2015 Float season.

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Rowdy
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2015 Float season.

#1 Post by Rowdy » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:31 pm

Hows it shaping up so far? I know a few people are job searching and a few operators are already on the hunt for good crew.

I may be looking. Have a good friend (one of the only ones I'd personally recommend) who is too. Would be fun to work together for a season.
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Invertago
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#2 Post by Invertago » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:56 pm

Bump... has the water turned liquid up north yet? Seeing a lot of float driver adds showing up in the job postings.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#3 Post by Duffman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:27 pm

Invertago wrote:Bump... has the water turned liquid up north yet? Seeing a lot of float driver adds showing up in the job postings.
Still at least 2 months to go for that. Last year I was dodging chunks of ice at the beginning of June. New pilots starting flight training don't really seem that interested in floats so it looks like it's becoming a pilots market. Guys with even a couple hundred hours on floats shouldn't have any trouble finding something this year.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#4 Post by Cat Driver » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:44 pm

Real pilots fly twin engine airplanes IFR.

Float planes are for beginners who are not smart enough to fly multi engine IFR. :rolleyes:
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#5 Post by Duffman » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:51 pm

I agree Cat. Per month I make nearly double what a Q400 captain at Encore makes, they can keep their smart people and i'll keep driving my little 9 seat floatplane :mrgreen:
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#6 Post by Cat Driver » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:54 pm

Exactly !!
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#7 Post by Prairie Highway » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:07 am

Duffman wrote:
Invertago wrote:Bump... has the water turned liquid up north yet? Seeing a lot of float driver adds showing up in the job postings.
Still at least 2 months to go for that. Last year I was dodging chunks of ice at the beginning of June. New pilots starting flight training don't really seem that interested in floats so it looks like it's becoming a pilots market. Guys with even a couple hundred hours on floats shouldn't have any trouble finding something this year.

That's what I like to hear! Want job, will travel... 8)
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#8 Post by Adam Oke » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:31 am

Duffman wrote:I agree Cat. Per month I make nearly double what a Q400 captain at Encore makes, they can keep their smart people and i'll keep driving my little 9 seat floatplane :mrgreen:
A six figure float driver? Well done. I left floats for spraying because I didn't think their was money in floats....then again it was Red Lake :lol: Nothing beats seasonal work and getting paid more than the suckers who works year round! I tell everyone I'm semi retired. :wink:
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#9 Post by shimmydampner » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:26 pm

Double per month doesn't necessarily mean six figures when you figure a float season is 4-6 months. Not to say there aren't six figure float jobs out there, but there's probably more to those than just a 6 month float season.
Double per month is all well and good, but at the risk of sounding greedy, it's still not really enough. Even if you're making $10k a month for six months, $60k for a year doesn't reflect how much of a grind a float season can be. Generally at those wages you're on something like a caravan or turbo or twin otter and working like a dog. There are lots of jobs out there that'll pay $60k or better that are pretty cushy by comparison and despite being year round, are actually a lot less work.
I for one hope that companies continue to have a hard time finding float drivers and the market value for ones with experience starts going up.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#10 Post by Duffman » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:22 pm

Yeah you're spot on shimmy. We do really work hard during the summer. I'm still fairly young but not sure I want to be humping drums around when i'm older.

It is nice to be able to work for 5 months a year and then travel and screw off to Florida or wherever for the rest of the year though.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#11 Post by awitzke » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:32 am

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Re: 2015 Float season.

#12 Post by awitzke » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:33 am

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Re: 2015 Float season.

#13 Post by Cat Driver » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:42 am

. Totally different ball game than float flying though. I'd consider floats fun overall and relaxing VS. IFR.
Once you get to experience both fields of flying you will find flying IFR is really not all that difficult because it is a paint by numbers method of operating an airplane, whereas float plane flying is more demanding of airplane handling skills and one has to think for them self rather than flying by rote with ATC clearing the road for you.

Once you get through the ab-initio training part of flying IFR and become familiar with using the instruments rather than looking outside you will find flying in cloud to be way easier.
That being said I would take a job doing either at this point.


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Re: 2015 Float season.

#14 Post by Groundloop » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:58 pm

shimmydampner wrote:
I for one hope that companies continue to have a hard time finding float drivers and the market value for ones with experience starts going up.
It seems like that time should of arrived by now, wonder what's taking it so long to catch up?
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#15 Post by awitzke » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:16 pm

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Re: 2015 Float season.

#16 Post by Cat Driver » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:51 pm

It will only get easier once you get to multi crew I'm sure.
Yes and then it will get so God Damn boring and routine you will wonder why you ever decided to earn a living this way....

... so have a back up plan.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#17 Post by cloudrunner » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:10 pm

shimmydampner wrote:Double per month doesn't necessarily mean six figures when you figure a float season is 4-6 months. Not to say there aren't six figure float jobs out there, but there's probably more to those than just a 6 month float season.
Double per month is all well and good, but at the risk of sounding greedy, it's still not really enough. Even if you're making $10k a month for six months, $60k for a year doesn't reflect how much of a grind a float season can be. Generally at those wages you're on something like a caravan or turbo or twin otter and working like a dog. There are lots of jobs out there that'll pay $60k or better that are pretty cushy by comparison and despite being year round, are actually a lot less work.
I for one hope that companies continue to have a hard time finding float drivers and the market value for ones with experience starts going up.
That's well said IMO. From what I know, there is really only one company in Canada where you can make $75-100K, live in a decent city and not blow your back out or burn yourself out in a summer doing month after month of 12-14 hour days, that would be Harbour Air. My understanding is that senior guys at HA are pushing $100K or better for 4 on 3 off and plenty of time off in the winter… that's called a lifestyle. Seair regulars make decent coin I am sure but all but a few will be on a relatively short season.

Internationally, the market is a lot tighter but the jobs can be a lot more enjoyable and very well paid. With housing allowances and other perks, $100K+ worth of remuneration is the norm. As shimmy said, experienced drivers are becoming harder to find and this will eventually lead to an across-the-board boost to the average float pilot in Canada I would hope. I believe HA has the right approach and pays even the -2 guys pretty good in order to try to retain them.

If there is anyone in Canada flying a -3T or 208 on floats who is not demanding at least $8K per month plus housing for a summer, you are doing yourselves a disservice. Even that for 4 months is peanuts if you have a family. At that point it just becomes a bit of a "leave your family for the summer, get your rocks off in a cool airplane and then go back to your real life" kinda thing…

Part of the problem is that there seems to always be a supply of young guns who will fly a Beaver for peanuts for the obvious reasons.. they are young, horny to fly and Beavers are a cool and easy…. that's a hard nut to crack and there is absolutely no point in opening up that can of worms...
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#18 Post by awitzke » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:33 pm

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Re: 2015 Float season.

#19 Post by Cat Driver » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:53 pm

Hopefully you have themoney to afford it now, because it might take a very long time to save it working as a pilot. :prayer:
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#20 Post by awitzke » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:57 pm

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Re: 2015 Float season.

#21 Post by esp803 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:33 pm

I think I'll net a little over 90k this year flying floats, I have a penthouse appartment paid for by the company, maid service, and a driver that takes me to and from work. On top of that I work very little, and haven't had to lift a single piece of freight into the airplane. The down side is my copilots regularly try to kill me. It'll be a big adjustment going back to Canadian Aviation...

E
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#22 Post by Loads » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:26 am

esp, are you in DXB?
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#23 Post by Rowdy » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:38 am

cloudrunner wrote:I believe HA has the right approach and pays even the -2 guys pretty good in order to try to retain them.
...
Not so much any more. IIRC from their last job posting it was like 18/duty hour with a min guarantee of 74hrs a pay period. Its also a seasonal full time spot now.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#24 Post by Meatservo » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:46 am

Rowdy wrote:
cloudrunner wrote:I believe HA has the right approach and pays even the -2 guys pretty good in order to try to retain them.
...
Not so much any more. IIRC from their last job posting it was like 18/duty hour with a min guarantee of 74hrs a pay period. Its also a seasonal full time spot now.
That's miserable. The year-round equivalent is less than you could make in a season flying the same plane in some places.

If I'm doing the math right, 74 hour per pay period at $18, -is a pay period two weeks?- $2664 per month? Even if it was year-round, how could you live on this?

In the early 90s I was paid a flat $3000 a month to fly a Beaver year-round. Like right when I STARTED flying it, maybe I had 600 hours or so. I got more after a few hundred hours.

I hope I am mis-interpreting the facts you provided. Sometimes I think Harbour Air really is the McDonald's of aviation! Go up north and get a job as a rampie for god's sake. More pay and more respect. Geez.
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Re: 2015 Float season.

#25 Post by SuperchargedRS » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:23 am

Duffman wrote:Yeah you're spot on shimmy. We do really work hard during the summer. I'm still fairly young but not sure I want to be humping drums around when i'm older.

It is nice to be able to work for 5 months a year and then travel and screw off to Florida or wherever for the rest of the year though.
Lol

Only a Candian would think Flordia would be somewhere worthy of screwing off to

You'll have a WAY better time in Thailand or even Baja California.
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