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UK helicopter schools (Merged)

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UK helicopter schools (Merged)

Old 11th Jan 2003, 18:20
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166
Virgin :

Mr Myers asked about Heli-Jet Aviation.

Hoverman replied "I wouldn't fly or fly in any helicopter owned or operated by HeliJet at Coney Park for training or anything else"

thats not quite "I know the school and I wouldnt go there myself" is it?

Hardly a rousing recommendation. If I were Mr. Myers - who has come on to this forum in the expectation of getting opinions from PROFESSIONALS and may believe Hoverman to be such - I wouldn't be going to Heli-Jet would I? Hence the loss of a potential student ( = loss of around £10,000) on some ill-informed "opinion".

You may not think it is against the law or slanderous - and maybe you are right. But Hoverman is implying that there is something wrong / illegal / underhand with the helicopters we operate, but not saying what or why. And he is not just passing his "opinion" on to Mr. Myers, he is posting it on the WWW for the whole world to read.


Hoverman - I would be delighted if you would like to come back on and tell me why you wouldn't fly in a Heli-Jet helicopter. Maybe I'm reading your post wrong and you just dont like the colour of our helicopters. (And please remember if you do reply that Heli-Jet is nothing to do with Northern Helicopters, the previous operators of Coney Park).

And finally to Mr. Myers -- we have often had the Royal Flight helicopter(s) in at Coney Park for fuel. If the Queen trusts us, then I'm sure you can!
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Old 11th Jan 2003, 19:43
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 183
I don't want to fall out with you, I just gave my honestly held opinion which, despite what you infer, is not ill informed.
I have also refuelled at Coney Park on occasions and have no complaints about the fuel. Nobody asked about HeliJet's fuel.
My post wasn't meant to be a rousing recommendation of HeliJet.

I disagree that someone asking for advice on this forum wants the advice of professionals. Many PPLs know more about flight schools than those of us who finished our training years ago.
It's not relevent, but I am a "PROFESSIONAL" and have been in the industry for many years just as you have. If you are the Steve who works at Helijet, we've met a number of times and may do again.
Unlike you, I've worked for several different companies around the country. If I'm right about your ID, you've always worked at Coney Park for all your career.
I come from Yorkshire and know Heli-Jet is nothing to do with Northern Helicopters, the previous operators of Coney Park. Northern Helis sometimes seemed a bit chaotic, but I never heard a bad word about any of the instructors who used to work there, or the quality of NH training. Those instructors have all moved on, and I've got no views on the instructors there now because I don't even know them.

I'm not prepared to give on a public forum the reasons why I wouldn't fly at Helijet and why I wouldn't advise anyone to go there. Believe it or not, I think that's fairer to Helijet.
If that means Mr Myers gives no weight to my opinion, that's entirely up to him. He's entitled to dismiss me as an illinformed crank just as you seem to.
Sorry Steve, no hard feelings on my part. Just an honestly held opinion mainly based on facts I know and partly on things I've heard in the industry.
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Old 11th Jan 2003, 21:24
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: UKdom
Posts: 2
Well, I guess it also depends opn where in Yorkshire you live!

Think of;

How far am I willing to travel?

What facilities and fleet does the school have?

Can most of the training exercises be done at the base airfield or do I have to pay for transit time to other fields for certain parts of my course?

Do I like the instructors?

What landing fees are applicable? (this can be a significant surprise when it comes to paying!)

Any block discounts available?

Once you've put these questions through your mind and to the schools you will build a better picture up.

Listen to peoples opinions but beware that there are ALWAYS good and bad reports about schools!

Don't jump in feet first, even if you do three trials at three schools, the flight time counts!
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Old 11th Jan 2003, 22:25
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166
Hoverman - thanks for your reply. I appreciate that everybody has an opinion on everyone and every organisation in our industry. I too have opinions and a long list of people who I consider "chancers".

I know you and I have disagreed in the past about various things (Police operations for one) but I have to take exception when you start casting aspersions upon Heli-Jet, its operations and reputation on a public forum such as this.

If you have been to Coney Park and met "Steve" then it will have been me. And you will know that all I ever do is to give a warm welcome and as much help as possible to any visitors there.

You may not like the people at Heli-Jet (me included) and if that is the case then you can always land at LBA, and pay a landing fee, no hard feelings. However, I cant allow you to "disrespect" (sorry) Heli-Jet publicly without giving a reason. If you have suffered personally at our hands then please say so. We can take it. However, I suspect you are passing on second-hand grievances from people who were connected with Coney Park in a previous existence. (I think you know who I mean).

There also seems to be a misconception about the owners of Heli-Jet. Second hand car dealers? No - but do you have a problem with Blackpool Helicentre, Skyline (as was), Cheqair, Skyhoppers (second hand buses) and many others who are / were owned by "these sort of people"

Second hand car dealers? Well, the Heli-Jet Group did own a Renault Dealership in Leeds until about two year ago. Perceptions, you see, can cause all sorts of misconceptions.

We are constantly checked by the CAA for conformance to the regulations regarding Flight Training Standards, AOC standards, and Licenced Aerodrome Standards. I would defy anybody to say that they have more visits / correspondance from the Authority than we do.

All our aircraft are maintained to Public Transport standards, by a JAR145 engineering organisation.

In five years of operations we have had one accident (student solo dynamic rollover), no investigations, no prosecutions,no warnings - NO regulatory action from the CAA. at all. Compare that record to any other Company you like, it stands on its own merits.


Last edited by Heliport; 13th Jan 2003 at 21:48.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 01:04
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 183
I was only trying to help smyers, didn't think it would get as involved as this. Maybe naieve of me.
I wouldn't say what I've said about HeliJet without good reason based on personal knowledge and what I've been told by people in the industry whose opinions I value and trust. (Not the gossip types we all know and love.)
Let's be blunt. It's no skin off my nose what smyers or anybody else does with their money, but Rotorheads is a superb forum and if we can help beginners or anybody else asking for advice I think we should.
It's right you and I disagreed on one thread in the past. I'd forgotten that and I assure you that's nothing to do with the opinion I expressed about HeliJet. I didn't even connect you with Coney Park until you responded to my post. We've met several times over the years and I willingly agree you've alwasy given "a warm welcome and as much help as possible". I've also watched you fly and would happily be flown by you. I don't dislike anybody who works at Heli-Jet.

Let's get one thing straight. I'm not mixing HeliJet up with the previous owners at Coney Park. I'm a Yorkshire lad, I've known the place since it first started and I remember when Mike Thorpe took it over. I would happily have recommended the place to anybody when the previous owner had it. The instructors were good and I occasionally hired helis. I've even got two of your original B206s in my logbook, BTFY and RAMI, and a one off in MRSN. Remember them?
In case you doubt, I remember MS there for a short time in the early days, and AP as CFI. JS was a good lad and I heard was a good instructor (when his mind was on the job). I remember MG arriving, good instructor by all accounts and one of the nicest people I've met in aviation. Landed one of the best jobs in aviation after NH folded. Lucky b*gger.
Almost forgot Tommy with funny double barrel name. Stuck in a time warp, but a character. You've been there for more years than I can remember, and I think the only one whose stayed on since Mike Thorpe bought the place.
I could go on and on and on, right up to the present day but I hope you accept I've known the place well for a long time. I haven't lived in Yorks for a long time now, but Igo back often for work and family reasons and keep my ear to the ground as we all do. It's a small industry.
I've got no axe to grind. I haven't suffered personally at HJ's hands.

"We are constantly checked by the CAA for conformance to the regulations regarding Flight Training Standards, AOC standards, and Licenced Aerodrome Standards etc."
Come on Steve, we've both been around long enough to know that proves nothing. I'm sure we both know operators who get away with murder with the CAA despite what everyone in the industry knows they get up to. Some people put one foot wrong and get done, whilst the cowboys seem to get away with anything however many inspections they get.
"I would defy anybody to say that they have more visits / correspondance from the Authority than we do."
I don't doubt that for a minute. And it doesn't surprise me.

It's nothing to do with perception or views about "these sort of people". I didn't mention car dealers anyway. That was Virgin and I read it as a refernence to Mike Thorpe, not to car dealers in general. I knew about Thorpe's other heli ops long before he took over Coney Park.

Let's agree to differ. I'll settle for "I know HeliJet and I wouldn't use them myself except for fuel."
I emphasise that's no reflection on you persoanlly or any other instructor or pilot at Coney Park.

When my own nephew wanted to learn, I arranged for him to GD when he had his own school. I would have sent him to Mark but he'd moved on to more exotic things than instructing in R22's by then. I just wouldn't have felt happy about him flying at HeliJet even though Coney Park would have been more convenient for him than Sandtoft.

Perhaps we'll have a chat over a coffee next time I call in for fuel? You know me, but you don't know I'm Hoverman. And I didn't know you were Stevie Terrier till this thread. Most people don't use any part of their real name so I didn't put 2 and 2 together. Duh!
Gawd I've gone on a bit but I wanted to clear the air out of respect for you. No hard feelings I hope. I won't post again on this topic.

Look at what Virgin said. He's a lot more subtle than me, but he gave the same message.

Last edited by Hoverman; 12th Jan 2003 at 14:36.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 05:26
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lincoln & Norwich
Posts: 225
I am not sure even if Philip Sheldon is still doing Instructor courses as I do NOT work at Cambridge. I was recommending in my opinion the best Instructor Trainer I have come across in 30 years of flying Helicopters and you dismiss it as biased!!

apologise and we'll move on
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 10:18
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Escrick York england
Posts: 1,600

heliyorks is run by heather sugden not geof day

geof used to run yorkshire helicopters geof is one of a number freelance instructors in the area and also one of the local examiners as also is heather sugden

regards steve
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 14:39
  #88 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166

We finally agree about something – Virgin said it better! Its pretty apparent that you dont like Mike Thorpe - and thats fine, ‘cos it’s not really my problem. If you had said “I wouldnt fly in any Heli-Jet aircraft because the owner is a git” that would have been OK. My problem was with the inference that there was something untowards about the helicopters we operate here – which would reflect badly on me and the other pilots working here and flying these “suspect” helicopters. M T may pay the bills, but I say whether the larger machines are fit to go flying, and the CFI likewise with the R22s.

Its obvious from your posting that you do know a lot about the history of Coney Park. I have been here since 1993 working under both “regimes”. One other person still survives from the NH era – JB, who started as ground crew way back in AP’s days, and is now CFI.

This paragraph deleted.

Anyhow, those days are all slipstream under the tailfin now. A coffee together next time you call in for fuel? Perhaps you’d better let me know who you are first so that I dont start “slagging” you off to yourself without knowing its you. That could be embarrassing. Send me a PM or an E-Mail if you prefer.

And getting totally off-topic – does Innocenti mean anything to you? If not, there is more than one Hoverman lose on the WWW.


PS - I use StevieTerrier plus its associated password for all my Internet roamings. My brain is too worn to cope with multiple identities, I’m afraid. It does have its lighter moments as I have had many people (mainly Americans, strangely enough) replying to my E-Mails with “Dear Mr. Terrier”

Last edited by Heliport; 12th Jan 2003 at 17:23.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 15:08
  #89 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 183
Settled! White with 2 sugars for me please!

BTW, I don't dislike Mike Thorpe on a personal level. He's always struck me as a friendly cheerful chap with a ready laugh. That was not the reason behind the opinion I expressed about HeliJet. I'm not going to be drawn further.

Innocenti? Not me.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 15:39
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: MerryEngland
Posts: 54
Along the line of this thread. Just as a public health inspector would inspect a kitchen / restaurent.
Do the CAA ever just turn up at a flying school/ maintenance operation/charter company etc etc.
To sort of
Give them the once over and verify that this outfit, are doing it correctly

Last edited by LordGrumpy; 12th Jan 2003 at 21:40.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 17:32
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 5,197
Your Lordship
I've never known CAA Ops Inspectors to turn up unannounced. Others may have different experience.
Some operators have a lot more inspections than others. There may be a number of reasons for that. Often it's when the CAA has good reason to be suspicious about an operator, even though they can't prove anything - yet!
The UK aviation world is relatively small, especially the professional helicopter sector, word travels very quickly, and CAA personnel aren't deaf - well, not to that sort of thing anyway.

Last edited by Heliport; 12th Jan 2003 at 19:13.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 20:46
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Orange County CA
Posts: 21
"I would defy anybody to say that they have more visits / correspondance from the Authority than we do."

That wouldn't be an encouraging indicator this side of the pond, Mr Terrier.
Maybe things are different in England.

Was it an Englishman who said 'When in a hole, best stop digging.' ?
Chuck K is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2003, 20:47
  #93 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166
Chuck -

You know when you write something and it doesnt quiet come out as you intended? What I was trying (in my simple Northern way) to say was that we operate :

1) A training school

and 2) A public transport operation

and 3) A licensed airfield

ergo : we get three times more inspections than if we were just a training school. Or just a public transport operation. Or just a licenced airfield.

Three different CAA departments = three lost of visits.

Will somebody please take this spade off me?

Besides, I look upon it as a public service. Whilst the CAA are busy with us, all the cowboys can go about their business unmolested!

PS I liked the "Mr. Terrier" touch!

Heliport - The Authority do have a habit of turning up at Pleasure Flying venues with no prior notice.

Last edited by StevieTerrier; 12th Jan 2003 at 20:59.
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Old 12th Jan 2003, 22:24
  #94 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 5,197
Phew! Spade taken away with great pleasure, Stevie T.

I didn't intervene before because it was your choice to keep pressing Hoverman to reveal what he knows on this public forum. He (rightly IMHO) was clearly not going to do that. But I don't mind admitting I was relieved when the pair of you reached the 'chat over a coffee' agreement. Always a bit of a gamble to claim someone is ill-informed. Sometimes least said soonest mended.
Well done to both of you for having the debate without falling out over it.

(BTW, Lord Grumpy made clear he was asking about CAA inspections at base, not outside venues. That's why I answered as I did.)

Well, you've read what's been said about the various Yorkshire schools/instructors, and what Steve's said in response about Heli-Jet. It's up to you to make up your own mind where you want to spend your money and do your training. It's an important decision which you should make carefully.
Apart from Heilds, I know each of the schools/instructors/school-owners mentioned but as a Moderator I can't enter the arena and reveal what I know, or my opinion - even though, in this instance, I happen to hold a very strong one!

Good Luck.
Bet you didn't think your request for advice would cause all this!


Last edited by Heliport; 13th Jan 2003 at 02:25.
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Old 13th Jan 2003, 09:44
  #95 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 99
"Whilst the CAA are busy with us, all the cowboys can go about their business unmolested!"

You're quite a gambler Stevie T.
That's a word you've been known to use yourself to describe MT.
And I wouldn't argue with that description for a minute.

Small world isn't it?
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Old 13th Jan 2003, 11:04
  #96 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: UKdom
Posts: 2
Urm, so me thinks this chap who asked an honest question about where to learn to fly in Yorkshire may travel to a different county altogether now! lol

Welcome to the world of aviation!

Mr Bonkers! Yorkshire has some excellent schools/instructors and it also has the beautiful Dales and Moors to train over - and I'm not even a Yorshireman. I'm sure smyers has the wit to make an informed and sensible decision by now. If he hasn't, perhaps he should take up stamp-collecting instead of helicopter flying.

Last edited by Heliport; 13th Jan 2003 at 17:40.
misterbonkers is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2003, 11:17
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166

Come on now, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were cowboys, but they were OK guys weren't they? Besides, he has Sheriff Stevie and Marshall Jim to keep him out of (serious) trouble now.

Cowboys? Over the years I've seen things that would turn your hair grey in an instant. Plenty of the perps are still around today, and in some cases quite revered, although sadly not all of them lived to relate the tales.

As for it being a small world...well last time I looked it had a cicumference of 21,600 miles. I wouldn't call that small.

Cheers, The Gambler.
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Old 13th Jan 2003, 16:38
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: leeds uk
Posts: 1
PPL (h) Yorkshire

Hi Scott, My names Roy Wood CFI rotary Multiflight, please feel free to give me a call anytime, I'll show you round our facilities make you a pot of tea and answer all your questions ..........Office: 01132387166...Mobile 07973833793
Cheers Roy
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Old 13th Jan 2003, 17:32
  #99 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Mr Wood,
Don't suppose you'd like to show a job hunting CPL(H), FI(R),around and make him a pot of tea? I'll even make the tea!!

Shy bairns get nowt as they say!!
Old 13th Jan 2003, 17:55
  #100 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Northern England
Posts: 112
Having flown at all of the schools mentioned, and with most of the instructors/examiners too, this all makes interesting reading!

Steve's postings indicate that there must have been many changes since I last flew at Helijet five years ago.

I am sure that the obvious applies; do your research carefully, visit all of the places, look at the standard of the machines, check the safety facilities & the availability of machines, check paperwork, talk to other visitors etc.

Also consider where the bulk of the training takes place; I did some hours in the US, very cheaply I thought, but it turned out that you couldn't do any real training on the airfield from which they operated, so the price saving disappeared in transit to the practice fields.

Beware of the same issues here.

good luck

Draco (with absolutely no axe to grind or financial interest!)

Helijet are responsible for considerable financial loss on my part; I took my original trial lesson there in 1990, got hooked (on helis) and the spending hasn't stopped (although I did all my training lsewhere). Perhaps I should consult a lawyer; could I get legal aid these days? Flying Lawyer?
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