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Opinions Wanted - Irish Heli schools

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:04 pm
by Delta Romeo
Im doing a bit of research on behalf of someone looking at the standards, fleets, and cost of learning to heli fly in Ireland. What schools are based in Weston? Is there a demand for heli training? What do you think of the current costs? Any personal experiences good or bad would be appreciated.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:38 am
by JFH

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:28 am
by Nanolight
What happens then JFH, do you have to convert your licence back to JAA or do you just fly N reg machines in ireland?

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:31 pm
by YoYo
We keep going over the same old ground!!

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

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:02 pm
by tu154
Also Unique Helicopters in Enniskillen and Helicopter Training and Hire in Newtownards in Norn Iron. About 280 GPB per hour in a 22. They do other types though (but perhaps not the Sweitzher, er, sweitzer, er, hughes 269).

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:01 pm
by JFH

training in florida

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:37 pm
by macair
Just a bit of info regarding training in florida i have just returned from there this week. I went to Ocean Helicopters in West Palm Beach,all in all a great school however there are a few things you should be aware of.Firstly anyone who gets their licence for 11k euro and in 4-5 weeks is either an exceptional talent or a liar.It took me 8 weeks and $22k to do it,believe me this is the average!Secondly the weather is not always calm and sunny either.However i had an excellent instructor and the standard of training and safety was very high and this coupled with a family atmosphere made for an enjoyable 2 months.Overall id recommend it there were 4 of us Irish there at the time and we all took around the same time to complete the PPL.Just be aware of the costs and time frame before you go.Finally an FAA licence allows you to fly N-Reg,EI-Reg and G Reg helis in Ireland.

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:17 pm
by tu154
I can't see either the IAA or CAA allowing you to log those hours as P1 towards a JAA CPL. And I can't see any employer recognising those hours as being valid.
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 or

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:08 pm
by 3-axis
JFH is a fixed wing pilot who give's out a lot of wrong information about helicopter subject's and aviation in general.An FAA licence allows you to fly an IAA reg aircraft in Ireland a CAA reg aircraft in Ireland but you cannot cross an FIR boundary in either unless you hold a JAR licence for the specific type yoy are flying.If in a FAA registered aircraft you can fly across FIR boundary's.With regard's the Logging of time only one person in the aircraft can log the time unless one of them is a CFI and then both can log the time.A person who holds a FAA licence can legally log the time in an aircraft up to a AUW weight of 12'500 lbs if that person is insured on the machine in question so as JFH sates a person who is trying to log time towards an CPL is actually breaking the law if logging A109 time as i doubt you would recieve insurance on a complex type like a 109 with just 50 hrs and an Faa PPL. So for those looking for information you should look up Documents such as FAR/AIM or Lasors etc and not rely on the idle speculation of those spreading false information.

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:34 pm
by YoYo

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?

florida training

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:27 pm
by macair
Yo Yo,just to clarify a few details regarding Ocean and i am in no way running them down in this post.Firstly i was offered a package with them,of 60 hrs flying in R22,20hrs groundschool and all other fees,insurance,medical,checkride etc plus 5 weeks accomodation.This was advertised for $17240,this cost me ?8900stg.over 11k euro at the time.Due to poor weather,lack of aircraft etc the 5 weeks turned into 8 weeks.Their accomodation is $315 per week.I did it in 59.5 hrs and in total gave them another $3700 to complete this.I too got this at $245 per hr but the other students were charged $275 which i refused to pay as they did not tell me that the price had increased.This did not include car hire flights or living expenses which came to around another $3000.I can only say what i paid and i know others paid more hope this clears things up.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:29 pm
by YoYo

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

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:15 pm
by macair
Yo Yo,I think I was talking to you on here before I went out to Florida,and was supposed to call with you when I got there,however I didnt get round to the house and you were away home when asked at the airport.If you want to give me your a pm i,ll fill you in with all the craic.

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:52 pm
by Delta Romeo
Cheers everyone for hijacking my thread! :x

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:50 am
by Delta Romeo
Im still looking around at heli schools. They seem to be a bit thin on the ground. Is it me, or is GA not liked in Ireland? Outside of Weston, where else would be an ideal spot to do heli training?