Two words: GO NORTH!
Think of the sim as an evaluation of skills other than your hands and feet. Skills such as leadership, delegation, and decision making. They are also testing your IFR knowledge, so you should be studying. They want to see that you're trainable. Don't worry about having not flown for 2 years. You will perform close to the same level as someone off the street with recent flying experience. You can totally bomb a sim ride, but if you scored well in the skills listed above you'll make it through. Likewise, you can fly perfectly but do poorly in the areas above, you can fail.172pilot wrote:Typically, after working the ramp/dispatch, and a right seat opens up, does your company put you into ground school/sim training and then you prove yourself with a PPC ride, or do you jump into a sim to prove you have some basic skills to begin with, and pray things go good? I've heard CMA does an intial sim ride, but it seems scary as hell to put in two years of ramp work only to bomb a sim ride since you haven't had recent flying experience.
172pilot wrote:Typically, after working the ramp/dispatch, and a right seat opens up, does your company put you into ground school/sim training and then you prove yourself with a PPC ride, or do you jump into a sim to prove you have some basic skills to begin with, and pray things go good? I've heard CMA does an intial sim ride, but it seems scary as hell to put in two years of ramp work only to bomb a sim ride since you haven't had recent flying experience.
I think you need to remember what the objective of your ramp/office work is. Is it to toss bags for the rest of your life or is it a career stepper? I think a lot of rampies miss this concept when they start working for a Tier operator like CMA. If your goal is to be a pilot for CMA so you can work through their hoops and move onto something better, then you better make sure you are prepared for the day that sim eval comes up. Keeping current with your IFR skills is a matter of booking 1 or 2 sim sessions per month and perhaps 1 or 2 flights per month to keep yourself valid. Just because you are tossing bags doesn't mean that resources like the CAP GEN and AIM get thrown out the window. Review them. If you have access to the aircraft AFM/POH,SOP,FCOM, etc, start reading it and familiarize yourself with it. Like mentioned earlier, leadership and assertiveness in a 2 crew environment is such a crucially needed quality, so make sure you apply yourself diligently. I figure in the 2 years you spend on the ramp there's going to be scenarios where you will not get along with a co worker, or have to take leadership in some role to solve a problem; those skills put together with your continuous interest in remaining sharp with your flying/knowledge will grant a high chance of success on the sim eval versus the ding dong that spent 2 years boozing and showing up to work just because he had to in order to get a flying job.
Look at it this way, a regular 172 instructor will in all reality know very little about the IFR world, even after 40 hours of IFR training. Technically, you and him put in the sim flying in IMC should pose the same IFR related problems - unless you remember A+P=P and he doesn't lol. Just like you, even though the instructor has 1000 hours under his/her belt he/she has to study the CAP GEN, AIM, and get ready for the IFR world just like you do.
If you get to dispatch for CMA then that's a bonus as that would require you to be familiar with the IFR Knowledge and Planning side of things with operational experience versus the rampie or the instructor; granted I don't think CMA hires instructors as much as they used to before.
Hope I was able to influence your perspective on the ramp/office dues required to be paid for that right seat more so than finding an excuse to opt out with reasons such as 2 years not being worth it if you get canned. If you speak to most HR/CP's etc, they all agree that your work ethic and attitude is what makes you employable. Any negative shift in either of the two is what causes problems. Hence, your work ethic at an operator that is giving you a ramp/office job needs to reflect what they are going to get out of you on the flight line.
Then of course there's my general opinion on how aviation in Canada could be run to promote self-driven individuals all throughout - but that's a talk I'll save for the time you buy me a beer
All the best
I'm only working on CPL right now, in YYC, and would love to do dispatch or similar. I'm in my early thirties. Since i'm changing careers late in the game, if I get the chance to do one of the positions mentioned in this thread, you can be sure I'll be prepared when it comes time to prove myself.
Get your CPL, ME Rating, hold off the IFR. Get your instructor rating. Instruct for 1.5 to 2 years, get yourself close to the ATPL requirements (make sure you do night ratings to get that 25 PIC XC NIGHT up), get your IFR, write the A's, get a turbo prop job with a lot more valuable time for upgrade down the road.
It may sound retarded at first, but PIC time is PIC time - and as far as upgrades are concerned when time comes for your King Air / 1900 days, PIC time is so much more valuable than SIC. I only say this because you kind of hint at being at a disadvantage at the age of 30 - which I don't agree with wholly, but depending on where you want to end up you may want to take the route that is the most efficient.
Get your A's written done, get on a 1900 or King Air somewhere, work there, and for a guy like you, a great career place might be Jazz which with King Air and 1900 time would be a very probable option. Corporate is also a great place to go too.
The reason I say you should hold off on your IFR is because after instructing, you will be teaching EX24 quite a few times. While you won't be teaching "IFR" necessarily, understanding what you are teaching in Ex 24 is going to make your IFR way more cost-efficient, and will click a lot faster than it ever would at 250 hours. Also, chances are that the school you instruct at will give you a discount rate on the plane/instructor for doing it in house - especially if they need you to teach their IFR side. I strongly suggest doing most of the "flying" in a single engine, and transfer the last 5 hours of IFR training (basically review) in a twin. This is where your multi rating from the past will serve as beneficial because you don't have to re-learn how to fly a multi again. One or two quick review flights, and you're at PAR and getting ready for your IFR ride.
This will save you tons in the long run and would be what is in my opinion a great way of maximizing the start of your aviation career.
Second chances are company oriented, and really, all these companies have "procedures" and "protocols" set in place, but as we all know, even though a company requires 500 hours multi to hire a king air f/o, they hire them with 30 hours of multi as well. So I am a strong believer that your work ethic will relay your success in this industry, whether you get let go after 2 years cause of a bad day or not. You pave your own way in this industry man, and if you think you've got what it takes, then do it bud! Don't get plastered with the negativity on these boards - self belief is what it takes to succeed, especially in the aviation career. If anyone tells you that you can't do it or "don't count on it" it's because they can't and they have lost faith. There's a way to achieve your goals, and the way is as smooth or as shaky as you make it. People who get caught in their own negativity especially on these boards might have others to blame, but themselves as well. Be positive, keep your chin up, and most important than all - LEARN, and I promise you will succeed!
All the best