Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

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jimiemick
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Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby jimiemick » Thu Jun 6 2019, 10:18

Good Morning Rotorheads/Bladeslappers!!

I am soon to be finishing my Australian CPL-H and am looking to head to the USA to do my FAA conversion as well as my instrument and instructors rating.

I am going through looking at different schools the current 3 on the list are (Happy to look at other schools but these are just 3 I have spoken to already and have heard good reviews of)

Mauna Loa Helicopters - Hawaii

Guidance Aviation - Arizona

Hillsboro Aero - Portland/Vegas

I am aware of the approx costs and time frame, but what I am looking for is people who have trained at these schools and what are the Pros and Cons.



Course structure/Lesson plans
Aircraft quality
Instructors, Do you get the same instructor or do you constantly have a new instructor
Aircraft Maintenance (can students help the AMEs during free time)
Accommodation - Is the school accommodation ok, or is it better to lease somewhere near
Area costs/food choices
Activities to do with the school out of class
FAA relationship- Does the school have issues with the FAA
Flyable weather
Designated training area's
Career Development- Schools all tend to say how easy it is for their X students to get jobs, Is this really the case.




Alot of the schools do offer the possibility to be employed at the end of the CFII training (obviously depending on if they like you enough and if you meet the criteria)



Thanks in advance!!
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havick
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby havick » Thu Jun 6 2019, 12:17

Scratch all those schools.

Goto Cloud9 at West Palm Beach Florida.

I did my Aussie ATPL to FAA ATP switch there. They didn’t rip me off at all.

Do you have a green card? Otherwise it’s going to be pretty difficult to be able to work here?
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UnObvious
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby UnObvious » Thu Jun 6 2019, 14:13

Jerry Trimble Helicopters in McMinnville, Oregon treated me well when I did my conversion there.

Happily recommend them.

Go and land in downtown Portland on a rooftop helipad at night. It's pretty cool.
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby Lude » Fri Jun 7 2019, 03:55

I've been to Cloud 9 in Florida as a student for my Private previously and I agree with Havick, I can only say good things about Geoff and his setup there. He will sort you out if you're looking for a tight schedule and getting everything done quickly.

I've also attended Mauna Loa in Hawaii for CPL and CFI and Instrunent CFII, and worked there after finishing training as well. Again nothing but positive things to say about the place, treated me very well and I got a great education and flying experience after that.

If you're looking to work as an instructor after training (unless you are a citizen or green card holder) you will need to attend a school that can issue the F-1 visa, I know Mauna Loa issue them but not sure where else uses them these days.

Only ever heard good things about Jerry Trimble as well.

Message me if you need more details on any of it.
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby Leethallee » Fri Jun 7 2019, 05:20

Try Jerry Trimble Portland Oregon...
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby ChicoCheco » Fri Jun 7 2019, 07:17

You only save travel time with Mauna Loa.
AZ, if going to US during crap NW weather and needing lot of flying/short window, may be better.

See ya at JTH, MMV maybe.
Heading over for R&R, some fixed wing stuff/checkride or two. Won't be flying heli much (won't say no to some ferry/free time in 44/66 though). Wouldn't mind whole season but 6 weeks or so would have to do, after working my butt off around Melbourne.

With Jerry's, you get small family run ops, personalised approach, low cost, practicalities sorted. Plenty variety, airports around. As mentioned above, plenty Aussie have first hand experience by now to recommend. And many more Europeans. Now also good simulators.
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby jimiemick » Sat Jun 8 2019, 22:53

The F-1 Visa's are the big thing that I also need as it allows me to work in the industry stateside after finishing.

I had heard of JTH, if things change and I just go over for extra training they are very high on the list of people to talk to, same with cloud9
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby havick » Sat Jun 8 2019, 23:18

jimiemick wrote:The F-1 Visa's are the big thing that I also need as it allows me to work in the industry stateside after finishing.

I had heard of JTH, if things change and I just go over for extra training they are very high on the list of people to talk to, same with cloud9


Both are good options. Cloud9 probably has more in the way of work after between the two schools.
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ChicoCheco
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby ChicoCheco » Mon Jun 10 2019, 08:36

Where on Cloud9 is F1 mentioned?

Mauna Loa do, out of small handful. Unsure if ex-Bristow Academy still do civvy courses. Hillsboro Aero do own F1. If you decide to do that, you're better off using PCC as visa sponsor NOT HAA. More flexible. Know one pilot who had visa cancelled with HAA claiming she didn't attend, lost records and washing hands bull. I DID do some training there back in 2008.

All this is moot point. You won't get the school sponsored F1, already holding foreign CPL.
You can still try the community college route, but I would keep the cash for Aussie FI course after buzzing around doing scenics here.
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jimiemick
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby jimiemick » Mon Jun 10 2019, 12:36

ChicoCheco wrote:Where on Cloud9 is F1 mentioned?

Mauna Loa do, out of small handful. Unsure if ex-Bristow Academy still do civvy courses. Hillsboro Aero do own F1. If you decide to do that, you're better off using PCC as visa sponsor NOT HAA. More flexible. Know one pilot who had visa cancelled with HAA claiming she didn't attend, lost records and washing hands bull. I DID do some training there back in 2008.

All this is moot point. You won't get the school sponsored F1, already holding foreign CPL.
You can still try the community college route, but I would keep the cash for Aussie FI course after buzzing around doing scenics here.


When I was speaking with Mauna Loa the other month they said I would still be able to get a F-1 visa if I was doing more than the conversion. So I’d be doing conversion + instrument/instructor and instrument instructor ratings.
(Yep I am aware this will set me back a pretty $) but if it gets me to be able to work over there even if just for a few years I am willing to give it a shot.
Unless someone knows of another way? (Feel free to pm me)

But then again if the Aussie $ gets much worse I’ll always be reassessing.

Happy for all CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
I didn’t become a pilot to earn massive money. I just love flying.
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby ChicoCheco » Wed Jun 12 2019, 00:09

Plausible deniability.. pssst
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby RePLCPLH » Wed Jun 12 2019, 10:47

Just an idea but there’s only a theory exam between a Canadian CPL and a US CPL. No reason to limit yourself to US schools.
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Re: Australian CPL-H looking to do FAA Conversion... But which school?

Postby ChicoCheco » Wed Jun 12 2019, 13:51

sure, needs to take medical (find multi country AME here or stateside to save - medical ID is like ARN here) when issued, FCC radio permit, FAA commercial etc.

Not for junior heli FI jobs, Canada. Unlikely for outsiders also. Plus question of visa/work rights.

Different job market. Can find school or two Eastern end/Quebec, but more of exception to have first job as FI. Lot easier to fly scenics/charter gig on 44 down here.

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