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30 Jul 2021, 09:29 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2020, 12:10 
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Insurance is about $2500 for liability only. I didn’t ask about full coverage. But I am positive you can run past twelve years without overhaul as long as you’re below 2200 hours. The only twelve year requirement is the blades.

First flight today with wife and son to visit a friend in Jax.


The only calendar limited item for R44's are the rotor blades for Part 91 flying. 12 years from the time of manufacturer. There are many private owners who buy new blades at 12 years and keep on flying until the aircraft hits TBO.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2020, 18:13 
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Company: The Saint Hotels
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I bought a Raven II with AC last month and hit the training hard. Today culminated with the commercial and instrument checkrides. Far and away, the hardest checkrides I've taken to date. They felt more like initials than add ons. Examiner was tough but fair!

I bought the R44 to use as my Florida Cessna 172 to use for business and fun within 100 miles of my home in central Florida. In 77 hours in 6 weeks, I've done nothing but put oil and gas in it. It's a wonderfully reliable, well made machine with great performance. I think I'm going to really enjoy owning it.

Other than knowing the rules and how to talk on the radio and fly instruments, I didn't feel there was much correlation between flying airplanes and helicopters. There's some similarity in the low level environment with seaplanes but not much.

FUN? The absolute most fun I've ever had in any aircraft. If I had to have 1 toy and live under a bridge homeless, I'd keep the R44.


I loved mine too! I bought mine in 2012 when I retired from AA and really enjoyed the experience of learning to fly it. Even built a heliport on top of one of my hotels to have the whole James Bond experience. Absolutely they are bullet proof reliable and a blast! I sold mine a couple of years later because I wasn't using it enough to justify the money in it. I miss it though. Here I am on the roof of my hotel after landing it lol.....


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2020, 18:16 
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Company: The Saint Hotels
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Username Protected wrote:
Can you share details on costs for maintenance, how’s the 12 year 2,200 hour thing? Is it expensive to comply with?,


To the best of my knowledge, no one part 91 is doing the 12 year overhaul if they haven't hit the 2,200 hour mark. At 12 years, most 91 operators are just replacing the blades. Mine got new blades from the previous owner which were about 60K. So, it's $5K a year in blade amortization. At 2,200, depending on what shop you use, it's around 200-250K to do the full overhaul but that includes new blades which you may or may not need and could sell.

Long story short, at 675 hours TTSN, it is going to cost me about $100/hour in airframe depreciation and about 15 GPH to fly. It's going in for its annual inspection at the end of this month and it was flat rated at $1,700. Let's say $2,500 out the door.

Seriously, its operating costs aren't much different than a 182.


Have they changed that recently? I was under the impression that at 12 years the helicopter turned into a pumpkin unless you did the big overhaul at 220K....
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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2020, 22:38 
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The rumor of the 12 year overhaul kept me out of this for years. I am glad I found out it wasn’t true part 91.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2020, 23:38 
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I don’t believe it’s ever changed, just misunderstood. Since most are used in flight schools and commercial use, the 12 year is the real deal for overhaul.

There are calendar limits for commercial use for Cessna and Beechcraft. For example, I believe all Lycoming engines have a 12 year calendar limit for commercial use. If It has 500 hours and hits 12 years it needs to be inspected (torn down) and serviced per the Lycoming Service Manual.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2020, 23:55 
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It’s a prickly subject. I went through Robinson factory mechanic training some years back. They don’t even want to talk about anything but a full oh at 12 years. But I agree that part 91 operations are fine and legal without calendar limitations. That said, my take after completing the course was that I wasn’t putting my name in the logbooks for anything on a Piston helicopter. I just don’t carry enough insurance to make it worthwhile. Luckily there are plenty of guys who will.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2020, 10:15 
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Username Protected wrote:
It’s a prickly subject. I went through Robinson factory mechanic training some years back. They don’t even want to talk about anything but a full oh at 12 years. But I agree that part 91 operations are fine and legal without calendar limitations. That said, my take after completing the course was that I wasn’t putting my name in the logbooks for anything on a Piston helicopter. I just don’t carry enough insurance to make it worthwhile. Luckily there are plenty of guys who will.



Why? They have proven themselves to be very safe and reliable. I think you are casting aspersions on the Robinson unfairly especially by your own writing you have virtually no real time experience actually working on them after your training.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2020, 16:49 
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Username Protected wrote:
Why? They have proven themselves to be very safe and reliable. I think you are casting aspersions on the Robinson unfairly especially by your own writing you have virtually no real time experience actually working on them after your training.

His aspersions were not cast against the Robinson specifically. He said "piston helicopters". On this very board pilots of said contrivances have referred to them as "death traps".

I don't really blame a mechanic for not wanting to stick his finger into a hornet's nest where the manufacturer actively discourages operation of the machine beyond a specific calendar limit, whether the regulations allow it or not. :shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 18 Aug 2020, 21:03 
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Username Protected wrote:
Why? They have proven themselves to be very safe and reliable. I think you are casting aspersions on the Robinson unfairly especially by your own writing you have virtually no real time experience actually working on them after your training.

His aspersions were not cast against the Robinson specifically. He said "piston helicopters". On this very board pilots of said contrivances have referred to them as "death traps".

I don't really blame a mechanic for not wanting to stick his finger into a hornet's nest where the manufacturer actively discourages operation of the machine beyond a specific calendar limit, whether the regulations allow it or not. :shrug:


John, did you toss your engines and props away at 12 years? Because that's basically what Continental, Lycoming and Hartzell says you must do to stay safe. I don't agree with doing this with an R44 or a Baron.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 08:52 
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John, did you toss your engines and props away at 12 years? Because that's basically what Continental, Lycoming and Hartzell says you must do to stay safe. I don't agree with doing this with an R44 or a Baron.

Nor do I.

The statement was that he didn't want to work on one. The impression I got was that it was because of the contentious relationship between the OEM and the lack of required compliance under Part 91, and his not wanting to get caught in the middle of a lawsuit somewhere down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 09:26 
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165lbs? Mike, you're making the rest of us look bad. :hide:

Please start taking your whirlybird on burger runs.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 09:54 
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165lbs? Mike, you're making the rest of us look bad. :hide:

I'm an inch taller than Mike (as far as the FAA is concerned, heh) and I went from 201 this time a year ago to 169 on my medical this past March (and in the low 150~ range since then, what I was in my early twenties).

Go for it, you won't regret it, and honestly you'll wonder why you didn't sooner.

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Please start taking your whirlybird on burger runs.

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I still eat burgers and drink hoppy beer, albeit not as much as before.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 10:37 
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165lbs? Mike, you're making the rest of us look bad. :hide:

I'm an inch taller than Mike (as far as the FAA is concerned, heh) and I went from 201 this time a year ago to 169 on my medical this past March (and in the low 150~ range since then, what I was in my early twenties).


That's great Jim; what did you change?

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 10:50 
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I'm an inch taller than Mike (as far as the FAA is concerned, heh) and I went from 201 this time a year ago to 169 on my medical this past March (and in the low 150~ range since then, what I was in my early twenties).


That's great Jim; what did you change?


Not Jim, but I went from 265 on New Years to 225 today (and falling) by just not stuffing my face quite so much.
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 Post subject: Re: Flying the R44 Raven II
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 11:04 
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Username Protected wrote:
I'm an inch taller than Mike (as far as the FAA is concerned, heh) and I went from 201 this time a year ago to 169 on my medical this past March (and in the low 150~ range since then, what I was in my early twenties).


That's great Jim; what did you change?

Thank you!

Getting a lot more daily activity (not necessarily intense workouts because those incur recovery times to avoid injury, but just moving a lot more during the day and a lot of walking, long, long walks... which are an enormous time suck by the way), eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, and moderation in how much I eat (Joel just phrased it directly and quite properly).

No fad diets or exercise programs, but I'm not against those per se if they get results for you or anyone else.


Here's something to make you go "hmmmm." Starting on the floor and sitting cross-legged, see how much effort it takes to stand up without using your hands. I notice lots of little things like that now, things that I never gave a second thought as a teenager...

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