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Conundrum ; What bird to own for PPL (H)

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Conundrum ; What bird to own for PPL (H)

Old 8th Sep 2023, 23:50
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Originally Posted by MLHeliwrench
Get your PPH on a piston wherever, but come out to BC for a mountain flying course in a turbine. Chinook and Top flight are great mountain schools. These skills thought by very experienced instructors will keep you safer on your adventures.
great advise, thank you ! I like adventures and that sounds like fun and useful !!
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 11:25
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Originally Posted by bront
HX50............ Ok that was a joke.
The irony is that if/when the HX50 is ever ready, it would probably be the ideal aircraft for the OP. The OP sounds like exactly the sort of customer that Dr Hill has in mind for his helicopter.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 14:36
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Originally Posted by Bravo73
The irony is that if/when the HX50 is ever ready, it would probably be the ideal aircraft for the OP. The OP sounds like exactly the sort of customer that Dr Hill has in mind for his helicopter.
even tho they say they have something like ę 600 some bookings Ľ, canít help to wonder ;

1- is going to be experimental and reliable?

2- will it just ever be ?Ö

you can put a hell of a show with that deposit money.

Just saying,Ö

Last edited by HoYeah; 10th Sep 2023 at 06:14.
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 08:36
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Originally Posted by HoYeah
canít help to wonder ;

1- is going to be experimental and reliable?

2- will it just ever be ?Ö
You can find lots & lots of discussion about those very points in this thread:

Hill Helicopters HX50
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 10:00
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You will only know what you want to fly after a few hundred hours of flying. It is pointless trying to make this decision at the beginning. Rent or buy what you like now, and then change later, if you feel like.

One last question - for the benefit of the 500 recommenders: your 911, does it have PDK or manual?
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 11:11
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HoYeah

The best thing you can do is go and speak to the owners of the machines that interest you. These are the people that write the cheques sit in them and do what you want to do. A lot on this website dont pay the bills or run the machines so be careful what you listen to.
EG Not sure where the fly it a long way and comfort comes from, one can do almost anything to seats to make them comfortable as long as you fit the 80th percentile .Having owned and run most of these types I can safely say from a point of knowledge. Yes I am a 500 fan but I am very aware of her short comings, as i am with the 206's that i have had along with the 350's and 341's. It is horses for courses, there is no ideal machine
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Old 11th Sep 2023, 19:43
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There is no self-fly rentals near Montrťal, and I think nowhere in America. You will be a low-time, high-risk pilot for the next 500 hours, and the industry is ruled by insurers, so the only option is buy your ship (R44 best choice), self-insure while you learn, sell it, then buy your dream machine. R44 depreciation is tricky, the best bet is to buy a new or freshly overhauled ship. I got lucky, I just sold mine for more than I paid two years ago.
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Old 11th Sep 2023, 20:05
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There are definitely lots of places that will rent a helicopter for you in the US, but it's much harder than renting an airplane - they all require a demonstration of proficiency first, so you'd need to spend 2-3 hours with them the first time you rent from them. And the cost is exactly the same as just flying with a CFI present.

I ended up buying my own helicopter, but had seriously looked into renting and even arranged for a checkout flight.
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Old 11th Sep 2023, 22:12
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HoYeah

Jump on a plane and come to the UK and i will get you a go in most types ( have to pay the owners obviously )
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Old 11th Sep 2023, 23:28
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Go onto the Vertical Forums and look for a gentleman by the handle of Blue Thunder... He could likely give you a lot of the information you're looking for...
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 01:47
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WellÖ

Originally Posted by Petit-Lion
There is no self-fly rentals near Montrťal, and I think nowhere in America. You will be a low-time, high-risk pilot for the next 500 hours, and the industry is ruled by insurers, so the only option is buy your ship (R44 best choice), self-insure while you learn, sell it, then buy your dream machine. R44 depreciation is tricky, the best bet is to buy a new or freshly overhauled ship. I got lucky, I just sold mine for more than I paid two years ago.
Thank you, appreciate you taking the time to reply.

1- Self-insure? Why so many ppl here are suggesting to put your bird on the flight school chart? Whatís the catch?

2- 500h how long did you take to accumulate, 2 years? What did you upgrade with? Saw a red R44 again today low and steadyÖ Iím sooo not attracted to them😞😓 ho wellÖ
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 01:50
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Originally Posted by Hughes500
HoYeah

Jump on a plane and come to the UK and i will get you a go in most types ( have to pay the owners obviously )
Iíll keep this invitation in my back pocket😋 youíd be surprised!Ö
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Old 12th Sep 2023, 16:29
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What about the following. Start your training on anything. I would suggest the R44, the H300 or the Cabri. Whatever is near you and readily available. Go through the PPL as fast as possible. Just get it done with a good school (which does not want up front payment. Payment as you go is one sign for a good school). After the PPL you know, if you are still hot for flying helicopters. The whole theory part isn't easy peasy for everybody and you would not be the first one to stop flying because the whole theory stuff was just too much or too boring. But it is important and knowing the rules is life saving. You have to stay sharp on this part as long as you fly. There is a reason, why they call the Bonanza the doctor killer.
After that, continue towards the CPL and IFR. During this time you can start to fly other ships. I would even suggest the Bell 47 and the Enstroms. Get your hands on anything with a rotor. Try them out. Build hours. Take other courses like mountain flying or sling load. You can take the factory course at Bell or MD for their ships. Good way to get that turbine stuff under control. And you could fly the MD520 or B505. Do the CPL and the IFR. Makes you a better pilot. All that should also help you, when talking to the insurance.
Now is the time where you can say, which helicopter you like. Some have horrible seats, some are loud, shake like mad, some have strange quirks or everything together. The helicopter has to fit to you when you sit in it. The looks are really secondary. Not every pilot likes the MD500 for example. It is a bit like cars, you would not see me dead in a truck, I prefer small and sporty. Others want SUV's. Worst car class there is ... ok, after the trucks. And one thing you should not underestimate. During this time you will meet a lot of people from the industry and they may have some good suggestions what to look for, too.
I wonder why nobody has suggested Enstrom? I personally find them ugly, but they are save and reliable ships. Best in class, if you want to believe their website.
Agusta 119 could also be a candidate. Best looking helicopter of it's class from my view.
BTW 500 hours before you buy a ship is a good goal. After that you should fly 100 hours per year to stay competent. Once per month just does not do it. Therefore you should have a plan, what to do with the helicopter. But ideas will come with time.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 02:49
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Originally Posted by Rotorbee
Do the CPL and the IFR. Makes you a better pilot.
Buying your own ship (anything powerfull and turbine) without a CPL in mind is a bit short sighted. Once you first get to fly private with your PPL in hand, there is a sort of honeymoon where it’s really great to fly (6 months or so), enjoy the capability of the helicopter on some easy VFR flights, bring the friends along.... but soon enough you get into some close calls, or cases where you wish that you would have done better as a pilot, and even cases where luck was the reason you came back. In other words, reality hits, you can either supress that feeling or engage a CPL, I didn’t succeed in the former, so I choose the later. CPL study really put me back on my feet.
Originally Posted by Rotorbee
After that you should fly 100 hours per year to stay competent. Once per month just does not do it.
Its hard to practice helicopter flying without making it a main activity with a dedication to keep learning. Even better would be to befriend somebody who is a really great instructor and able to check on you to keep you in top piloting shape.

Last edited by Agile; 13th Sep 2023 at 05:20.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 05:40
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Since only Agile and me are talking about the elephant in the room ... normally people on this forum ask how to become a helicopter pilot and not what helicopter to buy before they even get to the PPL stage. I would suggest, that you do a bit of soul searching and ask yourself, do I want to learn to fly or do I want a new toy? Flying in general is serious business. We have discussed many accidents here, where we were puzzled what happened and in the end it was just utter stupidity. Famous people have died, because they sought a helicopter is just a toy. Many have convinced examiners to be dedicated pilots but learned, that the laws of physics are not forgiving at all. They will get you. Kill you. Or your children. Or your wife. Or the cat. Especially in helicopters. After an accident, relatives often claim "oh, he/she was such a experienced and cautious pilot" while in reality he/she was the typical Bonanza doctor. That is why we have all those rules and regulations. They are written in blood. They are there to make you safe. You have to learn them and live by them. Learning the theory will take you several hundred hours of studying.

If you have your own ship, you have to take care of the whole paperwork, too. Incomplete documentation can devaluate your ship more than a crack in the windscreen. You have to be on top of the hours flown, too, because a missed scheduled maintenance will again make your ship a paperweight. And no, you can't just fly to maintenance shop to fix the issue. Once that helicopter is on the ground with a faulty/rundown part, it stays there. This has killed many who thought to know better. Do you really want all that? You can ask somebody to manage that for you, but it will cost you, too. And again, they have to be proficient on your particular helicopter, too.

In your region around Montreal flying an MD ship isn't ideal. No service centers. When your ship is down for anything, and that could be something very minor but it will still ground you. You have to find somebody who comes to you to fix it. The only Canadian MD service center is on the west coast. Therefore you would have to fly your ship for a lot of scheduled maintenance tasks to the US and find a service center that knows the Canadian regulations, too.
In your area are mostly Robinson, Airbus and Bell ships.
You might not like it, but it think you are stuck with Robinson. BTW, not every flight school/flight instructor will train you in your own ship. A. Because they are not proficient in it, B. They prefer to rent out their own ships, C. They want to be sure, the ship is properly maintained. D. Some might do it, but will take the keys from you, to prevent you to do stupid things while they are not there (which has happened more often than you think).
There is not a lot of sense in owning your own helicopter before you have a least a PPL.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 10:14
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You are missing one great machine - the Bell 407. Would be ideal personal machine.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 13:20
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Na, was mentioned before. But not the AW09. That's the machine anybody will want.
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 19:56
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Originally Posted by Agile
Buying your own ship (anything powerfull and turbine) without a CPL in mind is a bit short sighted.
Why is that?Ö I do agree that learning to fly; first 200-300 hours do not NEED to be in a turbine, after talking around here I got to know a few guys that bought turbine for their PPL and made their ticket on them. I must gravitate in a short sighted environment?Ö

Originally Posted by Agile
Once you first get to fly private with your PPL in hand, there is a sort of honeymoon where itís really great to fly (6 months or so), enjoy the capability of the helicopter on some easy VFR flights, bring the friends along.... but soon enough you get into some close calls, or cases where you wish that you would have done better as a pilot, and even cases where luck was the reason you came back.

In other words, reality hits, you can either supress that feeling or engage a CPL, I didnít succeed in the former, so I choose the later. CPL study really put me back on my feet.
Iím engaging in this because:

1- I want to challenge myself in something different and Itís been in the back of my mind for ever. Would certainly add mountain flying, long line and otters in my furure training (and adding hours at the same time), CPL is not in my plans what so everÖ

2- I cherish my life quite a bit, so if I canít become a safe and capable pilot, why bother pursuing?!Ö

So Iím planning to do my PPL in a school that will make me a safe pilot before anything else. If that canít be achieved then Iíll be wise enough to just walk away, my ego is in no way of being that high not to do so!

Originally Posted by Agile
Its hard to practice helicopter flying without making it a main activity with a dedication to keep learning. Even better would be to befriend somebody who is a really great instructor and able to check on you to keep you in top piloting shape.
Before throwing numbers around Iíll take the first step. If it works well, Iím sure Iíll find endless reasons to fly, trust me😝🤪😋
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Old 13th Sep 2023, 22:30
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Originally Posted by HoYeah
Thank you, appreciate you taking the time to reply.

1- Self-insure? Why so many ppl here are suggesting to put your bird on the flight school chart? What’s the catch?

2- 500h how long did you take to accumulate, 2 years? What did you upgrade with? Saw a red R44 again today low and steady… I’m sooo not attracted to them😞😓 ho well…
1- Self-insure: liability only, no hull coverage if the rotors were moving at mishap.
Ship on flight school chart: Depending on your arrangement, you may have to pay in full for the mandatory commercial insurance (liability and hull), the operator will not guarantee a minimum of hours flown... So basically you take all the risks, you pay all the fixed costs, while the operator has full control on your ship.

2- I just put 140 hours on two years on this ship. Upgrading (sort of) to FW, I mean a real travelling machine
Yes, R44s are ugly... In fact all helicopters are ugly, but some other models were featured so often in so many movies that we got more accustomed to their ugliness

Last edited by Petit-Lion; 13th Sep 2023 at 22:33. Reason: spelling
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 02:37
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Originally Posted by Agile
...but soon enough you get into some close calls, or cases where you wish that you would have done better as a pilot, and even cases where luck was the reason you came back. In other words, reality hits, you can either supress that feeling or engage a CPL, I didnít succeed in the former, so I choose the later. CPL study really put me back on my feet.

Its hard to practice helicopter flying without making it a main activity with a dedication to keep learning. Even better would be to befriend somebody who is a really great instructor and able to check on you to keep you in top piloting shape.
I only squeezed 500 solo/fly for fun hours out of my ppl, but this never happened to me. In fact the only time I've ever had any close calls (including one where I still don't know how I made it out alive) was in the pursuit of commercial flying.

I'd say, just stick with the ppl, simply review your ground every so often, and make (and stick to) some personal minimums, and you'll be fine. In fact, my two biggest regrets in aviation are getting my CPL and those pointless 40 hours under the hood flying holds and shooting ILS/VOR approaches.

Flying just for fun is probably the safest flying out there. Its flying for a purpose where things go wrong,...what with "get-there-itis" and what not.

,...and I only flew with an instructor when I absolutely HAD to.
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