Career advice for bush guy making switch

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DaAirMan
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Career advice for bush guy making switch

#1 Post by DaAirMan » Tue May 09, 2017 9:43 am

Greetings all!

Just looking for a little advice/positive reinforcement from some of those more knowledgeable than I. I'm looking to make the jump to heavier metal in the IFR world after spending three years in Northern Ontario. Seems that scene has changed a great deal while I was up in God's country and thus my options for career progression have evolved. I was once convinced that I'd have to ply my trade at a northern outfit like Skyscare or, if lucky, Wasaya/bearskin/thunder. But i've been getting feedback that with my time I should perhaps be setting my sights a little higher. porter, for instance, is asking for 1000TT and an IATRA for their FO gig... just wondering what the climates like for a 2000 hour guy (all single VFR) with a fresh mutli ifr & iatra? and also a disclaimer, had an incident my first season that ended up with a damaged prop/wing. owner was kind enough to keep me on a couple more years as he felt that it wasn't my fault(can't say i totally agree, but what's done is done). you live and learn...

so my question is, how will the bigshot airlines look at a smudged up record when they'd really be taking out a flyer on someone that hasnt been on any heavy tin? im confident that i can handle the job and eager to learn and develop. just worried that they might not want to take the risk when they can snag a guy/gal with a spotless record and some time in a navajo/1900. that being said, it will be 3 years since the incident come february. should i avoid the big carriers(assuming i even have a shot atm) as ive heard murmurs of the dreaded blacklist?

anyways i'm not relegated to porter, wasaya, bearskin etc. just trying to get a sweet gig asap as im into my 30's now and hoping to find a little stability in this crazy industry. i know that ill probably start out at a smaller outfit but just wanna avoid some of the sketchier companies. i love what we do but its really all about who you work/deal with. would really appreciate some feedback on some good potential landing spots outside nwo, as i got into this racket to get out and see new places. and ive seen enough of that place haha basically whatever you guys wanna impart, i greatly appreciate. :prayer:

im just trying to get my mindset/action plan ready to attack these interviews and put some of my worries to rest. :rolleyes: hope everyone's finding their happy place in these promising times ;) cheers and enjoy the "good" season!
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#2 Post by HansDietrich » Wed May 10, 2017 7:13 am

Hard to say man. I've heard that the only way to answer "Have you ever had an accident or incident" is to say "NO". The moment you answer "YES", the interview is done. There are lots of guys to pick from. I can't tell you that for sure, as each airline is different, but where I work, I heard they're big on that. Try your luck dude. The worst thing they can say is "NO", then you're back where you are now.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#3 Post by AllClutch » Wed May 10, 2017 7:35 am

So those hours all single piston VFR and no degree you don't have to worry about going to Porter or 'The Show' for awhile. When you get 1000 hours multi IFR turbine the bent wing when you first started out will be a far distant memory, I've flown with people that have far greater marks on their record. It's a part of learning and growing as a pilot, they will ask if you learned something from it.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#4 Post by DaAirMan » Wed May 10, 2017 7:55 am

thanks for the replies!
here's hoping that whoever's hiring will have an open mind to the saying "shit happens"(not my words, but they helped) and it's all about what you take from it.
and ya AllClutch, didnt expect to be jumping any stepping stones so soon. just going off the porter FO mins on their site (1000tt, iatra aaaand ya thats about it). just wondering if ppl are getting looks with that sort of experience. and ac was never on my radar because thats way down the line. just went off ac captains suggestion. mind you he may have had a few too many and was being overly nice.
and is a degree that much more valuable,than advanced diploma in aviation? serious question. the points systems are kinda ridiculous and archaic, but if so i might actually consider finishing my bs BA in business admin? probably def wont happen, but just wondering if ac/westjet is goofy like that?
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#5 Post by HansDietrich » Wed May 10, 2017 8:09 am

DaAirMan wrote:thanks for the replies!
here's hoping that whoever's hiring will have an open mind to the saying "shit happens"(not my words, but they helped) and it's all about what you take from it.
and ya AllClutch, didnt expect to be jumping any stepping stones so soon. just going off the porter FO mins on their site (1000tt, iatra aaaand ya thats about it). just wondering if ppl are getting looks with that sort of experience. and ac was never on my radar because thats way down the line. just went off ac captains suggestion. mind you he may have had a few too many and was being overly nice.
and is a degree that much more valuable,than advanced diploma in aviation? serious question. the points systems are kinda ridiculous and archaic, but if so i might actually consider finishing my bs BA in business admin? probably def wont happen, but just wondering if ac/westjet is goofy like that?
I don't think a degree is super important nowadays. I know guys with aviation diplomas and PC12 time (only) prior to going straight to AC. I have a degree but it's from a European university and it's not recognized in Canada (if I wanted to practice my "career"). I'm sure AC won't care as long as you prove you have something. Mind you, like you said, The big red Maple Leaf is but one of the many options you could go.

Give it a try.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#6 Post by DaAirMan » Wed May 10, 2017 8:34 am

ya for sure! tbh i never really had them top of my list. just kinda got the ol ticker racing when someone offered to be an inside reference and told me to go ahead and apply at this early career juncture. and no means am i relegating my options to a few companies. just wanna go someplace "decent". im sure we've all been in companies that are like pulling teeth to work for, in and outside the industry. life's too short!!!
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#7 Post by 180 » Wed May 10, 2017 6:39 pm

Go to Pasco, jump into the right seat of a 1900, do a year, slide into the left seat, and Bob's your uncle from there. As for the bent wing, I wouldn't offer it up, but if asked, then tell the truth and make sure you learned lots of good lessons from it.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#8 Post by DaAirMan » Wed May 10, 2017 6:53 pm

180 wrote:Go to Pasco, jump into the right seat of a 1900, do a year, slide into the left seat, and Bob's your uncle from there. As for the bent wing, I wouldn't offer it up, but if asked, then tell the truth and make sure you learned lots of good lessons from it.
Sounds like a plan! Something about that company just feels right to me and haven't heard anything negative as of yet... Here's hoping it pans out! Thanks for the advice!
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#9 Post by Black_Tusk » Wed May 10, 2017 7:03 pm

There are lots of people flying at airlines with smudges on their record. I think the important thing is to be honest when asked, and have a reply for what you learned from it and how it changed you for the better.

At this point, I would honestly say to just apply everywhere you want. Heck even Jazz (que the h8erz). I know of a float guy who got hired with only single engine VFR time and his MIFR minimums. He's now at AC only a two years later.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#10 Post by DaAirMan » Wed May 10, 2017 7:22 pm

Black_Tusk wrote:There are lots of people flying at airlines with smudges on their record. I think the important thing is to be honest when asked, and have a reply for what you learned from it and how it changed you for the better.

At this point, I would honestly say to just apply everywhere you want. Heck even Jazz (que the h8erz). I know of a float guy who got hired with only single engine VFR time and his MIFR minimums. He's now at AC only a two years later.

Thanks man! Certainly doesn't hurt to try! Especially in these interesting(and hopeful) times. But yea, definitely gotta be honest or you'll get bitten in the ass. Always the best policy. And if they don't like it, what can you do? Definitely was a learning experience but also a bit of an ego shot(which for most of us isn't such a bad thing haha). Just can't wait to have it way behind me. Thanks again!
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#11 Post by Cat Driver » Wed May 10, 2017 7:44 pm

I have hired hundreds of plots over the last fifty years and if a pilot has had an accident in the past that does not have any significant bearing on their being hired, unless other issues point to the pilot being accident prone or may have questionable decision making skills.

Also I never ever asked for their personal log book, instead I checked their past working history with their past employers.

Again a poor recommendation from a known bottom feeding company would be a plus in the hiring process.

We are human beings and thus we can have accidents so having an accident does not end a career unless it was caused by just plain stupidity.

So apply everywhere you would like to work and just be you in the interview and application.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#12 Post by DaAirMan » Wed May 10, 2017 8:02 pm

Cat Driver wrote:I have hired hundreds of plots over the last fifty years and if a pilot has had an accident in the past that does not have any significant bearing on their being hired, unless other issues point to the pilot being accident prone or may have questionable decision making skills.

Also I never ever asked for their personal log book, instead I checked their past working history with their past employers.

Again a poor recommendation from a known bottom feeding company would be a plus in the hiring process.

We are human beings and thus we can have accidents so having an accident does not end a career unless it was caused by just plain stupidity.

So apply everywhere you would like to work and just be you in the interview and application.
Appreciate the words, especially from someone on the other side of the table. I just got a little too much into my head and let the doubts creep in a bit. As you mentioned, it's gaining a label that can get you in trouble in this little industry and I don't want someone painting me with a certain brush because of what they see on paper. That was a one off incident and an absolute misunderstanding at that! (I had an entire novella written before but thought it unnecessary to bore you folks with all the details. I'll just save that for the interviews :wink: ) Gonna keep my chin up and keep learning and gettin better! Thanks alot!
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#13 Post by Rowdy » Thu May 11, 2017 9:09 am

Quite a few of us out there have been in your exact shoes..

The key thing now is being upfront and honest about what happened and why it happened and how you've learned from it and grown into the individual you are now. I found for the most part, that discussing the accident and its repercussions in an interview can usually be a positive. A lot of the PR style questions can be directed towards it. It also brings forward a connection with anyone that has also been in a traumatic event. You'd be surprised how many of us have had a bump or bruise along the way. The fact you survived and have continued to fly for a living says a lot. Use the things you've learned to your advantage!

I myself tend to be very detailed in the discussion of the decisions made that resulted in my accident, how they've affected me, how I've identified them, learned and adapted. I also talk about the repercussions and the process of recovery from the injuries. Other than in two instances, the outcome has been very positive. Both of those operators, well, lets just say that I'm glad I was never offered a position.

If you ever want to talk about it or anything related, just drop me a PM.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#14 Post by DaAirMan » Thu May 11, 2017 10:18 am

Rowdy wrote:Quite a few of us out there have been in your exact shoes..

The key thing now is being upfront and honest about what happened and why it happened and how you've learned from it and grown into the individual you are now. I found for the most part, that discussing the accident and its repercussions in an interview can usually be a positive. A lot of the PR style questions can be directed towards it. It also brings forward a connection with anyone that has also been in a traumatic event. You'd be surprised how many of us have had a bump or bruise along the way. The fact you survived and have continued to fly for a living says a lot. Use the things you've learned to your advantage!

I myself tend to be very detailed in the discussion of the decisions made that resulted in my accident, how they've affected me, how I've identified them, learned and adapted. I also talk about the repercussions and the process of recovery from the injuries. Other than in two instances, the outcome has been very positive. Both of those operators, well, lets just say that I'm glad I was never offered a position.

If you ever want to talk about it or anything related, just drop me a PM.
Thanks alot, Rowdy! It's definitely all about how you bounce back and I've certainly gained positive outcomes from the experience. Nobody wants to see/hear about these things happening, but it's a scary reality in our line of work. Often times due to no fault of our own, which can be the a difficult pill to swallow. Appreciate the boost and will take you up on that offer one day! Cheers!
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#15 Post by altiplano » Thu May 11, 2017 5:54 pm

An incident is not a bad thing in itself. Things happen in this business resulting in excursions, dings, dents, broken things...

I had an incident many years ago, and I was hired at 2 of the larger airlines in this country including the one that was my dream job... maybe some airlines will round file you, but clearly not the good ones... I think they value honesty more than a dinged prop that happened your first year in a bush job...
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#16 Post by co-joe » Sat May 20, 2017 7:26 pm

HansDietrich wrote:Hard to say man. I've heard that the only way to answer "Have you ever had an accident or incident" is to say "NO". The moment you answer "YES", the interview is done....

I've seen exactly opposite to this. Statistically speaking, lightening never strikes the same place twice, and the airlines know this. It's so much so, that people have joked about crashing "lightly" on purpose to get through.

I know a senior captain at WS who wrote off a light twin, there was a guy way back who wrecked a J-31 in AB, straight to AC....

My opinion is to own your shortcomings, that way they become strengths. Results may vary.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#17 Post by DaveP » Mon May 22, 2017 7:00 am

Hi there,
Here is my advice for what it's worth - 1) don't mislead anyone on any interview. Include all employment history and incidents or accidents. (When asked) - those are our first questions in the interview - It demonstrates your integrity and accountability. Little incidents or accidents like that (in particular if there is no pattern) aren't much of a big deal for us (we take into consideration all detail around the accident) Trust me, the interview is far from being over if you said you had a mishap. 2) go get some light twin time now. It's simply time to go "polish those skills and gain a little experience in that ifr world. It only helps towards being successful in our initial training world. 3) degree or diplomas help but aren't necessary for WJ/WJE. Past demonstrations of attitude, integrity, trainability and commitment are more important to us.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch

#18 Post by JBI » Mon May 22, 2017 9:04 am

DaveP wrote:Hi there,
Here is my advice for what it's worth
HINT: DaveP's advice is worth a lot!

My advice, worth less than DaveP's is that while it doesn't hurt to apply to the larger operators, with no multi-IFR time it may be tough to get on.

Honestly, even going from a 1900 to a 705 machine with FMS, EFIS and Autopilot was quite the challenge. The thing with most 704/705 operators is not so much that they don't think you'll be up to the challenge, it's whether you can get up to speed in the very limited amount of training time that is available. SIMs are expensive and always booked full and the in-aircraft stuff can be even tougher to schedule.

I would focus on the Navajo, King Air, 1900 operators out there in places you want to live. Plus, you may find that you like the lifestyle and are not in a hurry to head to the 705 world. If you do have trouble, find some of the places that have floats and twins so you can do both. I imagine some places are having a tough time finding experienced float drivers these days.

For what it's worth, I know a number of folks who have had an incident or accident and they are working at many different 705 operators. As others have said, simply be honest about what happened and what you learned.
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#19 Post by HansDietrich » Mon May 22, 2017 1:31 pm

co-joe wrote:It's so much so, that people have joked about crashing "lightly" on purpose to get through.
What??? What are you talking about, friend?
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Re: Career advice for bush guy making switch(after accident)

#20 Post by co-joe » Fri May 26, 2017 6:27 pm

HansDietrich wrote:
co-joe wrote:It's so much so, that people have joked about crashing "lightly" on purpose to get through.
What??? What are you talking about, friend?

I'm joking, but the way the majors continually move the goal posts, what actually is "the right kind of time" has never been clear.

All I can say is that if you have a serious incident or accident, my money is on the smart move being to own it. Bring the Cadors, or TSB final report, tell what you messed up and what you learned from it.

Lie about it and get caught and that's grounds for dismissal anywhere.
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