Jump to content

Notice: Effective July 1, 2024, Vertical Forums will be officially shut down. As a result, all forum activity will be permanently removed. We understand that this news may come as a disappointment, but we would like to thank everyone for being a part of our community for so many years.

If you are interested in taking over this Forum, please contact us prior to July 1.

Fixed Wing --> Cpl-h? Advice For A Newbie


Recommended Posts

Hi all, I just discovered this forum and spent the last 2 hours reading the posts. so much awesome info in here :)


Anyway, I was hoping all you vets who have gone through all the research, headache, etc of getting that CPL-H, to shower me with some more info.


I have decided to get my CPL-H. There is no doubt in my mind that is what I want to do for my career. I'm 25, so I'm starting a bit late, but that's not gonna make me doubt my decision.


I've been calling a few flight schools here in Calgary, (Calgary Flying Club, Springbank Air College, Big Horn Heli), and they each give their own suggestions. CFC and SBAC say that I should get my CPL in fixed wing first, as this is the most cost effective way. However, I know I want a career as a helicopter pilot, (flying fixed wing aircrafts just don't appeal to me), but I want to be as cost effective as possible. I have a mortgage to pay, and I don't have nearly enough saved up to pay $50-$60g.


Should I get my fixed wing CPL first? when an employer looks at two candidates, one with 100hr of heli training, and the other with 60hr+fixed wing, would they just toss the 60hr heli out?


What about getting a PPL fixed wing first? Would that bring down the costs for the CPL-H?


Thanks for the help, appreciate it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can save some money (basically free access to an airplane for build up time), then go for it.

If not than don't bother, it won't make a difference in the employers eyes.


When I flipped over as a 2000 hr fixed winger (65 hr rotary), the chief pilot wanted to reduce my salary from $2100 to $1800(starting salary for a 100 hr helicopter pilot).

I was flying both (FW and RW) with that company at that time. You should have seen his face when I objected and told him I should have both $2100 and the $1800, well he left it alone at that point.


Do what you gatta do!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It might help a bit to do your stiff-wing PPL first. Get some stuff like weather,nav and airlaw going around your head.

But if you want to fly Helicopters, dont spend the money and time on a fixed-wing CPL.

Go and get the 100 hrs of helicopter time. JMHO.

Its way more fun.


One other thing... 25 Is not a late start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah I'm starting to lean more and more onto the 100hr heli route. I might take the PPL course for a fixed wing first just to get some ground school outta the way, plus i like the idea of being able to fly to different places on my own :)


when taking heli training, does it really matter if i train in the R22, R44 or the Bell 206?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing about fixed wing schools is that they all seem to be tainted by the one instructor that wanted to train on helicopters, then didnt look hard into it and found out it costs '138,000' because like I said, he didnt look into it.


Honestly, with only the basic 200 FW license there isnt much you can do on the FW side of things.


Plus, how much can you work on in 60 hours, doesnt seem like a whole lot.


PS. 25 is definately not to old!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go straight to rotary if that's what you want to fly. And I'd argue with anybody that says it's cheaper to get the F/W first. When it was all said and done I spent over 50 K on my F/W training, and then I bought an airplane. I'm happy that i did it all but now I want to convert and am to friggin broke and in debt to even think about it until I can sell my bird. I'm working in F/W now and loving it as well, but i know I'll like the rotary side even more because it's the controlling of the machine part of flying that I dig the most. I'm hoping that a couple thousand hours in the bush will count for something when I finally get my rotary licence, but I still expect to have a ***** of a time finding work. But like I said, if you want to fly rotary, get that licence asap. It will also save you a lot of time that can either be used working or getting your foot in the door.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I've been seriously thinking about getting a f/w CPL first. I started with the same reasoning, that I could save some money by buying a plane just to train on and then sell. But I've been rethinking that position, it might be smarter to finance a used R22 for training than a Cessna.

Has anyone out there tried this approach?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...