Private vs. Commercial Add On

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
How difficult comparatively is doing a commercial helicopter add on to a fixed wing certificate compared to private?

I am flying some Robinsons for fun and really like it. Again, just doing it for fun; have an airline job with no ability whatsoever to make money flying helicopters even if I wanted to. My only goal is to be able to rent one with passengers some day, which requires commercial + 100 hours helicopter time and going to Torrance for the Robinson safety course. I would need private + 150 hours + Torrance if I didn't do the commercial.

I have 4 hours, my CFI says I'm doing reasonably well. I can make traffic pattern or taxiway approach to a hover, maintain a hover pretty well, do stationary pedal turns and walk it sideways pretty well. My main issue is doing initial takeoffs (pick ups?) since I've only had 2 tries at it (we do most of the training at an army airfield that we can't touch the ground at, but can hover all day since there aren't swarms of GA fixed wing traffic like everywhere else). I guess since the Robinson doesn't compensate for translating tendency it's a little tricky. Getting into practice auto-rotations next lesson. It's a 141 school but I'm planning make the decision at around the 20 hour mark to asses whether or not I stand a chance of passing a commercial.

I could potentially do the private at first then do the commercial as I work my way up to 100 hours.

This 141 school has about the same hour requirements for a private or commercial add-on. Although I've hopefully done my last airline interview, I would prefer to avoid a bust because we all know how often that's asked about now.

Any advice appreciated.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I did this a year ago.

The main difference is a couple items in the PTS have tighter standards. Everything else is the same.

I think the main one is the straight in autos have to be within 100 feet of your target for commercial vs 200 for private.

It might add a couple hours to your training but it won’t be a game changer.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
The PPL would be more towards what you’re looking for.

Where are you training at? SNA?
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
The PPL would be more towards what you’re looking for.

Where are you training at? SNA?
PAMR would be my guess. With PAFR being the military field.

I'm very surprised you can rent a helicopter at all with 100 or 150 hours.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
PAMR would be my guess. With PAFR being the military field.

I'm very surprised you can rent a helicopter at all with 100 or 150 hours.
I cant remember where he’s at geographically.
 

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
PAMR would be my guess. With PAFR being the military field.

I'm very surprised you can rent a helicopter at all with 100 or 150 hours.
You can rent an R22 solo with a wet private if you get your certificate through the outfit at PAMR afaik. The 100/150 + Torrance requirements are for pax. Quarterly checkout with an instructor required. They don't really rent out their R44 though, they will give you training in it but you always have to be with an instructor.
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
You can rent an R22 solo with a wet private if you get your certificate through the outfit at PAMR afaik. The 100/150 + Torrance requirements are for pax. Quarterly checkout with an instructor required. They don't really rent out their R44 though, they will give you training in it but you always have to be with an instructor.
So... what's the point?
 

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
Rent the r22. You can solo rent it with a private and carry a passenger if you meet the 100/150 req. That and it's fun.

General aviation has no point for me at all except fun.
 
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z987k

Well-Known Member
Rent the r22. You can solo rent it with a private and carry a passenger if you meet the 100/150 req. That and it's fun.

General aviation has no point for me at all except fun.
Ah. I like to go places to. Do things with the aviation device that you can not do any other way. Can the R22 carry 3 hours of fuel, 2 people and a couple fishing poles? There are so many small lakes and creeks that you know the trout/char/greyling in it have never seen a hook. And a helicopter would be the only access.
Have you landed on top of sleeping lady yet? The Knik?
 

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
Ah. I like to go places to. Do things with the aviation device that you can not do any other way. Can the R22 carry 3 hours of fuel, 2 people and a couple fishing poles? There are so many small lakes and creeks that you know the trout/char/greyling in it have never seen a hook. And a helicopter would be the only access.
Have you landed on top of sleeping lady yet? The Knik?
I don't think there would be any way to put fishing poles in an R22 unless they came apart into 12" sections. You can pretty much carry 400 pounds in it with about 90 minutes of fuel + reserve. It could only do 3 hours with a couple of tween sized people or 1 regular sized pilot. It's a cessna 150-ish type situation.

The R44 will do a lot better, basically 182 type payload. This place pretty much only allows the R44 to be rented solo, carriage of pax requires an instructor, not sure why anyone would want to rent it solo unless they just needed to haul 500 pounds of stuff or wanted to cruise 10-15 knots faster than the R22 (all the while hoping they don't get turbulence that causes the main rotor to chop the tail boom off).

All insurance driven restrictions I'm sure.

I think I would like the certificate just for the fun & challenge, not sure how much I would want to fly robinsons for personal use. The safety stats on them aren't great. They're kind of the MU-2 of helicopters from what I gather. Not only does the engine hit TBO at 2000-2200 hours depending on model, but the entire airframe has a 2200 hour limit, at which point you shell out 6 figures to rebuild it. I guess other light helicopters are similairly life limited, just a few parts at a time.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
That's one of the things that makes helicopter operations costs so exhorbiant, the fact that everything on them is life limited.
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
I was going to say why don't you just by a hughs 269 but the price on those things have doubled since 2011. It still might be cheaper for you to buy one versus rent depending on how many hours you intend to crank out.
 
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