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Wanting To Become A Rotor-head  
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4300 posts, RR: 34
Posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

So it's been on my mind for a while that I would like to get my helicopter private lisence. I don't want to fly the whirlybirds professionally, just something i'd really like to do (along with glider too).

I know of a flight school up in the Atlanta area that has a couple R22's, and another down in tampa with R22's. Anybody know anything about these and the best way to go about getting the lisence? I know I am going to be crapping out money for this and probably wouldn't do it immediately.... but it is defintely on the list of things-to-do.

Chicks dig winglets.
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30408 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2219 times:

Get all your licenses as fixed wing first before you get them as helicopter ratings.

That way you only have to do transition training which will save you a lot of money.

Job Market could be tough, you are competing against all those military guys who come out of the service with many many hours.

User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4300 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2215 times:

Hmmmm.... thanks for the response, but try re-reading my message....then look at my profile. Then re-read your message.  Smile

Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1190 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (13 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2198 times:

There is a thread on helicopter training in the civil aviation section just in case you haven't see it http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/990718/.

But it seems to me as though you should just go get a add-on commercial helicopter rating, that way you can just fly helicopters when you want to (and charge your friends for the ride). If you're inclined to, do the turbine transition and add the instrument helicopter rating and the CFI and CFII instructor ratings.

One of the helicopter pilots I talked to in the St Augustine flight schools said that a lot of the instructor pilots out there are either just fixed wing instructors or just rotary wing instructors, and if you have both, you could become valuable to the schools that teach both.

But Robinsons was fun for me to fly, I just did an intro to see if this is something I'd like, I had a blast.

But basically it seems like you start off learning how to fly straight and level, then level turns, then climbs and descents, then climbing/descending turns, then autorotation, and finally hovering. after you get thru all that then you go for hover solo, then cross-country solo. then it's just a matter of getting the hours required for your license.

On my intro flight I got pretty good at doing the first three, then started working on the fourth. But the helicopter is very sensitive, doesn't take much control movement to cause it to go wherever, so you just need to have a light touch otherwise overcontrolling the helo is a good possibility.

You need 150 total time (50 helo hours which should include 35 PIC in helos, 10 PIC XC in helos, 20 dual hours which include 10 instrument in helos, 2hour XC in day VFR, 2hr XC in night VFR, and 10 solo helo hours with 1 solo XC and 5 hrs night VFR with 10 takeoffs/landings) to get your commercial rotorcraft category w/helicopter class license. So I'm pretty sure you've already met the total time requirement, you just need to get 50 hours helicopter time. which you'll probably get while learning to do the things above.

The private requires 40 hours and since commercial is just 10 hours more, (my opinion) your best bet is just get the commercial rotorcraft license. I think you do have to do the written again.

Rates run from $200-300/hour in a Robinson R22. And training helos are usually R22s or Schweitzer 300s.

Gliders are easy, Since you have your fixed wing commercial/instructor licenses already, you don't need to take a written for the glider (and no medical required either) just do 3 hours of flight time which includes 10 solo take offs-landings and 3 training flights with an instructor for a private glider addon. Commercial glider add-on just need 3 hours of flight time which includes 20 solo take offs-landings and 3 training flights with an instructor.

Again my personal opinion go for the commercial glider addon still three hours flight time just 20/takeoffs-landings and 3 takeoffs and landings with an instructor.

Usually the glider is like $20-40/hour of flight time (however no Hobbs meter so it's on your honor) and there is a $15-20 hook up fee and $5 for every 1000ft you take with the towplane. Landing off field usually costs you a case of beer for the crew which will come out and disassemble the glider to bring to back to the field.

I found that gliders are more strategic, since you're always thinking and trying to figure out where to get that next lift. especially on cross countries. It's definitely more satisfying than powered a/c. You kind of tend to compete against your personal best see how long you can go without landing, or how high you can go. (my bests are still kind of puny compared to other glider pilots) until I got over 100 hours of powered aircraft time my longest flight (takeoff to landing) was in a glider at 2.5 hours, and the highest I have flown is still in a glider 13,000ft (I haven't gotten that high with Cessnas)

Sorry if you know all this already.

Cheers  Smile
Woodreau / KMVL

Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4300 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (13 years 5 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2154 times:

Woodreau-- been meaning to thank you for the detailed response, sorry for the delay-had a trip for the past few days. (Gotta love being a corporate pilot and having a a pretty much all expense paid trip down to the florida keys because they want to go fishing and I have the keys to their plane.  Smile) Excuse me ma'am, have you seen the keys to my jet?

Possibly my greatest concern was someone brought up a question concerning the Robinson, but apparently that didn't have any material to it.

Anybody have any comments from an operational standpoint of helicopters? Anybody gotten their license or working on it?

To clear up some questions- all I care about doing is just getting my private license, as fixed wing is what I love, but I have always wanted to learn how to fly a whirlybird.

Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1190 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (13 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2148 times:

There were a string of loss of rotor control accidents in the Robinson R22's in the early 90's, that drew the attention of the NTSB, so they did a study on the problem. (After after they started the study a few R44 helos had the same problem so they added R44s into the study as well.)


SFAR 73-1 was issued to address additional training for Robinson pilots. Since the implemention of the additional training the accident rates have gone down. So I don't think this particular issue should be a problem. I imagine Robinson is just as safe as any other helicopter. (A whole bunch of nuts/bolts/panels flying in formation.  Smile )

The SFAR expires in 3 days unless it gets reissued.

Didn't know if this was the specific thing you were looking for.

Oh another link if you're wanting more general helicopter info http://www.verticalreference.com

Cheers  Smile
Woodreau / KMVL

Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4300 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (13 years 5 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2125 times:

You da man, Woodreau!

Exactly what i was looking for....much appreciated.  Big grin

Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineNormalSpeed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 5 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2126 times:


This is a very interesting thread for me, as I would sometime like to get my CFI-G and Commercial Heli add-on. Guess I ought to finish up my fixed wing CFI first (three weeks--if I pass the checkride that is!) and then worry about the other stuff. I think I'm fairly decided that I'm going to do my airplane CFII next, and then perhaps the CFI-G over the summer. We'll see what happens. Thanks for the info guys.


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