NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

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Auskiwi
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NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Auskiwi » Tue Jan 4 2022, 05:10

Good afternoon all,

Taking the deep jump into a life dream and obtaining my commercial license, fully understanding the hard road of low pay and difficulty gaining hours will have a reward at the end. Yet to hit 30 with no kids and only a partner willing to jump with me to gain this dream.

I am looking for feedback amongst those who have trained at Schools in NSW, especially recently or currently. Currently Sydney metro based and looking at the following options:
Bankstown Helicopters - Bankstown
Sydney Helicopters - Bankstown
Skyline - Lake Macquarie
United Aero - Camden
Touchdown Helicopters - Albion Park
Any others to consider?

Employers and those who began non military trained? input on the relevance of Diploma in Aviation vs just CPL for employers hiring?

Many Thanks,
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hand in pants
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby hand in pants » Tue Jan 4 2022, 09:16

It's a big question with no real clear answer.
Go to as many schools as you can. Sit down with an instructor and talk to him first, he's the one you'll spend a lot of time with.
If there is no connection, try somewhere else, but try all on your list. Also talk to the charter pilots and dogs bodies. A happy relaxed place is good. Tension is a red flag.
Do it over a couple of weekends if you can. Main thing is to find a place that you like. You're gong to be spending a LOT of your hard earned money there, make sure it goes to people dedicated to doing the right thing by you.
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
Wannabe60Driver
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Wannabe60Driver » Tue Jan 4 2022, 09:57

To clear up the last question, there’s only one reason for a Bachelor or Diploma in Aviation and that’s that by giving it a formal qualification in the uni or TAFE system, it qualifies for VET funding. Anyone that tells you the qual is somehow worth more than a CASA license is FOS- end of story.

As for schools, my only two cents is to look further than your own backyard for the right fit. I’ve not had anything to do with them other than over the phone, but I’ve only ever heard good things about Air T&G in Ballina and that’s pretty rare in this game.

Remember that wherever you train is your first step to landing a job so it can pay to train with someone that has a real pathway to a paid gig (not just dangling carrots). From there on, every time you pay for another rating or endorsement is another opportunity to meet new people so don’t be afraid to share the love.

Other than that, there are two other important considerations. Firstly, get yourself a CASA Class 1 medical straight away as there have been more than a few people get plenty of dollars into the journey before the DAME finds a reason they’ll never be able to fly for a living.

Secondly, no matter where you train, you have 7 CASA theory exams to pass. Some people love a classroom environment but there’s a danger there in believing that by turning up you’ll know what you need to pass. You won’t, and that’s the reason a lot of people choose to self-study. The more of those exams you can have done before you start flying, the better. Ideally all 7 as your focus will be freed up. 2 weeks per subject is a good number if you’re studying full-time. Human factors and meteorology are a good place to start and on those topics, don’t bother with anything other than Bob Tait’s books. The exam questions are lifted directly from them.
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Biggles » Tue Jan 4 2022, 23:56

Agree 100% with Wanna60 about the exams. Plenty of logbooks about with flying hours in them but no exam results.

I did about 3 hours of flying and then did the exam (only one full on 7 topic in a day back then). In hindsight, maybe I should have done 8-10 hours of flying first coz sometimes the self study books explained a concept but I found it hard to grasp due to lack of flying time.

Flying schools will not agree with what I'm saying coz they only make money when the blades are turning. But they won't refund the $60K you just spent if you don't pass the exams. Get the class 1 - Dame/ Eyes etc sorted as well as stated.

Good luck B
godfather007
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby godfather007 » Wed Jan 5 2022, 00:42

All good advice above.
When your at the schools, ask them if they will hire you the helicopters once you have gained your licence so you can build your hours and experience.
Not all of them allow you that luxury.
There is always an option.
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Gunga Din » Wed Jan 5 2022, 05:02

Definitely have some lessons before doing aerody, it helps explain concepts like flapback, inflow roll, translational lift, ground cushion, and instability.
Arm, arm, I Gunga Din, the door slockt.
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skypig
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby skypig » Wed Jan 5 2022, 23:55

My, perhaps out of date, experience:

The exams are so removed from reality that there is little advantage to doing any flying before passing all the exams.
There are many disadvantages with flying before finishing all the exams. (Some mentioned above)

In my opinion, if you are struggling with any exams, you need help from a professional theory instructor, one who is familiar with the exams and “what they want”.
nuggs
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby nuggs » Thu Jan 6 2022, 00:55

I think there are advantages to starting flying first:
You can see if you actually enjoy flying helicopters, otherwise you are spending 3 months of your life and lots of money passing exams based off a 30 minute TIF.
Concepts such as flap-back and air law are definitely easier once they are practically experienced in the helicopter.
I would say the best time to do theory is after about 5 hours or when you have learnt to hover.
Heliduck
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Heliduck » Thu Jan 6 2022, 03:04

My 2 cents worth - do all the exams first. If you’re not committed enough or smart enough to get through that, any money you spend in the air is wasted. If you really want to do it, you’ll love every minute of the study. If not, try a different industry.
"Plan twice...Fly once"
HELO1
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby HELO1 » Fri Jan 7 2022, 13:05

Some very knowledgeable answers above, from some experienced pilots.

This isn’t the way I did it but learning from experience it would be the better way to do it. Definitely go for a fly first, get 5-10hours under your belt make sure it’s what you want to do and what you want to invest the time and money into. Go get your medical sorted, then complete the 7 exams. Getting the medical and exams out of the way allows you to completely focus on the flying. From there try to fly regularly, take a few weeks off work and get stuck into it, don’t expect to cover 105hrs in a couple of weeks, but your chosen school will sit down with you and work out a schedule so you can arrange leave from work if required and learn at a pace that your brain can learn and retain the information without overloading you.

I trained with two company’s you listed, initially with Aerowasp which has now become Touchdown I completed my PPL, originally they were at Camden however when they moved to Wollongong it was too far for me to travel so I did my CPL with United Aero. Both great company’s with great instructors, when you’re not flying you are at an operational Heli base so there is always a bit of action with various pilots to meet, engineers to help swing a spanner, and always remember you never know who’s keeping an eye on you when you’re doing your training so be sure to pick up that broom and give the hangar a sweep when you have spare time. It could give you a leg up over the next person there doing their training and land you that first job, it definitely helped me.
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Mallard » Sat Jan 8 2022, 08:19

Do all the exams before the flying (after a TIF to make sure it's what you want). Get them out of the way. The theory is (unfortunately) a bit disconnected from the actual flying, but it does help.

As it's for a career, look for the school that gives you the best chance of a job... look at the companies that hire new pilots... do they have a flight school? You might have to move but being mobile is a big part of being a helicopter pilot, especially in the first "10" years.

I actually posted a very similar post to yours on here about 12 years ago... (under a different name). I ended up going north to chopperline which helped me get a job in the Kimberley.

Also skypig seems to have mellowed over the years :D
Turning base
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Turning base » Sun Jan 9 2022, 09:41

Without knowing your employment status etc I would say you should also consider schools in QLD and VIC. As you are a DINK (double income no kids) you may have the capacity to travel for a week or two at a time to train at a school outside NSW (Obviously the current COVID travel situation will impact this decision). Then during your home time knock off the exams. I personally would choose a school that also has an established tourism operation where they feed some newly qualified pilots. Ie. PHS, Helicopter Group etc.
Auskiwi
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Auskiwi » Sun Jan 9 2022, 18:03

hand in pants wrote:It's a big question with no real clear answer.
Go to as many schools as you can. Sit down with an instructor and talk to him first, he's the one you'll spend a lot of time with.
If there is no connection, try somewhere else, but try all on your list. Also talk to the charter pilots and dogs bodies. A happy relaxed place is good. Tension is a red flag.
Do it over a couple of weekends if you can. Main thing is to find a place that you like. You're gong to be spending a LOT of your hard earned money there, make sure it goes to people dedicated to doing the right thing by you.


Thank you for your reply, I intend to spend some time with them as you said to gain insight on who I get along with, also schools that have other avenues past flight training.
Auskiwi
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Re: NSW Training Schools CPL helicopter

Postby Auskiwi » Sun Jan 9 2022, 18:08

thanks all for the replies so far.
A little more into the journey I plan to take:
I intend on the TIF, then if liked which I believe will be the case given my current aviation involvement, being an Aviation Rescue Crew officer and life long dream of flying with the cost being the only deterrent.
I then intend on doing 5-10 hours flying and then complete the exams and then rest of my hours.
I currently work as a shift worker on a 4 on 5 off roster and this will provide me with significant flexibility to conduct my training within or close to the Greater Sydney Area.

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