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Instrument Training S300 vs R44


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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm looking for some advice regarding my instrument training. I'm now working on my private and plan to begin my instrument immediately after and use the hours toward my commercial. I'm currently training at an R22/R44 school. Instrument training at my school is done in an R44.

 

I've been considering switching schools for my instrument so that I can train in a 300 rather than the R44. It will save me considerable money and give me enough hours in the 300 to open up Schweizer schools when I am looking for my first instructor job. I would then do my CFII at my current school in the R44.

 

My current school says that the benefit to R44 training is the faster speed of the R44 vs S300. They say that you can shoot several more approaches in a given hour over the S300, but also admit that most students are able to finish their instrument training in the minimum 40 hours. Given that, does it matter if you can shoot more approaches in that 40 hours?

 

Any advice here is greatly appreciated. Is my thinking correct that training in the S300 will save me money and make me more marketable as an instructor? Is there a benefit to having the R44 time that makes me more marketable at 1000 hours?

 

Thanks,

 

PJFan

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IMHO it isn't going to make a significant difference those few more approaches you can make in the 44.

What it comes down to... and I believe what your concern is..... $$ MONEY... if you can do the 300 instrument for significantly cheaper... do it. If you want to focus on the 22/44 and spend the extra $$... go for it... doesn't make any difference in the long run.. will it make a difference at the 1000 hr. mark.... NO... but it might make a difference for your first job. That one is difficult to say... maybe, maybe not.

 

also... you'll be lucky to shoot 3-4 approaches per hour during training.. maybe slightly more depending on the approach.. so what it comes down to is ONE more approach per hour in the 44

Edited by apiaguy
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go for it unless you're going to be trying to get a job at your primary school. Also, an instrument rating is best done at a school with a simulator and a part 141 program because they often have lowered flight time minimums by trading say 10 hours of sim time for 5 hours of flight time.

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Well - flying 40 hours in the S300 vs. flying 40 hours in the R44 would save you a whole BUNCH of money! You could then use that money towards your CFI or double I.

I did my instrument and double I in the S300 and thought it was a fine IFR trainer. Then I did my ATP in the R44 Raven II and thought it was a much better and more stable platform. If money was no object my choice would be the 44 (but not an Astro).

Other important considerations: how many and what type approaches are available close by for practice? If you have to fly 20 minutes each way to begin your approaches it can become costly. Using a non-towered airport lets you shoot more approaches in less time (self-vectoring) but you don't get comfortable with all the radio work you need to know.

How many instrument trainers does the school have? If your artificial horizon goes t.u. you might be sitting idle waiting for parts for a week if the school has only one ship. Remember - more things have to be working properly on an instrument ship than on a vfr ship so as to maximize your learning.

 

Whichever platform you choose be sure to learn everything you can about the GPS installed. Buy a manual and a training CD and spend time getting familiar with it. Check around for a desktop training unit (I know Garmin makes one) or find an airplane owner who'll let you practice while sitting on the ramp. You should know the GPS backwards and forwards before your first flight wearing the foggles.

 

One last thought which others may not agree with - consider flying an airplane with the same GPS for a few hours to expedite your learning at the very beginning (anybody can fly an airplane!) It will cost you about one-third what a helicopter will cost. (All the training that I did was for add-ons. Your mileage may vary.

(Oh - almost forgot. Fly at night whenever possible to build your night time too.)

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I have flown the 300 and the R44. I did my instrument training in an Enstrom. For approaches you will not see significant time differences in approaches between the two. I would go for the 300 simply for two reasons. First it is less expensive. Second, to give you more exposure for employment opportunities.

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I have flown the 300 and the R44. I did my instrument training in an Enstrom. For approaches you will not see significant time differences in approaches between the two. I would go for the 300 simply for two reasons. First it is less expensive. Second, to give you more exposure for employment opportunities.

 

Doing the instrument rating in the 300 doesn't really help with employment opportunities, at least from my point of view...

 

50 hours in the 300 doing instrument approaches does not prepare you to teach in it, doing your private or commercial in the 300 does. I wouldn't consider a pilot with 300 time that was obtained only working on the instrument rating.

 

Might as well do it in the R-44 where it will help you more, plenty of schools are using the R-44 for instrument training these days and need pilots who can fly it.

 

Fly Safe!

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Doing the instrument rating in the 300 doesn't really help with employment opportunities, at least from my point of view...

 

50 hours in the 300 doing instrument approaches does not prepare you to teach in it, doing your private or commercial in the 300 does. I wouldn't consider a pilot with 300 time that was obtained only working on the instrument rating.

 

Might as well do it in the R-44 where it will help you more, plenty of schools are using the R-44 for instrument training these days and need pilots who can fly it.

 

Fly Safe!

 

As PJ stated, he is planning on doing his CFII in the R44. That should give him time to meet SFAR 73 in type. Also there is no equivalent to SFAR 73 for the 300. It would open other possibilities for him. I personally have found most helicopter CFI to be too one dimensional in the type helicopters they fly and favor. Mostly because they have no experience in other types. I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to fly the 300C, 300CBi, EN28A, R22, R44 and UH12E. Hopefully I will get a chance to fly the BH47 in the near future. Each has their strong and weak points. And I have my favorites. As instructors, we need to consider the fact that we are teaching the student to fly Helicopters, not Robinson R22's or S300C's. Overall, the experience of flying the 300 will not hurt PJ at all and may have some benefit's for him.

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As PJ stated, he is planning on doing his CFII in the R44. That should give him time to meet SFAR 73 in type.

 

Fair enough... However, he shouldn't need more than a few hours to get his CFII, and you need 25 hours to teach in the R-44. It removes the money savings of what he is trying to do.

 

Also there is no equivalent to SFAR 73 for the 300. It would open other possibilities for him.

 

True enough... But my point was not about the SFAR 73, it was about how useful those hours of instrument time would be towards teaching primary students in the 300.

 

Yes, I realize that there are other things he could do with the time, such as aerial survey, aerial photography, power-line/pipeline patrol, etc.

 

I personally have found most helicopter CFI to be too one dimensional in the type helicopters they fly and favor. Mostly because they have no experience in other types. I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to fly the 300C, 300CBi, EN28A, R22, R44 and UH12E. Hopefully I will get a chance to fly the BH47 in the near future.

 

I've always wanted to fly the Bell 47, such a classic! :)

 

Each has their strong and weak points. And I have my favorites. As instructors, we need to consider the fact that we are teaching the student to fly Helicopters, not Robinson R22's or S300C's. Overall, the experience of flying the 300 will not hurt PJ at all and may have some benefit's for him.

 

That is true, we are teaching helicopters in general, however to teach autos to private students in the 300, it would be helpful if you have done more than a half dozen of them yourself. :) If you do the instrument rating in the 300, you really won't have done the type of flying that is required to teach primary stuff in it.

 

Of course that's my opinion and I could be wrong. ;)

 

Fly Safe!

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Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. This debate has been helpful. I had forgotten about the SFAR requirement to have 25 of 50 hours in the R44 for instruction. This means that I'd have to buy an additional 10 hours for R44 time after completing my CFII (minimum 15 hours dual) to truly be marketable at either type of school. When I add the cost of an additional 10 hours of R44 time to the S300 instrument hours, it changes the equation significantly. I still have a bit of thinking to do.

 

jehh- It sounds like you may work for/own a 300 school? From your point of view, how many hours is adequate in the 300 for a potential instructor in that machine? Would it be beneficial for me to fly 10-20 hours of general stuff in the 300 instead of 40 hours instrument dual?

 

propwasher- Thanks for the GPS advice. I'll be sure to find out what unit the trainer has and do my homework.

 

BTW, sorry for the late reply. We got a serious snow storm over the weekend. Power was out for four days and we just finished digging out from under two feet of snow. More on the way tonight <_< .

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Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. This debate has been helpful. I had forgotten about the SFAR requirement to have 25 of 50 hours in the R44 for instruction. This means that I'd have to buy an additional 10 hours for R44 time after completing my CFII (minimum 15 hours dual) to truly be marketable at either type of school. When I add the cost of an additional 10 hours of R44 time to the S300 instrument hours, it changes the equation significantly. I still have a bit of thinking to do.

 

And of course 25 hours in the R-44 still doesn't get you insured if the aircraft is covered by Pathfinder... :) (that requires 50 hours in type, but 20 hours does allow you to fly tours, which helps get you to 50 hours)

 

jehh- It sounds like you may work for/own a 300 school? From your point of view, how many hours is adequate in the 300 for a potential instructor in that machine? Would it be beneficial for me to fly 10-20 hours of general stuff in the 300 instead of 40 hours instrument dual?

 

10 to 20 hours of anything in a Schweizer will not help you at the 200 hour level, my insurance won't cover you. 40 hours of instrument dual won't either. I want to see 50+ hours working on either your private or commercial certificates, and I would strongly prefer that you have practiced teaching from the other seat in it as well.

 

There is more to teaching than logged hours in type, what you did during those hours counts for a lot. This is of course just my opinion, I'm sure you'll find someone to disagree with me. :) And yes, I do own and operate a flight school, Summit Helicopters (www.flysummit.com), we operate Schweizer 300CBi, Robinson R-22, & R-44 helicopters.

 

Fly Safe!

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