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Learjet 60 to AS 350


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Hey guys,

 

I just had some questions. I am a guy that has been flying lear 24's, 35's, and now a lear 60 for 3 years. The boss is buying a new AS350 and he wants us to fly it. I am a multicommercial, CFI, with an LR-JET type and a LR-60 type rating and about 1200 hours jet and 1400 hours turbine (3000 total). What I am wondering is what it takes for me to get a helo commercial rating and how hard will it be to learn in the AS350? Also how hard will it be for me to add a CFI if I want to, my CFI for airplanes is still current. Thanks for your help

 

cyork25

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Hey guys,

 

I just had some questions. I am a guy that has been flying lear 24's, 35's, and now a lear 60 for 3 years. The boss is buying a new AS350 and he wants us to fly it. I am a multicommercial, CFI, with an LR-JET type and a LR-60 type rating and about 1200 hours jet and 1400 hours turbine (3000 total). What I am wondering is what it takes for me to get a helo commercial rating and how hard will it be to learn in the AS350? Also how hard will it be for me to add a CFI if I want to, my CFI for airplanes is still current. Thanks for your help

 

cyork25

 

 

I think I would re-post this in the general forum..flight training forum gets a lot of students...I'm envious. You can get your commercial in 150 hours or so....and that doesnt sound hard to get. You could save your boss a quick 50K if he pays to have you learn in a 300 first and then advance into the AS ( lots cheaper per hour to maintain). However, most clients of this caliber usually dont care !

You should pick up the helo easy enough, I know several jet/helo pilots that love flying both.

 

Goldy

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You teach me to fly the Lear….. And I’ll teach you to fly the helicopter…… Deal?

 

I flew with a couple of guys in the same situation as you. High time jet drivers, the boss bought an S76, they had “0” helicopter time. They did all their add-on, Private thru CFII in Schweizer 300. They had no problem with the transition.

 

I tell ya, some guys just have all the luck :(

 

Fly safe

Clark B)

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Welcome...

 

I am a jet driver as well, and also a CFII in helicopters. Also flew Lear 24's, 25's, and 35's, and a few other turbojets... In the past, I have helped several jet drivers obtain a helicopter commercial add-on. The FAA requires 55 hours for the add-on if you break down the hours required by the FAR's. Most guys I have done it with take from just over 55 hours, and none much over 70... There is 35 hours of solo required if you don't do a private rating first, so you will bore a lot of holes in the sky by yourself. It doesn't take 150 hours as mentioned before. I think Goldy was talking about starting from scratch. There are a few habits in fixed wing, that you'll have to break yourself of in the helicopter. Once you do that, it is an easy transition. After the add-on, the insurance will be mighty high, until you break some significant hourly milestones. Also, getting the helicopter instrument rating may help lower your insurance rate, and it would be easy for you to obtain if you're decent in your IFR abilities (which you probably are).

 

Regards...

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You can get your commercial in 150 hours or so....and that doesnt sound hard to get. You could save your boss a quick 50K if he pays to have you learn in a 300 first and then advance into the AS ( lots cheaper per hour to maintain).

Since you are already rated you are just adding the rotorcraft rating so you can get it with way less than 150 hours. You need 150 total time (which includes any f-w time) 100 PIC (also incl f-w) 50 hours in a helicopter 35 of which are PIC (so either solo or do your private add-on first). So all you really need is 50 hours helicopter. I just had two students finish adding their commercail, one did his private first and ended up with about 60 hours, the other guy went straight for commercial and had 57 hours when he was done.

 

There should be a couple threads on this subject already.

 

Good luck

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Actually you can do it with just 50 hours at a part 141 school. I'm not sure how much would need to be solo but I'm sure its less than 61.

 

On a side note. You can get into real trouble flying an Astar around with just the bare minimums of flight time. The Astar is deff not a begginner aircraft and someone with a little amount of helo can get into trouble as situations arise. I knew of a very similar situation to your where a guy as a capt in a Gulfstream and the boss went ahead a bought an AS350Ba. The pilot was transitioned into it and within a year he got into Settling with Power and wrecked the helicopter. Luckiliy no one was hurt but it just goes to show how difficult it can be. It's the same thing if my boss wanted to get a citation and wanted me to fly it. I'm sure that it wouldnt take long for me to bang it up due to my inexeperience in stuck wings.

 

Just food for thought but good luck and be carefull.

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Just to clarify a point of possible confusion.... FAR 61.129 ( c )( 1 ) says "50 hours in a helicopter 35 of which are PIC", but if you add up each item of aeronautical experience under FAR 61.129 ( c ) individually, the total is 55 hours if everything is done helicopters. It would be 35 hours of solo and 20 hours of training. If you substitute at least 5 hours of the training required under FAR 61.129 ( c )( 3 ) with instrument training in an airplane as the aircraft used the perform the training, then yes, you can complete the training for the rating in 50 hours. This is part 61 of course.... I worked at a part 141 school once, but never did the add-on under 141.

 

This thread may be helpful.

 

On the other subjects that 500pilot mentioned, I also know a transitioned low time AS350 pilot that balled up the helicopter not once, but twice (and, no, I didn't instruct this individual, in case you're wondering ;) ).. Not claiming that I know how hard it is to fly though, but have heard some mention... If you're talking about an earlier Citation, like a Citation II, or something similar, that is one of the the easiest to fly aircraft IMO. Just follow the numbers... The systems are easy too. If you get an offer like that again, take it! Besides... If two pilots are required for the crew, someone is there to keep you out of trouble, presuming it is not a C551 or one of the other single pilot machines.

 

Cheers....

Edited by nbit
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When Da Boss hired you to fly the Lear, did he make sure that you had never flown a jet before? Or did he want somebody with plenty of time on type?

 

Same with the chopper flying. An important guy shouldn't hop in a chopper with somebody with a bare licence, even if you have a squillion hours in a jet. Hire an experienced pilot.

 

And anyway, after you have flown a long segment in the jet, and he wants to hop out of it into the chopper for the last leg to the ranch / beach house, you don't want to be tired when you start out. You would be leaving the jet without properly putting it to bed, your preflight on the chopper would be rushed (important guys don't like sitting around while you do a fuel drain and climb around the roof). Same will happen when he goes the other way. Rushed transition out of the chopper into the jet, launch off ... darn, forgot to remove the pitot covers!

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cyork25-

Was I you, I'd think long and hard before I reported for duty with a brand new, low time helo commercial. You can get your R/W Helo CPL in 55, 60, or 70 hours. But the truth is you'll fly like a "55, 60, or 70 hour" helo pilot, and I wouldn't put a good job on the line against that level of skill. You'd be better served putting a helo driver in the helo until you get a couple hundred hours.

 

The AS350 is a fairly straightforward helicopter. It's not as easy to hover, auto, or land as the 2-bladed Bells, but it flys better than them. The 350's not as forgiving in emergencies, either, But, the Turbomeca in the 350 is stone simple and reliable.

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Guess I should add that the two mentioned above were not turned loose in the 76 alone. The company hired a couple high time helicopter drivers as well.

 

Clark B)

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  • 1 month later...

Having been in much the same place as you are a couple of years ago, I will pass on some points of my experience. If you trained like I did while I was still working, your flight time may be higher than the minimum. So plan on it. Also do your training in a piston helicopter. It is a big change when you are landing a helicopter and you notice your speed over the ground and your first thought is "$hit I taxi faster than this". And you will have that thought.

 

Your insurance company will most likely require you to go through the factory school which is in the DFW area. And have an experienced AStar pilot fly with you for a fixed amount of flight time.

 

I would recommend that you get the Helicopter Instrument rating and consider also getting the CFI. These rating will not only reduce your insurance costs ut also make you a more proficient pilot.

 

Good luck, I am envious.

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