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Cheaper Ifr/Night Training In The Us, Is It Worth It?

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Those guys at Red Eagle are not new comers by any means. only one incident in 14years is a good history. don't let anyone sell them short. they have 2 bases of ops. they own schweizers (awesome!!) both CBI and S300C, a 206, H500, Bell 407, and are taking delivery of a new 429 EMS config in a matter weeks I hear. These guys have 7 instructors, 5 for helicopters, run tours, wildlife counts, police SAR, mountain rescue and hi alt recovery (with 407) and will be running the new HEMS 429. Oh and get this they have a staff guy who is certified for training night vision there!!! One of my buddies is an instructor there and he has only about 2200 hrs compared to the other high time instructors and he loves the place and man are they busy! They also always seem to be up-beat too.

For the prices, who needs a sim? getting over the feelings of disorientation cant be accomplished in a sim in any amount of hrs. With the US license you dont need a night rating - it's included. but still would be tons cheaper if you need those hrs and get PIC hrs to boot!

Like all things: buyer beware. So if you can get past the verbal jousting between these other guys - i say give-em a call or go to one of their bases. Won't that really clear up any concerns?

Also, 80% hiring rate? that's like 40 pilots placed per year. I've never even seen that many jobs available in Canada for low time guys - a drop in the buck for the USA market though. maybe that's where they all end up ! Its sure easy enough.

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I don't know of any school in Canada that trains 50 guys year. We train 15. - 20 students a year. We have had courses where they all got a job. Right out of school. Not sure that Red Eagle has done anything like that. Oh yeah they have an FAA license so there is no way they can offer job placement in Canada.

 

Cheers

 

PRJB

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What are all of these guys doing right our of school with 100hrs? The US guys get 150hrs and become junior level flight instructors within 200 hrs. you guys need 250 to instruct right? but there's like 25 flight schools for helis there? are they hiring 20 guys per year from you to do that? what about the other schools students.How do these guys get those extra 100 hrs and then where do they work with so few schools? The US students get hired by their school or one of hundreds of others or do tours. The process is to get them flying/working soon after the commercial license. There has been no problem with Canadians getting jobs in the US. Getting referrals is not the problem here. the market is 50 times that of Canada just do to the amount of people alone. You can get a Canadian conversion license just as easily as an FAA conversion. Many instructors and commercial guys in Canada have both. Many US guys have both. One gal from up there got her US conversion and is working flying tours in Maui or Kauai so my buddy tells me. an ex-Vietnam vet started Helijet. It seems all very reciprocal to me.

Good for you to give referrals, that is how it should be. But you have no monopoly on that. that is expected and done in the States also and in a far larger market. It may probably be more needed for such a few jobs available in Canada Granted!. Down in the US, the amount of jobs are simply more.

Again the newbies are flying in the States at 150 hrs - again what are those 20 guys doing in their jobs right out of school? how many flying hrs do they get per year? how many stay in the industry. Those numbers don't add up to me. No offence really, all the power to them. i just don't see numbers. i don't even see 20 jobs listed for low time pilots in any magazine. How do they do this? I can't see them flying, surely? If this is the case then i should have converted my license and my 300hrs at that time, and gone to Canada! The training is the same mostly. The published standards are identical for what i have seen and experienced. People coming to the US are pretty rusty from lack of recent hrs - totally expected and vice versa i'm sure. so that's by no means a marker to judge. Just sayin..

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Rotorspeed, well said. I suppose I did take an unnecessary cheap shot with my previous comments. However I have been following this forum off and on for the past few years and it sure seems like there have been significantly more cheap shots and down right dirty blows directed towards our American friends at Springbank than they deserve. Especially when you consider that every one of them is unfounded and clearly based on fear of friendly competition and or lies started by an unknown source (whom I might add is obviously unenlightened or perhaps just an unhappy person who might just carry around a ruler so they can prove the size of their...shall I say man hood)

 

I know Mountain View creates great pilots because Richard is bordering on a living legend in the industry and one of the nicest and most humble men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I truly hope he is enjoying every second of his well deserved retirement from the training world. I sure hope that the school is able to keep going what he has worked so hard for.

 

As for the 80% well....that sets of my "BS" meter just a bit. I wouldn't count a few hours of tour flying as employed, a nice addition to the log book for sure. But I have to ask, after Drumheller shuts down for the season what happens then? I read a stat some where that if I recall correctly (and there is a chance my memory is off) that nearly 90% of all new commercially licensed helicopter pilots never find gainful employment in the industry in Canada. If some one out there has a link to an official stat I would love to read it and hopefully it proves my memory wrong I would like to think we could do better than that.

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We had five graduates working the canyon this summer and I had 4 positions lined up for them if they wanted, it with a reputable company. Only 2 pursued these leads and they got jobs. The issue with our American neighbors is the undercutting of prices. I have used

The 300 for training and I know what they charge. I don't know how they can make a go of it at those rates. Richard is not only a great instructor he also documented almost everything that we did at the school and the 80 % rate is not BS. If Red Eagle wants to compete fairly then they should check out the rates of some of the schools in Canada. Remember one shouldn't take shots unless they know the facts. Our facts are documented. All the Best

 

Cheers

 

PRJB

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Rotorspeed,

 

"nearly 90% of all new commercially licensed helicopter pilots never find gainful employment in the industry in Canada"

 

I have an especially hard time believing this statistic and it doesn't come as a surprise that although you are quoting it, you can't back it up. I have personnaly seen Richard and Paul's records that track the hiring rate out of the school and it isn't BS. If you want to state statistics, maybe you should do your research and find out if they are in fact true before trying to support your argument. Asking the rest of the forum to do your homework for you is not a good way to make an argument. Somehow I don't think anyone will be taking you up on your offer to have them look up your statistic for you.

 

As a bit of background to my opinions here, I graduated from a class of 9 students pursuing commercial licenses at MVH, we were all given a huge leg up by MVH and currently 7 of them are working in the industry for 5 years with experience levels ranging from 1500 - 2500 hours including myself. I don't know much about the US system or the industry so I'll try not to comment on what's better.

 

You however, seem to have extensive knowledge of the US helicopter industry which is great for providing insight to those on this forum that are interested in the US. You also seem to have a pretty good bead on what's happening up here. What is your background in regards to the Canadian industry? Have you worked for any Canadian operators? Tours in Canada? If so, for how long? When? Might give someone reading this for information some good background.

 

Our industry is far from perfect and it is a continuous battle for many operators and pilots to fill the gap in experience levels to the challenging flying here. Perhaps the US system is better for developing pilots, maybe it isn't. I don't have all the facts to make a judgement call on that one. But I do know that north of the border, MVH is one operation that does there absolute best to help deserving low time pilots make there way in the industry. IMHO I feel it's ignorant to refer to that operation as a puppy mill.

 

Everyone is free to choose where they spend there money when it comes to flight training, ab initio or IFR/Night. I think the most sound advice is do your own homework on the people you're giving your money to, and make a judgement call on where the best bang for your buck will be.

 

If someone chooses to do their training on an N registered aircraft that is their choice. However, if someone's goal is to work in Canada, it would seem obvious to me to choose a school with experience working in Canada, with contacts to operators in Canada, and a proven track record in getting students work. I am certain there are several schools that can boast that over any operator from the US. It's simply regional knowlege and networks.

 

Ultimately, flight training is expensive, and again, it's my opinion that people make informed decisions, get some FACTS, and choose what will give you the upper hand when looking for work. You do get what you pay for.

 

G

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I don't want to be a stick in the mud and you guys seem to have some history that i don't want to know! Anyways, Full On you said that you had 4 guys on the "canyon" ? I assume that is a tour of some sort. good job getting students involved! Was that a part time summer only gig. How many hrs did they get and is it a full time year round thing or an every summer thing or do the next years newbies only do it? . Do you have more tours for the 20 grads per year?

The other 2 guys got jobs doesn't work out to 80% job placement in the industry. As per my previous post, it doesn't demonstrate how 80% of the graduates get to that 250hr instructor time. Hey, i am all for flight hrs in tours or whatever but the sustainable jobs is as an instructor in the US with tours or ferry flights as little "bites" of the employment action. No real solid work comes until 500plus hrs so the faster you get there, the less it hurts the pocket book! With so few jobs in Canada where do all of these low time newbies end up?

Green Arc, you seem to think that most, (did you say 90%?) never fly again? You may be right, I don't see the numbers. last night, I contacted my buddy that i spoke about . One of the Red Eagle ( i don't know which branch) instructors ( a former student) had accumulated 1500 hours or so and was hired by a Canadian company called "Mustang Helicopters" out of Canada and is working in Eastern Montana and Wyoming. Also, the Canadian Red Eagle instructor is a Canadian!!!!! Sounds like they hire their grads as it should be.

So the system works despite flaky pilots who don't know how to work hard. like the guys who wouldn't take the jobs up there. It happens all of the time. But there is a huge demand right now for experienced pilots. The US system has a process to get pilots from the 150hr commercial to flight instructor ( under 200hrs) and get pretty steady basic work and build up time. Now, don't let anyone say that a new instructor is the be-all-end-all. Some guys are lousy at that and those guys fly around ranches and coral cattle or count wildlife etc. or fly left seat on a news chopper when they can. That will always be the case but schools don't hire those who don't perform under the direction of the mega hour experienced chief pilots. Sure some are better than others. Sometimes its a personality thing. All instructors are qualified for sure and taught from the very begining that they will someday instruct. thats just the way it's done in the US. Every school has low time instructors and high time ones and it all works out the same.

As for the $ thing that Full-on was talking about, those rates on Red Eagles site are par for every place i have seen in the US. The Canada branch was even more expensive. I don't see why it is so expensive up there in Canada especially with only 25 or so schools, but what ever. I cant speak to politics or monopolies or whatever the reason Canada rates are more but it does seem like lots of training goes on, few jobs, and big $s.

As for Ships: love those 300's! Those 300C's or CBIs make for easy learning and most people get licences (initially must get private before going to commercial) in 45-50 hrs. Then if they decide to stop there, they are at least rated and can rent anywhere in the US and stay current and even grow in experience. You don't have to live with an instructor in the left seat all the time to gain valuable experience- you are after all go'in places and dealing with helicopter performance and limits.etc. Bi annual flight reviews require a instructor to firm up skills and identify any bad habits that we all get once in a while. and i still grab one if i feel rusty or before i fly something unfamiliar of course and get some hours and emerg. procedures. There are those "others" who just need more time but if they are at 75 hrs and still not at least a private pilot, going on will likely not happen.

In this economy, which is turning around, and the demand for pilots, and the reciprocal nature of this small industry that those who want the work can get it. The US market is very very large and as i said , Canadians get work in the US or with their school, if they want it. I can't imagine wanting to pay more for the same thing when it comes to training though. Mountains are mountains, plains are plains, coasts are coasts, fog is fog, high is high no matter if there is border between them. Don't forget Alaska for cold and weather ops either or the Northern plains of the US either, or the Rocky Mountains in the US.

Looks like Canadians students got a tough road to haul - but it looks like y'all don't have too. Anyway. Good luck to all you newbies! and to you guys that are looking at heli's as a career, don't let anyone try to scare you away from this school or that school -they all have to conform to the same standards. Do your homework and find one that fits your learning style and your personality - it will be, the hole in your wallet that will be the pain in your butt when you are done and are trying to pay that off while getting low time instructor pay. Those first 1200 hours are really rewarding and you really grow alot! just keep going!

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Rotorspeed

 

Are you a lawyer?? You can sure sling the fast questions and twist the facts to make a rock a gold bar. We train pilots to the absolute best that we can we go out of our way to try to get them there first job out of school. How they deal with the job is up to them. We all know that it is more than flying skill that helps you in the industry and we can not control a pilots attitude although we try to teach it. Above and beyond I say. We are just starting a very busy training schedule and will be busy for the next few months that makes my instructors happy and keeps our engineers busy. Hopefully we are successful in providing the industry with safe and proficient pilots as we have in the past. I am not going to get into the 300 or Robinson debate it has been done here before. I have trained with both in my 25 year training career and I know which machine teaches power management and aircraft control better. I really dislike the pi##ing matches that go on in this forum and I am done with this one. We have all had the tough road to haul some continued some gave up. You are guaranteed not to make it if you give up. One thing that you did say Rotorspeed (two day member to the forum) which I do agree with are three short words. JUST KEEP GOING....All the Best.

 

Cheers

 

PRJB

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