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Training, hours building and first job prospects in America

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Training, hours building and first job prospects in America

Old 14th Jul 2004, 11:45
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Question Flying opportunities in the US

Dear all,

I will be travelling in the US in September, visiting the following cities :

Santa Fe
Grand Canyon
San Diego
Boston, MA

and would like to receive any suggestions about where I can get some good flying in.

I have 37 hours towards my PPL and though I will have at least another 10 by the time of the trip, I will not have my license so flying schools would be the best recommendation.

I have done the Grand Canyon with Papillon before so I am not too bothered about having a regular tourist trip but I would be interested in going with an instructor if there are any in the area.

I am learning on an R22 and have also flown 300 CBis but I will be travelling with 2 companions so hiring a Jet Ranger (or similar) and an instructor would be preferable to leaving them on the ground. I can easily get some hours in a Jet Ranger before making the trip.

All suggestions welcome.


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Old 14th Jul 2004, 16:02
  #362 (permalink)  
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Check your private messages - you've got mail!
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Old 14th Jul 2004, 17:24
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Go spend some money with my friend John Stonecihper in Prescott AZ. Guideance Helicopters. www.guideancehelicopters.com . About 1.5 hours from the grand canyon. Beautiful country around there. It really isnt mtn, flying as his school claims, but you will really enjoy it.

They'll fly you up to GCN if you want, but there is plenty of stuff to see around prescott. Oh and dont forget to have a beer at the Prescott brewery. they have 20 cent wings for happy hour
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 04:37
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dual over Grand Canyon iffy

Hey, have a blast! But it's easier to be a passenger over Grand Canyon than be the pilot: FAA, in its arbitrary capricious shoot-from-the-hip infinite wisdom, has decreed that ALL flights below 10,500' over Canyon must be a) under Part 135, and b) written into operations specifications of the 135 operator.

And c), Catch 22, part 135 specifically forbids allowing anyone but the FAA-approved designated pilot from touching the controls. (Thought control is Real and With Us!)

Under Part 91 (dual possible) You can stooge around outside the edges of the SFAR airspace at the west margins of the Park, but it's not as breathtaking.

But do check with the flight schools, Prescott or Silver State or AFlightAbove (St. George), just don't tell the FAA what you get to do with them . . .

One legal option: if you go in from St George (they have an R44 now, I believe), run 40 nm +- SE to Kanab Canyon, where you can land at 5000' on a point jutting out southward, just N of SFAR Airspace, right next to a Wilderness Area (restricted), on Bureau of Land Management open range (no restrictions whatsoever) and gambol about the plateau edge taking pictures 3500' down into the main Grand Canyon, S wall 8 mi S at Havasu Falls (not visible). The Esplanade is a little better-developed here than it is in the Park proper.

San Diego: Robinsons available at Carlsbad (Civic, but no R44's), Montgomery Field (Corporate Helis, as I recall). I have done one, and only 1, scenic tour southern San Diego County, trying to comply with all the airspace requirements without talking to controllers (this was to be a SCENERY flight) drove me nuts. But if you don't have to look at the city and the beaches, the foothills just east of Class B airspace are impressively rugged and beautiful, mostly below 4000' elevations, and largely unrestricted.

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Old 15th Jul 2004, 09:37
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Thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions, please keep them coming.

Hey Dave, re your comment :

>trying to comply with all the airspace requirements without
> talking to controllers (this was to be a SCENERY flight) drove
> me nuts.

You should come and fly in the UK - one big controlled airspace

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Old 23rd Jul 2004, 13:56
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Try a scooter. No license or insurance required in Florida if it is under 50cc. You can get one of the Chinese brands with Yamaha engine for under $1000 brand new. I have seen them go 60mph!! Also gets about 120mpg.
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Old 23rd Jul 2004, 20:14
  #367 (permalink)  
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You want a proper bike in the states for $1600, you can buy one thats stolen, add a 0 to it and you can get a "proper " bike. The pound is not that good.
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Old 23rd Jul 2004, 21:55
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I'm at HAI at the moment, I can ask around for you. Can't say I've seen any bike dealers around Titusville though. There are a few students and instructors with bikes so they will have a better idea.
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Old 24th Jul 2004, 07:21
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Champions Kawasaki
COCOA, FL 32922-7402
(321) 636-4988 Phone
(321) 631-7627 Fax

From my experience I have to say that, given same age, european bikes are in better shape than those in the US.
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Old 28th Aug 2004, 08:28
  #370 (permalink)  
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Florida school said to be a danger

Sun-Sentinal report
Helicopter school near Lantana called a danger to surrounding residents

In the wake of its second crash in a month, the troubles for a helicopter flight school near Lantana mounted Thursday when local officials called the business a safety risk to the community and asked federal officials to take action.

In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, Bruce Pelly, director of the Department of Airports, said Palm Beach Helicopter, based at the Lantana airport, is a threat to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Tuesday's crash west of Boynton Beach, the second by a Palm Beach Helicopter pilot in 30 days, is proof, according to the letter. Pelly wants the school moved, the letter said.

"The helicopter activity around Lantana airport is a safety concern," he wrote. "Once again, the department requests assistance to locate helicopter-training activity away from populated areas."

The flight school, with its fledgling pilots practicing takeoffs, landings and hovering maneuvers, has long been an annoyance for residents of nearby Atlantis, who say the noise and vibration are a nuisance and the neophyte pilots a safety hazard.

"The residents have been right," said county Commissioner Warren Newell, who lives near the helicopter school. "We've had two accidents."

Randy Rowles, owner of Palm Beach Helicopters, resents accusations that his operation is unsafe. It's airplanes, not his helicopters, that have crashed into neighboring houses, he said, referring to a January crash that killed two people when a twin-engine Piper Geronimo landed in the driveway of a Lake Osborne Estates home.

Rowles said he has tried to be accommodating and has worked with the county to find an alternate training location, which is why word of Thursday's letter disturbed him.

"In one breath, they're telling me they're helping me and attempting to give us assistance, and in the next breath they're saying my operation is dangerous," he fumed. "The county is doing everything to shut me down ... and I don't appreciate it."

Both sides have been trying to find property to build a training facility with safety measures equivalent to those at the Lantana airport. In the meantime, his instructors have been doing some of their training in the Agricultural Reserve west of Boynton Beach, where Tuesday's crash occurred. But GL Homes is building 1,500 homes there.

"We've looked at a number of locations west of existing communities," department spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda said. "We're very willing to do what we need to do to get the helipad there, but it's the piece of property that we have not been able to secure."

They inquired about purchasing a swath of land at 20-mile Bend owned by the South Florida Water Management District, but district officials planned to turn it into a nature preserve, she said. The other option was property west of State Road 7 near Southern Boulevard, but there are plans to put homes there, eliminating that option, she said.

Acknowledging that the county does not have authority over Palm Beach Helicopters, Pelly asked the FAA in May if the county established a training area, could it mandate flight schools to use it. "The repetitive operations are extremely annoying to the community," he wrote in a letter.

The answer was no.

"Helicopter training ... cannot be arbitrarily restricted based on noise at a federally obligated airport, such as LNA," Miguel Martinez, FAA district program manager wrote in a May 17 response.

Officials at the FAA were not available for comment Thursday, but said in the letter that restrictions would have to be based on a detailed cost-benefit analysis called the FAR Part 161 study, which looks at the years of noise and the noise other aircraft make.

On Thursday, department officials said the issue has escalated beyond one of noise.

"The issue of repetitive operations is not a noise or access issue, but an in-flight safety issue," Pelly wrote. "For this reason, the Department goes on record declaring that continued repetitive helicopter flight operations over the communities surrounding the Lantana airport pose a safety concern."
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Old 28th Aug 2004, 10:10
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Same garbage all the time. Why does somebody build its house in the vicinity of an airport? Because it is cheap real estate. Then when everything is said and done nobody wants the flip side of the cheap real estate.

Does anybody ever complain about the I-95/I-75 that runs in that area. Funny enough people accept this kind of noise. I wonder why. If a company constructs another highway..yeah sure, go on. But if it comes to airports, people's emotions run sky high. Don't forget folks, aviation is a vital part of an economy, you cut it off and I would like to see 'em rowing a canoe into the caribbean. Or even better search and rescue in a sailboat. Good luck
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Old 29th Aug 2004, 06:57
  #372 (permalink)  
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So why is this guy Bruce Pelly a director of the Department of Airports if he doesn't understand aviation? He sounds like someone who has had lots of letters of complaint from NIMBYs and isn't robust enough to tell them where to ram it.
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Old 29th Aug 2004, 18:26
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One would assume he got the job because of his bribes....err.... campaign contributions to Gov Bush. That's the usual way to get state jobs. In the US, we have the best government money can buy.
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Old 29th Aug 2004, 21:34
  #374 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

I have similar thoughts as Gomer Pylot... very wealthy area... hmmm. True about the crash, but this airport has been on the chopping block for years. In fact, they've put a lot of B.S. restrictions on patterns and operating hours. There is still a lot of fight, but this is not an economically depressed area and the influential are also wealthy... might be tough to save (no "common people" left who actually give a rats patuti). Nevertheless, this airport is part of the Federal Air Space and it receives dollars from the government. As a result, the locals have no authority (or if they force the issue will lose their FAA funding - rightfully so).
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Old 29th Aug 2004, 23:01
  #375 (permalink)  
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Well, sounds like another loud mouth got on an airport commision. Its normal to do this, gives them some thing to do, but no authority to do anything. Most all of these commisions are un paid. West Palm Beach being what it is , it don't surprise me much, on the other hand the take Federal dollars for the Airport, so they are out of luck. In cases like this its really a personal thing between people. Maybe Randy could not teach his kid to fly or didn't hire a Kid of his or a relative. Besides you really have to take anything written in the paper may not be what is really going on. My guess is that the paper to has an anti aviation adjenda as well, most all news papers and tv news do. If left up to them every town city and state would be making up there own airspace and pilot certification rules. The FAA will not do anything here, and as for the accidents, how may auto drivers in that county had adcidents during the same period? They will not even mention that.
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Old 29th Aug 2004, 23:03
  #376 (permalink)  

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I take it this is the Randy Rowles ex of FSI, TraumaHawk at WPB and Papillon Helicopters?

If so, he's a good guy so I'm sorry to see him being given the wrong end of the ragman's trumpet.

Bloody Nimbys!!
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Old 31st Aug 2004, 10:01
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He is the same Randy, and I agree, a really good guy. He renewed my CFI one year, as an FAA examiner, and we flew together several times when he was with FSI.

The issue here is cetainly something I have thought for a long time - Noise complaints are in good part due to public fear. The sound is annoying, but the idea that an object will fall on your house is the deep-down issue.
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Old 31st Aug 2004, 10:14
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Florida Sun-Sentinal report
Helicopter school owner accuses officials of slander
The owner of a controversial helicopter flight school near Lantana fired back at local officials Monday, saying they are using slanderous tactics to put him out of business.

Randy Rowles vented his frustration in a warning letter to Palm Beach County small business owners, though he sent it to the County Commission and the Department of Airports.

Rowles took issue with comments made by Commissioner Warren Newell and department Chairman Bruce Pelly in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration. Both, either directly or by agreeing with those who did, said helicopter training at the Lantana airport is a safety hazard and cited two recent training accidents by Palm Beach Helicopters as proof.

"I was unaware that Palm Beach County was in the practice of slandering its small businesses through lies and false, unsubstantiated claims," he wrote, referring to an earlier argument that airplanes, not helicopters, crash into the neighborhoods around the airport.

Rowles went on to say that he thinks local officials are playing on people's aviation fears post Sept. 11.

"It is extremely unsettling that our local government figures would play on the safety concerns of the community to settle noise issues at their own personal residence," he said.

Newell lives near the flight school. And though he's never complained about the noise, he said nearby Atlantis residents were right about the school. They say the noise and vibration are a nuisance and the neophyte pilots a safety hazard.

"I think Randy read something into the letter that was not there," Newell said.

On Thursday, Pelly again asked the FAA to step in and help the county get rid of helicopter training at the airport because it's not safe. By doing so they are not singling Rowles out, department spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda said. They want all flight schools moved and training operations stopped, she said.

Of the three helicopter operations at the airport, only one is a flight school. The others, one of which is Palm Beach Helicopter's sister company, do regular refresher courses for their pilots. But the school, with its pilots practicing takeoffs, landings and hovering maneuvers, is responsible for the majority of the training activity.

"It's not that we're pointing the finger," De La Rionda said Monday. "Of course we're concerned because in less than 30 days there's been two helicopter crashes and Palm Beach Helicopter has been the operator, but it's not that we're saying that he's unsafe. We're saying that the repetitive nature of the training" is not safe.

There is only one specific reference to Rowles' company in Pelly's letter. He mentions the company by name when discussing the July 28 and Aug. 24 crash. But, in the supporting documentation attached to the letter, Palm Beach Helicopters is the only operation mentioned in conjunction with noise and safety issues.
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Old 27th Sep 2004, 09:56
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Instructor Rating in the USA

Hello to all !
I've heard that you can gain an instructor rating in America with only 200 hours. I'm an Aussie who want's to travel and further (or some may say begin ) my flying career. I have CPL-h and about 150 hours currently. Trained R22, 47 Endorsed, R44 soon. Am in a position to be able to gain any other ratings required. Would very much appreciate any feedback such as job availability, requirements, J1 Visa?, hourly rate to hire R22 and 47, conversion requirements, rates of pay etc....
I'm also interested in other countries (Canada)/opportunities if anyone knows of anything going. Thanks in advance.
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Old 27th Sep 2004, 15:17
  #380 (permalink)  
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As you already own a CPL(H) you will not qualify for a J1 visa.

It unfortunately doesn't matter which country your licence is issued by.

FAA CFI requirements are an FAA Commercial which is 150 total time of which 50 must be helicopter!!! And then a CFI checkride.

Call helicopter adventures and I'm sure they will set you straight if I'm spreading incorrect information.
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