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Training Update...


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tDawe is very correct.


I would suggest that you forego an IFR rating until you have a whack of VFR experience and actually have a job with which to use an IFR rating. It's alot of money and time and it truely is a different way of flying. There is only one thing scarier than intentionally launching yourself into a cloud when you are not feeling confident in your IFR abilities - I have 50 hours actual in helicopters, and the first 10 minutes still gives me that oogy feeling in the pit of my gut (flying with an autopilot reduces oogy feeling to approx. 2.5 minutes...) - The scariest thing is launching into the cloud inadvertently!!!


There are three stages to IFR flying:


Qualified - Just got the rating - woo hoo!

Current - Just got the IFR Job - WOO HOO!

Proficient - Just landed the helicopter after breaking out at minimums with a half dead patient and an aircraft full of people you are responsible for!!!


p.s. Congratulations Ryan :up: - sorry for hijacking your most excellent thread!

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Once again I'm breaking tradition by posting an update before Friday, but after 3 days of Jet Ranger flying I gotta do it!

Monday was of course day one of my Jet Ranger training. I was pretty excited about the thought of flying a much larger and far more powerfull helicopter than my little buddy the R-22. All morning the only thought in my head was, "Do not cook the engine!" We went thru the checklist and did a few mock starts with the emphasis on keeping that thumb glued to the started button untill it could come off at the right time. Then came the real thing and it went off without a hitch. All this time I had been thinking Bob would get us flying and hand over the controls and let me get a feel for the 206 that way. But instead he just looked at me and said "Ok, get us up into the hover." My face must have looked somewhat like this.... :huh: . But at the same time I'm not paying $17 a minute to let him fly am I. I gently applied collective and got us airborn. Sort of. It was ugly but it was flying. After a quick repo flight for some fuel we taxied out to an open area where I could just play with it a while and get a feel for the new machine. By far the biggest difference I noticed is how heavy the pedals are compared to the R-22. No controlling the tail with your toes here. Time to use some muscle! After a few circuits and hovering time we shut down for a bit. During that time we were treated to a 1.5 hour DI from a great AME who took us thru every nut and bolt, and then some.

We fired up later on and headed out for more circuits away from the airport. To add to the mix Bob got me to do a few confined area landings, which surprised me with less than an hour in the machine. Then I realized this was still a helicopter and will fly like pretty much all the rest. I just have to remember these blades are a wee bit longer than R-22 blades, and the tail is way back there. So are the skids. I was also introduced to the vertical landings into very confined areas. Wow! Bob brought it into a small whole surrounded by 150' pine trees and set down on a road at the bottom. The in classic "Bob" style he turns to me and says "Ok, get us out." So I grabbed the collective, eased it up and the ship followed suit. Man I love these helicopters!

Also had a passenger in the back enjoying all the action. He's a young pilot-to-be that I've been chatting with and when I found out he'd be in town I offered him a free 206 ride. Being a eager fella he jumped at the chance and was my first passenger other than Bob. As he posts on the forum I won't give his name since I never got permission to do so, but he can identify himself if he likes.

Yesterday was filled with circuits, getting those approaches just right. There were also some autos of every type, as well as hydraulic failures. Somehow I'd expected the hydraulic failures to be more dramatic, but the machine flys quite well without hydraulics. I imagine the arms could get sore doing it for a while, but at least they don't lock up. Yesterday was also an amazing day for another reason. I had the pleasure of flying Mr. Frank Norie from his house out to VIH. Not everyday a student pilot gets to shuttle an aviation icon out to the company he founded. I didn't get a chance to chat him up as he left in a hurry when we landed, but he did shoot me a nice little salute as he walked past my door. Very cool!

As for today..... more autos, circuits full of emergencies, and more confined areas. And the confined areas are far more challenging now as the helicopter is bigger, yet with more power it can land where the R-22 couldn't.

We're planning on hooking up a sling line by the end of the week, which should be interesting. Looking forward to that for sure.

In case I don't post untill afterwards....Merry Christmas folks! :up:


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Hello Ryan,


Letting us follow your training has been a great idea and i hope other students would think about posting their training " notes " as well...very informing..!


I believe in the expression " YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR " and i think when it comes to your training with Coast helicopter college you certainly got your moneys' worth..!!! With your instructing,challenges and even scenery.....


One thing you haven't mentioned(or maybe i missed it)was how many instructors does the school have and how many students are there...and is there a waiting list to get in....???


The school really does need a website....pass it on to Bob :up:


Good luck with your job search......


Merry Christmas to all.



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The school just moved up to two instructors this year. The second instructor is a former chief pilot out of Whitecourt with over 8000 hours. Sorry for not being liberal with his name, but considering the size of the Whiecourt company he was CP for odds are many will know him. Once he comes back I'll get his permission to post his name on the net.

There are usually 4 students per course, one winter course and one spring. The waiting list is about 6 months at least.

As for the website, it's comming. A current student is a computer wizz and is going to be putting one together for Bob.

Merry Christmas all.

Ryan. B)

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Phew, never thought this day would come. It's time to write my final update. I did my last 1.5 hours on New Year's Eve, making me a full fledged pilot for 2005. B)

This week was by far the most challenging since those first days of learning to hover, as this week was all about looking in the mirror. The first thing we put on the cargo hook were two cement weights. And man were they ever heavy. With just the two of us inside, 2 hours worth of fuel and the weights, we were pulling 100% just to get airborn. But what a feeling! Sure was odd feeling the helicopter sway back and forth slightly once we were flying. We practiced flying the load into big confined areas at first, trying to get it to a certain spot. Of course the first few times were off by quite a ways, but soon I was getting much closer, then finally getting it where I wanted it. So then we moved on to a tight little area. With the load underneath we had do a verticle decent into the spot. The fact that the mirror needs some adjusting didn't help me to get the load where I wanted, but neither did my white knuckles. So then Bob decides to really make me sweat. He figures we'll so find some log pads to put the load onto. With a mirror that won't let me see the load? Off we went and a minute later found one. I tried and I tried. Approach after approach. I think we did about 5 approaches and only once did I get them on the pad, and then just barely.

We also spent a day zipping around Salt Spring Island looking for pads in the bush to go land on. I'm not a real fan of many of these little suckers, since a lot only have one approach path...wind be damned. Still though, it's a great feeling getting one of these bigger helicopters onto a tiny pad amid tall trees. Just have to keep telling myself these aren't R-22 skids beneath me...these skids are way back behind me. But at least this mirror lets me see the skids, which is great!

It was then time to give a long-line a try. We didn't attach a load, just wanted me to get used to flying the line and putting it on target. So ya know what that means...time for the doors to come off...in December. But this is Vancouver Island so it's not like we a real winter here anyways. We buzzed out to one of the training areas at the airport, and I began to swear. Lots. These lines sure aren't as stable without a load in them, it was swinging all over the place. To be fair though I was the one making it swing. It sure does take some getting used to flying by verticle reference too. At the start I was unable to get near the target, which was a 3'x3' square in the grass. Once I began to ease up on the controls and get it swinging a little less, I had a bit more success. After about 45 minutes of this I could lower it to the square about 25% of the time. It was by no means pretty or efficient, but it was fun. Then Bob decides to show what experienced long-liners can do. He takes the controls and flys over to an old car tire sitting out in the field and just plinks the hook into the middle of it...no sweat. :up:

My last training adventures with the cargo hook was everyone's favorite, the Bambi Bucket! Finally, something I could see in the mirror. We hooked it up, made sure it was in working order, and were off. We headed for the same area used for the long-line practice, since there is a good sized pond there too. There was a tree with a rag tangled up in it's branches, so we dicided it was up to us to liberate that rag. Bob showed me a quick demo of a pick-up and a drop, then handed the controls over to me. The first few pickups were a litle light, I was uneasy about getting so close to the water. But after a few passes I got more confident and was getting the bucket nice and full most times. The drops were equally great fun. At first I was releasing too early, then too late. Then I started to nail that tree! Bob has said that bucketing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on, and I'll agree with that. It was a total blast! Coming in low over the pond and dunking the bucket, then pulling max power and staggering out with a full load of water. Aiming for your target and thinking "Not yet...not yet...almost....bombs away!" I could do that all day!

And at last came my final day of training, yesterday. It was a pretty relaxed flight. Some confined areas, some emergencies and some sight-seeing. A great way to end it all. Not quite sure at the moment as to whether I'm more happy or sad. Happy I'm now a pilot, sad I won't be flying every day for a while.


So what now? Well, like I stated in another post I'm going to relax for a month and get reaquainted with my wife. Then it's off to Alberta and possibly Saskatchewan for a week of knocking on doors. Then home for a week or two before hitting the Island and mainland BC.


And to all you budding student pilots, some words of advice:

-Get at least 8 hours sleep every night before you fly. You are gonna need it.

-Eat breakfast, even you hate breakfast. I hate it but your brain needs the fuel for all the stuff it's going to get overloaded with. And believe me, it will get overloaded.

-Always be on time. Even better, always be early. Never let the instructor(s) beat you to school. These are the 1st people that will be phoned by employers when you're looking for work. If you're always late or just come in at the exact time specified, they will let them know. If you will be late, call and let them know.

-Treat every day as a job interview. It is.


Well, that outta do it. I'm also going to miss writting these posts. Thanks to all the kind words of support, and all the friends made. Anyone looking to become a student heli pilot is welcome to PM me anytime with whatever questions you may have.

Have a great year everyone. I know I will, can't get off to a better start than this. :up:


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