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Newb Intro and a couple inquiries
Hey everyone, I am new to the community.  I have made a few posts just browsing around and feel its time to chime in and introduce myself. I enjoy reading the post and learning from others here. a little about myself:

-82-90 Military Intelligence US Army (Counter Intel, Counter Espionage, Counter Terrorism), During that period  I was Delta support as well as 7th Special Forces, was airborne, airassualt, jumpmaster qualified (DOD), Recondo, jungle (Panama) and canadian jumpschool (non DOD) Eventually spent 3 years at NSA and Pentagon.  Developed a love for helicopters from jumping out of the AH60A Blackhawks and was friends with a OH58 Helicopter Pilot that used to take me up and just hand me the controls, this is where my love began and I almost had to wait a lifetime to fulfill my dream as i am 54 years old now.

1990- present President/CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation as it stands now with 28 employees. (mind you the company makes the money i pay the bills and the employees.  I have some very skilled employees that make more than I do in the end).  Owning a business is not what most people think it is and took about 20 years of grinding to become lucrative. 

So here i am 28 years later able to purchase a XE285.  I was looking around found a 2011 XE for sale and its still for sale in lynchburg VA.  38K, w/80 hrs (Black Mustang), called Dwight and he said he could build a new one for around 42K.  I visited the factory and ended up ordering the XE285 with a few extras at well over 50K.

I was supposed to be picking it up by now but as it stands i may have to wait another 4-6 weeks, i spent some time in Trenton helping with the build at the end of July and first of August 2018.

My experience is limited to 30 hours Dual instruction in a R22 in which im not the best or as good as i would like to be but i can get it done.

I hope after reading all the FAA reports of Mosquito crashes where the engines are known to just come apart during flight that it never happens to me.  Knowing how to auto-rotate is pointless in that situation.

Do you guys fly these mosquito's regularly and out of ground effect?

I became concerned when Norbert told me that after my XE285 was completed and I come to pick it up i could not fly it there.  I honestly thought flying it there after the purchase was final that it would be a great time to work bugs out, if any.  I was told I "Might" be allowed to perform some ground work but only if I sign a waiver and stay a couple feet off the ground, even though I would fully own it and its my responsibility anyway.

Keep in mind i am a newb/noob at the whole mosquito thing, I have watched countless videos on youtube of the Mosquitos and have poured through these forums trying to learn as much as I can about these helicopters.  I am very excited but also very concerned at the same time.  So take it easy on me if i sound out of line from the norm.  I just want to feel safe that I can file a flight plan to an airport 1 hour from me and make it there.


I am not a pro with gopro, it set way too high on my head, but if your interested here is a consolidated google drive link to my last r22 flight a week ago, like i said not to pretty  but all me.

R22 Flight
Welcome Triston!

If money isn't really a hindrance and you want a reliable engine, why not go turbine?

I'm an XET owner, and have flown turbine helicopters with no engine failures for 14 years. Had some airborne engine problems, but nothing a precautionary landing on a ship or in a field didn't solve. Bell 206s, H-60s mostly. Former NASA/JPL test pilot, naval aviator/ mountain SAR instructor, day job now is MEDEVAC pilot. (lead test pilot for NASA on this project 2011-2015)

Do you have access to any kind of helicopter simulator? Knowing how to autorotate is never pointless unless the main rotor departs! If the engine came apart, and you still could freewheel, autorotation would be an extremely useful skill. I probably have a thousand autorotations under my belt, and I always preached to my Navy students to end every flight with a few practice autos.

How far away do you live from the factory? I'd be happy to perform test flights, or fly it home for you if it's a reasonable distance. I'm also a CFI/CFII, and happy to answer any questions at any time, day or night. If you'd like some one on one instruction with your own helicopter, maybe having an instructor/owner around in your first few days of ownership might be prudent to critique, demonstrate, and talk you through things over the radio.

Here's a video from yesterday of me flying, enjoying the maneuverability in and out of ground effect. There is some out of ground effect hovering, but I make sure it's into the wind, and I have sufficient "runway" to auto... to not smash in case of engine failure. I gotta say, I absolutely love the way the Mosquito flies low to the ground about 80 knots and slower, but as a cross country machine, I'd rather take a motorcycle. To answer your final question, YES, you can get to a point very quickly where you feel confident with your flight planning skills, and flying skills to do 1 hour hops. Eventually you will be comfortable zipping along 5 feet off the ground as well as 500.

Enjoy your new purchase!


YouTube/instagram RotorLyfe
Owner N315FC   XET built by Scott Seaner
Line pilot at Air Evac Lifeteam, AE63 Abilene, TX

YouTube/iG : RotorLyfe
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Hi, and thank you much for that great response.  It is always nice to know experience.  I am happy to establish communications with someone of your caliber, experience and knowledge.  

To answer you about the turbine.....That is what I wanted after visiting the factory.  I even sit in one (Pic Attached).  I was depending on Dwight's advice for 90% of my buying decisions and he said comparatively the XE285 and XET were essentially the same in most ways and it would cost around 10K just to hear the cool noise so that is why (and the only reason I did not go turbine).


I am actually taking my Mosquito to Sevier County choppers in Sevierville/Gatlinburg, TN (one hour drive from where I live in upper north east, TN) and leaving it there till I complete getting my Private pilot license.  I have my student certificate at the moment and the only restriction is I cannot carry passengers so I can solo the R22 and the Mosquito. I agree knowing how to autorotate is one of the most important things you can know for emergencies.  Don't get me wrong my 30 hours is ongoing and there is more to come I paid for 40hrs in advance, so I am practicing autorotation's and honing my radio skills and am hoping to get my check ride soon.  

I have a 10K sq. ft. man cave (garage) with a runway (I just built) in front of it about 100 yards wide and 500 yards long.  I have a windsock on the roof extending an additional 20ft in the air for when I am ready to bring it home from Sevier County Choppers. Still waiting on the concrete guys to get my helipad poured though.  It don't look like I need it anytime soon .

As far as getting it home from Trenton, I had an enclosed trailer special built for it, so the Mosquito and the trailer are a package now.  I will pull the trailer to Trenton behind my Motorhome when they tell me to come get it, load it up and drive it home.  Trenton is a 600 mile drive for me.  Foreflight shows about a 5.5 hour trip by helicopter whereas the drive takes from 12 to 15 hours.

Very cool video of the turbine mosquito and its maneuverability, makes me jealous because Dwight was right about one thing they sure do sound cool. Another thing that has popped up in my mind is I will actually be flying into small airports and most airports have Jet A for the turbines but do not carry regular 92 octane fuel so I purchased 3X15 gallon portable (w/wheels) fuel containers with hose and nozzles.  Will be keeping one at Sevier county choppers, one at home and one at a buddy's house in Charlottesville, VA for when I visit.  Otherwise I will need to carry a gas can in my storage compartment and hire a cab or uber to make several trips to the gas station when I need fuel, lol.  I have not figured that out yet.

Also For others out there, this has helped me tremendously academically.  The 2 best places I have found for Ground school online is H.O.G.S. "Helicopter Online Ground School"and Helicopter lessons in 10 minutes or less  (given by an army Heli pilot becoming a CFI)
Welcome Triston. I just finished building my XE285 at the factory, so I must've just missed you a couple times. Mine is the Red/Yellow MARINES bird.

I'll be back in Trenton on Sunday to get my FAA inspection nest week and spin it up. Norbert probably told you that you couldn't fly there because you are not yet licensed. Insurance and all that I'm sure.

Good luck with your training.

XE285 #1329 N869DJ
Start: June 2018
Done:  Sep 12, 2018  Sleepy 
AWC Issued: Sep 26, 2018  Big Grin  
Yes Sir, I saw your beast while I was there.  Nice.  Our paths may cross as mine is in the final stages.  Thanks for the info and reasoning, it makes sense.

When I was in the Army, we had an exercise with the Marines.  They sent an entire company of marines out to seek and destroy our SF Unit, when the marines returned to HQ, they were all frustrated and down.  The commander ask what happen out there and they said "it was a trap, we were outnumbered, there was at least 2 of them". haha, just a good intra service joke, marines are badass no doubt.

Welcome aboard Triston. Have been busy and finally got some time to read over posts. I think you will love your 285. I have had tons of fun with mine and have about 95 hrs. on her. Post some photos of your ship, I would love to see it. Fly safe!

XE 285  1205 (Myrtle)
Start: 8/1/2013
Finish: 5/24/2014
Arrived home: 10/11/2014
Indeed I will, and thanks again.
    Welcome aboard.  We may also cross paths.  Mine is just coming out of the paint shop, so I'll start building soon.  Look forward to meeting you.  Former Navy Helo pilot getting back in the game after 25 years.
Fly Navy,

Scott Langley

XET #1337 N334HY
Start: NOV 2018
Nice, look forward to checking your ship out when i go back.  Hopefully within the next month (fingers crossed).

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