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Subject: Training in California
 
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EnjoylifeUser is Offline
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10/08/2012 1:33 AM  
Hi All:

First time posting. I have my Commercial Helicopter rating and I want to pursue the CFI and CFII. I am currently self-financing working on an oil rig with a 3 week on and 3 week off schedule.

I can live anywhere I want and the idea of California sounds very appealing considering where I work has very unpleasant weather. I am looking to do training and can pay in block chunks. I am looking for a good instructor that has real world experience. I prefer to use the 300 but could learn the Robby Ranger.

I would appreciate any input or suggestions on schools with the possibility of part time CFI work after I complete the CFI (performance pending of course). I am relatively business savvy, have search engine optimization, and web based marketing experience. I could assist in bringing in new students for myself.

Regards,

Mike
cburtonUser is Offline
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10/09/2012 2:00 PM  
My .02 Find a busy flight school, busier the better. You may have to compete a bit for flight time as you finish your ratings, but once you become a CFI you will be glad there are more students available. More students, more flight time. Have fun!
Flying PigUser is Offline
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10/11/2012 5:33 PM  
I did all my training in the 300. With that...good luck finding a teaching gig. Youll go way farther in your CFI world knowing the Robinson aircraft. I finally went back and did my CFI in a R22. Fortunately, I already have a full time flying job, so it wasnt an issue.... just an annoyance because I enjoy teaching work. Do you have your SFAR Robinson time? If not, you better start working on it unless you have a 300 gig lined up.

blueskies54User is Offline
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10/21/2012 5:23 PM  
Check out SRT Helicopters in Bakersfield CA, they have a 300c, good ship. Last time I talked to the owner he seemed to have a lot in the pipeline as far as future work and students. Keep in mind Bakersfield is not a hotspot for prospective students lining up to get their ratings, unlike Los Angles, but it gives you the opportunity to fly commercial work, besides instructing. This is NOT a school where you are going to get 1000hrs/year teaching students, but, if you put the effort in, you wil get enough diverse flying experience and networking to get your foot in the door. I know for a fact that this school requires self-motivation and you “appear” to be that type. I know they have block rates available there, but you will have to call the owner, Chris and find out what the rates are? When Chris is not running around doing the special operations side of SRT you will get the some great “real world” training, as he has backrounds in EMS, FIRE and SAR flying. Make a list of schools you want to go, visit each of them IN PERSON as this is hopefully your future employer and make up your own mind. Best of luck.
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10/23/2012 10:43 AM  
I'd concur about SRT. They use the 300. You'll get great mountain time and learn a lot about high density altitude flying. Also lots of other real world commercial flying. i.e. you won't be just sat in the P2 seat talking to students, you'll get some great, varied, hands on experience. 500 hrs of really varied flying is way better than just 1000 hrs round the block instructing. Most prosective employers want to see some variety. What experiences can you bring to the job etc. Good luck.
Flying PigUser is Offline
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10/24/2012 3:27 PM  
... SRT? HAAA Ok
ikesspikeUser is Offline
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11/03/2012 5:38 PM  
If flying for a career is your goal, you'll time in the R22.... With that said, try Helistream Inc. in Costa Mesa.
EnjoylifeUser is Offline
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11/25/2012 4:45 AM  
Gentlemen:

I would like to say thank you for all of your posts. Your consideration is much appreciated. Here is my conclusion about my training situation. I checked out a few schools in California and around the country. A total of 7 schools were analyzed.

The size of the school was not important to me because I got my initial ratings from a larger and well organized school that has impeccable standardization.

For this rating, being I fully realize the consequences of the amount of money being spent I want my money's worth for ANY additional hour flown. I talked to a few established MEN in the industry that have a lot of experience. An individual who is well established in the industry with 30+ years of experience and I respect a lot gave a strong recommendation for a school. So I researched that particular school based on his comments.

I found it interesting on my internet research with the amount of controversy regarding SRT Helicopters in which it seems to come from one individual. With a blog post from vertical reference right below the SRT website on Google hits there is a rather upset individual. Also, I received a personal message from an individual that has posted on this thread that was flat out discouraging me from trying SRT. Not going to name names but most can imagine who that is. In this personal message the attitude is apparent. The phrase “attitude is 80% of success” holds true.. Not saying that I am an expert at management but for those of you that have ran or are running an organization I hope you can relate. When an individual spends more time not concerning the mission or objectives and focuses on negative aspects (drama) they can be stereotyped. There is a very strong chance that person spends more time on getting out of work or is hiding something through repression and rationalization. In this message this individual would have completely succeeded in steering me away from SRT if I had not received a strong recommendation from the most credible resource I have.

Another helicopter business owner reminded me that “in this business you do not say bad about people or attempt to blacklist them in the industry.” This was after a pilot had wrecked an aircraft of his due to a suspected pilot error. I thought this was very honorable.

My now recent experience with SRT has been the most beneficial training experience thus far of my training. I took a 269C/300C with the owner Chris to an altitude I have yet to experience in that helicopter. We did real pinnacle and confined areas in hot, high, and mountainous terrain. In training you do simulated low-rotor recovery, pinnacles, and confined areas many times to a “simulated standard.” In this case for the first time in all of my training I gained a grasp of the real thing. For the first time I experienced utilizing the limits of an aircraft because the conditions warranted it. As a low hour pilot you hear 10K pilots talk about similar situations but never truly relate to the balance, intuition, and skill required in certain operations.

In standard training you spend the better part of 100K to get your ratings, go through the motions, and have the FAA check you for safety. You then get a CFI at the same school and train the same maneuvers and “simulations” till you reach 1000-1500 hrs. After this you obtain a job and start “real world” experience. After thousands of hours you will master those aircraft and push the limits or encounter “tricky situations.” I feel as if I bypassed a few thousand hours to obtain a “tricky situation” by taking a helicopter to a mountain ridge point confined area to (an interesting) MSL with conflicting updrafts, downdrafts, experience actual rotor decay, running take-off with low rotor recovery, and escaped back into the air with the best perspective of mountain flying any person can obtain at 200 hours. The gained the best value and money I could have hoped for and I am a better pilot because of that experience.

Originally writing this post I did not know any parties involved nor did I have a bias. To the person who is actively trying to effect someone’s reputation and business, maybe you are rationalizing facts that you fail to face. As men we must be honorable and respect people’s livelihoods and move on in a professional manner even if we have had a disagreement or altercation. I am venturing a guess but if someone holds a grudge and continues to disrupt business to an operation they are showing insecurity with their own flying abilities, are rationalizing excuses, being unprofessional, and dishonorable.

With Warm Regards,

Mike


raven5User is Offline

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11/25/2012 11:55 AM  
I feel as if I bypassed a few thousand hours to obtain a “tricky situation” by taking a helicopter to a mountain ridge point confined area to (an interesting) MSL with conflicting updrafts, downdrafts, experience actual rotor decay, running take-off with low rotor recovery, and escaped back into the air with the best perspective of mountain flying any person can obtain at 200 hours


A running takeoff with low rotor recovery!,...a little heavy were we?
SRTHELOUser is Offline
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11/25/2012 3:51 PM  
Hi Raven, You are correct, we were heavy, but it was not a true running takeoff. The area we went to is a combination pinnacle into a saddle and sits in an area that typically has a lot of wind convergence due it being where the pre dominant NW wind hits rapidly rising terrain, that on the other side has had surrface heating all day and is a 6000 foot peak. The wind line is very very difficult to find, and it is almost impossible to come vertical without putting yourself into adverse winds, such as a going froma strong head wind to a strong tail wind or crosswind. This area is used for a number of reasons. 1st, it looks like a very easy spot to land during a high recon. 2nd - Most students do not know about figure 8 recons, or the term power and performance and how to use that in their flight profiles. Add that most people do not know how to do proper power checks before they commit to an area to really ensure that they can not only get in, but that they can arrest their rate of descent if needed as well. 3rd - The take off is almost as challenging as the landing, due to wind conditions, which is why the issue of "low rotor" came in. Now this a relative term since we use 3200 RPM and I do not let the students get below 3000 without intervening. The "running takeoff" was about a 1 foot skid height take off due to some of the reasons I mentioned, and yes, because we were heavy as well, which is part of the lesson. Hope that clears it up. Have a great week!
raven5User is Offline

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11/26/2012 12:43 AM  
Add that most people do not know how to do proper power checks before they commit to an area to really ensure that they can not only get in, but that they can arrest their rate of descent if needed as well


I must admit that my CFI didn't go over power checks much (or I never really got what he was doing?). For all of those OGE LZs I've always just figured I'd pull it into a hover around 300' or so. If I can hover, I land, if not, I go somewhere else. I don't know if that's proper technique, but oh' well? Sounds like a fun place to practice though.
ikesspikeUser is Offline
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12/07/2012 1:25 PM  
Hi Mike, Glad to hear you’re having fun. At the school where I taught, we routinely took students up into Sierra Nevada’s. At that time, we were operating R22’s which has a much lower inertia rotor system than the 300. This means the rotor system speed up and slows down at a much higher rate than the 300, especially at altitude. During some of these trips we encountered severe turbulence like you wouldn’t believe. Seriously, one moment the nose would violently yaw 90 degrees to the left and just as we straightened it out, it would go violently 90 degrees to the right. The RPM was a handful as well as this was before the governor equipped machines of today. On this day, the throttle required constant twisting to maintain RPM. Wow, what a workout… Another time, due to weather, we got caught on the lake side of Lake Tahoe and needed to head back to the Sac Valley. Our only safe avenue was over Squaw Valley. The peak is just above 9K and at that moment contained a standing lenticular which we obviously avoided. Man-o-man…. Flights during the summertime were challenging as well due to the performance limitations. As you seem to already know, sometimes hovering is a gift. Wait until you start doing full down autorotation’s at those altitudes with higher temps. Furthermore, when we switched to the S300CBs, it was quickly apparent it didn’t perform at altitude as well as the R22 which required exploring the edges of the envelope quite often…. Luckily, even though these trips were restricted to pre-commercial students (less than 150 hours), I gained a lot of appreciation for mountain flying and so did the students. So much so, I use the experience and judgment gained some 19 years later when operating our AS350B3 in the mountainous environment. Plus, I’ve adapted many other techniques taught from other mountain instructors such as our Canadian friends from up north. What some may call a “figure 8” is basically a Canadian technique established eons ago….. In any case, anytime you want to share a story come-on back and we’ll trade a few……….. Otherwise; sometimes saying less is more and quite often, it’s best not to say anything at all……
EnjoylifeUser is Offline
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12/07/2012 2:06 PM  
Ikesspike: Thanks for your reply it is appreciated! Unfortunetly, when making my decision the origional school I got all my ratings in was the 300c. I was contacted privetly by a R-22 school but when I told them that I had no hours in a 22 they told me to look other places. I appreciated the honesty because of the cost. Your experiences sound invaluable and the experience looks like it is there. I plan on taking the Robinson training course for 400 bucks. I value any new experience and would like to build my experience in any aircraft! However, the reality is I am working in a very unpleasant environment in the hopes of getting a cfi job and will "fly for peanuts" or free! I am saving up enough to live for 1.5 years and build hours. The most economic path seems to be in the 300. My previous post was concerning a new experience, I might have gone a little overboard on the rant but from my one hitch off with SRT it was enjoyable and I learned something new and I am very excited to be flying in a diverse environment after not flying for 2 years! I appreciate the post and suggestion for the R-22 but due to my origional training it seems that I have been securred into training in 300 for fear of spending more money than required to get me out of my current situation. Look forward to any future posts or suggestions on "advanced or non standard training!" Regards, Mike
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12/07/2012 3:46 PM  
You may have missed the point. Either way, my goal is to inform. Having said that, if someone shares a personal conversation with you, it’s best to keep it personal, regardless of what is posted on an internet site. You said, “I might have gone a little overboard on the rant” for which you are most certainly correct. If someone has a bias agenda which you found discouraging, then so be it. However, discouraging or not, at least this person made an attempt to educate you based on HIS or HER experience. It’s best to simply thank him and be on your way -quietly. To return and rant to the contrary is suspicious at best, if not outright disingenuous. At 200 hours, I’d say you have a lot more to learn and be careful you don’t get treed by a Chihuahua….. BTW, I wasn’t suggesting you train in the R22.
EnjoylifeUser is Offline
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12/07/2012 4:38 PM  
The R22 response on training was directed towards your first response also pertaining to a career and the possible benefits in managing a R22 for valuable experience. I agree on the rant point. In that,it is more appreciated if someone gives a positive alternative rather than blast an opperation in a personal message. My response to an extent lacked class but more in frustration for not recieving an alternative or suggesstion which came off very bias. Also for the experience fact, you are correct and that is one of the reasons I posted on here. Again, this field is not easy to turn into a career but I appreciate ANY experience especially when it comes to training right or training in different atmospheres. I was simply looking for suggestions and reacted to a post that was negative. The chihuahua better watch out! Might be best for a different topic but foreign and factory training.. Suggestions? Valuable? Applicable? Waste of money?
ikesspikeUser is Offline
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12/07/2012 6:07 PM  
Man! You immediately reply… Why is that? Getting treed by a Chihuahua is making decisions without context. Context being the reality of the situation around you. You can build context by listening to the guys with “boots on the ground”, which for your sake is, civilian trained, currently employed, professional helicopter pilots. Understand you, as a student, have limited context. That is, your reality of this industry has been strictly flight training revolving around the flight school environment. Some have tried to share their reality which may have been far beyond where you’re at. You dismissed one as discouraging and one as credible. If you only listen to 2 conflicting perspectives, then you haven’t gone anywhere. With that said, if you listen carefully to as many “boots on the ground” individuals as possible (speaking to working pilots not associated with any flight school), it may provide you with a “eureka” moment which will most likely be closely related to common sense……… Furthermore, I didn’t see any post that was negative….. Sure, one was imaginative but not nearly as negative as I’ve seen in the past. Lastly, the one thing I suggest to the new folks is, with regards to the internet and this business, humor your imagination and have the audacity to seek all the information you can. With that, why don’t you ask your question(s) over on Vertical Reference? There you’ll get many perspectives and probably learn something along the way. Simply put, it’s tailored for an up-n-comer just like you……..
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12/07/2012 6:49 PM  
Haha waiting to shift on a night shift in the middle of nowhere! So lack of things to do... Well I should be studying. My long rant was in response to a very negative personal message that was sent against one of the schools. Thus far my experience has been positive and what 2 posters put about that company thus far is accurate. I have not checked out Vertical Reference yet. Isnt just helicopters and Vertical Reference the same ownership? Is that a more active forum? I wanted to post another forum question and wonder if that is were I should focus for more perspectives..
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12/07/2012 7:28 PM  
Yes the ownership is the same, so no biggie if you flip-flop back and forth. And yes, way more active. There, you can build artificial context due to the anonymity. Not as good as “boots on the ground” context but it may provide you with an avenue to get that type of information. With that, you may find you are already making the right decisions and proceed with confidence that you won’t be screwed in the end with no job and, no hope of no job and, an empty wallet…….. However, don’t be thinned skinned or think anyone is attempting to discourage….. Lastly, if I were looking for a school, I would talk to people the old fashion way, verbally face-to-face……. And, more than 2. More like, as many as possible……
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