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US schools to do both the helicopter and seaplane add-on rating

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US schools to do both the helicopter and seaplane add-on rating

Old 30th May 2016, 19:08
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US schools to do both the helicopter and seaplane add-on rating

Ordinary PPL holder here. Anybody know of flight schools in the US where one can first acquire the SEL instrument rating and then afterwards both the helicopter and seaplane add-on rating?

(All-in-one solutions preferred, but if somebody knows of schools located near each other that together cover it all, that'd probably also be an option.)
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Old 3rd Jun 2016, 23:34
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A helicopter rating?!
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 03:47
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I looked at these guys when I was considering learning to fly a chopper.

https://helicopteracademy.cloudhostedresources.com/?task=get&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.helicopteracademy.com%2Fheli copter-training-private-add-on-rating.php
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 02:55
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US schools to do both the helicopter and seaplane add-on rating at

Thanks, piperboy84. So you didn't end up going there, right?

At least on their website (being such a large company, but then having a bulky term like "cloudhostedresources" – as in "helicopteracademy.cloudhostedresources.com" – in their URL strikes me as odd, by the way), they don't seem to offer seaplane training (see thread title). Or do they?

I kept the following in smaller font, since they likely do not offer what I'm looking for (except if I'm mistaken and they do additionally offer seaplane training), and I do not want to divert from the actual topic.

Looks like their focus in on training pilots that will eventually work for them (taking pictures of boats). However, they do also offer a [non-instrument] helicopter add-on rating:


^^^ Is that a good deal?

Quick-googling them, their reputation and business model seem "iffy"/controversial, even safety is called into question.

This here kinda gives the impression of admitting questionable practises and attempted damage control.

Excerpts from a reddit thread:

User Agustaguy:

I did. Hated it. Taking pictures is not "dual given" but logged that way and you'll pay for it regardless. It's fun flying, but a scam. I left after around 50 hours. 82k is a lot of money to not be trained properly. I have never put it on my resume that I briefly trained there.
User HelicopterJockey (CPL) [in reply to the question by another user, "What if you did your initial training elsewhere and then switched over to boat pix later on when you just need to build time?"]:

Then you pay a whole bunch of money to "learn how to take pictures from a helicopter". Thats right around 100 hours. He acts like he gives you a deal by saying "I'll only charge you $150 per hour, but you pick up the fuel" (I forget the hourly rate he offered). Basically, the price works out to be almost retail price after fuel, which is weird because its a revenue flight.
Tom is burning the candle on both ends.
User thenobodythatwalked (CPL-H CFII):

A friend of mine worked for them and had an engine failure due to bad maintenance. You will also continue to pay for flight time as a "CFII" for them.
Look up their safety record, it's atrocious. Probably the worst I've seen. They are undoubtedly a horrible company.
User tarantulae (ST CPL IR):

A guy I know who flew with them briefly said they were the least mechanically sound helicopters he has ever flown. He was very concerned about the maintenance they received.
User (SiaressCPL IR BH47 F28A/F):

A friend who went through them for awhile called it a "semi-legitimate pyramid scheme designed to lure you in with seductive flights and guaranteed employment".
The most scathing post is too long to quote.

Then there's a defense by the company owner, also too long to quote (one can read it here). He kinda comes across as a weirdly charming guy to me.

And there was a link to a well-made video that looks fun, but that was one of only a few positive posts on that page – virtually all the negative is second-hand reports, though ("a friend said...").

Without derailing the thread for pages on end, any opinions on this by anyone? Is the above criticism fair or unwarranted?

Would be happy to hear about more schools, obviously. Again, preferably, they should offer the seemingly elusive combo of training for both helicopter and seaplane add-on rating.

Last edited by Captain Olimar; 5th Jun 2016 at 14:18. Reason: copyediting
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 15:33
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No one place exists to my knowledge for all three in USA. The closest together is probably Florida. Rotary: Atlantic Helicopters, Ft Pierce (Also EASA school) , Sea: Florida Seaplanes, Orlando or Jack Browns, Winterhaven. FAA IR SEL - easier than the other two to find somewhere between these. Or Alaska - look at Lake Hood....

Or go to Canada and convert the licence after . No TSA, and you should find what you want at Pitt Meadows or one of the other places near Vancouver
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 16:16
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Or go to Canada and convert the licence after .
The bonus of getting a rating in Canada, is that you are required to do some solo time, unlike the FAA rating.

And landing on mountain lakes is much more interesting than landing in alligator-infested swamps!
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Old 8th Jun 2016, 12:07
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Hmm, Alaska sure sounds enticing.

Just curious: If one is holding the Canadian PPL, is one allowed to fly only within Canada, or other places, too? If the latter, where? (I mean, without doing the conversion of the license.)
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