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No Private Pilot Licence Training On Weekends?


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I live in Southeast Saskatchewan and I'm trying to get a private pilot licence. Since there are no training schools in Saskatchewan I had to ask some schools in Manitoba that are around 4 and half hours away which would allow me to leave home on a friday afternoon train Sat and Sun and be back on Sunday night, but incredibly I found schools that will not work on the weekends or holidays, actually they only train Mon-Fri 7-5, so I was asking myself, how is anybody looking for a Private Pilot licence ever going to get it with that schedule? It makes no sense to me. Some other schools had no CFI's availabe and others only train on 206's, but $1000 an hour is not a good idea for a hobby.


So I ended up contacting a school in Calgary, which is 9 hours away, that is willing to train on weekends and Holidays. I'm planning on doing 8-10 hours of training on every trip there and eventually get my licence. I hate the fact of spending that extra money on traveling expenses compared to travelling to MB.


Now you now if you're planning on training in MB you probably should be self-employed, unemployed or willing to pay for Turbine training.

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There are very very few people who only want a private helicopter licence. Those that do have commonly converted from fixed wing licences. You don't mention whether you already are a licenced f/w pilot. There are good choices for fixed wing training in Saskatchewan as a first step. (If you aren't already there.) I met one fellow who took three weeks of vacation to do his first stages of helicopter training - a very wise thing to consider doing whichever route you take.











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Hi Icewind,


I don't have a fixed wing licence and I'm actually not interested in it for now. There's a fixed wing training school where I live but my passion is more towards Helicopters.


I've always loved these machines and last month I had the opportunity to do an introductory flight, that was the final push I needed to make the decision of becoming a pilot, at least private pilot for now... I'm an engineer working for the mining industry, to bad I never had the opportunity to work for the Helicopter industry that has always had my attention. I've been subscribed to Vertical Magazine for almost two years now and just recently is when I got on the pilot seat of a Helicopter, I've been flying Radio Control Helicopters (never airplanes) for 10 years though but is not even close to be as exciting as the real thing

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I'm a low-time commercial guy, so my perspective is little different, but I did share a classroom and training time with a couple PPL-H guys while I was in school with Mountain View Helicopters in Calgary.


One dude was an anasthesiologist who somehow arranged his work schedule to be six or seven days a month. During the rest of the time he was in school 8-5 Monday-Friday (that is, when he and his missus weren't jetting off to Tahiti... B) )


The point here being that he was there for one or two week blocks at a time and MVH made it work for him (note that I don't represent MVH - best call 'em up directly and see what you can arrange).


Another guy did his training part-time, as he was a business owner and quite busy. He started on a PPL and switched to a CPL for the substantial tax break - I don't know the exact numbers, but by the time you factor this in the difference in cost between a PPL and CPL isn't that great. The bigger benefit (IMHO) is the extra training and flight time you'd get with a commercial rating - plus should you decide to change careers sometime down the road you'll already have the license. Something else to consider, maybe?


I do recall this fella saying that if he had to do it all over, he'd have taken time off work and trained full-time - doing it a bit at a time made it hard to stay fresh and sharp. I think there is benefit to immersing yourself in full-time training; my fellow full-timers and I formed a pretty cohesive study group and it helped a bunch. YMMV and all...


Good Luck!


- Darren

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One thing you may want to keep in mind. If you travel to Calgary and plan on doing 8-10 hrs. of training per weekend they won't let you. You will be fried after about 1 1/2 hrs. Most schools will limit you to around 2 hrs. a day as after that you are not learning.

You may be able to talk them into it but it's not a good idea. Training just on weekends can be done but is poor for continuity of learning. Meaning you will spend most of your Saturday re-learning what you did last weekend.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!


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Tax break from flight training?


Commercial training is considered tuition, so you can claim it on your income tax. Also, there should be no GST on commercial training. Considering the cost of a CPL-H, the savings can be substantial!

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Hi errece,


I'm currently working on my CPL, and I'm fortunate to be working flexed hours at my FT job in order to be able to fly in the afternoon. It makes for a long day, as I start work at 600, fly from 1400-1600, and groundschool from 1800-2100 twice a week. The end result is I am able to fly and work.


I could not imagine flying any less frequently than twice a week while working towards a commercial license. From my instruction so far, the motor skills required to fly a helicopter are learned only through experience. Having those skills fresh in memory only helps to spend less time in a lesson re-learning the basics and focusing more on procedures and learning new concepts.


In a week or two, I am going to burn up some saved vacation time to fly full-time for two weeks, and build up as many hours as I can.


Are there any schools in your area that offer commercial piston trainers such as the BH47 or the R22?

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Thanks for all the replies,


I agree with all of you that I should do it more often or continuos, but keep in mind that it's a 9 hour drive from where I live to the training school in Calgary since the other schools in Manitoba don´t want to train on weekends I had to go with that option... I just recently started at my job so I don't have that many holidays on this year considering that we want to make a trip on december. So far the plan is to do 4 hours every day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon Sat and Sun and Fri and Mon will be my travelling time, and I'm trying to do it on the long weekends maybe I could take some days off from work to be able to train every 3 or 4 weekends. I'm starting next weekend, hopefully I should be done by October/November.


At this point I'm not sure if I'll ever get a commercial rating, I'm not thinking of a carrer change yet...


Whippersnapr there are only Fixed wing schools around here. No Rotorcraft schools in Saskatchewan.

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