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UK helicopter schools (Merged)

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UK helicopter schools (Merged)

Old 13th Jan 2003, 19:26
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 2,917

You need a far better lawyer than me.
I was persuaded to do a trial lesson (just for fun) at Coney Park during a visit to Yorkshire in 1995, was bitten by the bug and ended up doing my PPL, and a B206 conversion there. This was in under the previous ownership, not the current.
And it didn't stop there. I've since got my Gazelle rating and I'm half-way through an A109 conversion.
Just for fun, indeed. One trial lesson, and it's cost me a fortune. I'd been perfectly happy flying around in a Harvard until then. I'm the last person you need to advise you!

Although I did my training in Yorkshire, and carried on flying there for some time, I haven't joined in before because of the direction the discussion was taking. Lawyers pick up a lot of information and, however tempting it might be, we must never breach confidentiality.

I flew with a few different instructors but finished my PPL course, and did my JetRanger conversion, with Mark Griffiths who was then at Northern Helicopters. He's an excellent instructor, and an exceptionally nice chap which is also important. He moved to MultiFlight when Coney Park changed ownership, and may now be Commercial flying only.
I suggest you give Mark Griffiths a call at MultiFlight. Even if he can't help you himself, he's totally straight, no 'rumours' to worry about, and you can safely trust whatever he tells you.

And you can tell him an old student pilot of his sent you along if you want.

Tudor Owen

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 14th Jan 2003 at 08:24.
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2003, 20:31
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166
Draco - 1990? You cant pin that one on Heli-Jet - Coney Park was operated by Northern Helicopters in those days!

I personally am indebted to Alistair Sutherland, then of Sloane Helicopters Northampton branch for my inaugual trial lesson in Summer 1986. I asked him how many hours he had "400" was the reply. Wow! How could anybody ever get so many flying hours in, thought I.

Ker-ching!! What was that sound? Ah, only all my money for the next seven years or so.

Roy - I cant believe you - just when I was convinced Mr Myers was going to come to Heli-Jet!! Is the Flying Helmet still with you, havent heard any of his ATC monologues for a while!
Two sugars in my coffee, buddy, ta!
StevieTerrier is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2003, 21:12
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: leeds
Posts: 4
You could learn at multiflight but you pay a landing fee every time you go flying, trust me it all adds up, especially when you are held on the ground at multiflight with the flying helmet waiting for the 757 on a 32 mile final to land, the datcon is ticking. (3.81 per minute) Dont even ask about the hover training area, I believe its being turned into a hangar.
Choose carefully, but whatever you do enjoy it and dont be put off by this forum.
captjimmy is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2003, 22:03
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 5,197
Put off flying helicopters by this forum Captjimmy!

People exchanging views, or asking advice on all things rotary?
Professional pilots and engineers from all over the world discussing operational or technical issues?
PPLs asking questions and getting answers from experienced professionals, even from top Test Pilots?
Aspiring pilots wanting opinions on flight training generally, or specific to their local area? (Getting the benefit of local inside info can sometimes save them a lot of money in the long term.)

And all without being asked to pay a penny towards the cost of running the forum. Not bad value-for-money, even by a Yorkshireman's reckoning?

But nothing's so good it can't be improved. Hope to read more contributions from you to help raise the standard.

Sometimes people even discuss trasporting large quantities of aviation fuel by road, and benefit from the unfortunate experiences of other PPLs on how not to do it - Don't they CapnJimmy? Short-term money saving can cost more - Can't it?

Forgot to ask .......... Still got the Hughes 500?

Last edited by Heliport; 13th Jan 2003 at 22:19.
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Old 14th Jan 2003, 08:28
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: leeds
Posts: 4
I must appolagise for not making myself clear, my comment was not directed at the forum but at the content of this thread which I feel has got way out of hand after all we are all trying to earn a living in the same industry.
(The 500 is on its way I hope)
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Old 14th Jan 2003, 08:29
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Northern England
Posts: 112
"Draco - 1990? You cant pin that one on Heli-Jet - Coney Park was operated by Northern Helicopters in those days! "

Fair point, Steve. I think it was a portacabin then. It wasn't the only mistake, as my logbook informs me it was in 1993 with a Mr Cahill, who IIRC was a 'moonlighting' RAF instructor. He really knew how to enthuse people.

I last flew from Coney almost five years ago, and moved my cash drain to Sherburn.

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Old 14th Jan 2003, 12:15
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Andover
Age: 73
Posts: 10
My wife was instructed by Jonathan Penny of Heli Air at Penshanger through from Novice to Licence.
I can certainly recommend him.
E mail me if you would like his moblie no.
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Old 14th Jan 2003, 13:29
  #108 (permalink)  
sandy helmet
Posts: n/a
Hi charliefoxtrot

If you feel like coming back home to the WI for some training, a school has just started up in Trinidad, to CPL level.

Will definitely be a lot cheaper, not to mention sunnier
Old 15th Jan 2003, 01:37
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New York City
Posts: 818
Topics like this are good coz they give people a chance to make a decision when they're heard views from people who know.
I don't agree with what capnjimmy said. Sure we're all trying to earn a living in the same industry but that don't mean it's right to keep quiet when a fellow pilot or some new guy could be making a big mistake. Let em hear both sides and then decide themselves.
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Old 15th Jan 2003, 10:52
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 166
Draco -

Yes Ian Cahill or "Mr, Ca---heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellll" as he was affectionately known was (sorry still is) a Top Man. Sadly, we lost him to the Dark Side (plank flying) about 18 months ago.
You may come across him in the pointy end of a 737 next time you go to Majorca. If you do, give him my regards.

StevieTerrier is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2003, 13:02
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Leeds
Posts: 7
I haven't actually started my training yet (still saving up), but I did go up to Heli-Jet a couple of weeks ago for a trial lesson and to be honest it was excellent. I was treat with respect, all the staff were very helpful and pleasent and the place was buzzing.
The lesson was excellent and I learnt a lot, I felt safe and all my qusetion were answered. We even had a laugh!!

Thanks for the interest!!

smyers is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2003, 19:48
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 99
Hmmmm! Curiouser and curiouser.

When I saw this topic, like everyone else I assumed Smyers was a would-be PPL making a genuine enquiry, so like quite a few others here I tried to help him.

I was surprised by the contents of a PM I received from him a few days after my post, supposedly coming from someone who knew nothing about the industry, training etc and just wanted help in choosing a training school. I'll copy it in full so people can decide for themselves what to make of it.
Thanks for your responses on the forum about Heli-Jet. I was wondering if you would like to expand on what you know about MT now we're not on the public arena!! Don't worry what you say won't go any further than your reply.
Thanks again
Now why would some wannabee PPL looking for a training school want to know what I know about MT (Mike Thorpe - owner of HeliJet)? I've worked in the aviation industry for too long to fall for that so said nothing despite his assurances of confidentiality.

And now, surprise surprise, Smyers says the place he chose for a trial lesson was the only school people warned him to be careful about. And, he says, "all the staff were very helpful and pleasent and the place was buzzing."
All the staff? They've only got one instructor (the CFI), one commercial pilot (StevieTerrier) and one ground handler/refueller!
"The place was buzzing" What a load of bollox. They've only got half a dozen students.
And why would his response to the people who've tried to help him be Curious.

Guys, we've been had!

The industry in general and people on this forum in particular are always happy to give their time to help beginners. I don't suppose you give a toss but tricks like yours don't exactly encourage people to give their time helping genuine wannabees.
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Old 7th Feb 2003, 23:15
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 5,197

I've deleted the last few posts and decided to close this thread because there's a real danger that we'll stray over the line - something which all contributors (to their credit) managed to avoid when the thread was at its busiest.
I don't like deleting posts/closing threads and only do so when I think it's absolutely necessary. If anyone whose post has been deleted has any strong views about keeping it going, email me and I'll consider what you say.
Mr Thorpe and his various companies are clearly well-known to some of you, and people seem to have strong views about both him and his operations. However, we've gone as far as we safely can on a public forum.

If you are genuine, I'm sure everyone wishes you well wherever you train. You are right to do some research before spending thousands of pounds, and this forum was a good place to ask for advice. You struck very lucky - quite a few people knew a lot about the various Yorkshire flying schools, and gave their time trying to help you.
Virgin pointed out you chose the only school anyone advised you against. But it's up to you whether you accept or reject people's advice. It's your money, your choice.

If you're not genuine, don't spoil things for people who genuinely want advice from people here. It discourages people from bothering to give the benefit of their experience to other beginners.

To everyone
Please don't send me any more PM's pointing out that 'Smyers' posted at 14.02 and 'StevieTerrier' posted on another thread a few minutes later at 14.17. I've got the point. (And my mailbox fills very quickly!!) It may or may not be a coincidence.

Heliport is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2003, 05:59
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: england
Posts: 5
Any advise on Helicentre

Hi ppl,

Got my first lesson tomorrow at the helicentre in liverpool, has anyone ever used them. If so are they good?
Had a meeting with the MD last week and she basically told me exactly what I wanted to hear, such as the market is really picking up and the career prospects are good. Is she just a good salesperson or is she right?

Also I am going to be paying 190+vat ph if I book blocks of ten. is this a good rate or what.

Many thanks

bill bridge is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2003, 15:19
  #115 (permalink)  

Senis Semper Fidelis
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lancashire U K
Posts: 1,288
Bill, their are others (FTO's) available, check all the prices, and ask direct questions eye to eye with past pupils of same org, very few people will make direct comments on any individual company or their lack of reputation, and to ask on the PPRuNe will leave this fine org open to the abuse of legal eagles, be it the truth, or nasty rumours that are repeated,

BUT the insurance angle must be questioned, as to what you the pupil will be expected to pay if you crunch something, also get an experienced pilot to show you how to look and check the Tech log and service book, all these sort of things will have a bearing on your state of health/finances, and I am sure that if you read this Rotorheads thread you will be able to see for yourself what the state of the job market is, if you do get going always, always , always do it safely

PS if you are going to use the R22 to learn in, get a pilot to show you what to look for on the simple, but very critical Teetering Rotorhead!!
Vfrpilotpb is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2003, 06:38
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 23
re: helicentre

If you'd asked this question a few months ago, I'd have advised you to go elsewhere, but Helicentre Ltd have sold the L'pool operation to the new MD Andrea Brown. The instructors there ( Jonathon & Gary), although not commercial pilots themselves, know what they are doing and have good results. 190/hr is about the going rate in this area; the only thing to consider if you intend to become a commercial pilot is whether the 'integrated approved course' would be more suitable to your needs. As far as the job market goes, I'm not sure that it's at it's best at the moment but if you knock on enough doors then you're sure to find something eventually. The North Sea is probably the place to aspire to, but, reading other posts, there seems to be little recruitment. However, I would always maintain that the best time to start training is when there is little work around because the time it takes to qualify means that you will probably be looking for work just when the industry takes its cyclical (no pun intended) upturn.
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Old 6th Aug 2003, 07:08
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 4
In my experience, the various trg orgs out there are, as far as flying goes, pretty much as good as each other. Ask around other companies on the phone etc... One aspect to note though is that all of them are there to make money. The smaller companies with fewer customers will see individual students as a bigger proportion of their turnover and will therefore be prepared to say whatever makes you feel good. The best advice is to see what their success rate is, speak to former students, and ask them about other students so that you don't only speak to the ones the company has directed you to. Find out how much time they were given on ground school and if the instructors were prepared to offer one to one instruction in a classroom.
Don't be shy to ask the awkward questions about what if... crash/bankruptcy etc....
Good Luck
Topter is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2003, 09:37
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Omnipresent
Posts: 398
Thumbs up

Good gang. Both instructors are decent knowledgable guys and they'll soon have a third full time. They'll tell it as it is. Good price too. Compare it to London prices!!!! The reason you were told about a good time to be getting in is probably to do with many flight schools being stuck for instructors. I know that Helicentre themselves have two 300CB's, two R22's, one R44 and access to two 206's. Now with only two instructors now and one more on the way soon.......you do the maths!
Hedski is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2003, 07:05
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: england
Posts: 5
had my first lesson

Hi ppl,

Thanks for your advise, had my first lesson with Gary. He was very good and made me feel at ease very quickly. Had a good chat with Andera and she knows her stuff, I like her and the school in general so they are gonna get my business,

Would anyone advise me to get my class one medical before paying up front for a block of 10 hrs, just incase I fail.

Thanks again
bill bridge is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2003, 15:10
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Pewsey, UK
Posts: 1,923
Bill :

If you're going to go commercial, then having a class 1 is a must - I say do it now, then you've only forked out 500 rather than 1500.
The Nr Fairy is offline  

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