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HeliTorque Forum Index » Torque, Chat, and Chill!

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PilotWolf
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:05 am    Post subject: UK Course Costs... Reply with quote

..why are they so high?

For example (and I am not singling out any particular provider but using prices that I have acess to):

Robinson safety course - 350 plus flying costs - the factory course is less than that to include the flying the R44.

CRM - 200 + VAT, assume 5 people - that is 1000, allow 200 for room hire, 200 for travel/accom costs and 200 for instructor = 400 profit?

Ground handlers course - 250 + VAT - I don't know the exam costs etc. but the provider is suggesting that there are not enough people to run the course. How many are needed? Is it a case of enough to make a profit or not enough to break even?

Again I stress I am not aiming this at anyone provider in particular but it does seem to be a case of rip off Britian again... I accept that businesses need to make a profit but when does it become profiteering??

Ducks for cover...

W.

PS Its not just the flying world - similar comparisions can be made in the marine world.
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flip2
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly let me say that I do agree that many things are overpriced in Britain, so I am not trying to shoot you down in flames on this one:

3 Reasons why Robinson Safety Course is cheaper in the US:
1. SFAR 73 - it is in Frank's best interest that the mandated minimums are completed with minimum fuss
2. When I attended the factory course, we were flying brand new aircraft off the production line - the explanation given was that the factory reserves the right to fly 5 hours on any aircraft before delivery (?)
3. Price of avgas near half that of the UK

With the other courses, I'm not sure what hoops the course providers need to jump through beforehand, so I couldn't comment.
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WindSwept
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PilotWolf i tend to agree with you, but then im aware that its the same in other schools you go to, although they tend to vary, some being cheaper for some things some more expensive.

Ive resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it is and you can't really do much to avoid it. Its that way in the UK.
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PilotWolf
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flip2
1. But how many people go to the factory to satisfy the SFAR? Most people that have been there when I've been are CFI or CPL, few of whom need to do the SFAR. I guess that maybe it is about the same price as doing it at a school in the US with the bonus of the course and the ream cakes!
2.I believe the 5 hours is like a running in/test period which would be flown by the factory pilots anyway.
3. Not sure that counts as in the UK the attendees pay the schools' going rate for dual anyway.

Windswept
As I said I am not picking on any particular school - just the figures I used were the easiest to find for obvious reasons! I also believe the school doesn't set the safety course price - the provider does.

Avoid the UK? Smile I tend to try to as much as possible now...

W.
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flip2
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PilotWolf - my apologies, I hadn't read your post correctly to see you had quoted excluding flight time. That'll teach me to post in the early hours of the morning! Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW, how would you go about building your flying hours and training in the US. Surely you would then need an FAA license if you were trying to build hours towards a JAA one just to get in the air, in which case its already cost you more than it would to have stayed in the UK and done your courses here.
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flip2
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things may have changed, but you certainly could just validate your JAA licence and get issued a time-limited FAA licence as a paperwork exercise. It will be a restricted licence, meaning that you only get the same benefits you get on your parent licence.

I believe the CAA charge for the privilege of sending the paperwork, though.

If you want the full shooting match, I'm not sure what it is at PPL level but if you had an ICAO CPL it used to just be 3 hours with an FAA instructor plus flight test. Appropriate medical, plus 1 multiple choice exam. I think you had to do the paperwork exercise of a restricted FAA PPL first, described above.

EDIT - oh, and if you agreed to do it with an actual FAA examiner (rather than somebody authorized as an examiner, if you understand what I mean) there was no examination charge.

Quick flick through the FARs and I believe 61.75 applies:

Quote:
Sec. 61.75

Private pilot certificate issued on the basis of a foreign pilot license.

(a) General. A person who holds a foreign pilot license at the private pilot level or higher that was issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation may apply for and be issued a U.S. private pilot certificate with the appropriate ratings if the foreign pilot license meets the requirements of this section.
[(b) Certificate issued. A U.S. private pilot certificate issued under this section must specify the person's foreign license number and country of issuance. A person who holds a foreign pilot license issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation may be issued a U.S. private pilot certificate based on the foreign pilot license without any further showing of proficiency, provided the applicant:]

(1) Meets the requirements of this section;
[(2) Holds a foreign pilot license, at the private pilot license level or higher, that does not contain a limitation stating that the applicant has not met all of the standards of ICAO for that license;

(3) Does not hold a U.S. pilot certificate other than a U.S. student pilot certificate;
(4) Holds a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter or a medical license issued by the country that issued the person's foreign pilot license; and]

(5) Is able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

[(c) Aircraft ratings issued. Aircraft ratings listed on a person's foreign pilot license, in addition to any issued after testing under the provisions of this part, may be placed on that person's U.S. pilot certificate for private pilot privileges only.
(d) Instrument ratings issued. A person who holds an instrument rating on the foreign pilot license issued by a contracting State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation may be issued an instrument rating on a U.S. pilot certificate provided:]

(1) The person's foreign pilot license authorizes instrument privileges;
(2) Within 24 months preceding the month in which the person applies for the instrument rating, the person passes the appropriate knowledge test; and
(3) The person is able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.
(e) Operating privileges and limitations. A person who receives a U.S. private pilot certificate that has been issued under the provisions of this section:
[(1) May act as pilot in command of a civil aircraft of the United States in accordance with the pilot privileges authorized by this part and the limitations placed on that U.S. pilot certificate;]
(2) Is limited to the privileges placed on the certificate by the Administrator;
(3) Is subject to the limitations and restrictions on the person's U.S. certificate and foreign pilot license when exercising the privileges of that U.S. pilot certificate in an aircraft of U.S. registry operating within or outside the United States; and
[(f) Limitation on licenses used as the basis for a U.S. certificate. A person may use only one foreign pilot license as a basis for the issuance of a U.S. pilot certificate. The foreign pilot license and medical certification used as a basis for issuing a U.S. pilot certificate under this section must be written in English or accompanied by an English transcription that has been signed by an official or representative of the foreign aviation authority that issued the foreign pilot license.
(g) Limitation placed on a U.S. pilot certificate. A U.S. pilot certificate issued under this section can only be exercised when the pilot has the foreign pilot license, upon which the issuance of the U.S. pilot certificate was based, in the holder's possession or readily accessible in the aircraft.]

Amdt. 61-124, Eff. 10/20/09
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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfie,

As you quite rightly pointed out the majority of the time the school is not profiting from all of that! Of course I cannot speak for every school but the instructors that run the courses for us are quite experienced guys and charge per person costs or a large fee for the whole course and unless this charge is passed on with a small amount to cover the overhead you can't even break even - what is the point of running the course at a loss?

Everything in this country is expensive, particularly where aviation is concerned!

Sarah
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Last edited by WhirlyGirl on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So on that basis you are paying for the instructors' 'fame' rather than the course content then WG? Twisted Evil

And in which case Frank Robinson's courses should be the most expensive being as he designed and builds the machine(s)...

As Flip2 pointed out it is in FR's interest to run the factory course but I doubt that he breaks even or makes a profit on it, which if you know Frank goes against the grain.

W.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW,

The instructors are appropriately qualified to run the courses - it's up to them to charge whatever they charge. They have spent the money to get the approvals what not, as well as the thousands of hours experience they have so they are entitled to go out at whatever rate they see fit.

What isn't expensive when it comes to helicopters? I mean the CAA charge for the CPL skills test is over 700. I have spent a lot of money to get where I am today, as has every CPL(H), and I wouldn't go out for less than a 250 day rate. An examiner / instructor with a zillion hours is bound to charge a significant amount more. Perfectly reasonable when they have invested so much in their careers.

Sarah
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PilotWolf
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirlyGirl wrote:
PW,

The instructors are appropriately qualified to run the courses - it's up to them to charge whatever they charge. They have spent the money to get the approvals what not, as well as the thousands of hours experience they have so they are entitled to go out at whatever rate they see fit.

What isn't expensive when it comes to helicopters? I mean the CAA charge for the CPL skills test is over 700. I have spent a lot of money to get where I am today, as has every CPL(H), and I wouldn't go out for less than a 250 day rate. An examiner / instructor with a zillion hours is bound to charge a significant amount more. Perfectly reasonable when they have invested so much in their careers.

Sarah


I didn't suggest they weren't properky qualified to run the course but then so are the factory pilots... I am sure they can charge what they like but whether people chose to pay it is a different matter. Also the factory course are less full these days but I remember when there was 6 or more months wait to get on one. 30 people at $350 a week or 10 people at 360 (ignoring the flying income) - doesn't take much to see who is 'making' the most $/ out of the course.

Again I am afraid it is the UK that is expensive - the CAA, VAT, fuel duty, etc.

And those of us that think the charges are too high will (still) take their business elsewhere. Hence the (admittedly less so now) old moans because people go out of the UK to train.

W.
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Hughes500
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW

Dont know where you are coming from here. I earn less than a couple of plumbers I have started to teach. Let me think I charge 300 a day ( lucky to fly 5 days a week) prey tell me I am an examiner and instructor, who is the most qualified ? I am sure you are prepared to pay for a plumber to fix your burst pipe, so you obviously arent prepared to pay for someone to teach you something that may save your life !
What do you do and how much do you earn ?
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PilotWolf
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hughes500 - you are presumably only teaching one person at a time so earn 300 a day not 300 per student. If you were teaching say 10 at the same time would you feel justified in earning 3000 a day for little extra effort because your class is bigger?

I am the Mate/Relief Master of a survey vessel which has a minimum of 4 crew and up to 6 client surveyors on board and despite many years of experience between the bridge team for 24/7 operations none of us earn anywhere near that sort of money (300) per day, yet I am responsible for the safety and running of the ship and the lives of those on board - even if I am asleep in my cabin the buck stops with me as the Master.

If we were to attempt to charge what we thought we were worth there would be a lot of unemployed mariners and laid up vessels out there. I have offended several owners that expected me to deliver their 1M pleasure craft for no more than the experience of doing it! Many delivery companies won't even pay their crew expecting them to accept the experience as payment. Just imagine helicopter pilots flying for the experience unpaid... Wink

Unfortunately it is only possible to earn what the 'employer' or client will pay. As such I will not pay for a service I consider to be too expensive be it UK flight training or a plumber if an equivalent cheaper alternative is available. Which plumber would you use - one that charges 100 an hour or one that charges 75 given that the cheaper one is more likely to have more experience in the 'game'?

Likewise I spent 15 years as a paramedic earning an average of about 120 a day when I left about 5 years ago - do you still want to put a price on saving lives and preventing accidents?

PW
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Hughes500
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW

As I said I dont work 5 days a week due to weather etc etc . In fact am lucky to fly 600 hours a year ( at 75 an hour, which is effectivly flying pay). This includes briefing, flying, ac docs, maintenance on ac let alone running the company. I get no holiday pay, no sick pay , no overtime or any other benefits that others would get.
So I think I am pretty good value for what I earn compared to " other " professions !
Not taking anything away from you, had this " conversation " with a client recently, only to find he was on 200 an hour as a barristar, enough said !!!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"CRM - 200 + VAT"

We only charge 120 per person per day, plus VAT Smile

Phil
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