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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 28th Apr 2002, 00:57
  #121 (permalink)  

The Original Whirly
 
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Sat 27th April
Big Bear was out, cloud base too low. I was asking Tim some questions about going to San Diego, and it turned out he'd never flown there. I invited him to come along for the ride and to navigate, change frequencies etc, if I didn't have to pay dual rates. So we went to San Diego today. Fantastic flight, and I agree, San Diego Bay is awesome. 200-300 ft all along the shoreline, to 2000 ft for the nuclear power whatever (gives me vertigo now), no problems with Camp Pendleton, talked to Lindburgh (San Diego Int'l) and got clearance to Loma Point. Then asked the mil guys if we could go round the bay - don't ask don't get, I always think. They said no, but said we could go to the Blue Crane and directly back! The Blue Crane is directly across the bay, so we got to cross the bay, with Tim taking photos for me (his main function on this trip). Ruben, your home town is beautiful. If I had more time I would have stopped off to see it for longer. As it was, we'd planned to re-fuel at Oceanside, but realised we had enough to get back, so retraced our steps, 200 ft most of the way - this is becoming normal and I like it. My longest flight without stopping in an R22 - 2.9 hours. I've now done 49 hours total since I've been in the US. I'm taking tomorrow off and going to the beach. Then Monday, hopefully Big Bear, or some mountain flying. Tuesday I'm doing an hour's f/w flying, for a change. Wednesday I fly back to the UK. But it's been a fantastic trip, and it's not quite over yet.
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Old 28th Apr 2002, 09:29
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So pleased you went, and very relieved you enjoyed it.
Recommendations are sometimes risky, but that particular flight is a very safe bet - nobody's been disappointed yet!
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Old 28th Apr 2002, 23:22
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Thumbs up

AWESOME! You did make it down here! That is really cool you made the flight!

I'm glad you liked it...yes, you should definitely stay a little longer next time and visit the various sites here. You will not be disappointed.

Ruben
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Old 29th Apr 2002, 01:37
  #124 (permalink)  
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WOW, Its April Two Eight and I didnt get back to you.....Sorry...... Been real busy with 135 ride and tours......
Weather is still good here in Vegas and wind is real fun in the (Big Ditch) Grand Canyon, only to get better when the summer hits.
Have fun for the remainder of your time, maybe next time for the Law Enforcement tour.
Should you decide on flying in South Africa, let me know, that is easy to arrange......

Bert
Silverado One Six
www.heliusa.com
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Old 29th Apr 2002, 17:51
  #125 (permalink)  

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Bert, no problem; I haven't had time for all I've wanted to do anyway. I HAVE to come back - do the Robinson safety course, see more of San Diego area, maybe actually make it to Vegas.

Sun 28th April
Much needed day off. I got up late and drove down to Laguna Beach. I'm now used to driving here, so had fun following the Pacific Coast Highway, looking from the ground at what I'd seen from the air the day before. Shopping, eating lunch in a restaurant overlooking the ocean, sunbathing on the beach - doing what "normal" women do when they go on holiday to Southern California. Feel much better ( I was tired!) and have enough of a tan to prove to people in the UK that I've been away.

Lovely wx, so hopefully to Big Bear today.
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Old 30th Apr 2002, 01:02
  #126 (permalink)  

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Mon 29th April
Wow, what a flight! I'm just back, after 3.6 hours of mountain flying with Tim, and it was awesome, wonderful, amazing, and more...words fail me. (Tim is laughing at my getting on the PC the moment I'm back, and he says hi )

Anyway, it was a beautiful day, as we left Long Beach to the East, and started the long climb up the mountains. Up to nearly 9000 ft, then fantastic views of the lake and the mountains, with Big Bear Airport beyond, sitting in a bowl at 6700+ft. We had worked out that we should be able to do an IGE hover, but not OGE. I didn't really understand what that meant in practice. We managed to bring it to a very low hover, then as we were trying to hover taxi very very low to somewhere to park, the horn came on, and as we turned and lost forward airspeed the rotor RPM just started falling away. When we sort of hopped it to a halt it was about 70%, or below. With the heat and the altitude there was no way of getting any lift - raise the collective you stall, lower it you go into the ground. Now I understand the problems of high altitude flying when it's hot; it was all theoretical before. Anyway, Tim thought taking off would be a problem, but there was a reasonable wind so it was easier than he expected, though we still had to be careful. So we went flying through deserted canyons, and down to Hemet-Ryan for fuel and lunch. Then up an 8000 ft mountain, to auto-rotate down, great fun, and very interesting as you have to be so careful to keep your rotor RPM steady. I learned a lot about autos doing that. The wind was interesting too - 7 kt gusting 18 at Big Bear. Then back to Long Beach.

I've learned an amazing amount today - just sitting here having a discussion about mountain flying, power requirements etc with everyone here. In fact, I've learned an incredible amount in the last three weeks, and had a wonderful time. I've flown 52.6 hours, and some time I'll let everyone know what it's cost me etc. Whatever it's cost, it was worth it.

Tomorrow I'm doing an hour's f/w flying, then going home on Wednesday. I'll post again when I've time.
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Old 30th Apr 2002, 02:36
  #127 (permalink)  
widgeon
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Great series of posts , is it too late to start at 50 ?.

Neil
 
Old 30th Apr 2002, 02:47
  #128 (permalink)  

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widgeon,

Nope. You may have noticed I keep exceedingly quiet about my age.
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Old 30th Apr 2002, 10:48
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Always wondered about that high altitude stuff. Makes sense now!!

Well done WB! This all sounds like the basis of a cracking book to me.....get writing....!!

(Don't forget your PPRuNe chums in the dedications )

p.s. its chucking it down in the North West....
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Old 30th Apr 2002, 12:59
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Fun in the Sun

Hi Whirley,

I'm going to come on over to do the B206 stuff. Can you keep the info and i'll get it off you when you return. Is the one that advertises in Pilot (Rotoraviation)?

What was the transition course cost on top of the $125p/h

All the best and enjoy.
Simonknightuk
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Old 30th Apr 2002, 21:13
  #131 (permalink)  

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Rotorhorn,

Concerning high altitude stuff, I felt exactly the same way. It doesn't mean much when you learn to fly in the UK - power requirements are all a bit theoretical. Here it's all too real, and when I saw that rotor RPM just dropping and dropping, and the poor little heli just not able to fly, with the collective really high up, it really brought it home to me. Good stuff.

Simon,

Rotor Aviation do indeed advertise in Pilot. But there's often a problem with e-mailing Kevin; phoning him on his mobile was the best way for me. They don't do the B206 stuff, but will arrange it for you. It's $120 an hour, and the transition is $1320 for ten hours ground school, two hours flying, and the B206 book. But you don't do any start-ups for real, only simulated. It seemed really good, and good value, but it may be better to do the B206 conversion back home. I wouldn't feel confident about the start-up on my own. But Phillippe said I'd be fine, and my problem was lack of confidence, which is possible. When I've seen what I have to do to get it on my UK licence, I'll let you know.

Tuesday 30th April
Last day. Packed my stuff, and said goodbye to Irene, the lady I've been staying with, who's become almost a substitute mum! Went to Long Beach Flying School, and did 0.9 hrs in a C152 - landings not great, otherwise my 8 month layoff doesn't mean I've forgotten how to fly. Instructor commented how light I was on the controls - of course I am; I'm an R22 pilot. Anyway, it was fun, and the 3 takeoffs and landings means I'm legal to take passengers in the UK.

Now back at Rotor Aviation, staying near LAX tonight, then home.

And I wanna do it all again; it's been absolutely fantastic!!!!
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Old 2nd May 2002, 20:26
  #132 (permalink)  

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I arrived home this morning. It's freezing cold, and I wish I'd stayed there.

Right, someone wanted to know about costs etc...

I did a total of 52.6 hours flying:
25 hours @ $120, hour building (traffic watch) in B206 - $3000
2 hours plus 10 hrs groundschool for B206 transition - $1320
4.1 hours dual R44 @ $350 - $1435
10.4 hours dual R22 @ $185 - $1924
11.1 hours solo R22 @ $150 - $1665
TOTAL - $9344 = £6770 approx
This works out at £128.70/hour overall.

Fare to LA - £266
Accommodation - £285 approx
Car Hire - £345 approx
Petrol and food - negligible, and I have to eat and buy petrol at home.
Total - £900 approx.

So you could say this makes it £145.80/hr, or you could say I spent £900 on a holiday, depends how you look at it.

You could do it cheaper than I did, but I learned to fly two new types, and got a lot of instruction in things like mountain flying, which of course added to the cost.

From my point of view, I just had a really wonderful time, and now only need another 40 hours to get to 300!

Hope that's all useful. I'm off to bed!
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Old 3rd May 2002, 12:13
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs up

Whirlybird

Thank you so much posting your 'California Diary'. I'm sure I wasn't the only one waiting for the next episode.
Hope the suggestions and solutions posted for you were helpful.
Good on you for doing it. You were clearly enjoying yourself.
And congrats on your two new types!

Heliport
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Old 3rd May 2002, 19:29
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Well done Whirly - thanks for helping keep me awake on night shifts the last couple of weeks. I'm sure after some of the long days you had, you probably didn't want to get straight on a PC and start talking to us lot.

It's great to hear about people enjoying flying - it kind of keeps me going through all the weather cancellations knowing that one day I will also be making similar trips (hopefully after about 20 more hours of training).

Never felt the urge to step into a heli, to be honest (perhaps I'm scared of getting hooked - I REALLY can't afford that!), but I've been to many of the places mentioned by car, especially the San Diego area. It was seeing the scale of GA out there that made me start taking lessons and it's posts like this that keep it looking like a reality.

Don't suppose you felt the urge to fly UNDER the San Diego bay bridge did you? Is that allowed in real life or just in Hollywood?

Can't really describe how jealous I am (in a nice way of course). Thanks again.
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Old 3rd May 2002, 20:33
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Talking

Knobby,

You do not know how manny times I've been tempted to fly under that bridge! I do it all the time on MS simulator though.

Unfortunately is it illegal.
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Old 3rd May 2002, 22:00
  #136 (permalink)  

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knobby,

Actually I really enjoyed telling you all about it; it was like coming back and telling all your friends what you'd been doing.

Thanks to the following:

John J and others for recommending Kevin Eastman.
Nr Fairy for charts and encouragement and doing the US thing before me.
i2, Bert, Flying Lawyer and others for all the advice.
People who posted saying nice things about my thread.
Anyone I've forgotten.
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Old 19th May 2002, 22:04
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Flying in USA, Flying inUK

Just found this sight, , can't believe what I'm reading ya'll have to put up with just to fly. I live in the country, northeast Louisiana, and we don't even have VHF radios in our crop duster planes. We operate off a small city airport and rarely does anyone even fly the pattern. First come, first land. We pay around $1.60 for fuel if we buy 1,000 gallons at a time. Jet-A has been running less than a dollar but we get it in a tanker (7,500 gallons) which brings the price down a little.

We do have AM/FM CD payers in our aircraft and my main gripe is we live so far out that we can't get any good rock and roll to listen to while spraying and fertilizing. We also have company radios that we can talk back and forth on but the only abbreviations we use are 10-4 (same as "roger").

In the winter I fly in the Gulf, out to the oil platforms and usually the only people we talk to is on our company flight following frequency and on the oil company radio. Again, not very formal.

As for annual inspections, we do them ourselves and the FAA only comes by every two or three years, drinks a little coffe or a coke, looks at the books, and heads down the road.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting ya'll down, I'm just amased at what ya'll have to live with on an every day basis.



Some times the pasture looks a little greener on the other side of the fence, and sometimes it looks pretty darn good right here at home.
Barryb
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Old 20th May 2002, 06:24
  #138 (permalink)  
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An important note......In Louisiana, Big Ben is not a clock.......
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Old 20th May 2002, 09:14
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I agree with "cropduster", I used to work in the US in Tennesse and Arkansas, even did some crop dusting and its really great to fly and work there and the FAA people are very helpful and friendly at least they were to me.

The aviation world in Europe is becoming way to regulative and difficult and I feel real sorry for the newcomers into the business right now, with JAR ATPL training required for PPL´s if they want to move on. In the States you´re not even allowed to take ATP theory until an FAA inspector has approved you and you have the required hrs (1200 hrs for helo´s I think).

But I actually have a really good job flying Bell 222´s on scheduled route flying in Greenland. So its possible to have interesting and fun jobs in Europe (Greenland is Danish territory) with pretty unrestrictive flying in isolated areas like Grl. I work 30 days on / 30 off schedule so I able to do some flight instructing and charter work where I live in Reykjavik Iceland.
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Old 20th May 2002, 16:15
  #140 (permalink)  
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I was trying to get a rise above from the Louisiana guy, but it didnt fly.
I was ferrying a Jet Ranger through that country a couple years ago. It was a typical Box of parts with a data plate so problems arose along the route. I had some folks go out of their way in Louisiana and again in Mississippi that kept me flying to my destination. Both were from Crop Duster companies. One guy wouldnt even take a dime for some fuel....
Those are the great people who make me happy to be in this field. Folks with a heart of gold. So no matter how much we joke about that part of the world, its given me some good memories...
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