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These are great schools you've decided to ponder over Saltire. If there are any others, there is one thing to consider. Be sure to ask if they do auto-rotations right to the ground. If they don't I would recommend you pass on that school. You can do all the power-recoveries in the world, but going right to the ground is a whole other kind of monster. There's no point in learning an emergeny landing without the "landing" part. As far as I know the schools you're considering all do them to the ground so you're off to a good start.

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You'll find that by and large, most schools have competent instructors who will do their best to give you the tools to succeed. There are a number of other factors that will influence your choice:


- cost of accomodations/living/transportation

- distance from home

- "extra" advantages (ie, does the company operating the school only do instruction, or do they have other revenu operations that you could get some exposure to)


I visited four schools in my area (Montreal) before choosing. In the end, it all boiled down to how far the school was from home, the financial arrangements, ground school scheduling, etc. Mind you I kept working full-time while doing my training. You seem to be coming here for full-time instruction...


Another recommendation: Do a familiarisation flight on the possible training a/c choices. If you're looking at schools doing RH22, HU30 or BH47, find places near home where you'll get to try them. Most training centers offer familiarization rides (20-45 minutes) that will cost you a couple hundred quid.


At first, I was decided I wanted to train on Robbies, from all I'd heard. Once I'd done a fam flight on both the R22 and the Hughes 300, the choice for me was easy: I went with the HU30. A lot of this is personal preference, mind you. Don't pick your training a/c out of a catalog. Try it first...

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Hey, sorry 412, but you oughta remember how good the ol' 47 was. :rolleyes:


Of the various schools of thought about what's better/best to train on, I've come 'full circle' to the one that's most forgiving and promotes the most confidence in the student. Though most of the other arguments have merit, and individual cases to support them, I think the huge majority are in favor of the 'pussycat' whether it's a bicycle, a backhoe or a helicopter. B)

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Hey Saltire,

Mine, as some of the other students opinions, are based on personal experience and needs. I'm currently in the middle of my training at B.C. Heli :D and am enjoying the experience very much. Here's a short account of why I chose the school (I came to my decision back in Sep, so some info may be a little "grey" as time fades the memory):


I first had a look at the financial - they were all fairly close in the course cost, so not much of a deciding factor - especially considering the long term ramifications of this decision. Then came living expenses - again, because they are all fairly close to each other, preety similar.


I did some information interviews with some active pilots around B.C. (I think I did 7 or 8), and it seemed that most of them liked B.C. helicopters (ofcourse, I understand/understood that these were meerly the opinions of these indevidual pilots, and I asked noone for a guarantee for a job)


I then had a look at what machine I wanted to train on - and for myself, I thought the 300 was the best choice.


Then I went out and had a look at the school - the people working / training there, the buildings, and ofcourse the machines. At one of the schools, I didn't feel that "welcome" for what ever reason, and maybe it was just me, but I thought if I didn't feel that way on my first visit, how am I going to feel training there every day?? Don't get me wrong, that wasn't what solidified my opinion, but it did stear me one way.


There were a few other factors that helped me decide (one of which was that B.C. Heli is PPSEC certified, and when was ground school, etc), but all in all, I just thought B.C. Helicopters was the best overall decision for me.


hhmm, this seems to have tourned out to be a longer post then first thought - but either way, hope it sheds a little more light onto your decision. :)


Best of luck :up:

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it's a great post, red... :up:


something you said should be something that every prospective student should heed... it didn't feel right/welcome to you so you went elsewhere... you are spending some major $$ and a significant amount of what you learn as a pilot is passed onto you by your instructor and school... you HAVE to feel comfortable there!!!


and for what it's worth, listen to what 412Driver tells you.. what he says on here speaks always of good stuff worth learning... :up: B)

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  • 6 months later...

Hi All,


For you prospective students....i stopped in at B.C Helicopters in Abbostford last week...unannounced...and had " ALL " my questions answered,an offer to sit in a new 300 cbi,to take an intro ride and the upfront facts about training and getting the first job.


Needless to say i walked away very impressed...somewhere i would feel comfortable and confidant spending my $40-50 thousand....!!!!! :)



Always visit your prospective training school :up:



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  • 4 weeks later...

From what I have learned mainly from an unbiased oppinion of a local opperator


The RH22 was not built for training purposes, i have had many an arguement with people about this but when the man who owns the factory says so you had probably listen.

he told me that it does depend some on what I want to end up flying, a bell product I may aswell go the 47 route as it has the same rotor system and feels quite simmilar to the 206.

Or for the happy medium, witch seems to be quite a general concencus(spelling?) the S300C I am not as concerned anymore after coming up with a plan, as to where I am going to train yet, I do have friends in abbotsford so that might be an option. I had the 2 abbotsford schools mentioned valley, and OKMH in kelowna, but now im lossed, after doing some FW training I would take the Fam flight idea and roll with it.


Cole :punk:


Forgot to mention, the S300 will aperently set you up the best overall if you would like to fly all over the spectrum, the RH22 is much smaller inside so I have learned, me being 6'ish at 200lbs is another reason I might stay away

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