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Hey Everyone

 

I've been trying very hard to make my helicopter dream happen, but it doesn't feel any closer. I just can't afford it. I have one more idea though!

 

As of the time of this post, there are 6,311 registered users at Vertical Reference. If every user sent me $10.......

 

Kidding!

 

I'd like to start a list of ways to reduce training costs to get from 0 hours to employable as a helicopter pilot. I'm aware of a few, but I'm hoping that some of you out there may be able to provide some new ideas. If I get some good responses, I'll keep this top post updated. Maybe it will be helpful to someone besides myself.

 

For most people there's no easy way to make this dream happen, but maybe we can get a little bit closer by using the resources we ARE able to come up with in a more efficient manner.

 

I'll start with five and add on what you all suggest.

  1. Self-study for your ground school. Read and learn what's freely available through FAA published handbooks. Not only will you save money on ground school, you can learn at your own pace and be a step ahead of your flight lessons.
  2. Look at community colleges for cheap ground school if you don't want to self-study.
  3. Get the medical and written test out of the way before you start training.
  4. Use MyWrittenExam.com to prep for the written.
  5. Don't start serious training until you have enough money to train frequently. Long periods of time between lessons hurts retention.
  6. Sign up for the FREE FAA safety seminars out the FAA.gov website.
  7. Join AOPA. You get their flight training magazine and access to their website for about $40 bucks a year.
  8. Be prepared for each flight. Study the appropriate ground school material and the maneuvers you'll be doing.
  9. "Armchair fly." Spend spare time visualizing flying in your head. Repetition is an important part of many aviation procedures.
  10. Sit in the helicopter. It costs nothing. Close your eyes and fly it. Look at where everything is. Consider setting your training craft's cockpit as your wallpaper/screensaver or buy a cockpit poster to hang somewhere you spend a lot of time.
  11. Use a simulator if one is available. It can help you become familiar with the craft and certain concepts in a less stressful situation.
  12. Listen to ATC. Buy a radio scanner or listen on LiveATC.net. Listen to your home airport if possible. The radio is a big hurdle for a lot of students and can be distracting when trying to improve other aspects of flying.
  13. Squeeze every second out of the clock. For example, get ATIS before you turn the master battery on.
  14. Limit the length of lessons (usually to about an hour). Long lessons aren't an efficient use of flight time.
  15. Look and ask for block rates on aircraft time or look into flying clubs for cheaper rentals.
  16. Once you get your license, never fly by yourself. You can take passengers that want to chip in as long as you pay for your share of the flight.
  17. Stay involved. Always be thinking, reading, or talking aviation. Ask questions and read answers to other people's questions. There's a good chance you'll have a similar question later on.
  18. Hang out at the airport when you can. Talk to pilots. Make contacts. Ride along on other flights when you can.
  19. Get a job where you'll be training. Get to know the aircraft and airport operations. Meet the instructors and pilots that operate at your airport. Some schools might even give you an employee discount on rentals and instruction.
  20. Get some Schweizer 300 time so you can instruct with fewer hours.
  21. Let the military pay for the training.
  22. Take 300 1/2 hour intro flights.

Please add ideas!

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How to save money?

 

That is a challenge, because flight training costs what it does, and there isn't much of a way around that.

 

Your suggestions are good ones, the biggest being to study before each lesson and to use the self-help resources that the FAA and others provide.

 

You can always search out a less expensive flight school, however you often get what you pay for, so that only works to a point.

 

One suggestion to add is to include Schweizer 300 training, so that you can teach with less than 200 hours of flight time. Be sure to still get some R-22 time since that is what most schools use, however there are options with time other than R-22.

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Great suggestions guys. Thanks!

 

Keep 'em comin!

 

Join the Army, let them pay for it. :unsure:

 

For me personally, I would absolutely love to. I'd even love to join the Army as foot soldier. I've tried for years, but they won't accept me. I have a small medical issue that the Army won't look past but the FAA will--I can still get a 1st Class medical.

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RW I think you are baiting him just a little ;)

 

Do we really want another Cyrak (I don't want to join Mr. Bush's war) fiasco?

 

LOL, Don't you mean the "I want to be like you but I don't want to do what any of you had to do to get there" "so send me money" Fiasco? :rolleyes:

 

Actually I was just pointing out the millitary will help pay for flight school if you have your PPL.

 

The bottom line here folks is there is no "Cheap" flight training. It's expensive and getting more expensive every day. Besides flight training is something you don't want to be cheap with, your life depends on it.

 

If you want to save money on flight training get your writen tests and medical out of the way before you start. Make sure you are well prepared for each lesson. Eat, Sleep, and live aviation. Hang out at the airport as much as possible. Make contacts.

 

There will be bumps in the road with flight training. Just keep at it and it will happen for you.

Remember if this was easy everyone would be doing it. Good Luck!

 

RW

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LOL, Don't you mean the "I want to be like you but I don't want to do what any of you had to do to get there" "so send me money" Fiasco? rolleyes.gif

 

LMAO Good one!!

 

As far as reducing costs, if you find out, let me know! This is sure cuttin' into my Miller Money! :wacko:

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LMAO Good one!!

 

As far as reducing costs, if you find out, let me know! This is sure cuttin' into my Miller Money! :wacko:

 

Drink PBR. or Beast if your desperate.

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The only thing PBR is good for is to boil your shrimp! ;)

 

Try some hot dogs boiled in PBR. ;) I grew up on PBR... :blink: err... when I became 21... and stuff... definitely an acquired taste! :lol:

Edited by Sparker
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OK time to get this post back on track.

 

Probably my favorite subject. Students have no idea what is out there for free or next to nothing.Here's a few.

 

1. Self study for your ground school. Spend $50 bucks on some books and a couple CD's and use www.mywrittenexam.com to prep for the written. Not only will you save money on ground school, you can learn at your own pace and be a step ahead of your flight lessons.

 

2. Go to community college. Some have aviation programs. My instrument ground school, over 40 hours worth, cost me less than $200 dollars including books.

 

3. Listen to the radio! Radio work is distracting from learning to fly...too much going on at once. The quicker you get the radio into your brain on autopilot, the faster you can pay attention to flying. Use the websites out there, I think www.myatc.net is still around...listen to most major airports for free, or buy a handheld aviation scanner...about $100 bucks and start listening.

 

4. Sign up for the FREE FAA safety seminars out the faa.gov website. I have attended at least 6 in the last two years, even the coffee is free.

 

5. Join AOPA. Yeah, its a lot of fixed wingers. You get their flight training magazine and access to their website all for about $40 bucks a year.

 

6. Once you get your PPL never fly by yourself. You can take passengers that want to chip in as long as they all pay an equal share along with you. ( Wow, if you cant quote that section verbatim in Part 61..start reading!)

 

7. Flight time- I listen to ATIS on my cell phone b4 I crank on the master battery. The second the clock is running, I want to be going thru start up procedures and moving, not listening to ATIS.

 

8. Dont take 2 hour flights as a student. Its too exhausting. I remember 1.2 or 1.3 being plenty of time for each flight.

 

9. Use the simulator. You can find some in the 50-75 range. Early on, I think it can really help a new student get familiar with everything and where it is. Again, the more familiar you are with things going on, the more you can learn new stuff on each flight.

 

10. Sit in the helicopter. It costs nothing. close your eyes and fly it. Look at where everything is. I kept the R22 cockpit as my computer screen saver so I was always reminded where every instrument was.

 

11. Visualize- Spend time at home or sitting in your car flying your helicopter. It also costs nothing. Do an approach in your mind, talk to the tower..just dont let the neighbors see. Its all about repitition, and the more its repeated the more its locked in your brain. Why pay $250 and hour for the experience. If you wish, you can pay me $250 an hour, and you can park in my driveway.

 

12. Hang out with pilots. There are always flights that come up, even if you are just a back seat passenger you learn something....approaches to a strange airport, etc.

 

13. Hang out with pilots, oh, did I say that one already, OK, hang out with pilots. Ask questions, use your resources. VR is the best, ask questions, the clock is running.

 

 

Good luck in your training, there are plenty more ideas out there.

 

Goldy

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sorry, server posted it twice ! Maybe it thought it was so good it deserved two postings !

Edited by Goldy
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11. Visualize- Spend time at home or sitting in your car flying your helicopter. It also costs nothing. Do an approach in your mind, talk to the tower..just dont let the neighbors see. Its all about repitition, and the more its repeated the more its locked in your brain. Why pay $250 and hour for the experience. If you wish, you can pay me $250 an hour, and you can park in my driveway.

 

Good stuff Goldy, Thanks. BTW... you must have one awesome driveway ;)

 

What kind of radio do you recommend? I am into gadgets and I always want the $400 one... any suggestions?

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Good stuff Goldy, Thanks. BTW... you must have one awesome driveway ;)

 

What kind of radio do you recommend? I am into gadgets and I always want the $400 one... any suggestions?

 

 

You can go cheap and just get the scanner, or like most pilots, sooner or later you want to carry a handheld back -up, which will run 3-400. For the radio, I personally prefer ICOM, they come with or without VOR capability..

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