Eric helped me immeasurably in making my decision to buy an R44 – in my case the Raven II to facilitate mountain operations. We were looking for an affordable and reliable (primarily) two person ship with enough room and payload for camping gear so we could explore the western mountains. His long experience in the industry helped convince me that I did not want the completely unpredictable maintenance costs of a turbine alternative like a Bell 206. Now after flying another season of Jet Rangers, and Long Rangers at work, and bringing my log book up to 625 hours air time, I see the surprises that turn up at supposedly routine 100 hour inspections. I am more thankful than ever for Eric’s counsel.
What about performance you ask? I can’t help but feel like a reasonably loaded R44 feels much more capable and willing than a Jet Ranger in a similar circumstance, and while I am not trying to fill all the seats, cram the baggage compartments, and fill the fuel tanks before prowling around 9000 foot peaks with any intention of landing, I have easily slipped into any number of alpine hideaways over 7000 feet with half full tanks, and 2 or 3 of us on board with our hiking packs and other supplies for the day. So far I have not used more than maximum continuous power to get in or to get out of even my highest landings, so there remains all that 5 minute take-off power reserve for a moment of inattentiveness, much more than I can say for my average working day in a Jet Ranger.
In my opinion this is a truly great ship, and you cannot do better than to select Eric as a dealer. He solved every roadblock in my way, even those that cropped up at the very last minute, and he did it all without ever batting an eyelash. You’d think I was his only customer, something I know is far from the truth – it seems like everyone I have met in Western Canada has purchased their machine from him, and they are all equally complimentary! I am now a believer – the R44 Raven II is far and away the ship of choice for any conceivable private use, and that will not change, for many reasons, even after the introduction of the R66.