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A FAA PPL(H) or FAA PPL(A) rated pilot does not need to convert their license to a JAR license as the FAA license is ICAO compliant. The only restriction is that you cannot (or should I say: should not) cross an international boundary while flying anything other than an 'N' registered aircraft. That is what the rules say but very few people actually comply with it.
Also a closer estimate for learning to fly in the US would be around ?11k which would include flights and student accomodation. If you plan to go the FAA route (and I would recommend it to everyone who can put together the money and take 4 to 5 weeks vacation) don't forget to complete the written exam before you go to the US as not having the writtens completed will severly restrict your progression. If you want any more info on the written just post a request
Do a search on the LA news helicopter where people went to LA to do some turbine hour building on a 206. The CAA refused to recognise the hours as the actual commander of the flight was the only person who could legally log the hours as P1.
Unfortunately there aren't any short cuts. A JAA PPL in the US then CPL and an FI rating is about the cheapest way to go.
JFH wrote:Nanolight, An FAA PPL is legal to use in Ireland. No conversion needed.
The main confusion with FAA PPL's is alot of people/flying clubs are not really aware that in fact FAA PPL's (A) or (H) can be used just like the JAA licence.
FAA PPL H is far better because you can legally loh hours P1 on any heli under 12500lbs weight. So, if you do your FAA PPL on a R22 and say you get a few trips in a A109 or Jet ranger back here in ireland, if the pilot lets you fly, you can log them hours P1 legally. This is how must people do there hour building after there FAA PPL in Ireland as it is crazy amounts of money to rent say a R22 up to the required 150 hours needed before starting the JAA CPL H course.
FAA courses at www.heli.com or www.oceanhelicopters.com
I must be very talented (but I doubt it) If you put the figures together you should still come out with around ?11k. Ocean's own figures quote around 50 hours to license for the average student ,which can be achieved easily within a 4 to 5 week timescale. That is there sales patter - not mine. I did my test after 49.6 hours on the R22 at $245 per hour. That comes to $12,250. add another $1k for 4 weeks accomodation, $500 for 4 weeks car rental and around $600 for food etc. Total cost $14,300. At the time I did my course the ? to $ was somewhere around 1.4. So costs in the US come out at around ?10k to which you add the flight which cost me ?600
I know where your costs came from. First of all you did not complete the written before you travelled to the US which will add at least 3 to 4 weeks to your time there.
It is very difficult to fly in the training environment and study for the written at the same time. Under normal training it should be possible to get 2 x 1.5 hour flights in each day with a 5 day per week flight schedule which allows 2 days per week for inclement weather.
You also completed the course on the R44 at $450 per hour.
AM I right?
I did my original PPL(H) with Ocean. A couple of points which I think you were fleeced on. Their accomodation is very sub standard. Cloud 9 accomodation was about 200 yrds down the road from you - brand new house with 6 bedrooms - cost $250 + tax per week. Also if Ocean are selling a package if they cannot supply you an aircraft, as and when you require it then you should not have been asked to fork out for another 3 weeks if it was their scheduling problems.
I thought Ocean was good when I was there but now that I have seen another Heli school in action I would rate them below average. Also I think with their increase in costs plus pushing people to do the extra 10 hours will probably cause them to loose a lot of students.
Drop in Kilrush sometime and we can compare our experiences
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