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Flight Time Vs. Air Time In Helicopter Training


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OK, so now they have laid it down on us...


(Transport Canada that is)


A student will no longer be able to log "Flight Time" (or hobbs time in most training helicopters), since TC has determined that they don't actually have 100 hours of actual air time.


This is due to the definition of Air Time and Flight Time in the CAR's.


Are we going to change the world here? Anywhere else in the world where I've been, Flight Time is what goes in the log book, Air Time is what goes in the Journey Log...


Any inputs?


This will obviously increase the cost of training somewhat (10-15 hours more...) for the students.


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i heard this was coming down the pipe....... :down:


so the time teaching a student how to: start the a/c, use checklists, get clearances and so on isn't valuable??? :angry:


yes Winnie, you are correct. i believe this will increase the cost of training.


i think you will see instructors "keeping it in the hover" rather than landing to explain certain things as well as "hurrying" through the start up :down:

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I wonder how TC got on this line? :huh:


I guess you don't really need the qualifications of a pilot to start and shut down the aircraft then. I think I'll let the student figure out that part on his/her own, and see what TC thinks about that... :down:


I guess that is something for the Instructor Refresher Clinic this year?


By the way, you guys going 412D?

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TC is only starting to wake up after about 15 years. For years charter operators have been screwing client's by charging flight time instead of air time.


In actual fact fixed wing operators, on most charters, charge by the mile which is converted to "air time" by using block airspeed for entry in the log books.


In 88 or 89 when I was working in contracting for the feds, I wrote the "Air Charter Conditions" that form part of the contract for any air service provided to the feds.


"Air Time" is defined as follows, fixed wing, wheels "up" to "wheels down". Helicopters is from skids/wheels "up" to "down".


As for the Hobbs meter, highly inaccurate, you can sit on the ground with the collective (helicopter) slightly raised and the meter reads.


Start the engine on a fixed wing and the meter starts, the student is also paying for the "taxi time".


Try paying the charter costs on a B747 waiting for take-off clearance at Chicogo O'Hare when he is number 30, if the costs were based on flight time.


Flight Time is defined as the time it takes the pilot to taxi the aircraft to the take-off point and to return to the point of departure.


Air Time is added to the aircrafts/engines,etc., total times and is added to the technical records.


Flight Time is recorded in the journey log and the PILOTS personal log book.


For all practical purposes Flight Time does not exist in most helicopters.




Clear as mudd, eh.


Cheers, Don

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Guest sharky

Where I'm at...flight time is billed to all; students, customers. Air time is usually a 'guesstimate', normally .1, .2 less than flt time. Strikes me as puzzling. Is that the norm as well? Is there an accurate way of measuring air time? I'm sure you could use a stopwatch, but one could forget to start it sometimes.


How are leased aircraft billed? I guess it's up to the agreement of the two parties, but what's the norm in that case?

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A Long time ago in a galaxy far far away:

When I was a student at the Kingston Flying Club you were basicaly charged from first movement ( Taxi ) to shutdown but taxi was about 2 minutes.

$ 14:50 for a 150. $15:50 for Cherokee, $16:50 for a 172, add $4:00 for an instructor

I have worked on contracts where you charge from start to stop or from take off to last landing.

Many times you run on the deck for 5 to 10 minutes to load / unload pax.

Having said that during that time the Pilot Flying is updating GPS computing GW or obtaining deck clearance at the next destination. Once the non - flying or Monitoring pilot reboards a checklist is read and we depart. Both pilots, especially the guy who gets out , are working very hard and, as far as I am concerned, are involved in flight activities.

Are not the completion of GW/ CofG calcs / completion of checklists part of flight time as regards an operational flight.

Usualy the contract covers this specifically.

As regards training I have always maintained that at some isolated places in fixed wing you pay for Briefing ( watch the instructor drink coffee ) then pay for battery on to battery off for the A/C. In RW this does not seem to be the case.

If the course you pay for says 100 hrs of Logable ( is that a word) flight time then that is what you should get.

I know a lot of instructors who put in many hours of time that they do not get payed for. God bless them, they do a great job.

I have seen guys, especialy in FW, who charge for ground briefing when the student is planning a cross country and he is having lunch.

The salary of an FW instructor as compared to RW is based much more on production so who can really blame them. Not I.

When the MOT arrives and questions the flight / air time could not we, however, put ourselves in the place of the student and not say "I payed for the hours and what the **** is the problem???"


This is of course my opinion.

Please fire at will.

Cheers to all the great instructors I know are out there.

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We charge the student hobbs time.

In the Schweizer it starts "hobsing" when the Main Rotor Temp/Press light goes out (Just after joining the needles pretty much). this ends when the RRPM is fairly low on the shut down. Here the student pays a fixced price for ground school, and briefings are included in the cost of the flight. So our student pays the dollars from hobbs start to stop.


Why should he not log that same time in the logbook? Is it not as valuable as the "air time" from skids up the first time, to down the last time of a flight?


In Atlantic region, mys tudent could log flight time, but cross country time was air time, and instrument was maximum air time - 0.1 hours, which is fair. you don't do cross country sitting on the ground.

But where is not starting the aircraft and shutting it down again, valuable time? :stupid: :down:


TC better get their head back on, someone will pay for this, and now it looks like it is the student who get to suffer... :down:

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exactly! what students seen until now was:


100 hours x $400.00 per hour = $40,000.00


end of story.


what you will see now is something like this:


1.0 hour flight = $400.00

1.0 briefings = $ 60.00 (1/2 hour pre and 1/2 hour post)

school fees = $ 30.00 (use of computers, orientation boards and markers ect)




and so on and so on...... :stupid:


or worse..... :down:


sounds like the $10.00 aspirin in the US. stupid!


what, all the helicopter pilots flying today aren't as good because of the old system????? :shock:


bottom line is it is the students that will bear the brunt of this, sad to say...... :down:

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A.I.P, outlines the description of Flight Time and Air Time and how it is applied.


What the AIP dose not show is how to arrive at your hourly operating cost of a particular aircraft, that is up to the operator to figure out.


When bidding on a contract, any operator takes all costs when arriving at a price to charge for a service to a client.


What would be the difference in charging an hourly air time rate and a percentage of the overall cost for oral instruction.


This would provide realistic air time and a competitive edge to the flight school.


Once the costs become unrealistic for the students, maybe the feds will step in with a national school and better control of the actual requirements.


Food for thought.


Cheers, Don

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