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Subject: Advice
 
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charlie9901User is Offline

Posts:5

03/21/2013 5:25 AM  
Have not long managed to complete my PPL. Now im looking to buy one of 3 helicopters, but unsure which one is better. SO need advice from anyone who is up on these. 1st EC120, 2nd MD 600n and last is my fav, the gazelle 342. All 3 great helicopters. But which is the best??? can anyone help??
SupremoUser is Offline
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Posts:993

03/22/2013 9:56 AM  
Hi Charlie
You have not indicated what your intended use is with the helicopter. That will really narrow down the search. I would offer this as an old timer. You are admittedly a new pilot and as such, are easily influenced by things which may or not be wise.
Of the helicopters you mention, you should consider which are still in production and can offer support. The cost of operations is generally an important factor, as well as field support. The intended use is of concern only insofar as how much time will you put on it and for what purpose? Is it for your personal use and just puttin around, or do you have a solid business need for it? Are you going to be the sole pilot or are you going to recognize your own limitations and hire a professional to baby sit you until you have more time? If you have the financial depth to buy whatever you want and for whatever purposes, let your checkbook dictate the purchase!
Of those listed, I think I'd look at the EC mainly for current production and support.. YMMV of course.
Cheers
Rocky
ps-pvt msg is invited if desired

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
charlie9901User is Offline

Posts:5

03/22/2013 2:03 PM  
Hi Rocky thanks for replying. Im lucky enough now to be in a position where for me, money is not the issue. Ive worked hard all my life and now its play time for me, which means the cost of the helicopter and support isn't an issue. This is something ive wanted to do for year and now i can. As for the use, it just for me and the family to enjoy. I want to buy the best one that we will al enjoy using. Cheers Charlie
AirFlairUser is Offline
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Posts:141

03/23/2013 10:11 AM  
Between those 3 I'd decide between the ec and md. Decide what factors in those work for you. I can say notar's have less tail authority than fenestrons and fenestrons less than tail rotors although notar and fenestrons difference is not much difference.

The md has more power to it than the ec but the ec has way more baggage room and that's important in a family use atmosphere.

I'm leaning to say the ec120 is a better choice as there are way more of them in operation so parts and certified aftermarket parts are available. Also have quite a bit of time in the ec120 it is a really reliable aircraft.

I ask one more question have you considered an as350? There even more plentiful on parts and equipment and probably pick up a BA cheaper than an ec120 and no expensive VEMD display to replace if it breaks which I know computers to do. The as350ba is about the most simple reliable, available, and cheaper turbine out there.

If its because the safety of the tail rotor around your family I understand but still worth looking at.

If you do go with th ec120, I assume your going to get training with anything you buy, I would get some training from a qualified ec120 pilot. Also always always do you approach into the wind if heavy with that fenestron, it sucks up power and even more so when heavy hovering with crosswind.

Hope that helps your decision a bit. Oh and I'm jelous, I wish I could put aircrafts like those on my fun list but am stuck flying others for a living, not that I'm complaining
SupremoUser is Offline
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03/23/2013 10:32 AM  
Charlie As AirFlair suggested, I think he and I are pretty much in agreement. Since its going to be family involved, safety and reliability are paramount, or should be. Still not sure of the mission requirements though. Like, is it going to be used to go any distance on vacations, or is it for fishing trips, or ??? Where are you located and is it subject to high density altitudes as in the mountains or high desert? Lots of water which may suggest pop out floats? Many things to consider before you write the check and hop in to fly. Turbines are the most reliable and there are a lot of used helicopters on the market right now. Obviously a really good pre purchase inspection by someone experienced with the particular model is a must do. Still, be smart and get some reliable experienced people to help you in your choices and then be sure to get some GOOD TRAINING in the helicopter you buy. An old friend of mine just passed away from cancer and he had done like you...made a pile of money and spent a lot on flying. I flew with him as a "baby sitter" in a Huey that he refurbished and we did just fine flying around Las Vegas and outlying areas. His insurance required a qualified pilot fly with him until he had 25 hours in type, and he was a lot more comfortable when I flew with him to show him the little tricks and techniques that come with experience. You sound like a guy with lots of common sense and there is a plethora of experience here on JH Alternate Forum to draw from. Don't be shy to ask for advice or get down and dirty. The older guys here will be quick to debunk any bad advice. I envy your position and admire it as well. Cheers Rocky

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
SupremoUser is Offline
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03/24/2013 1:43 PM  
Charlie Another very viable option is the ASTAR 350. Lots of them around, good support, good training available, and the numbers are good. Dunno why I didn't mention it before?? Cheers - Rocky

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
charlie9901User is Offline

Posts:5

03/25/2013 4:56 AM  
wow some great advice from both of you, thank you. I did look at the AR350, but loved the look of the 120 more so than the 350. Not sure if that a wise thing to do, but on paper they seemed very much on par. I have a good close friend of mine who's son goes around the country inspecting helicopters and light aircraft for many companies, so im honoured that he will give give which ever aircraft i see the full works. Yesterday i spoke to the instuctor who put me through my training who i now know thanks to both your advice is rated in both the 350 and 120. He has agreed to babysit me for as long as i need so that is that sorted. All i need now is something to fly. This has been a dream of mine from childhood, now its come true. I thank you both from way below for great advice and lets hope i have many year of happy flying. Cheers, Charlie
Flying PigUser is Offline
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Posts:29

03/25/2013 5:58 PM  
I see the helicopters you have selected are more passenger oriented. The 600N is an interesting choice, but since you mentioned "fun" have you looked into an MD530F? A little smaller than the others, but an amazing machine. I have about 1000hrs in 500E's. I cant wait to get my hands on an F model.
charlie9901User is Offline

Posts:5

03/26/2013 3:16 PM  
yeah i did look at it, but i know big my family is and i know once i get which ever helicopter i buy, they will be fighting to get in it. I'll have a closer look at then again thank you. Your the first person ive kinda spoke to who actually flies the MD so it would be great to get prospective on them?
plumberUser is Offline
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Posts:143

03/28/2013 7:40 AM  
Also, please for the sake of your family get the best training possible on the type you buy! A yearly check ride at the least will show you how many bad habits you can pick up. Fly safe and have fun.
Flying PigUser is Offline
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03/28/2013 10:37 AM  
Now that you mention "family" I wouldnt go with the 500 or the 530. Not a whole lot of room in the back of one. And without an aux tank, your flight time will be cut down. With an aux tank, you wont have any room for anything in the back of the 530F for anything other than two people. Its not a very comfortable ride either for the back seat passengers.
Ive always been a 407 fan myself. Or even something like a Long Ranger would doe nicely. Obviously you could end up with tons of suggestions. But if you have family, the 500 or 530 would not be very family oriented. Sort of like stuffing your babies car seat in a Ferrari! :)
ikesspikeUser is Offline
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03/28/2013 9:07 PM  
Kinda surprised at the reply’s.. I would not suggest purchasing any of these models. If money is not a concern, I suggest you seek more training and advanced training before you purchase. After that, purchase a new machine from a manufacturer and they’ll provide the transition with the purchase. IMO, the safest, easiest to fly, most reliable family friendly machine with good support is a Bell 206 Jetranger. With respect for your friends’ son, I’ll add this. I can be your friend too. If you buy an August 109 Power, I’ll sit next to you for free….. However, I currently make about $500 a day flying an AS350 so you’ll need to match that in order to buy my services. The lesson being, when discussing helicopters, be careful who offers to sit next to you to “help you along”……..
charlie9901User is Offline

Posts:5

04/01/2013 6:09 AM  
Funny you should say that because i spoke to Eurocopter last week about the AS350B3. I think new is the way to go for me, have looked on every website at second hand choppers, and found nothing that i would have to spend money to get it the way i want it, so thought better to go straight to the people who build them. That way i get what i want, and the best advice. As for using your services, thank you for the offer but i live in the UK, but out of curiosity, where abouts in the States do you live and fly the 350?
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