Robinson helicopters dominate the world's fleet of
civil manufactured helicopters. The Robinson's safety and
reliability is a direct result of Frank Robinson's creative
genius as a helicopter designer. Frank's theory of keep it
simple and fool proof has led to the Robinson patented T bar
cyclic and the de-rating of the Lycoming piston aircraft engine
to surpass turbine engines for reliability and affordability.
The 'T' Bar cyclic is great when you get used to it, not only does it allow better access to the helicopter, but it allows pilots of all heights to move the cyclic grip to a position where it gives them the most control over the helicopter. With a conventional cyclic, short people have to hold it below the grip and quite often cannot rest their arm on their leg, which means their control movements are not as smooth as they could be, and tall people have the cyclic buried low down between their legs.
The R22 has a maximum seat loading of 109 kg, we believe this is a realistic limitation for a Commercial helicopter pilot. If a student weighs much more than 109 kg, they are unlikely to get a job, regardless of what they are told. Helicopters have a maximum legally allowable weight at which they can operate, and any excess pilot weight cuts into the available payload and, all other things being equal, employers are unlikely to accept that penalty when there are lighter pilots they can employ, so you must be aware that excessive pilot weight is a factor employers will consider when hiring a new pilot.
The helicopter type you learn in definitely has a strong influence on your safety and your job prospects but let's face it, it's not the type of helicopter you learn in that determines your piloting ability, it's the quality of the instruction. Does it really matter if you learn to drive in a Toyota or a Ford? NO. Does it matter if you learn to drive with a good instructor or an average instructor? IT SURE DOES!