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Premier Helicopter Crash


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Which Premier Helicopters? I can't find anything on it, and the Premier I know is nowhere near Vegas (Colorado, TX, NM)

Premier is based out of Colorado....within the last 2 months they have closed all their schools except in Colorado and Arizona due to financial problems.....they pissed a lot of people off......excuse my language. The crash in Vegas was not a school there...they were on a X-country....doing a little time buliding.

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Which Premier Helicopters? I can't find anything on it, and the Premier I know is nowhere near Vegas (Colorado, TX, NM)

You'll be hearing about the crash soon. From what I understand, the instructor and student lived through the crash...luckily.

The Kelly's have a history of just looking out for themselves and thier financial income. Which means that all the poor saps who sucker into thier contracts are inexperienced low time instructors being cut lose to do what they want with the helicopters. This relieves Premier from any responsibility yet brings in a hefty amount of money. My opinion? We're looking at the new Silverstate.

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I'm not defending Premier, but the entire training industry is set up on "low-time" cfi's.

 

It baffles me that an industry such as ours functions and survives this way.

 

I know there are tons of high time CFI's teaching (i had two that had over 10,000 hour cfi's teach me), but its extremely rare. In a perfect world, the high time guys and gals with real world experience would be teaching the new pilots...just as in every single industry on the planet. The idea of you getting your 200 hours and go teach so you can build time to 1000 hours blows me away. That same mentality could cross over to lets say...police work...a rookie graduates the program, and the next day is teaching? There's no difference.

 

I understand the problem in the industry. Its money. Don't get me wrong, many 200 hour guys and gals are awesome pilots, but what kind of real world flying do they have? Shouldn't we be learning from the the experienced pilots anyway?

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Glad everyone is okay from the accident.

 

Not to change the subject but to touch up on BoatFixerGuy's comments...

Speaking from my experience, I don't think it's even the skill level that worries me. It's the focus of the CFI with the customer. They are trying to build hours and are not necessarily the best teacher/instructor for the customer b/c of where their focus is and/or their teaching ability. Some CFI's (not making generalities) are just simply not good teachers.

 

Let's don't be so quick to jump to conclusions until we see the NTSB accident reports.

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You'll be hearing about the crash soon. From what I understand, the instructor and student lived through the crash...luckily.

The Kelly's have a history of just looking out for themselves and thier financial income. Which means that all the poor saps who sucker into thier contracts are inexperienced low time instructors being cut lose to do what they want with the helicopters. This relieves Premier from any responsibility yet brings in a hefty amount of money. My opinion? We're looking at the new Silverstate.

 

I've talked with Mike several times, and he is nowhere near a Jerry Airola!! To compare the two is just straight stupid and ignorant!! I know that they downsized due to other issues, and have an operation in Alaska and also overseas now open. They are trying to get out of the training and more into tours/rides.

 

That would be a long cross country, I'd like to hear more...

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Again, let's check out the NTSB report before we start jumping to conclusions. I have met Mike before and he seems to be a lot more ethical, businessminded, and friendlier than some other training school owners. But then again you only know so much until you become a student in the program.

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I've talked with Mike several times, and he is nowhere near a Jerry Airola!! To compare the two is just straight stupid and ignorant!! I know that they downsized due to other issues, and have an operation in Alaska and also overseas now open. They are trying to get out of the training and more into tours/rides.

 

That would be a long cross country, I'd like to hear more...

 

 

I'll let someone else comment on the above statement, and aparently the crash was in las vegas NM, not NV

 

I'll agree with BOATFIXERGUY on this one, it may make short term economic sense to have 200-1000hr pilots doing the instruction, but in the long term what would have been the industry's savings in insurance, law suits, bent ships etc... if the things were structured differently. Being one of the 200-1000hr instructors i prefer to spend minimal time on autos, I'd rather go do an off airport landing or at least something which isn't statisticly known to be a trap for low time pilots looking for a little thrill, or to show "the right stuff."

Edited by mountainchopper
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I've talked with Mike several times, and he is nowhere near a Jerry Airola!! To compare the two is just straight stupid and ignorant!! I know that they downsized due to other issues, and have an operation in Alaska and also overseas now open. They are trying to get out of the training and more into tours/rides.

 

That would be a long cross country, I'd like to hear more...

 

Good post.

 

I also know Mike personally. I agree...he is no Airola. We did a ton of sub-contracting with Mike. He always did what I needed without argument or any problems. All events, tours, and instruction I had him do was done professionally. I can't speak for any internal things going on inside Premier, and won't. Even though I was personal friends with several of his pilots, I tend to stay out of their office politics. I don't need to get into the middle of someone elses business. I had enough problem getting my equipment ready for the road.

 

We taught Mike how to make a larger profit margin and be easier on the equipment by doing rides. Now they do a ton of rides all over the country and although still do instruction, nowhere near what they used to. Doing flight instruction is an expensive "hobby" for a business....especially in Colorado.

 

For everyone always bashing schools in financial troubles, I say this:

 

...whom hasn't been at one time or another? If you own a business on your own (I mean no big pocket investors), then you know how tough the industry is (Didn't Delta Airlines just layoff 30,000 people?). If you've never had a tough time, consider yourself lucky. Even the best run companies can struggle. There are too many variables in aviation that effect your bottom line. If you don't own a helicopter company, you have no idea what you're talking about! It is crazy expensive!!!

 

The housing industry is in crisis, people losing their homes at record pace, gas over $4.29 a gallon (here in Stockton), etc.

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I'm not defending Premier, but the entire training industry is set up on "low-time" cfi's.

 

It baffles me that an industry such as ours functions and survives this way.

 

I know there are tons of high time CFI's teaching (i had two that had over 10,000 hour cfi's teach me), but its extremely rare. In a perfect world, the high time guys and gals with real world experience would be teaching the new pilots...just as in every single industry on the planet. The idea of you getting your 200 hours and go teach so you can build time to 1000 hours blows me away. That same mentality could cross over to lets say...police work...a rookie graduates the program, and the next day is teaching? There's no difference.

 

I understand the problem in the industry. Its money. Don't get me wrong, many 200 hour guys and gals are awesome pilots, but what kind of real world flying do they have? Shouldn't we be learning from the the experienced pilots anyway?

 

 

Just like to add ... everyone says that the Helicopter industry is different becasue we have low time guys teaching.. but that is what it is like a most major colleges you go to... They use TA's for most classes. The Professors do very little teaching, untill you get to the end of your degree.. Just a small point, we are not that different.

 

Crook

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Good post.

 

I also know Mike personally. I agree...he is no Airola. We did a ton of sub-contracting with Mike. He always did what I needed without argument or any problems. All events, tours, and instruction I had him do was done professionally. I can't speak for any internal things going on inside Premier, and won't. Even though I was personal friends with several of his pilots, I tend to stay out of their office politics. I don't need to get into the middle of someone elses business. I had enough problem getting my equipment ready for the road.

 

We taught Mike how to make a larger profit margin and be easier on the equipment by doing rides. Now they do a ton of rides all over the country and although still do instruction, nowhere near what they used to. Doing flight instruction is an expensive "hobby" for a business....especially in Colorado.

 

For everyone always bashing schools in financial troubles, I say this:

 

...whom hasn't been at one time or another? If you own a business on your own (I mean no big pocket investors), then you know how tough the industry is (Didn't Delta Airlines just layoff 30,000 people?). If you've never had a tough time, consider yourself lucky. Even the best run companies can struggle. There are too many variables in aviation that effect your bottom line. If you don't own a helicopter company, you have no idea what you're talking about! It is crazy expensive!!!

 

The housing industry is in crisis, people losing their homes at record pace, gas over $4.29 a gallon (here in Stockton), etc.

They were bringing the R-22 to the Arizona location to have the 500 hour inspection done. Mike has pretty much screwed everyone in Colorado when it comes to maintenance, so he had to bring it to Az. The problem is this....he had his pilot fly it to Arizona, knowing the aircraft was already over the 500 hour mark. Well, that is an AD. You cannot fly the helicopter past the 500 hour AD. At 500 hours, it's considered "Not Airworthy" until the inpsection has been completed. This is not a typical 100 hour inspection. So the aircraft was flown illegally when the aircraft crashed. Here is where it's going to get interesting....insurance will not cover the aircraft. Mike has already stated that this pilot is responsible for the aircraft. Mike knew the aircraft was being flown in an un-airworthy state. So, if you did business with Mike....consider yourself lucky that it worked out for you. He has had to change the name of the company 4 different times in the last 2 years. (Premier Helicopter LLC, Premier Helicopter DBA, Premier Helicopter Inc. and now Premier Helicopter Leasing) Reason? Lawsuits filed by students, contractors, mechanics, people that leased the helicopters...etc. He owes a lot of people a lot of money. He closes one business and opens another protecting his assets. Take a look at the contract he makes all his instructors sign...or I can send you copy. Just let me know.......and they are not trying to get away from instructing in helicopters...The helicopter industry is small and it is up to us to protect our industry and getting the word out about our fellow operators.....there are good ones and there are bad ones! I will help supply information......and let the future students decide for themselves. Edited by ercam1991
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They were bringing the R-22 to the Arizona location to have the 500 hour inspection done. Mike has pretty much screwed everyone in Colorado when it comes to maintenance, so he had to bring it to Az. The problem is this....he had his pilot fly it to Arizona, knowing the aircraft was already over the 500 hour mark. Well, that is an AD. You cannot fly the helicopter past the 500 hour AD. At 500 hours, it's considered "Not Airworthy" until the inpsection has been completed. This is not a typical 100 hour inspection. So the aircraft was flown illegally when the aircraft crashed. Here is where it's going to get interesting....insurance will not cover the aircraft. Mike has already stated that this pilot is responsible for the aircraft. Mike knew the aircraft was being flown in an un-airworthy state. So, if you did business with Mike....consider yourself lucky that it worked out for you. He has had to change the name of the company 4 different times in the last 2 years. (Premier Helicopter LLC, Premier Helicopter DBA, Premier Helicopter Inc. and now Premier Helicopter Leasing) Reason? Lawsuits filed by students, contractors, mechanics, people that leased the helicopters...etc. He owes a lot of people a lot of money. He closes one business and opens another protecting his assets. Take a look at the contract he makes all his instructors sign...or I can send you copy. Just let me know.......and they are not trying to get away from instructing in helicopters...The helicopter industry is small and it is up to us to protect our industry and getting the word out about our fellow operators.....there are good ones and there are bad ones! I will help supply information......and let the future students decide for themselves.

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They were bringing the R-22 to the Arizona location to have the 500 hour inspection done. Mike has pretty much screwed everyone in Colorado when it comes to maintenance, so he had to bring it to Az. The problem is this....he had his pilot fly it to Arizona, knowing the aircraft was already over the 500 hour mark. Well, that is an AD. You cannot fly the helicopter past the 500 hour AD. At 500 hours, it's considered "Not Airworthy" until the inspection has been completed. This is not a typical 100 hour inspection. So the aircraft was flown illegally when the aircraft crashed. Here is where it's going to get interesting....insurance will not cover the aircraft. Mike has already stated that this pilot is responsible for the aircraft. Mike knew the aircraft was being flown in an un-airworthy state. So, if you did business with Mike....consider yourself lucky that it worked out for you. He has had to change the name of the company 4 different times in the last 2 years. (Premier Helicopter LLC, Premier Helicopter DBA, Premier Helicopter Inc. and now Premier Helicopter Leasing) Reason? Lawsuits filed by students, contractors, mechanics, people that leased the helicopters...etc. He owes a lot of people a lot of money. He closes one business and opens another protecting his assets. Take a look at the contract he makes all his instructors sign...or I can send you copy. Just let me know.......and they are not trying to get away from instructing in helicopters...The helicopter industry is small and it is up to us to protect our industry and getting the word out about our fellow operators.....there are good ones and there are bad ones! I will help supply information......and let the future students decide for themselves.

 

If you cannot do the inspection or repair at your base you may ask for a special flight permit to take the aircraft to a base that can do the work or inspection. Allot of private owners get into trouble with these because they keep the aircraft at their homes and have to fly them to a base that does inspections and repairs. So as PIC you need to determine if the aircraft is airworthy or un-airworthy and then decide if you need to call the FSDO to get a special flight permit.

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They were bringing the R-22 to the Arizona location to have the 500 hour inspection done. Mike has pretty much screwed everyone in Colorado when it comes to maintenance, so he had to bring it to Az. The problem is this....he had his pilot fly it to Arizona, knowing the aircraft was already over the 500 hour mark. Well, that is an AD. You cannot fly the helicopter past the 500 hour AD. At 500 hours, it's considered "Not Airworthy" until the inpsection has been completed. This is not a typical 100 hour inspection. So the aircraft was flown illegally when the aircraft crashed. Here is where it's going to get interesting....insurance will not cover the aircraft. Mike has already stated that this pilot is responsible for the aircraft. Mike knew the aircraft was being flown in an un-airworthy state. So, if you did business with Mike....consider yourself lucky that it worked out for you. He has had to change the name of the company 4 different times in the last 2 years. (Premier Helicopter LLC, Premier Helicopter DBA, Premier Helicopter Inc. and now Premier Helicopter Leasing) Reason? Lawsuits filed by students, contractors, mechanics, people that leased the helicopters...etc. He owes a lot of people a lot of money. He closes one business and opens another protecting his assets. Take a look at the contract he makes all his instructors sign...or I can send you copy. Just let me know.......and they are not trying to get away from instructing in helicopters...The helicopter industry is small and it is up to us to protect our industry and getting the word out about our fellow operators.....there are good ones and there are bad ones! I will help supply information......and let the future students decide for themselves.

 

If the helicopter was based at the Mesa school, then why would they take it to Colorado for maintenance? It falls on the PIC whether or not it should have been flown. If it was un-airworthy then the pilot should not have flown it.

 

Not sure about the name changes, the website still says Premier Helicopter LLC...

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They were bringing the R-22 to the Arizona location to have the 500 hour inspection done. Mike has pretty much screwed everyone in Colorado when it comes to maintenance, so he had to bring it to Az. The problem is this....he had his pilot fly it to Arizona, knowing the aircraft was already over the 500 hour mark. Well, that is an AD. You cannot fly the helicopter past the 500 hour AD. At 500 hours, it's considered "Not Airworthy" until the inpsection has been completed. This is not a typical 100 hour inspection. So the aircraft was flown illegally when the aircraft crashed. Here is where it's going to get interesting....insurance will not cover the aircraft. Mike has already stated that this pilot is responsible for the aircraft. Mike knew the aircraft was being flown in an un-airworthy state. So, if you did business with Mike....consider yourself lucky that it worked out for you. He has had to change the name of the company 4 different times in the last 2 years. (Premier Helicopter LLC, Premier Helicopter DBA, Premier Helicopter Inc. and now Premier Helicopter Leasing) Reason? Lawsuits filed by students, contractors, mechanics, people that leased the helicopters...etc. He owes a lot of people a lot of money. He closes one business and opens another protecting his assets. Take a look at the contract he makes all his instructors sign...or I can send you copy. Just let me know.......and they are not trying to get away from instructing in helicopters...The helicopter industry is small and it is up to us to protect our industry and getting the word out about our fellow operators.....there are good ones and there are bad ones! I will help supply information......and let the future students decide for themselves.

 

As far as the 500 hour inspection, did the cfi know about it? He should have. I wouldn't have flown it. Who is the FAA going to go after? Both. Will the insurance cover it...no if in violation. If he had a maint. ferry permit, it would not have covered flight instruction, doing autos, revenue flight, etc anyway. It sounds like it didn't have one. The form has to be posted inside the cockpit in view of the pilot and no passengers permitted. I've done them.

 

As far as the other stuff going on with Premier, can't comment on since I have no idea. I always had Kenton and Cayse do my work since I trusted them with my reputation, and knew they would be safe - professional pilots. I really hope that you're wrong. I don't like seeing anyone taken advantage of or put in harms way. I agree, the upcoming students don't need a place to go to and get ripped off or killed. And if Premier is conducting illegal operations, they should be shut down.

 

Nice thread though!

 

john

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Just re-read your posts. At first you said they were doing 180 autos. Then you said they were on a long X-Country. Now your saying that they were taking it in for maintenance. Which is it???

 

Oh, and still haven't saw it online yet...

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