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Buying a Helo, What to Look For ?


lwalling
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I'm still in flight training, but my ultimate intention is to purchase a 4 seat helicopter - most likely an R44 since I'm training in one and they are so readily available. It would be nice to complete some of my training in my own helo as well, since I'm really just getting started and have a long way to go if I am to obtain my instrument and commercial ratings.

 

I know the basics, obvious signs of abuse/flight training use I believe, what else should I be looking for?

 

I've noticed several 97~ R44 Astro's in online listings with 800-1000 hours for around $150,000. This seems cheap. I know when they hit 12 years old, or 2200hrs, that an overhaul is required - which amounts to what on average? I'd still have 2 good years of flight before such an overhaul would be required in an example like the above.

 

I also know that I'd prefer a Raven :) with the nice hydraulic controls, but a difference of over $100k in the used market makes the irritating cyclic shake less painful!

 

What am I missing?

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Robinson's web site has a page which gives cost of parts and labor for

overhaul. Factory overhaul on a twelve year old 44 in good condition will cost you about 160K.

A new 44 Raven I will cost you about 300K.

I did the Math a year ago, bought a new 44 from Old City Helicopters in

St. Augustine Florida.

If you decide to buy used look for low hours, no damage history and a ship with enough years left to run out the hours.

 

gft

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I've heard overhaul numbers as low as $60k for the 12 year on a good condition 44, granted, I have no basis for comparison and the factory numbers show just about what you're saying. I assume theres some flexibility in component pricing (markup) and to some degree labor with different authorized shops.

 

Overhaul at $60k doesn't sound so bad, $160k sounds terrible though :).

 

Robinson's web site has a page which gives cost of parts and labor for

overhaul. Factory overhaul on a twelve year old 44 in good condition will cost you about 160K.

A new 44 Raven I will cost you about 300K.

I did the Math a year ago, bought a new 44 from Old City Helicopters in

St. Augustine Florida.

If you decide to buy used look for low hours, no damage history and a ship with enough years

left to run out the hours.

 

gft

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