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HeliTorque :: View topic - Hello! new to all of this, just a few questions please?
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Wannabes

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Hello! new to all of this, just a few questions please? Goto page 1, 2  Next
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lee_dub
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Hello! new to all of this, just a few questions please? Reply with quote

Hello, it all started for me on my birthday when my Mrs bought me an hour trial flight and I loved it.

So I went down to my local flight club the other day (its taken 3 days for me to get the registration email back!) and I came away with a few questions that I was too embarrassed to ask whilst I was there.

Im a fairly big lad (16st) but im not massive, im 6ft 1inch tall! Whilst I was talking to the guy at the club he asked me how heavy I was and once I told him he started putting my details into this CofG program. Now I can appreciate that all airframes will be different, but he told me I could only get into a R22 with someone 11st or less, which was pretty crushing for me tbh. However when I had my trial flight (at a different club) the instructor who took me out was 100% more than 11st, more like the same size as me. Anyways the guy at the school told me id be better off with the R44 due to my size......

Which brings me onto my next question. He also said that the way hours accumulate on the R44 is by the time the cyclic is lifted and not by oil pressure as the R22 is; meaning that even tho the R44 is over 200 an hour dearer you actually get more for your money. Now I was only budgeting for 2.25 (3 x 45min lessons) hours a month so I cant afford much R44 time. What would be the best move? I suppose if im too big for the R22 id have to look at the 44.

Mabie I just shouldn't even bother? I was really eager before I went to the school but now im not so sure.

Any answers/advice you guys could give would be greatly received.

Cheers
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I am about the same size as you and have managed to fly quite happily and within COG with other pax and instructors - but not recently... Albeit limited on fuel and no baggage, especially in California (hot) where I do most of my flying.

The R44 is probably the better option, except the cost. Bear in mind the less you fly consistently the longer it will take you in the end due to lack of continuity in training. Also whilst it is useful to work out complicated WB in initial training I'd said you probably don't want to be doing it every flight, trying to juggle fuel, etc.

You don't say where you are but have you considered the 300 instead? Still more than the R22 but (probably) cheaper than the R44. Don't have the POH for it so not sure on the WB/seat limits etc. - sure Whirlygirl or someone will come along and tell you.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lee, welcome to Helitorque!

Just to add, if you wanted to do the majority of training on the R22, then perhaps you could look around for err, "less heavy" instructors...? One that springs to mind would be a certain helicopter training facility at Leicester airfield... the instructor being mentioned above!

For what it's worth, I was close to the R22 max seat weight limit (17st 2lbs) for my training; without going through the maths (it's a long while ago now!) I can't really remember how close to W&B limits we were.

From the numbers I have though, for a couple of 'example' helicopters, I reckon you'd be okay with a left seat passenger just under 13stone. But as you say, all helis are different, so you would need to get hold of the numbers for the machine you're flying and work it through.

For the most part of your training, your sorties are going to be in the region of an hour long, I'd have thought. You certainly don't need full fuel tanks for that - maybe a third to half full - that'll help with staying below the Max All Up Weight (MAUW).

If you're concerned about the limitations after you have a licence, then you could always do the 5 hour type conversion to the R44, then.

Please don't let the weight issue put you off - it is a surmountable problem! Cool

Regarding the hours issue - the highlighted difference is accurate. Although I'd say it doesn't really make a great deal of difference! The R44's method of logging time has to be better for the 'time sensitive' though - one can allow time for the engine to heat and cool properly; whereas the R22, there's always a danger that you might want to cut it sooner, to save money!

And finally, it's been a while since I've mentioned it, but if you've a few hours to spare, feel free to take a look at my training flying diary
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lee_dub
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the speedy replies guys!

I should of probably said where I am, which is west London. The school in question is Heliair at Denham which I have seen good reviews about.

My main concern is indeed the limitations after I get my licence, I wouldn't be able to take anyone out except my Mrs. I really want to take my dad, brother and friends out which just wouldn't happen with the weight limits. The guy at Heliair did say it works out more expensive to do your licence in a 22 and then type rate to a 44 than just doing your licence in a 44. Well actually he suggested doing the first 15 hours in a 22, then switching to a 44 and qualifying that way. They do have 300's there, they are slightly more expensive but I know nothing about them and there availability for self hire around the country.

Im just an average guy with a half decent job, but I have commitments like a mortgage etc so I cant chuck tons of cash at this every month, I was sort of budgeting 600-700 a month as a max spend. Prehaps Im better off saving the 14000+ and then just doing it all quickly.

Oh and James, I have already read your diary in its entirety, part of my 'reasearch' so thanks; its an excellent resource!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Hello! new to all of this, just a few questions please? Reply with quote

lee_dub wrote:
Hello, it all started for me on my birthday when my Mrs bought me an hour trial flight and I loved it.


The beginnings of a slippery slope Very Happy That is exactly how I started, I'm still going through the process of selling my other toys (Motorbikes, VW's) to fund my lessons.

I think I'm at the other end of the weight scale being 9.5 stones so I've got to get some pie eating done before my solo Very Happy

Go for it & Good luck Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee,

I'm a little confused.

Quote:
The guy at Heliair did say it works out more expensive to do your licence in a 22 and then type rate to a 44 than just doing your licence in a 44


Using rough figures:

R22 per hour roughly 249 + vat (effectively 293 p/hr)
R44 per hour roughly 410 + vat (effectively 482 p/hr)

Ignoring circuit and landing fees and the PPL skills test etc etc and assuming the National average of 55 hours of training.

R22 55x 293= 16115
R44 55x 482= 26510

Lets say R44 type rating post PPL including test takes 7 hours. That'd be an additional 3374

So R22 then R44 in the region of 19489. Thats a difference of 7021!
Sounds like you're trying to be sold an R44 course Rolling Eyes

The 15 R22 then R44 would come out at 23675 using my rough prices and assuming 55hrs total. still a significant difference. If you've been advised an R22 is unsuitable, how did the instructor justify the first 15 hours being ok? Surely if its ok for 15 of the absolute minimum course total of 45 hours, it's ok?????

Training in an R22 may well be cramped. Is the person you spoke to the smallest/lighest instructor they have? You could ask for the smallest/lightest instructor Wink

Alternatively consider other schools whom have lighter instructors - you are afterall the paying customer. One has been suggested. Ruth Downey at Wycombe is another. You could learn without major issues in an R22.

Regarding the engine timings bit.
You are correct the R22 Datcon is powered by engine oil pressure so runs all the time the engine does. The R44 by comparision is linked, in simple terms, to collective lever position so only records flying time.

Loggable flight time is counted from when the aircraft is first capable of moving under it's own power, until the rotors stop. Flying instructors are in the main paid per flying hour. In an R22 its easy- 1hour on the Datcon equals a bill for one hour. Schools have different views on the R44. 1hour with an instructor may only actually involve 0.9 on the Datcon. You could find yourself paying for and logging 1 hour, even though from a maintenance point of view the aircraft/school only have costs for a 0.9 Shocked

Get that little area absolutely watertight with the school before you decide which type to learn on.

I'm about your size. I learnt and taught on an R22 without problems Wink
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lee_dub
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Hello! new to all of this, just a few questions please? Reply with quote

[quote="bom"]
lee_dub wrote:
The beginnings of a slippery slope Very Happy That is exactly how I started, I'm still going through the process of selling my other toys (Motorbikes, VW's)


Yea im thinking about selling my toys, im massively into VW's as well, I love my MK1 GTI to bits and im not sure I could part with it.

@flyingwings

The gut I spoke to said it works out more expensive just purely because the way the hours are logged on the R22 and R44.

I went in there thinking ill go for the R22 and then type rate on the R44 so I can take a few people out afterwards but this guy said it would be cheaper in the long run to do the 15 in the R22 then the rest in the R44.

Thanks for doing the maths there mate, it puts everything into perspective and I think that your right, I was being sold a R44 course just for the profit making.

Even tho the guy actually admitted that the two R22's that they had were pretty bad, I came out feeling like a right fat useless lump!

Im going to check out some of the other local schools, im going to 100% go and check the Wycombe one for sure. Do you think that my monthly budget is sufficient to learn at a steady progressive pace? I forgot to say thats my budget not including overtime (which I also intend to throw into it). I am aware there is other costs involved such as medicals and exams etc and this all has to be included in my monthly budget.

Cheers for all your help so far, its been a massive help!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought you might based on your user name, MK1, nice Smile Mine are a 69 bay crewie and a 73 westy.
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lee_dub
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! gotta love the aircooled shiz!

heres mine



I had a bit of an 'incident' with a deer in Lincolnshire earlier this year, that coupled with engine failure means its laid up in my garage at the moment, I have a new engine which im putting in over the next few months. its currently running a 2.0 16v with headwork and lairy cams.

Anyways I digress, so yea Helicopters....
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having learnt at HeliAir High Wycombe - they have a mass of R44s and limited R22s (read less availability) - they try to push everyone into R44's..

..thats not to say at your weight an R44 might/might not be more appropriate - but at 14 stone they suggested I learn in a R44 too...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you'll also find, availability aside, is that the aircraft are most likely operated on a lease back arrangement from the actual aircraft owners. The operator has probably contractually agreed to fly a minimum number of hours on each machine per year, and in the current climate they may be struggling. Lots of this industry is smoke and mirrors sadly. Whilst you figure whats what, if it doesn't sound or feel right............. It's probably prudent to seek clarification Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just looking at flinginwings calcs - and whilst I agree with the majority of what is written - the "schools" tend to push you into believing if it takes 55hrs in an R22 - then it might take only say 50 in the R44 (based on billing on the collective)......but I have never believed it myself...

...so, you might want to recalc based on X number of less hours to test in the R44 for a different way to compare.

Alternatively - there are schools much cheaper than 410 +VAT for R44 training, especially for a 5 hour prepaid conversion once you have a PPL - if you don't mind a bit of travelling !
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I dont mind travelling at all! its why we like choppers right?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another question you might want to sort is what bill you get?
Is it based on Datcon time or Instructors time?

Instructors are in the main paid per flying hour.
Cynically: Would an Instructor work for one hour, yet receive pay for perhaps a 0.9? How much money would an instructor lose each year doing this?

Think of a lesson on autorotation? 1hr in the air might only use 0.7-0.8 of collective up in an R44.

Personally I think fees should be based on a Datcon portion and an Instructors time portion. So that a one hour lesson during which 0.9 was recorded on the aircraft should create a bill of 0.9 x aircraft + 1.0 x Instrutor. The majority of places lump it all together and charge a fixed rate based on instructor time. In which case the 0.9 will still cost you one hour.

The National average is 55-60 hours some do it quicker, some do it slower. Time sat on the ground is time sat on the ground, it doesn't improve your handling ability, so I fail to see how you save huge sums.

0.1 saved over 55 hrs is roughly 9 Hours. If you fly 55 hours in an R44 the bill will be as above. If you had to fly an additional 9 hours in an R22 to offset the Datcon running during start and shutdown it'd cost an additional 2637.

On that basis (if you physically took 9 hours longer using the R22 and based on the figures above): You'd still save over 8000 against completing a 55 hour course in an R44. 5000 if you added the R44 rating post PPL in an R22. And roughly 7400 on the combined 15 hrs (plus 2.5 in this example for the extra flying time required) and the remainder on an R44. For me it's a no brainer based purely on figures, particularly if you are on a budget.

Unless you are in excess of the seat weight limit for an R22 or have a strong urge to only learn on an R44, why pay the extra? I think given the further info, that Lee is being sold a course that suits the school , not Lee Sad

If the R22 proves to be too cramped and a Hughes 269 is available then that too would still be a cheaper option than an entire PPL on an R44. yet that wasn't an offered option Rolling Eyes

I reckon most people learn on the R22. On that basis the National average probably takes account of the Datcon issues we're discussing.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always a tricky subject, and as an instructor it's a delicate one to broach, but the facts are, if the CofG doesn't work out, then it doesn't work.
Every machine is different and it's not terribly helpful when people pipe up that 'it was fine for them' in their circumstances with that machine on that date!
I can assure you that if it had been me, I would have done a CofG calculation and given a straight recommendation. I have a laminated CofG calculation (as do most instructors at HeliAir) and I know immediately when someone gives me their weight, if it's going to work in any of our R22s.
In any case, more often than not it's not total weight, it's running out of forward CofG is the main issue, and ironically newer Beta 2s are generally worse for this (more gubbins up the front).
I can assure Lee that we do out best to be sensitive about this, however we have to work within the aircraft limits and if the CoG calculation says it doesn't work, then we have to go with that, and we certainly don't try and sell R44 courses over R22 courses.
(Oh and it's all well and good to have a light instructor, then you have to find a light examiner Smile

Lee you have options elsewhere, but if you want to come and have a chat I can talk you through the W&B program and we can see what might work with our aircraft and instructors.

Also it's datcon time, you get billed for that the datcon says, regardless of whether you spend the lesson in autorotation in an R44, or in an R22.
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