Saturday, December 09, 2006
Airplane Instrument vs. Helicopter Private
Assuming that I ever get paid by any of my clients (I haven't yet), a question that keeps popping into my mind is "Should I get my Airplane Instrument rating, or should I get a Helicopter Private certificate?"
The Airplane Instrument rating would be a valuable add-on to my Airplane Single-Engine Land certificate. This would let me fly through clouds, and fly on days with bad weather. Even if I never fly in instrument conditions, I understand that an instrument rating improves the precision of my flying.
On the other hand, I really want to learn to fly a helicopter. It is not practical at all, but I think it would be a lot of fun. One "practical" issue is that if I get my Private Helicopter certificate, I have enough flying hours that I could immediately train for a Commercial Helicopter certificate, in which case I could theoretically get a job as a helicopter pilot.
The airplane training will cost me about $170/hour. The helicopter training will cost about $260/hour, assuming I can lose enough weight to train in an R22.
I'm not seriously looking at changing careers, but being a professional helicopter pilot sounds pretty cool. Then again, being a certificated flight instructor for either airplane or helicopter sounds pretty cool.
Anybody have any advice or suggestions?
But if you're thinking you can do both (at least eventually) then I'd do the IFR airplane next.
I made this same decision awhile ago, though without a lot of chopper training options in my area I basically had to go with the IFR rating. But I don't regret it and still want to get heli training sometime (when $ allows). :)
Since for *me* money was an object, I got into Radio Controlled Heli's instead, satisfied with my plain vanilla pilots licence. :-)