- sky's the limit
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- Location: Now where's the starter button on this thing???
The "AS350," or Astar is great helicopter, but you are right, it's a big step up from flying a Robbie. I assume you're flying an R44? Much bigger, more power, different visibility, more people...
At 500hrs - depending what type of flying you've been doing, and will do in the Astar - you should have a reasonable enough grasp on the machines to make the switch. That said, flying the Astar will open up a whole new set of jobs that you may or may not have experience with, and that requires a lot of decision making and judgement. I wouldn't say don't do it, but I would council caution.
If you can let us know what type of work you're doing now, and what the Astar work would be, I can give you a bit better answer. 500hrs is not 500hrs if you know what I mean? Oil patch or mountains? It makes a huge difference.
I was told once by a wise pilot once, "Never turn down a Type Rating", ever!
The Astar is a great helicopter and the systems are simple, when you are getting ready to start you think you must have missed something on start up. Having said that, like most helicopters it has some idiosyncrasies that can get you into trouble. The hydraulic systems are a controversial subject and have caused more than one accident. All helicopters fly the same (more or less), but the systems differ significantly, know the differences. A good way to do that is read the TSB accident reports on their website, and of course read the manuals.
As STL said the application is a consideration, if you are going to move drills, siesmic bags etc. you could find yourself over your head very quickly. Common sense should prevail, but it isn't rocket science either.
Hope that helps.....