I certainly understand your point. I should clarify that the plan will not be to forever use another company for maintenance. As things scale, it becomes more cumbersome and costly to do so, just as you are saying. Billable hours stack up with unnecessary delays, and I'll be making more flights to the maintenance shop per week, taking away valuable time. However, the up front cost of Robinson specific tools like track and balance is quite cost-inhibitive to amortize in the beginning over just 2 helicopters flying maybe 40 hours per month each. As the school scales, this cost becomes much more practical to spread out, and the savings becomes evident.
As far as hiring an A&P in the beginning, I will certainly try. It's possible I can find someone of quality willing to work just a few hours per week as a side-gig as we scale up. But finding someone quality and who cares about these machines as much as I do on a part-time basis might not be too easy. Once we grow enough, I know it will be imperitive to hire a full-time A&P. I look forward to that!
So why aren't they still running the school? If they were that successful then they should have all the answers for you. To include the maintenance questions. But to be blunt the maintenance is the least of your worries. For one if you can't qualify to accept the GI Bill or offer training loans then may want to rethink this. If you dig deep enough you'll find Heliops, Silver State, and others have failed for similar reasons. Perhaps keep your current day job and work out a wet-lease for a R44 and offer ad-hoc training to begin. Then work from there as you learn the business and the Part 141 requirements. A year from now see where you are at? While its all good intentions sometimes its best to learn from the mistakes of others in the helicopter world. Good luck.I have partnered with other people who have ran helicopter flight school that actually lived out my vision, and it was very successful in doing so.