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Cheap time building ideas?


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I'm curious to know what the interest would be in a lower price for time building at nights and on the weekends. Looking at the helicopters sitting in the hanger at night, it occurred to me that those unused hours could be sold at a lower price to people looking to build time for one reason or another.

 

First, what price would be required to make you want to buy a block of 25, 50, or 100 hours of time and fly it during off hours?

 

Second, how fast would you want the time?

 

Third, what aircraft would you want to build the time in?

 

I'm thinking that this could be useful for people who need to meet the 300 hour Pathfinder insurance requirement, or who simply want to build time in another type of aircraft that they currently do not have a lot of time in.

 

Thoughts?

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I'm curious to know what the interest would be in a lower price for time building at nights and on the weekends. Looking at the helicopters sitting in the hanger at night, it occurred to me that those unused hours could be sold at a lower price to people looking to build time for one reason or another.

 

First, what price would be required to make you want to buy a block of 25, 50, or 100 hours of time and fly it during off hours?

 

Second, how fast would you want the time?

 

Third, what aircraft would you want to build the time in?

 

I'm thinking that this could be useful for people who need to meet the 300 hour Pathfinder insurance requirement, or who simply want to build time in another type of aircraft that they currently do not have a lot of time in.

 

Thoughts?

I understand your plan, and it seems like a good idea...at first. I would highly recommend not following through with it though. Having a bunch of very low-time newly minted unemployed commercial pilots taking out helicopters at Night solo to build time is a high risk operation. I'm sure you have only the best intentions, but it sounds like a great way to fill body bags.

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I would also add, great idea, however your operating costs don't change at night do they? A client of mine who is retired DUSTOFF told me when he found out I was interested in helicopters " every 25 hours of flight requires 50 hours of maintenance " - I don't think he meant it literally but more as remembering an old joke between friends but... they say there is a bit of truth in everything.

 

Maybe you could create an EMS type program like places that offer "turbine transistions" maybe create a program that would be all night flying to remote locations to simulate what an EMS pilot may do - I wouldn't do it for no less then full retail though!

Edited by Rogue
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I understand your plan, and it seems like a good idea...at first. I would highly recommend not following through with it though. Having a bunch of very low-time newly minted unemployed commercial pilots taking out helicopters at Night solo to build time is a high risk operation. I'm sure you have only the best intentions, but it sounds like a great way to fill body bags.

 

 

Whoa, wait just a sec. If this is a rural area with lots of mountains I sure see where you are coming from. Flying over Los Angeles at night is not all that different than daytime! I have enough light I could almost wear my sunglasses!

 

I think its a great idea. You do still have all your fixed costs, but if you could increase hours flown by 10% or so it could be worth it....depending on how much you discount the rate.

 

Do a check out with each pilot. Identify those areas in your locality where you dont want them to fly due to added risk, maybe some different weather/visiblity standards and away you go !

 

Now to the answer. If you are paying for time building anyway, as a PPL, then I think night fits more working class schedules, and I would just move up one block. So, if the guy flying at night has a 2K block rate, charge him the 4K block rate at night. Or no block rate would get the 2K rate....usually a savings around 5-7% depending on your market.

 

I'd give it a try.

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I would also add, great idea, however your operating costs don't change at night do they?

 

No, they don't... However, the monthly fixed costs are covered by the daytime flying, so I'd only need to cover the direct operating costs, plus something for the trouble.

 

Only about half of the hourly rate on an aircraft is DOC, the rest covers everything else. 25% to 35% off the normal hourly rate is what I had in mind.

 

A client of mine who is retired DUSTOFF told me when he found out I was interested in helicopters " every 25 hours of flight requires 50 hours of maintenance " - I don't think he meant it literally but more as remembering an old joke between friends but... they say there is a bit of truth in everything.

 

Actually, it is worse than that for some military helicopters. I've read that the AH-64 Apache in the first Gulf War required 14 hours of maintenance for every 1 hour of flight. Schweizers and Robinsons are not nearly as bad as that. :)

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Actually, it is worse than that for some military helicopters. I've read that the AH-64 Apache in the first Gulf War required 14 hours of maintenance for every 1 hour of flight. Schweizers and Robinsons are not nearly as bad as that. :)

 

MH-53E's require 50 manhours of maintenance per flight hour :o

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No, they don't... However, the monthly fixed costs are covered by the daytime flying, so I'd only need to cover the direct operating costs, plus something for the trouble.

 

Only about half of the hourly rate on an aircraft is DOC, the rest covers everything else. 25% to 35% off the normal hourly rate is what I had in mind.

 

In that case I would argue why not then increase the total number of hours overall ( night and day ) and lower all of the rates ( night and day ) unless of course the discount was to be given for buying in bulk ( block of hours ).

 

I admire your willingness to look for new oppurtunities for success and sharing it with the rest of the helicopter world.

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I would also add, great idea, however your operating costs don't change at night do they? A client of mine who is retired DUSTOFF told me when he found out I was interested in helicopters " every 25 hours of flight requires 50 hours of maintenance " - I don't think he meant it literally but more as remembering an old joke between friends but... they say there is a bit of truth in everything.

 

Maybe you could create an EMS type program like places that offer "turbine transistions" maybe create a program that would be all night flying to remote locations to simulate what an EMS pilot may do - I wouldn't do it for no less then full retail though!

 

 

Now an EMS program would be something I'd go for!

 

JD

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I'm curious to know what the interest would be in a lower price for time building at nights and on the weekends. Looking at the helicopters sitting in the hanger at night, it occurred to me that those unused hours could be sold at a lower price to people looking to build time for one reason or another.

 

First, what price would be required to make you want to buy a block of 25, 50, or 100 hours of time and fly it during off hours?

 

Second, how fast would you want the time?

 

Third, what aircraft would you want to build the time in?

 

I'm thinking that this could be useful for people who need to meet the 300 hour Pathfinder insurance requirement, or who simply want to build time in another type of aircraft that they currently do not have a lot of time in.

 

Thoughts?

 

I agree with what Goldy put forth. It can be done safely and effective. It would bring some additional revenue for you as well. I think you would find a lot of interest personaly if you did decide to go with it and advertise it a little.

 

How fast one wants the time will depend on their situation. Me for example, in one years time. Others who need cheap time building may want to get done in a week. It all depends.

 

Aircraft type again would have to depend on the pilot. Most are able to fly the R-22. What if they are 300CB pilots with out R-22 time? Then they need the SFAR check out. What if they are R-22 pilots with no 300CB time? Then you would want to check them out in the 300CB right? You get the idea. So you may have to limit your scope a little in that respect.

 

The bigger the block being bought the lower the price it should be. I would personaly not want to pay for more that 25 hours up front.

 

JD

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In that case I would argue why not then increase the total number of hours overall ( night and day ) and lower all of the rates ( night and day ) unless of course the discount was to be given for buying in bulk ( block of hours ).

 

Because you're not going to fly across the country to buy 50 hours of time to be flown at night post-commercial certificate for $20/hr off. :)

 

This isn't training, it is time building. thus the discount. Very little wear and tear on cross countries, compared to normal student training.

 

I admire your willingness to look for new oppurtunities for success and sharing it with the rest of the helicopter world.

 

Thank you...

 

A wise man once told me: "At the end of the day, we all get where we're going by helping other people get to where they want to go." If someone out there just needs some more time to land a job, this might be a way to help them.

Edited by jehh
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I definetly see your point, I was just tossing ideas at you. I believe you could sell a "program" that was all night flying in much the same way Bristow sells a "Mountain Flying" program which incidentally they do fly across country to perform ;) ( not sure exactly on the logistics of that as I don't attend there ) In any event good luck to you!

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