructing does alot of things for a new pilot. He's forced to intimately learn the material, and he gets 800 or so hours of maneuvers, something that a tour operator, or other such job doesn't provide.

 

Last thing Bossman: Combat, been there done that, preach that to someone else. I don't need to go to WV to check my attitude or ability, the aircraft checks that for me every time I fly. My concern as an instructor is that students don't end up spending more money than they absolutely have to. This has zero reflection on your own operation, aircraft, or flight ability, all of which I'm sure are fine. Have a great day!

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nsdqjr,

So go get the 50 hours of Robbie time and then add some others to the mix. I see no harm in that. I don't know anything about your operation, either. From the jist and tone I suspect you are an instructor in Robbies. Your profile does not contain any details. You guys all try to tell the students that there is only one way to accomplish their goals. I'm telling them that they do not have to spend their time in a piston flying patterns around an airport. I'm telling them that just because they are 250 pounds they do not have to give up their dream of flying helicopters. We are not trying to put the Robbies and Schweizers out of business. We offer something different. The only rules in the industry that are different pertain to the Robinson. Yes, they are the most popular training aircraft. It's not because of their safety record or their ease in learning to operate, it's because of their low cost. It all boils down to economics, the Robinson is the least expensive to acquire and operate. We offer a low cost turbine time, in a helicopter that has been around for a lot of years and used in about every country in the world. It has the best safety record in the industry. Lately we have done a lot of research into the history and service of the Alouettes. The German Army sent us a copy of a study they conducted on their Alouettes. In "5 million" flight hours they had only one engine failure and no airframe failures. This holds true all over the world. In the USA their has been only 2 incidents recorded and no fatalities. This is in the last 30 years. Yes, I'm a fan of the Alouette line. Everyone knows that I have no love lost as far as the French are concerned, but they do build a hell of an aircraft. So bottom line is: you preach all you want about having to get all your time in a Robinson and I'll still say that you are wrong. Get the 50 hours needed and then experience the world of flying in as many types as you can afford while you're young. Time is time, it all goes into the logbook and is added up at the bottom of the page. The accumulation of time is only necessary for the addition of a rating or to prove that you are current. The insurance industry wants the 1000, 2000, 3000, etc. Yes, potential employers want to see your experience, they also want to see what types you have flown. One of our pilots just last year got a job with the Sherriff's department in Deland Florida flying new 407's with only 750 hours. So you see, the turbine time does help. Yes, it is a bit more expensive, but not much. So, allow the 20 or 30 hour student some turbine time. It all counts toward their license. I guess I'll be quiet now, sorry this got long.

bossman

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I hope that Bossman is right. I plan on doing most of my training in Robbies, but I also want to get as much time in other aircraft as possible (300s, R-44s, Turbines?). Surely a pilot with experience in a variety of aircraft is more valuable to a commercial operation than somebody who only flies R-22s.

 

On another note, who wants to fly R-22s forever. Surely the majority of pilots, and students out there would appreciate the opportunity to learn in as many different aircraft as they can afford. So I am planning to follow Bossmans advice, Get time in R-22s but also fly S-300s, and as many other aircraft as I can beg borrow or steal flight time for myself.

 

If on the otherhand you don't want to fly alternative aircraft, fine. Just don't begrudge the rest of us who do.

 

Heavy Pilots Unite!

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