Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

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Spirit
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Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#1 Post by Spirit » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:19 pm

Good evening;

I am searching for the most current information about these operators out of Thunder Bay. I have read some threads, but they are about 2 years old.

Specifically, pay, schedule, hours per year, bonds, etc

Thank you very much

Spirit
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FlyB
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#2 Post by FlyB » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:50 am

Hello,

I have some info on the MU-2 operation at Thunder, king air ops are slightly different

F/O schedule is now 8 days ON/ 6 days OFF.
There are 2 tiers for F/Os: One pays 30k/year if you have less than 1500TT and 500MPIC and the other 35k/year if you have over 1500TT and 500MPIC.
Plus 2 cents/sm
2 year/6000 promissory note, no money upfront

Captains are 7 ON/ 7 OFF. Upgrade requirements are 2000TT, 500MPIC, 100 on type
Year 1 Captains make 40k plus 10 cents/sm
2 year/8000 promissory note.

Crews fly anywhere from 700-900 hours/year

In my experience, I had a great time working for Thunder!

FlyB
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nightbird
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#3 Post by nightbird » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:29 am

Air Bravo
35k a year.
10 on 5 off, on call around the clock for the 10 days on
Bond is 3k for one year, PCC only FOs
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Spirit
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#4 Post by Spirit » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:50 pm

Thank you very much!
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DanWEC
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#5 Post by DanWEC » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:01 pm

Thunder's base is a little bit higher than that now. Also little things like hourly perdiem and phone allowance add up. Mileage is a biggie when you average 5000 miles a paycheque and can get more. Captain's base increase every year as does mileage. 10-20 cents a mile is bigly! 4th year and up I believe it's 85k salary or whatever is negotiated. King air schedule is 10 and 5, with flight passes and jumpseats. Benefits as well.
Good company.
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Last edited by DanWEC on Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#6 Post by Spirit » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:50 pm

Does Thunder hire FO's with little to no MPIC, but lots of multi turbine, 2-crew time?
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#7 Post by Oxi » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:35 pm

yes definitely they do
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Tanker299
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#8 Post by Tanker299 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:13 am

Thunder is the place to go. They have their flaws as does every company but they are workable. Nice to see 8 and 6 for the mu2 FO. Used to be 10 and 6. 24h on call with a 1 hour call out does not work for a lot of people. Captns get a weather check call and then say yay or nay if yay then the FO and medics are called and you now have 1 hour to be airborne. The King air you are told your flights the night before however if nothing is assigned you are on a 1h report if called, 10 and 5 is correct with a few exceptions for some captains. The king does get boring as your off to the same few resorts every day. Timmins is a sked plus charter and t bay is charter. If you stick around they will pay you well for what you do. Upgrade times are hit and miss, you could wait a year or you could only be a few months.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#9 Post by BeaverDreamer » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:26 pm

Spirit wrote:Does Thunder hire FO's with little to no MPIC, but lots of multi turbine, 2-crew time?
Apparently they'd rather hire someone with 500 hours and make them work the ramp for a year looking at the job ads...
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#10 Post by amclean » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:21 pm

BeaverDreamer wrote:
Spirit wrote:Does Thunder hire FO's with little to no MPIC, but lots of multi turbine, 2-crew time?
Apparently they'd rather hire someone with 500 hours and make them work the ramp for a year looking at the job ads...
90% of the pilots that Thunder hires are "direct entry" FOs; we offer the ramp or dispatch programme to a few low time pilots each year in order to offer a route of entry for pilots with less experience than we would otherwise hire. This programme has worked well, and the pilots that have come out of it have performed very well on the line, in part because they have a better understanding of the operation as a whole. At the same time, we try to keep the programme small enough that everybody gets a seat in an airplane in a reasonable length of time, and they don't have to fight a dozen others for the next opening.

There will always be a need for "off the street" hiring, as a number of our contracts have specific time experience requirements, so we need pilots that meet those requirements right away, or at least in short order. Upgrades are merit-based, so the best candidate (who has written his/her ATPL exams, the only requirement other than recommendation) gets the next captain job. If you don't meet all of the contract requirements, there will be limitations on which trips you can be assigned, but we are willing to make things work for those who have put their efforts into working for us.

All that being said, MPIC is the best ticket to the top of the resume heap. That doesn't mean that we won't hire you if you don't have any, but if I am looking at two otherwise similar resumes, one with 0 MPIC, and one with 400 MPIC, the one with the MPIC is going to get the first call. On the other hand, if during that call I decide that I would rather gouge my eyes out than spend a whole day sitting 10 inches away from this guy, I will look deeper into the resume collection.

At the moment, I do not know when the next new hire groundschool will be. We need to get a couple of the existing FOs ready for upgrade before we can look at hiring more.

If you have 500 hours (or less), and are interested in the ground position advertised in the Job Ads section, please apply.

If you have 500-1000 hours, try and build as much MPIC as you can find, and send us an updated resume a couple of times a year.

If you have over 1000 hours, and are interested in an FO position as they become available, send and updated resume to hr@thunderair.com every few months, and drop in for a visit if you're in the neighbourhood.

Anybody selected for an interview will receive an information package outlining the details of salary and benefits, as well as some of the expectations and policies.
The numbers posted above by FlyB are close, just add $1500 to the FO base salaries, and $3000 to the captain base salary at the time of writing this, but refer to a current hiring information package in case you are reading this at some point in the future.

Fly Safe
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#11 Post by Top_Gun » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:32 pm

nightbird wrote:Air Bravo
35k a year.
10 on 5 off, on call around the clock for the 10 days on
Bond is 3k for one year, PCC only FOs

How does being oncall around the clock for your 10 days on work? Once the crew times out does the plane become a pumpkin until required rest is achieved? Wouldn't having 2 crews split the day into 12 shifts be better? Or is it just a matter of cost to the employer?
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#12 Post by NotDirty! » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:48 pm

Top_Gun wrote:
nightbird wrote:Air Bravo
35k a year.
10 on 5 off, on call around the clock for the 10 days on
Bond is 3k for one year, PCC only FOs

How does being oncall around the clock for your 10 days on work? Once the crew times out does the plane become a pumpkin until required rest is achieved? Wouldn't having 2 crews split the day into 12 shifts be better? Or is it just a matter of cost to the employer?
The problem with having 12 hour shifts, in a situation where you are a standing agreement carrier who only gets paid when your airplanes fly, is that your shift times may not match with the times that the organization that contracts you needs you to fly. It also becomes a problem around shift change time, where you may not want to go out on another call, since you know that the next shift will be starting in an hour (or four). You see this kind of thing frequently when waiting for land ambulances around their shift change time.

They may also not have enough staff to run as many shifts as they would like. The regional airlines have been hiring pretty intensely for the past few months, air ambulance carriers have been losing a lot of their experienced pilots, and there may not be enough FOs who are able to upgrade to keep up with the captain attrition.

At the other end of the spectrum, if finding crews is not an issue, then there is only a finite amount of flying to do, and offering another crew is not economical, if it does not increase your revenue. If your hypothetical aeroplane flies 100 hours per month with one crew per day, you don't want to incur the costs of doubling your staff to offer two crews per day, if the same plane will then fly 110 hours per month. In an ideal world, doubling the staff would double the revenue. In real life that is far from the case, but there should be a point where it is economically viable to add the extra staff. In the present staffing environment, that may just be wishful thinking.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#13 Post by Top_Gun » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:00 pm

NotDirty! wrote:
Top_Gun wrote:
nightbird wrote:Air Bravo
35k a year.
10 on 5 off, on call around the clock for the 10 days on
Bond is 3k for one year, PCC only FOs

How does being oncall around the clock for your 10 days on work? Once the crew times out does the plane become a pumpkin until required rest is achieved? Wouldn't having 2 crews split the day into 12 shifts be better? Or is it just a matter of cost to the employer?
The problem with having 12 hour shifts, in a situation where you are a standing agreement carrier who only gets paid when your airplanes fly, is that your shift times may not match with the times that the organization that contracts you needs you to fly. It also becomes a problem around shift change time, where you may not want to go out on another call, since you know that the next shift will be starting in an hour (or four). You see this kind of thing frequently when waiting for land ambulances around their shift change time.

They may also not have enough staff to run as many shifts as they would like. The regional airlines have been hiring pretty intensely for the past few months, air ambulance carriers have been losing a lot of their experienced pilots, and there may not be enough FOs who are able to upgrade to keep up with the captain attrition.

At the other end of the spectrum, if finding crews is not an issue, then there is only a finite amount of flying to do, and offering another crew is not economical, if it does not increase your revenue. If your hypothetical aeroplane flies 100 hours per month with one crew per day, you don't want to incur the costs of doubling your staff to offer two crews per day, if the same plane will then fly 110 hours per month. In an ideal world, doubling the staff would double the revenue. In real life that is far from the case, but there should be a point where it is economically viable to add the extra staff. In the present staffing environment, that may just be wishful thinking.

Ok so if you're a standing agreement carrier and you have one crew and they start their day at 8 and times out 12-14 hours later, if a call comes in at hour 16, do you as a carrier just decline the call and somebody else takes the trip?
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#14 Post by NotDirty! » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:06 pm

Top_Gun wrote: Ok so if you're a standing agreement carrier and you have one crew and they start their day at 8 and times out 12-14 hours later, if a call comes in at hour 16, do you as a carrier just decline the call and somebody else takes the trip?
Yep. Ideally you have multiple aircraft, with crew with different start times, so another company aircraft can do it, but if you have no crews available, you have to decline. In some cases another carrier will pick it up, in other cases, if it was a low priority call and you are in the best location to complete the trip, the coordination centre may delay it until your crew becomes available.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#15 Post by nightbird » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:01 pm

Top_Gun wrote:
nightbird wrote:Air Bravo
35k a year.
10 on 5 off, on call around the clock for the 10 days on
Bond is 3k for one year, PCC only FOs

How does being oncall around the clock for your 10 days on work? Once the crew times out does the plane become a pumpkin until required rest is achieved? Wouldn't having 2 crews split the day into 12 shifts be better? Or is it just a matter of cost to the employer?
Any given day they have multiple crews on call, so as the calls come in they get dispatched. Once you duty out you get min rest of 10 hours but also they won't call again until they go through the entire roster.
So let's say they have three crews that day but only two calls came in and you're last in the roster you won't fly that day but you're number one for next day or whenever the next call comes in. I use to average about 17 days a month.
That being said that system of being on call around the clock is very hard since you can never plan your rest, you can get a call as soon as you put your head in the pillow and now you have 1 hour to be airborne and they keep giving you trips until there's nothing else for you to do or the 14 hour is up. All this with no sleep at all since they asume you're resting whenever they don't call you.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#16 Post by bearitus » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:33 am

What are the chances of someone with around 1000 TT (all single engine PIC) getting on with Air Bravo or Thunder?
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#17 Post by Tanker299 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:40 am

At Thunder their ground program is good. Everyone gets to the flight line if they are not an arsehole and they had no bond for those folks when they went to the flight line. Great travel bennis for a 703 op. $35 flights on Porter per leg plus tax. You and your family can travel and siblings on there own. I forget whom could take a buddy but your parter and you could for sure. ID 50 confirmed bearskin and ID90 standby.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#18 Post by NAT2 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:56 pm

Just saw this post, had to raise a glass to Bob M. I never worked for him but always had a fondness for how he treated people; it gave me hope when I was a low timer that not all operators were scuzbuckets and that a little hardwork would soon be rewarded.I hope he's on a sailboat somewhere loving life.
K
Nice to see Thunder is a decent place.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#19 Post by Saxub » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:29 pm

Places like this still exist. You just have to search a bit to find them, and usually thier names don't really pop up much online as people tend to talk more about places they disliked than places they enjoyed. Hidden gems in a way.

If they are honest in saying they keep the ground program small, and you WILL get a seat after a time then I would say it's not a bad gig. I'm typically one to push people to find a flying job with the way the industry is right now, especially if you have 500 hours (Lots of King Air jobs take FO's at that time, but might not be as good of a place to work) but if you have take a ground position to this sounds like a decent place.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#20 Post by BeaverDreamer » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:09 pm

amclean wrote:
BeaverDreamer wrote:
Spirit wrote:Does Thunder hire FO's with little to no MPIC, but lots of multi turbine, 2-crew time?
Apparently they'd rather hire someone with 500 hours and make them work the ramp for a year looking at the job ads...
If you have 500 hours (or less), and are interested in the ground position advertised in the Job Ads section, please apply.

Fly Safe
Great post, thanks for being so open. The 500 hours or less addition makes that a lot more fair in my eyes.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#21 Post by fish4life » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:19 pm

nightbird wrote:
Top_Gun wrote:
nightbird wrote:Air Bravo
35k a year.
10 on 5 off, on call around the clock for the 10 days on
Bond is 3k for one year, PCC only FOs

How does being oncall around the clock for your 10 days on work? Once the crew times out does the plane become a pumpkin until required rest is achieved? Wouldn't having 2 crews split the day into 12 shifts be better? Or is it just a matter of cost to the employer?
Any given day they have multiple crews on call, so as the calls come in they get dispatched. Once you duty out you get min rest of 10 hours but also they won't call again until they go through the entire roster.
So let's say they have three crews that day but only two calls came in and you're last in the roster you won't fly that day but you're number one for next day or whenever the next call comes in. I use to average about 17 days a month.
That being said that system of being on call around the clock is very hard since you can never plan your rest, you can get a call as soon as you put your head in the pillow and now you have 1 hour to be airborne and they keep giving you trips until there's nothing else for you to do or the 14 hour is up. All this with no sleep at all since they asume you're resting whenever they don't call you.

how is that legal?
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#22 Post by lownslow » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:08 am

fish4life wrote:how is that legal?
Well, they had to draw the line somewhere. I could reference the appropriate CAR but I suspect that's not what you're getting at. Some days I could go way longer than the fifteen hour limit and other days I'm dragging ass by the eight hour mark and have to decline further trips. Such is life.

At the end of the day the PIC has a responsibility to their passengers to operate safely, whatever that requires, and a responsibility to their employer (or maybe to themselves) to not be a douchebag.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#23 Post by Tail-Chaser » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:35 pm

Another +1 for Thunder.

I started with them in a desk with a little over 500 hours and next to no MPIC. 10 months later I had a PPC on a King-Air. About 9 months after that I went left seat. Not once did I feel like I was treated unfairly; management is approachable and very reasonable. Never pressured into ridiculous conditions, and there is a genuine safety culture. If the Regionals hadn't called I would've gladly spent more time there.
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#24 Post by Spirit » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:07 am

Tail-Chaser wrote:Another +1 for Thunder.

I started with them in a desk with a little over 500 hours and next to no MPIC. 10 months later I had a PPC on a King-Air. About 9 months after that I went left seat. Not once did I feel like I was treated unfairly; management is approachable and very reasonable. Never pressured into ridiculous conditions, and there is a genuine safety culture. If the Regionals hadn't called I would've gladly spent more time there.
How did you get the MPIC required to upgrade? Does Thunder have a PICUS program? Are there trips you can do that don't require 500 hours MPIC?

Thanks
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Re: Air Bravo/Thunder Airlines

#25 Post by Tail-Chaser » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:29 pm

Spirit wrote:
Tail-Chaser wrote:Another +1 for Thunder.

I started with them in a desk with a little over 500 hours and next to no MPIC. 10 months later I had a PPC on a King-Air. About 9 months after that I went left seat. Not once did I feel like I was treated unfairly; management is approachable and very reasonable. Never pressured into ridiculous conditions, and there is a genuine safety culture. If the Regionals hadn't called I would've gladly spent more time there.
How did you get the MPIC required to upgrade? Does Thunder have a PICUS program? Are there trips you can do that don't require 500 hours MPIC?

Thanks
You don't necessarily require any specific MPIC hours to go left seat short of whatever insurance will allow them to do. You do need 500 MPIC to fly government charters. Private charters and scheduled flights do not have this same requirement.
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