Robinson R22 Aircraft Cost Calculations

Robinson Delivery AreaA lot of you have been emailing me and are interested in my Robinson R22 cost calculations that I mentioned in this post. I came up with this spreadsheet (posted as a JPEG file below) after looking at lots of new and used Robinson R22s and concluded that if you have the appropriate cash flow, it can be cheaper to buy a new Robinson R22 for initial helicopter training and fly it for 5 years vs renting. I’d welcome your comments on my cost estimations.

Find out all the details after the jump.

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KDFW Traffic Helicopter Crash near DFW

WFAA - Picture of Helicopter Crash SiteI want to thank Student Helicopter Pilot Jason of for the heads up on this story.

A few days ago, on the heals of the ENG helicopter crash in Phoenix, there was amazing video of an apparent engine failure on Bell 206 Jet Ranger Helicopter for the FOX station in Dallas-Fort Worth. The video shows them en-route when you can clearly hear an alarm tone — most likely the engine failure warning — go off in the cockpit. It sounds like the helicopter rolled after landing on some uneven ground. Everyone got out and there were only minor injuries. In a helicopter you only have a few seconds to: realize the failure, start the autorotation, get turned into the wind if possible, pick a safe landing site, and hopefully walk away. More details and links after the jump!

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Robinson Helicopter Factory Tour

Robinson Delivery AreaLast month, AOPA had a great article by Steven W. Ells about Robinson Helicopters and their manufacturing facility in Torrance, CA.

It just so happened that I was out in the Los Angeles area for a training conference with 10,000 other network engineers and I realized how close to the factory we were going to be. A co-worker and pilot friend of mine and I decided to skip lunch on Tuesday and go take the tour in Torrance. Keith is not much of a helicopter person per se, but I’ll keep working on it. Full write-up after the jump!

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Next Pilot Training Endeavor

Had some trouble sleeping last night (again) thinking about my next pilot training endeavor. I guess you know you are passionate about something when you can’t sleep thinking about it. I currently have about 215 hours and I need 250 to get my commercial and subsequently my CFI. My dilemma was if it was worthwhile to get my private helicopter rating as a time building to get towards my 250 hour mark; then take my commercial and CFI in the airplane.

Read about what advice a local CFI gave me about my “plan” after the jump.

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Purchase vs Rent Robinson R22?

I have been contemplating for several years adding a helicopter rating to my pilots’ license. I live just a few blocks from the Johnson County Executive Airport (KOJC) where there is a small part 61 helicopter training school. In 2003 I took a discovery flight with Jesse Sherwood, owner and flight instructor for Executive Helicopter Solutions. He is a flight instructor with tons of credentials including: Gold Seal CFI, FAA 2004 Flight Instructor of the Year, and NAFI Master CFI. He has tons of experience in Robinson Helicopters and let me tell you the ride was AWESOME! I have been a pilot for almost 6 years now and the sensation you get when you takeoff in a helicopter is truly amazing! I will have to put together a blog entry sometime about that discovery flight — truly awesome!

Read about my evaluation of purchasing vs renting a Robinson R22 after the jump.

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