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I'm looking for flying Mi-8/17/171/172

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I'm looking for flying Mi-8/17/171/172

Old 1st Sep 2020, 02:35
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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I'm looking for flying Mi-8/17/171/172

Hi everybody,

These birds, especially the good old Magnificient Eight ( Mi-8T/MTV ), are fascinating me for as long as I remember.

While it's one of the most widely produced helicopter ever, the global civilianmarket is rather small, or closed.

I'd like to get UP TO DATE infos/tips/contacts on how to get a feet into this very unknown world of Russian Aircrafts. And please, no exagerated sarcasms about how unsafe Russian Aircrafts are, I'd like to get real solid infos from this thread.

After many researches, I found these operators currently operating the type as civilian are :

- UTair
- Skytech
- Hevilift
- Abakan Air
- Heli Niugini
- Ukrainian Helicopters
- Valan ICC

After getting very little feedback from direct contact, it seems they at least require 200 hours on type for a co-pilot. That basically means, if you're not coming from an Army which operates them, you're unlucky.

Cannot believe this old workhorse is so hard to reach.

Thanks for your input :-)



Hueyman is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2020, 03:00
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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More made than any other type.
More accidents than any other type. Like wa-a-ay more.
Countless fatalities. When I say countless, I mean I lost count approaching 3000 and eventually gave up.

Not impressed.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 06:12
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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These guys in Berlin aren't far away from you https://www.spezialflug.com/hubschrauber.aspx
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 08:57
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Just join as a co-pilot. You will sit in the RHS so it will be being like captain in a Western heli.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 09:23
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Jim, that's typically the kind of dumb reply I wanted to avoid. That's also not very clever as you may know that numerically, the more you got, the more flight hours they do, the most likely they will encounter accident. Same for a 30 000 hours old monkey compared to a frustrated pilot finishing career at 1500 hours, they are less likely to have experienced accidents.

You would be impressed to know how many thousands flight hours they performed total.

Apollo, oh yeah I forgot this one !

Fareast driver, ahah very funny, they should do it in the planks too !!

Well, I had a hope this forum would be of some help, but as many things on the Internet, more filled with useless infos than real feedback from guys on the terrain.. still expect some luck ;-P

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Old 1st Sep 2020, 11:01
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Not helpful, I'm afraid, but sort of on topic - which of the Mi versions had the reversed throttle movement - Mi 4, or all of them? Memories of a M E national QHI student ex Mi 4?, who went computer out on the Whirlwind with predictable results!! Muscle memory is a fact of life!
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 13:21
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Having seen large numbers of Russian aviation lying about being cannibalised for parts before the operator runs out of spares I would, like most operators have learnt, avoid Russian equipment.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 14:46
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Hi Hueyman, good for you. I've flown the MTV quite a bit back in the '90's and they are amazing helicopters. Far superior to Western helicopters in their class. Might look ugly but man, do they perform. They are the most reliable helicopter I've ever flown. I started a company in South Africa back then and we had 24 of them but it was impossible to work with the Russians, so that would be my take on why you don't see many in the West.

And Jim, they don't crash because of the machine, they crash because their Russian pilots do crazy stuff. It was a constant battle to stop them killing you all the time. It was like someone flicked a switch in the pilots head and then the craziness started. And all of the pilots that I knew had more than 15,000 hours but they still did crazy stuff when you least expected it.

Good luck Hueyman, it's going to be hard to get a gig but well worth it if you do.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 15:05
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Originally Posted by jimf671 View Post
More made than any other type.
More accidents than any other type. Like wa-a-ay more.
Countless fatalities. When I say countless, I mean I lost count approaching 3000 and eventually gave up.

Not impressed.
Bearing in mind the incredibly tough conditions that these helicopters operate in ,especially in Siberia and thst some 14000 have been built to date...and counting,I wouldn't say the helicopter is bad,but maybe some of the pilots are caught out.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 15:56
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Originally Posted by Hueyman View Post
I'd like to get UP TO DATE infos/tips/contacts on how to get a feet into this very unknown world of Russian Aircrafts.
Have you tried contacting operators in Central and South America? Back in the late 90s there were several civilian MI-8 ops in Peru plus a few more in a couple other countries. I believe they are still operating the MI series today. In some cases the national military operates(ed) as a commercial operation which keeps the pure civilian ops supplied with pilots and mechanics. I also believe they opened a factory maintenance facility in Lima to support various Russian models operating in the lower Americas.

Regardless what other people might think, it's a heck of a machine. They were used in support of our seismic ops and I flew in them often. The company I worked for bought a couple for an Asian contract and I almost had the chance to go as a mechanic, but it didn't work out. I always got a kick out of the 4 man crew to operate one. Good luck.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 16:45
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Not helpful, I'm afraid, but sort of on topic - which of the Mi versions had the reversed throttle movement - Mi 4, or all of them? Memories of a M E national QHI student ex Mi 4?, who went computer out on the Whirlwind with predictable results!! Muscle memory is a fact of life!
Hmm I'm not sure, ity may be the Mi-4 indeed, don't know this one ! But nice story


Originally Posted by bront View Post
Hi Hueyman, good for you. I've flown the MTV quite a bit back in the '90's and they are amazing helicopters. Far superior to Western helicopters in their class. Might look ugly but man, do they perform. They are the most reliable helicopter I've ever flown. I started a company in South Africa back then and we had 24 of them but it was impossible to work with the Russians, so that would be my take on why you don't see many in the West.

And Jim, they don't crash because of the machine, they crash because their Russian pilots do crazy stuff. It was a constant battle to stop them killing you all the time. It was like someone flicked a switch in the pilots head and then the craziness started. And all of the pilots that I knew had more than 15,000 hours but they still did crazy stuff when you least expected it.

Good luck Hueyman, it's going to be hard to get a gig but well worth it if you do.
Ahaha ! Thanks for your intervention man ! Cheers me up ! Ugly ?! Damn, I know I have singular tastes but I find the Mi-8 and it's myriads of cockpit windows so appealing ! But I love the PC-6 so it may be my weird tastes ahah !
Heard the same thing about Russian crew ahah, and people in general, quite stronghead minded - immortal - redneck attitude eheh.

I'm studying this bird for years, with all available documentation and a very good public simulation of it ( DCS : Mi-8 MTV2 ) and it definitely looks to be a complex and very interesting and amazing machine, whatever western addicts may say ( mainly cause they never saw or operated one ? )

What happened to your Company if I may ask ? Maybe you still have contacts in the business ? I'm really able to move anywhere, still young and without attach so that's now or never !


Originally Posted by wrench1 View Post
Have you tried contacting operators in Central and South America? Back in the late 90s there were several civilian MI-8 ops in Peru plus a few more in a couple other countries. I believe they are still operating the MI series today. In some cases the national military operates(ed) as a commercial operation which keeps the pure civilian ops supplied with pilots and mechanics. I also believe they opened a factory maintenance facility in Lima to support various Russian models operating in the lower Americas.

Regardless what other people might think, it's a heck of a machine. They were used in support of our seismic ops and I flew in them often. The company I worked for bought a couple for an Asian contract and I almost had the chance to go as a mechanic, but it didn't work out. I always got a kick out of the 4 man crew to operate one. Good luck.
Thanks for input Wrench,

I did only find Vertical De Aviacion in Colombia, which also never replied so far. A couple of years ago found another operator maybe in Peru as you said but lost the website and name.

From the various pictures of crews it really seems to be only old crews, former militaries of warsaw pact Air Forces etc .. One of these above mentioned Company recruitement person told me once they approached students fresh out of CPL in America to be trained ab-initio to work for UTair branch of South Africa, fighting wildfires in the Mi-8 alongside Hueys.. what a blast it must be !
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 19:10
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My company did firefighting in South Africa and a UN contract in Mozambique. The company fell apart due to a crooked South African partner and just as crooked Russian partners, got pretty ugly in the end but I never got shot so guess it was a win. Couple of others tried to make a go of it in South Africa after me but they also fell by the wayside and eventually the Civil Aviation pulled their certification. Not sure what that was all about. Sorry but no contacts anymore.

I did quite a bit of long lining and firefighting in them and their performance is hard to beat. Only helicopter better would be the Kamov in my opinion. I've also fire fought in a Blackhawk and the Mi out performs it.

And yes, the throttle worked the wrong way, had to think about that every time I opened or closed it, was a very hard habit to change.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 19:30
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Originally Posted by Hueyman View Post
... the more you got, the more flight hours they do, the most likely they will encounter accident... ... ...
Oh I get that. And to some extent that is part of the current 'Super-Puma Effect': in the North Sea it was doing most of the work so it had most of the accidents. However, what is also true is that we have come a long way since the Mi-8 was introduced in so many ways. One of those ways is the design of the aircraft. The low accident and fatality rate of H225 and S-92 is partly due to the training level and regulatory effort that has been implemented where most of those aircraft are deployed but those are still safer aircraft by design than an AS332 or S-61N or Mi-8.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 21:47
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Try this company in Lithuania, only seen it as they are next door to a museum I plan to visit one day.
Training | AVIABALTIKA Aviation, Ltd.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 08:01
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I was working at a civil/military airfield in Libya some years ago. Near to our hangar were a few Military Mi-8 machines that we all assumed were waiting for disposal as they had no covers or blanks of any kind, were covered in dust and sand and we saw no activity there for months. Then one day a truck pulled up, a few people got out, opened the Mi-8 cowlings, put some oil in, scraped the dust off the cockpit windows, started up and took off. Try doing that in a Western machine.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 09:20
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Try 'Aces High' at Dunsfold.
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Old 4th Sep 2020, 01:28
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Originally Posted by bront View Post
My company did firefighting in South Africa and a UN contract in Mozambique. The company fell apart due to a crooked South African partner and just as crooked Russian partners, got pretty ugly in the end but I never got shot so guess it was a win. Couple of others tried to make a go of it in South Africa after me but they also fell by the wayside and eventually the Civil Aviation pulled their certification. Not sure what that was all about. Sorry but no contacts anymore.

I did quite a bit of long lining and firefighting in them and their performance is hard to beat. Only helicopter better would be the Kamov in my opinion. I've also fire fought in a Blackhawk and the Mi out performs it.

And yes, the throttle worked the wrong way, had to think about that every time I opened or closed it, was a very hard habit to change.
Sounds fascinating man ! Must have have been adventure in the good old days over there !


Originally Posted by jimf671 View Post
Oh I get that. And to some extent that is part of the current 'Super-Puma Effect': in the North Sea it was doing most of the work so it had most of the accidents. However, what is also true is that we have come a long way since the Mi-8 was introduced in so many ways. One of those ways is the design of the aircraft. The low accident and fatality rate of H225 and S-92 is partly due to the training level and regulatory effort that has been implemented where most of those aircraft are deployed but those are still safer aircraft by design than an AS332 or S-61N or Mi-8.
Thatís definitely true, weíve come a long way since.. itís basically a classic warbird now, like the Huey or the DC-3, which never met or was intended to meet todays standards.. still they have a feeling and spirit no modern piece of technology will ever have again, ever.

Originally Posted by N707ZS View Post
Try this company in Lithuania, only seen it as they are next door to a museum I plan to visit one day.
Training | AVIABALTIKA Aviation, Ltd.
Thanks N707ZS ! I found a couple of other ATOs in eastern Europe, maybe they have some more contacts about the current operators which may hire pure civilians without experience on type, good idea !


Originally Posted by Same again View Post
I was working at a civil/military airfield in Libya some years ago. Near to our hangar were a few Military Mi-8 machines that we all assumed were waiting for disposal as they had no covers or blanks of any kind, were covered in dust and sand and we saw no activity there for months. Then one day a truck pulled up, a few people got out, opened the Mi-8 cowlings, put some oil in, scraped the dust off the cockpit windows, started up and took off. Try doing that in a Western machine.
Ahah ! Russian style ya ! Itís known the designers got exactly this in mind, tough birds nor requiring hangars and constant care.. from what you say it proved to be true !

Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Try 'Aces High' at Dunsfold.
Checked that, looks to be movie props ! Will be hard to pursue a career in that path ahah, thanks for participation though
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Old 6th Sep 2020, 19:56
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Hi Hueyman,

Oddly enough I make my living working with Mi-17s. Send me an email and I can let you know what options we have.

gvose AT .vtsc.net.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 6th Sep 2020, 20:12
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Originally Posted by JimmyOs View Post
Hi Hueyman,

Oddly enough I make my living working with Mi-17s. Send me an email and I can let you know what options we have.


Thanks,
Greg
FYI you might want to remove your email once he's been in contact or send it to him via DM seeing as this is a public forum and all....
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Old 6th Sep 2020, 20:15
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Hello Greg,

Thanks for contact, mail sent ( and sorry, not Jimmy but Greg, read too fast ! )
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