First of all, I have been reading around on this forum so I do get the basic idea.
I am a Belgian national and I would love to work in Canada for a while. Yes, obviously partly because there are no jobs in Europe (unless you have big cash to spend), and to advance in my career. But Canada has always been appealing to me, especially after visiting my relatives in Toronto years ago (and that's not even the best part of Canada) and also I appreciate the culture of breeding quality pilots that still excists (I think). Personally I hate the idea of a 200 hour com guy at the controls of a 250 pasenger jet, just because he paid for it.
After flight school in 2009 I went to Africa. I flew a C210 in the bush for about 2 years on and off. I honed my 'hands-on' flying skill in a high performance single and everyhting that comes with it, learnt dealing with stress (time schedules, malfunctions (even a wheels-up), all kinds of passengers, etc) and lots of other stuff.
Unfortunately the only flying we did was day VFR and there were no bigger aircraft (or salaries) to work up to except the Caravan (at slightly more, still rediculous, pay).
For all these reasons I'm flying up to Calgary this Tuesday (with the wife) and renting a car there.
My 'plan' (don't really have one) is to call ahead to companies and if they can appreciate it, walk in with my cv in hand and try to chat to the CP or whoever does hiring (is anyone?). And yes, I am legally entitled to work in Canada. I can get a work visa for 1 year quite easy. I also have medical insurance and a valid passport (duh?).
And no, I don't expect to find a job 'just like that' on my first day. I think I have realistic expectations.
The trouble is I don't have a pile of cash lying at home so I cannot convert my EASA CPL to a Canadian one just yet, which I'm guessing would be helpfull in securing work. A friend of mine did get a job offer without a Canadian CPL or even a work visa in a kind of 'if - then' agreement. I reckon he just got very lucky...
Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm posting this nor do I have any expectations, but it would be nice to hear some constructive comments and maybe some solid advice.
I have about 1000 total time, all of which has been on a Cessna 210 in the Namibian bush like I said. My EASA CPL was a Frozen ATP but my ME/IR have been lapsed for a few years (ME is a 1000 CAD per hour here...). My IF is in good condition though thanks to FSX. Of course operational IF is another story
I'm really hoping to get a cojo job on a PA31 or a similar gig as I am looking for ME time but any flying entry level position would be a great succes!
I'm not in it for the cash or the suit. I love flying and it's all I've ever wanted to do and I think I'm very capable. I came to love small aircraft and the kind of flying they do. Europe doesn't know that kind of aviation and there are very few places left in the world where I can have a chance at it. The big iron will come when it has to...
The thing I want is to live comfortably with my family and have an awesome job in a great country. Somehow I don't feel I can have that in Belgium just yet. I think I have the right frame of mind and I deserve a job after al I've done to get here. There is a lot about Canada I still need to learn but that would be part of the whole experience.
Some questions I have off the top of my head:
What is the job market like for people with a profile like mine?
Are there jobs like that (entry level MEIR) in the Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon (and maybe Fort McMurray) area?
Is the pay enough to support a family of 4 (my wife wants to work as a nurse though)?
Whats the best attitude to approach a company (I think I know, but anyway )
Am I looking in the right places? Does anyone know about companies not advertising here or on the internet?
If I can't find a pilot job, are there 'regular' jobs I could get while I keep trying?
Any thoughts on my post?
Otherwise, ASAP convert your license, renew your IFR, write the IATRA, do some research on Pilot Career Centre to get to know the Canadian industry, spend a few days bombing out resumes and calling places, but probably want to hit the road and do exactly what you mentioned in your post. I would focus on Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
Might also try a company like Carson Air.
Best of luck. PM me if you like.
I am flying to Calgary actually and Im renting a car for 3 weeks. Manitoba will be a bit difficult given the time but I think I can reach PG and Saskatoon for sure.
I have been on PCC and checked al the operators. Ive sent out many cv's and a few were read but no one replied...
I hope Ill get more feedback when I call them from within Canada.
The first option seems like something I would definately do. It would give me a chance to make some money while getting everything sorted. Plus Transwest looks like a great company to work for from what I can tell.
Canwest also looks very interesting because they operate a Cessna 210 and given my experience that would be an excellent entry position.
Second option I have considered but like I said it's a bit difficult to spend all that money without any idea of my chances. Thats why I booked a ticket
Ill definately drop you a PM when I find some time in between packing
If your wife is a nurse look at NB to get her conversion done. Strait air is looking for pa31 people so talk to them as well
I have seen Strait Air but they require 150 multi time. I only have 20 and hose were flown a long time ago. But yeah,Ill give it a shot anyway. I do speak some French so maybe that helps.
PM if you have any questions, I converted my Spanish EASA (JAR) last year.