They whined and complained to Robinson and may have even threatened legal action. I’ll itemize costs for a better visualization: Per Hour Costs: 1. It is very informative and written in a manner that one, such as myself, can easily understand. If you are operating for less than your true costs, you are only eating up equity and living on borrowed money (and time). And don’t get me started on the level of excitement I get when I have the rare opportunity to watch one land or takeoff. $130K seems like a pretty good deal to me, though. Projected operating costs are works of fantasy,and not just Robinson’s. Sometimes you get lucky. Can you do that? This is not one of the estimated costs on Robinson’s fairy tale cost estimate marketing document. Howden Helicopters were still spraying in the UK as late as 1993 with Bell 47's. I asked for his notes, as this is one of my favorite things to ponder. I don’t blog every flight I do. What’ll really get you are the unexpected repairs. The latest for me is the required radio altimeter for Part 135.160, which I blogged about here. Spraying Our helicopters come equipped with DGPS for accurate application and these line files can be provided for you upon request. What a fantastic article, from a first time helicopter purchaser – well, maybe now………..!!! I was interested to hear that you were able to send a mechanic to the factory maint. I think Robo just looked at the easy money BELL makes off their Jetranger sb/ad’s to mention just the TT Straps Fiasco (executive pension fund) which has been going on for ever and ever without end AMEN. That’s okay. Time to make money. I have been into drones now for about 4 yrs, and the way things are moving in that world it won’t be long till they will carry a person. 3 x Robinson R44 Ravenl Helicopters Spraying, Top Dressing, Lifting, FireFighting. Show your appreciation one of the following ways: Post was not sent - check your email addresses! After all if you are happy doing what you love that is what matters. Lookout heliport, that picture may stur up the anti Photoshop gang … We have still not added a line item for hidden costs. One bad way to look at it is this: If I don’t get it changed per the SB and my passengers die in a post-crash fire, the liability for the fire falls on me, even if they can’t prove that the fire was caused by a tank design issue. 5 Sets (Min. That might save you some money in the short term. I’m just lucky that my ship will be going in for overhaul before the blade replacement AD must be complied with. I will do further research now into Bell & Agusta Westland models, because of your article and double the money for the initial purchase price. cost I mentioned above. After all, they’ve given us until December 31, 2014 to comply. What is really going on here is the need for a budget. And oil: Robinson estimates 50¢/hour. According to him, JD had presented certain facts to his audience that shined an impending light upon true operating costs. Some parts are calendar time limited while other parts are hobbs time limited. Do you really need to buy that ground spraying rig? No one knows for sure, but a good starting place are looking at the hidden costs incurred during the last three years. US $3600-$4900 / Set. Check it out for everything from time-lapse annual inspections to cockpit POV autorotation practice to a flight home from a taco dinner at a friend’s house — and more. For the over the past 30 years, helicopters fitted with an Isolair Spray system have provided customers with innovative spray systems that are proven to be both reliable and extremely cost effective. I love this post. In the end, I happened upon gyros – fell in love with them, and now own and operate an MT Sport total cost is much lower, and of course there’s very little in the way of lifed components. If you can’t honestly look at costs, you can’t succeed. You must be honest with yourself. Helicopter pilot training costs $200 per hour for flight time with an instructor, and $150 to $175 per hour for solo-flying time. Okay, this makes sense. Instead I’ll just say that when one flies overhead, I MUST stop what I’m doing, and stare at it until it is out of sight. very useful article/post. The pilot made almost $20,000 more without the financial risks. Obviously your fuel costs are higher — I’m currently paying $5-$6 per gallon. Not fun to be an owner if you can’t afford to fly. Get a bird’s eye view your property with the hoverability and steadiness the helicopters of VersaAir can provide. He does not care about remaining hours. The kit for the retrofit will cost about $6,000 and there’s 40 hours of labor on top of that plus the cost to repaint the fuel tanks. You may never know exactly, but you must have some gauge to go by. Helicopter spraying is an extremely cost effective method of chemical application, particularly in the hill country. They’re making us pay to reduce their liability to us. Helicopters are always more expensive than similarly performing airplanes. Or was — that post was pretty old. I also believe that most of the Alert Service Bulletins are a money generating cash cow. Powered by a 1994 Subaru EJ22 engine with tuned headers ... Vortech, Inc. Fallston, MD - 2,187 mi. Sure, it’s cheaper to own an R44 than an EC130, but it’s even cheaper to own a Honda Accord. 20.00 11. I’m not giving up. Obviously, I can’t survive on that. that would perform 80% of your missions and still allow you to enjoy flying. Robinson and the manufacturer know there’s a problem but can’t seem to fix it. Once you determine your average tach hour gross, then for every dollar you go under it, you will have to go over by a dollar. Well written, changed my whole perspective of owning a hobby helicopter especially Robinson. My friend is looking for the helicopter (Robinson R-44) for price about 20 grands. Excellent post really. Want to help me keep this site up and running with fresh content every week? 1991 model. Of course, the car won’t fly. Our specialist low drift nozzle systems are used for accurate placement and … ... Looks a much more suited helicopter to the job, larger tanks, more fuel. As for the blue sky of the business, oftentimes it is only there because you run the company. 100.00 10. That said, if I had the $$ – I would be right back at it as nothing compares to flying helicopter s! Too many of us are “programmed” at a young age to seek careers that pay good money and then get sucked into jobs we hate. Are these perks enough? And how do you think my passengers would feel if their pilot showed up wearing a pickle suit and helmet for their tour or charter flight? You are the helicopter person, but I’m not. US $3500-$4300 / Set. Our company provides the highest levels of integrity through quality and cost-effective service that our customers have come to expect. I’m worried mostly about liability if something happens and the tanks are not installed. These are just the things I’m remembering off the top of my head. You are very trust worthy and that is being said from stranger. Don’t count on this rule of thumb to be an easy way to calculate your costs. 1 Unit ... YUREN Long Range Agricultural Drone Helicopter Sprayer for Pesticide Spraying. Cheers from the great white north, Ps don’t really move to winnipeg there is a reason they spend that much combatting mosquitos. I can still remember my mechanic asking me if I was sitting down before he told me about the annual. I spent almost $12K to replace my helicopter’s fuel tanks. Always read pesticide labels. They’re attempting to minimize the possibility of a post crash fire by making modifications to the fuel system to help prevent line and tank ruptures. Applying chemicals or fertilizer is an expensive exercise and has to be cost … There has to be a cushion to allow for hidden costs (advertising, work clothes, legal/accounting fees, etc.). It cost about $220K. All forestry spraying is flown from our custom-built Truck helipads. Thanks to all the wrote you comments If it can wait four years, why can’t it wait indefinitely? You truly are a great writer. it seems that helicopter manufacturers have absolutely no shame about sending their customers slowly broke, and take no responsabilities,….I’ll buy a boat instead..cheers. The clutch down limit switch, an $8 part, cracked. It just makes crashing safer — as if that makes any sense. Needs to written off. Start with $3 million! Use the link above to download the Excel spreadsheet. I have no idea what the going price is for a timed-out R44. It also doesn’t include the $2,100 per month I pay on my aircraft loan or my initial $160,000 cash downpayment. My R44, parked out in the desert at a rides event. Plus, everyone knows that an ag-plane is not productive 100% of the hours logged in a season. He lives in Ukraine, it’s far away from USA. I have to fly for hire. Fuel (50 gph X $2.50) 125.00 7. (Ground spraying rigs you have to drive or tow there. I hope I hurry up and find the right place at the right time cause I’m 52 in November and time doesn’t stop for anyone. For this purposes which Helicopter should I consider to buy. I don’t think a letter of authorization would cover multi day excursions and the day trips I often do to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Now add in the reserve for the overhaul that is required at 2,200 hours — roughly $100 per hour. The local airplane fix-it guy, who I sent to the Robinson maintenance course, was the least expensive, charging me $45/hour at first but then bumping it up to $55/hour. Robinson’s estimated fuel and oil costs were consistently lower than what I was paying. 2.0 Units (Min. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. Countryview Farms Helicopter Air Services is entering into another season of operations specializing in custom aerial spray applications. Please read the directions on the first tab completely before using the spreadsheet. If you use a smaller aircraft, for instance a piston-powered aircraft without the ability to gross $1,500 an hour, you really find yourself in a dilemma. We teach and learn by sharing what we know with others. Where are these costs in the $1,146 per hour gross? Hi Maria Mike. Im always try to read this type of information directly from the source. Pilot’s pay ($1,500 hr gross X 20%) 300.00 6. Here’s an example. With modest adjustments the design will fit many helicopter designs. Agricultural Spray System Agricultural Spraying The system carries a 28 gallon tank, runs on a Honda WX10 gas motor and has a boom width of 25 feet. Sounds like you should move to winnipeg lol. There are a lot of assumptions with these calculations. What do you think about the Enstrom 280FX or 480B or the Schweitzer 333, I know the last 2 are turbine. This helicopter has very low total time (just over 2000hr) and only 100hr since major overhaul in … Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Big drop, little drop and drift mitigation adjuvants, Operation S.A.F.E. The values I use are provided by respected individuals in the marketplace, as well as from attendees to JD’s seminars. I can’t afford to fly for fun anymore. On the other hand I have very rarely had a commercial mission cancelled due to a tech fault in my 3000hrs in the Robbie. Regarding your comments on capitalization, punctuation and spelling, I agree, although I am not perfect myself. Cirrus Helicopter. And I replaced the seat belt attachment points and changed the throttle link and swapped out the frame tube clamp and fiddled with the throttle linkage and changed the fuel hose supports and replaced the hard fuel lines and replaced the gascolator assembly and did something to the clutch actuator fuse holder wiring. How much would all this cost from the most affordable to the most expensive if I never flew it? There used to be a magical rule of thumb (that should not work out by any reasoning) that an operation should gross the value of the aircraft, $1,400 X 500 = $700,000. Just crossing the border from Arizona to California, you can expect to spend 50¢ more per gallon on auto fuel. I am from Sri Lanka and came across you blog. If I still had that big writing income, I wouldn’t mind so much. You simply cannot operate a business on pilot’s pay that requires a $650,000 equipment expenditure with untold thousands of more dollars for support equipment, payroll and office/hangar space. Hey guys, retired football player here. You should get your A&P. It’s a shame. Thanks again for the great blog posts… I just found your site thru a link…. A single helicopter can effectively treat the same size area that had been previously necessitated the employ of 10 to 20 workers, sometimes treating up to 4 acres in less than 10 minutes time. Actually you can check Youtube they are already out there, they are not expensive to buy nor maintain. Do they have the same DA problems all the time? I own a 2004 RavenII, now at 930TT Also curious how much operating in a marine environment would change things. Knowing how much it cost to operate your aircraft is a complex issue. In a discussion many years ago with JD Dunson of Airforce Turbine Service in Texas (now retired), the topic of operating costs came up. Agricultural crop spraying Helicopters offer many advantages for modern green farming; Spraying nozzles can be changed depending of the plant and crop application type, efficiently saving time, money and manpower; Average person can crop spray 0.24 acres every half hour; Align E1 can crop spray up to 0.48 acres per minute But, they should point out the apparent need for each operator to come up with his own true costs with a margin of error. Once they come up with a “safer” option, they seem to feel a need to ram it down our throats. Then, to prevent other owners from giving them grief about it, they put out a service bulletin to address it. Because we charge about USD1100 an hour, the op still makes sence. I am writing In response to the operating cost Blog. I’ve also replaced the battery twice (at $400 a pop) and my oil pressure gauge once. I know because I’ve bought them both ways. But no When I got a different mechanic, my costs came down considerably. Adding another aircraft to the calculation would not double your expenses, some can be shared, and your overall hourly cost would be reduced. Six months after purchasing the ship, which had 900 hours and was always hangared, I received an AD requiring new main rotor blades at a cost of $12k per blade. As for grammar/punctuation (which you probably read about in a different post) — yes, I agree. The conclusion at the end of the “Operating Cost-Per-Road Mile” section stated that the calculated 98¢ per road mile “…compares favorably with some expensive automobiles, and will usually be lower when the value of time saved is considered.”. This is not one of the estimated costs on Robinson’s fairy … And then there are the Airworthiness Directives, Service Bulletins, and Service Letters. Carlos A/P I/A hel air. I got my commercial ticket 6 years ago and have not done much flying since. And I don’t think he considered getting a hangar and an office and all the things that go with running a business. A handful of bestselling computer how-to books — yes, they do exist — and a few good real estate investments left me with an excess of cash. You’d be remiss not to examine your expenses over the last three to five years, with adjustments according to any significant changes. In closing, we’ve discussed a 500-gallon turbine ag-plane, assuming it is the median aircraft for our industry. Pathfinder has a special relationship with Robinson that keeps its rates low. I have been a helicopter pilot for 42 years and an owner/operator for 15 years. Similarly, this fuel system retrofit is beyond reason. Like Robinson, he based his proration of fixed costs such as insurance on a 500-hour flight year. RotorWay Exec-90 two-seat helicopter kit—about 90% assembled and 95%* complete. Sometimes I know the pilot. Often, these changes are required more by the FAA than the manufacturer. This is where honesty begins to come into the equation, being honest with one’s self. What else? In the above scenario, most likely the operator and pilot would be the same person. My calculations did not include overhead that wasn’t specifically related to helicopter operations. Ouch. Robinson is privately owned and self-insured. I have seen a timed out R44ll with A/C and bladder tanks for $130k, but fear this is still too much money. Is this your attempt at humor? Ag-aircraft are high use and abuse equipment, making it difficult for them to retain value. Boost your bottom line with the helicopter spraying services from M&D Aerial in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Why not just be a pilot? The overhaul was $3,000 plus installation (which requires removal of the tail cone). Robinson’s insurance costs are based on Pathfinder rates. For someone who’s interested in becoming a helicopter owner, I’m curious to know about the price of all this. Average cost of a first-class, used turbine ag-plane – $650,000. excellent post. But, your break even cost (a new calculation) will go up! My helicopter actually settled down cost-wise after I wrote this post. The fuel line and fuel tank bladder situation is taking things to the extreme. At a cost of $1,600 each time. I had an overhaul done on my old 2005 Raven II, which already had bladder tanks. Safer than hand spraying. I was trying to help him avoid disappointment and possibly bankruptcy. Fortunately, I run a small operation with a tight rein on costs. My pockets are not as deep as they once were. 5.0 (2) "Good work" Contact Supplier. 50.00 8. Factors would include pilot costs, insurance, fuel, application products, etc. People are so freaking clueless sometimes. Later, I had a mechanic who charged me $75/hour. Based on your comments it seems like he is burning a lot of fuel. Aerial application chemicals can be mixed and loaded directly on the nurse/platform trucks that transport helicopters, saving time and transportation costs. Around that time Agricopters sold their Hillers to a couple of Greek companies. Of course, significant costs could be combined by the owner being pilot and manager and a significant other being one of the laborers. Do you honestly think I care? History The first known application of spraying agricultural materials from the air occurred in 1906 when John Chaytor spread seed over a swamped valley floor in New Zealand from a… It doesn’t include depreciation, either. Any machine that turns gasoline into noise and life ain’t gonna be cheap to own or fix. I thought the numbers looked over rosy, but in the end, decided it was beyond my means. thanks. I currently farm in southern idaho, and have always thought of ways that I could implement a helicopter in our operation. And how much can I expect to spend in fuel, again a range from the most affordable to the most expensive? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. (Prob not going to happen but a boy can dream). I’ve budgeted a lump sum for this “hobby” and as soon as it ends I’ll have to sell the craft and find some other way to spend my spare time. Somewhere in the above budget there has to be an allocation for operational profit. Found this post very interesting. and the costs rise accordingly. On the other hand, you could say this works in the inverse with a larger aircraft, for example an aircraft with an 800-gallon hopper. That would have been a very inconvenient $48K bill. Hey now. And I’d probably be hooked. I’d try to ask you one more question: do you know by chance the best place/link where to look for such R44 ? I will use the helicopter only for hobby. Very well documented-Recent SB’s and Ad’s seem to have put alot of ships on the used market-All the good pr Frank received over the years especially regarding LOW OPERATING COSTS for his piston ships seem to be taking a huge chunk of cash from his loyal customers,as they accumulate hours.I trained in an R-22,but would never buy a robinson helicopter.The R-66 should be interesting as it gathers time in the field,to see what extra cost and repairs it incurs. Insurance/Other (Work. Maria thank you for saving me a ton of money girlfrin. can’t list all repairs, replacement, 2 mufflers, boost pump And I’d much rather get my ATP than A&P. I owned an R22 for a few years and experienced similar price shocks. Traditional Airplane Spraying The use of aircraft to spray chemicals, fertilizers and seeds over crops goes back over a hundred years. In other words, I don’t live beyond my means. This is not your final figure. There have been instances of post-crash fires on Robinson helicopters. Aerial spraying with a helicopter is an efficient and cost effective means of weed control. My friend likes R44 and he is a helicopter guy, but never own it. The values are conservative, which really means, it costs more than what I’ve portrayed here. Manufacturer Low Cost Cheap Helicopter Sprayer For Sale Plant Conservation Uav Seed Spreading Drone.

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