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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/26/2005 5:15:38 PM EDT
Anyone have any insight to the best way to go about getting a helicopter pilots license? I've heard that it's best to get your fixed wing license first, and then you can add a rotory wing later on. It's a goal of mine to be able to someday fly helicopters as a job but am not sure how to go about it besides the military. Thanks in advance.

Billy
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:16:53 PM EDT
I heard flight school can go up to $30,000 for helicopters.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:20:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 5:21:10 PM EDT by ZitiForBreakfast]
Thats a good plan so far. The military is NO guarantee that you will ever get rotary wing.

I do have the full belief that at a minimum get a rating 1st with fixed wings. It will be easier to understand EVERYTHING from drag, lift, thrust, roll, pitch, yaw, HSI, VSI, TACAN, offset, everything...

even .mil makes you go fixed 1st.


Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:24:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 5:26:57 PM EDT by AeroE]
Start flying helos as soon as you can and keep wih it. It's expensive and takes longer than a fixed wing.

I wouldn't learn to fly a fixed wing first, it will add lots of cost with only a little transferable knowledge, mostly navigation, regs, physiology, and so on; probably none of the actual hands on flying skills are transferable.

Every fixed wing pilot I know that started in helo's, started from scratch and required 60 to 70 hours before they could take the Pivate Pilot check ride, and these were very experienced instrument rated pilots with lots of time in a huge variety of airplanes and good stick and rudder skills.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:27:08 PM EDT
Military is cheapest. Uncle pays. It's not necessary to have an airplane rating before a rotorcraft rating. Regulations, weather, navigation, etc. are mostly the same in training for either. The mechanics of flying a helicopter differ from an airplane. Some procedures are backwards. If you don't have an interest or a use for an airplane rating, just go for rotorcraft.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:33:43 PM EDT
Hey just teach yourself. I mean c'mon how hard can it be?

www.alexisparkinn.com/photogallery/Videos/heli_crash_(self_taught).wmv

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:10:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 6:13:18 PM EDT by a320az]
Do not do fixed wing first. They are nothing alike. You will learn all the aerodynamics and regs just the same. Don waste your money on a fixed wing ticket.

Join the Military.

ETA: It will cost you more than 30K as well. My fixed wing stuff costs that much. Average $$$ per hour in fixed is about $100. Average $$$ per hour for rotary is $240. You do the math. You need 250 hours to get your commercial certificate.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:14:37 PM EDT
If you want rotary wing only, dont fly fixed. They arent close enough to warrant the cost. A civvy commercial ticket in rotary wing will cost damn near $75000. My fixed wing training up to CFII/MEI was about $45k.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:15:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shogun187:
Anyone have any insight to the best way to go about getting a helicopter pilots license? I've heard that it's best to get your fixed wing license first, and then you can add a rotory wing later on. It's a goal of mine to be able to someday fly helicopters as a job but am not sure how to go about it besides the military. Thanks in advance.

Billy



Join the Guard. Find an aviation unit that will send you to flight school.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:30:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ar15_rifleman:

Originally Posted By shogun187:
Anyone have any insight to the best way to go about getting a helicopter pilots license? I've heard that it's best to get your fixed wing license first, and then you can add a rotory wing later on. It's a goal of mine to be able to someday fly helicopters as a job but am not sure how to go about it besides the military. Thanks in advance.

Billy



Join the Guard. Find an aviation unit that will send you to flight school.




That is actually very good advice. Few people know that the Guard and the Reserves send people to flight school. It is by far the best route to becoming a professional pilot.

Apply for Army WOFT. Get it garanteed in your contract.

I don't think there are enough civillian helo jobs available to warrent getting your tickets the civillian route. All of my Army aviator friends ended up flying fixed wing as civilians because that is where the opportunities are.

Going the civilian route, after spending 50,000-75,000 getting a helo ticket in reciprocating helos, you will be competing with thousands of military vets that have time in advanced turbine helos. The only thing you will be qualified for is flight instructing, which does not pay.

The above does not apply if you have very serious job connections, or very rich parents.

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:34:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 6:36:35 PM EDT by a320az]

Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Apply for Army WOFT. Get it garanteed in your contract.

I don't think there are enough civillian helo jobs available to warrent getting your tickets the civillian route. All of my Army aviator friends ended up flying fixed wing as civilians because that is where the opportunities are.

Going the civilian route, after spending 50,000-75,000 getting a helo ticket in reciprocating helos, you will be competing with thousands of military vets that have time in advanced turbine helos. The only thing you will be qualified for is flight instructing, which does not pay.

The above does not apply if you have very serious job connections, or very rich parents.





Good advice.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:46:56 PM EDT
I am a 3500 + hr ATP and got the opportunity to spend three days flying with helo pilot in a Jet Ranger doing some arial surveying. This helo had dual controls and the pilot was also a cfi. I got to log 7-8 hrs and had a blast. I discovered the only skill I had that did me any good was being able to talk on the radio to atc. Everything else was from scratch. Great fun though.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:48:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillofRights:

Originally Posted By ar15_rifleman:

Originally Posted By shogun187:
Anyone have any insight to the best way to go about getting a helicopter pilots license? I've heard that it's best to get your fixed wing license first, and then you can add a rotory wing later on. It's a goal of mine to be able to someday fly helicopters as a job but am not sure how to go about it besides the military. Thanks in advance.

Billy



Join the Guard. Find an aviation unit that will send you to flight school.




That is actually very good advice. Few people know that the Guard and the Reserves send people to flight school. It is by far the best route to becoming a professional pilot.

Apply for Army WOFT. Get it garanteed in your contract.

I don't think there are enough civillian helo jobs available to warrent getting your tickets the civillian route. All of my Army aviator friends ended up flying fixed wing as civilians because that is where the opportunities are.

Going the civilian route, after spending 50,000-75,000 getting a helo ticket in reciprocating helos, you will be competing with thousands of military vets that have time in advanced turbine helos. The only thing you will be qualified for is flight instructing, which does not pay.

The above does not apply if you have very serious job connections, or very rich parents.




I looked into the WOFT program and they told me that it would be very difficult to get a reserve status flight contract. They also said the closest place was Ft. Eustis, which is a good distance from where I live. I have not checked the Guard, however.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:55:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shogun187:
Anyone have any insight to the best way to go about getting a helicopter pilots license? I've heard that it's best to get your fixed wing license first, and then you can add a rotory wing later on. It's a goal of mine to be able to someday fly helicopters as a job but am not sure how to go about it besides the military. Thanks in advance.

Billy


Do you already have a PPL?
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:57:41 PM EDT
I didn't clarify at the beginning of this thread, but I would be starting from scratch.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 9:34:43 AM EDT
call me at work I will IM you my phone number. I have some info you may want. I just went through the leg work for this about 6 months ago.

There is a good school here at the bay but you need to waight less then 230 lbs.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 9:38:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2005 9:39:57 AM EDT by A-nus]
I need to finnish getting mine, just for a hobbie i have about 10 hours solo in a r22 then i went to school and stopped, lots of fun

All the Heli instructors told me NOT to train on fix wing first because it gives you bad habbits when flying Helo's, thats the extent of what the told me .
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 9:38:56 AM EDT
the problem with the civi jobs are that you will need about 10 years exp for the job. The only job you will be able to find is all single engine stuff like photo jobs.

Link Posted: 9/27/2005 9:39:46 AM EDT
Well you are grossly misinformed and I am really surprised nobody even tried to tell you the err of your ways..

Helos do not fly.. they beat the air into submission. This is clearly evident when watching an H-53 hover. But as far as cool factor a taxi way with a couple Cobras going by real slow is hard to beat!
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 9:44:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Well you are grossly misinformed and I am really surprised nobody even tried to tell you the err of your ways..

Helos do not fly.. they beat the air into submission. This is clearly evident when watching an H-53 hover. But as far as cool factor a taxi way with a couple Cobras going by real slow is hard to beat!




no, they are so ugly, the ground repels them
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 10:14:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Belfry_Express:

Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Well you are grossly misinformed and I am really surprised nobody even tried to tell you the err of your ways..

Helos do not fly.. they beat the air into submission. This is clearly evident when watching an H-53 hover. But as far as cool factor a taxi way with a couple Cobras going by real slow is hard to beat!




no, they are so ugly, the ground repels them




Bingo. (From your friendly fixed wing pilot)
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 10:18:14 AM EDT
Like was said, the Military is really the best way to go. A civvy license will cost you big bucks and you will be competing with Combat veterans with serious time in advanced helos who got their training courtesy of Uncle Sam. A very high percentage of civvy helo jobs go to vets...
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 10:24:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CFII:

Originally Posted By Belfry_Express:

Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Well you are grossly misinformed and I am really surprised nobody even tried to tell you the err of your ways..

Helos do not fly.. they beat the air into submission. This is clearly evident when watching an H-53 hover. But as far as cool factor a taxi way with a couple Cobras going by real slow is hard to beat!




no, they are so ugly, the ground repels them




Bingo. (From your friendly fixed wing pilot)


Yep. The only purpose of the main rotor is to keep the pilot cool. If it stops, the pilot will really sweat.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 11:54:34 AM EDT
I wouldn't worry about competition for jobs - if you have the qualifications, there are likely more jobs than pilots and you will stay busy.

Getting qualified is the long pole in that tent.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 1:12:10 PM EDT
I've never met a helicopter pilot who got his ticket in the civilian world. I'm certain they exist, but few and far between, it seems. The Guard suggestion is a great place to start.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 1:14:40 PM EDT
Well, it appears that going the military route is the most cost effective and the best if I'd like to fly as a job later on in life. I was told that if you go through the Marine Corps, you sign a contract prior to going to OCS that guarantees a flight billet. You either make it, or you're out of the Marines. Is this an accurate statement? Also, what other branches have these contractual agreements? That way I don't sign for flight and end up in admin.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 1:38:50 PM EDT
Do you plan on getting an instrument rating?

I think that getting some fixed wing training first, although not necessarily a private pilot's license, would be beneficial.

-Fixed wing time is much cheaper than rotary
-You can determine if you have any natural flying ability in the fixed wing first
-You can learn basic flight maneuvers like level turns and level speed changes and how to develop your VFR scan pattern
-You can learn how to talk and fly at the same time...not as easy as it sounds for a beginner
-You will learn how to memorize and execute normal and emergency procedures
-You can learn how to fly instruments and shoot instrument approaches

USN trains all of its pilots on fixed wing first (@100 hours). USA is pure rotary wing. Of course all USN pilots are instrument rated upon completion of training. USA pilots were not, at least when I earned my wings in '91, although they did receive some basic instrument training.

Bottom line: I would take a few (3-5) fixed wing lessons just to see if flying was for me and then switch to rotary. If you are going to pursue an instrument rating as well I would begin that training in fixed wing because the flight time is cheaper. Fly enough flights to get your scan down and learn how to fly blind and then come back to rotary.

YMMV - H46Driver: 100 hours fixed wing, 2800 hours rotary wing. NATOPS, Instrument, Night Vision Goggle, and Functional Check Flight IP (Instructor Pilot).

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