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time to 1st solo rotary

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time to 1st solo rotary

Old 19th Sep 2006, 18:58
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
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I can't imagine even that being possible, but maybe, just. But how on earth do you do it in less time?
As I mentioned in my first posting on this thread, it depends on many things. I used to teach on the Bell 47 G2 then G4 and all our students were "live in" permanent for up to 10 months during which time they did alternate days ground school and flying. Because of this continuity, we didn't have to remind them of what we did last time, as might often happen when a student is only having one lesson every weekend, or even less frequently.

I also agree with Whirls, at least for the most part, re it doesn't matter how long you take to go solo.

Any newbies, or wannabies out there reading this thread should not be disheartened by talk of going solo in 30 minutes or 30 hours or whatever. There are some students I have known that I would never want to see going solo, no matter how many hours of training they were given. There comes a point in every instructors ability to put up with suicidal maniacs who don't show any signs of improvement no matter how many hours or changes of instructor they have.

Of course, there are also those schools that will keep taking your money and making all the right noises to keep you soldiering on. Easy for me to say, but difficult for a student to know when he/she is being taken for a ride......
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Old 19th Sep 2006, 18:59
  #62 (permalink)  
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I agree with Whirly, I didn't want to mix in but feel I have to. How can someone be proficient at autoroations/emergencies in 7 hours. I don't let anyone go solo before he's proficient at autorotations and emergencies. It's not a race.
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Old 19th Sep 2006, 20:02
  #63 (permalink)  
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I soloed in the R22 at 13 hours, which was the school's insurance company mandated minimum - no prior flight time, but several hundred hours of military helicopter enlisted crewmember time. That definitely made a difference, I wasn't freaked out just being in the thing & was comfortable on the radio.

It didn't matter though in the long run, when getting my CPL later on I had to burn off 10 extra hours of dual training to meet the FAA minimum hour requirement there.
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Old 19th Sep 2006, 20:05
  #64 (permalink)  
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All depends on how much your no doubt low hour instructor hogs the sticks!
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Old 19th Sep 2006, 21:40
  #65 (permalink)  
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all depends on what you want to do, do you enjoy FW flying or not. I have never touched a FW because they never interested me. FW pilots are better to teach as they have a basic understanding of radio,circuits,etc.
As for solo, depending on the student they may be ready at 15-20 hrs. our company insurance states 20hrs.I wont let them go solo untill they can maintain a good cicuit and understand all airport procedures and can complete an auto, and take off and land without getting dynamic rollover.

A FW licence is also good later on as it is a much cheaper way to do your instrument. and cheaper to take mates away on weekends.

Good luck with your flying
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Old 19th Sep 2006, 23:17
  #66 (permalink)  
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20 hours.
Because SFAR 73 in the US says you cant solo in less.
(student pilot in an R22)
I must say although its perfectly possible to send a student solo with 7 hours, it doesn't strike me as particularly safe. better to err on the side of caution. Of course, time to solo depends as much on the instructors experience as the students. I was shitting myself the first time i sent someone solo!
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 00:10
  #67 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
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Most military pilots have been through a selection process and a fixed wing phase before rotary (hence soloing on rotary sooner) and as whirlygig said;

Iím not sure it gives a fair indication to anyone to quote solo hours in a military training environment. Iím also not sure itís fair to say that anyone who doesnít go solo in 100 hours should give up.
A my military rotary instructor used to say to me "I could teach your Granny to fly if I had a year, but I don't; I have 10 hours to get you solo, so buck your ideas up!" Just illustrating the point that if you don't make the required progress, you are chopped. Simply a function of time and hence money, and there are no shortage of candidates in the military. Civilian pilots are not against the clock as such, but the presssure must be equally as intense when slower learning = more money on their part. It requires a huge amount of self determination to get there, whatever the route, so all those 100 hour solos deserve nothing but respect for perseverance and stamina alone.
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 09:16
  #68 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Two's in View Post
"I could teach your Granny to fly if I had a year, but I don't; I have 10 hours to get you solo, so buck your ideas up!" Just illustrating the point that if you don't make the required progress, you are chopped. Simply a function of time and hence money
Its often forgotton, or perhaps not even known, what a gulf there is between the two. The key to military flying is selection for an ultimate role. If you cant solo, or indeed do any other manoevre or process, you are no good to them and they are ALWAYS thinking "If you can't even do this you definitely wont be able to cope with whats next!"

Its push push push because everyone is on a time scale and right behind the current seemingly impossible task is another even bigger one, leading eventually to you being able to position the gun exactly where and when the boss wants it.

However, anyone who decides to put aside their time and money, learn when they can afford it and read aerodynamics books etc around work, home, kids and dogs deserves just as much praise as a 20 year old with no external responsibilities and a full time, all expenses paid course at Betty Windsors Close Formation Flying Club.

Afterwards, its all down to maintaining standards and staying safe. This, of course, is an area where it is many times more difficult for an occasional flyer, they need to have huge amounts of discipline to remember it all and not just turn up and fly 'because its saturday'.
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 09:39
  #69 (permalink)  
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An important factor is age. When you get older, people tend to see the dangers of things and think more. Young people don't see risks at all. (at least most of them).
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 10:23
  #70 (permalink)  
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An important factor is age.
Indeed it is!! Whatever it is we were talking about in the first instance......
Now then, where did I put my glasses? ....................

All depends on how much your no doubt low hour instructor hogs the sticks!
Now my memory is coming back. I recall several stories of students, and experienced the same myself as a student. One chap said that his instructor was always on the controls and related a story about what went on during an engine off landing practise. The student was meant to be flying the helicopter, but relaxed his own grip on the controls and followed-through instead as he could feel his instructor "leading the way".

On completion of a very good landing, the instructor looked at him and said "That was very good. Well done!"

The mind boggles.........
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 10:30
  #71 (permalink)  
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Yes, Flyer43 is very old......

I believe the instructor you are referring to had the autopilot named after him!
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 10:31
  #72 (permalink)  
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The RN syllabus had 11 set 60 min lessons (D1-D11) before first solo. Bear in mind that military students will be learning full time, so it would not be hard for such a stude to complete 11 lessons in 8 flying days.

The combination of 80 hours FW and the Gazelle as the platform, coupled with young brains that don't have day-time jobs should have made the instructors lives slightly easier! It didn't!
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 10:31
  #73 (permalink)  
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I resemble that last remark!! Whatever it was......
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 11:05
  #74 (permalink)  
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I agree in general with much of what is being said here, but do believe there has to be some very good reasons for not achieving not only the solo standard, but subsequent exercise standards, in a reasonable time. Failure to do so may lead to consequences later, especially if the pilot is in an unmonitored environment.

The topic of this thread has been discussed previously and I included a story which may be worth repeating. Flyer43 may recognise the sorry tale.

A sponsored pilot at the school F43 refers began to fail to meet the required standard mid way through his course (CPL(H)) and after review and further training was chopped. Undeterred he presented himself at another school and after spending his own money and using rather more time than the minimum, reached the standard required for licence issue (obviously debatable.)

He then received a job offer with one of the major offshore operators (obviously not the one who originally sponsored him) and started his AS332 conversion. He failed to make adequate progress and his employment was terminated.

Fortunately for him (less fortunate though, as it transpires) he was taken on by a small air taxi operator in the SE of England and flew Jetrangers for a while. His final task was to take a group of office workers to a Christmas staff lunch at Leeds Castle. Shortly after take off he entered IMC and the problem was compounded by misted up windows from the wet passengers. Tragically he and his passengers were all killed in the subsequent crash into nearby woods.

This is a rather sombering and some may argue excessively dramatic story. However it does illustrate that not every one does have the apptitude to successfully operate as a pilot, and that those who are tasked to train, mentor and assess pilots have a duty of care not only to the pilots themselves, but to the pilots' passengers. The notion that someone can become qualified after simply throwing money at the problem is a dangerously misleading one.

However, I do agree that there are some circumstances, generally exacerbated by weather, continuity and instructor related issues where progress may be slower than hoped for, and the student should be encouraged that this is perfectly normal. I agree it's not a race, but lets stay realistic too.
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 16:07
  #75 (permalink)  
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From a civilian instructor's standpoint, there's no need to push someone to solo, but there is definitely a point where you should be concerned if they don't.

Since an initial (not add-on) student needs a minimum of 30 hours of dual, 20 hours before solo just means that when they are flying around by themselves, they are more likely to be practicing proper and refined technique and tactics.

I like to solo them later, then let them fly alone for a few hours, just taking some quick dual flights to be sure they are still on track. Then when they've got all the solo RQ's out of the way, we spend the last hours polishing the advanced maneuvers.

I've noted in highly unscientific surveys that time to solo in the civilian world (if within the 10 - 30 hour range) has little bearing on time to checkride. However, if you get someone who is going beyond 40 hours to solo, it's time to get other folks involved, because that pilot's ADR*.

*ain't doing right
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 16:28
  #76 (permalink)  
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I would have said that the average in my experience of students I sent solo, was between 20-25 hours, obviously this depended on my philosophy as well as there aptitude etc etc,

I never sent someone in less than 20 until I had one guy who was remarkable, everything you showed him he reproduced perfectly first time. he went solo in 9 hours and we had covered all exercises from 4-11, plus 15 & 16

I wouldnt have believed it was possible, but I had more confidence in him with 9 than some other people that took 30-35.

so a lot depends on the student, much more than you would think in my opinion


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Old 20th Sep 2006, 17:09
  #77 (permalink)  

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I well remember that accident. I lived close to where the wreckage came down.

I was one of the lucky ones to go through a full time sponsored commercial course. My heart bleeds for the guys who pay their own way and I admire their guts and determination (at least these days the awful term of "self improver" is seldom used) but I wish there was some form of self selection, or some way of them going through the tests which were applied to me and my course mates.

I recently saw a man who had paid the usual fortune to get his licence. He jumped through all the hoops and then found he had reached his peak. Three operators tried with him and all gave up. His basic flying wasn't a problem, he just couldn't get on to the next stage of doing the job. Unfortunately commercial operators are often more ruthless than Mrs Windsor when it comes down to paying for training for possibly no reward. Very few operators have budget space for second tries, and often the pressure to succeed can be higher than anything one has tried in the past. Add to that the potential financial pressure and a marriage straining due to the commitment made by a couple when one of them gets the bug to come and do this and suddenly there is too much for one person to deal with.

I know GAPAN run some form of testing scheme at a reasonable cost, I just wish it was a mandatory part of licencing. It may save a lot of pain and misery.

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Old 23rd Sep 2006, 09:42
  #78 (permalink)  
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At the end of the day you may be a quick learner or a slow one. My daughter took ages to ride her bike without stabalisers, does that mean she should have given up and walked everywhere? We all have different fears, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, it is up to the instructors to find all of these and train accordingly. I took over 80 hours to get my ppl(h) in an R22, went solo at around 25 hours, really didn't like it, waited another 10 before going again. I'm 45 and if I had been 18 I'm sure it would have been much quicker. I drive my motorbike quite differently now than I did when I was 18 so age does make you cautious. I asked my instructor if I should quit as I had read many articles about time to solo, time to test etc. He laughed and said that he only had 2 people in his career that he told to stop(20 years instructing).

My advise for what its worth is to see your ppl(h) as your end goal, all elements that take you there including exams should be at your own rate and that might mean that you take longer than average or be super quick. Remember how they get to an average! Fly safe everyone.
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Old 23rd Sep 2006, 13:53
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Friend of mine just showed me a passage from a book called 'Wings on my Sleeve' by Capt Eric Brown RN where he describes his first flight in a helicopter. Excellent stuff. He beats us all as his only pre-solo training was reading the instruction manual in the mess and a bit of help to start the thing from the groundcrew! Anyone else solo in 0 hrs?

He flew to Farnborough on his second flight, obviously dissapointed with himself for 'flying quite the loosest formation I've ever flown'!

Cracking read
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Old 23rd Sep 2006, 23:01
  #80 (permalink)  
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a wise old flier i once was privileged to get intruction from, said that he would only allow a student to solo if he felt sufficiently confident to allow the student to take his (the instructor's!) young daughter in the passenger seat on the solo flight!

Now having a young daughter, applying the same principle would stop me ever allowing a student to solo!
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