Lac Seul Dockhand job

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floatflier
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Lac Seul Dockhand job

#1 Post by floatflier » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:13 am

Just a heads up to any new float pilots who are looking for jobs this season. You'll be lucky to swamp 50 hours on the otter if that. They over hire dockhand positions and lay off the least performing one after a month. Know what you're getting into if you are relocating all the way to Red Lake for this job. There's been history of them offering jobs to people only to recant when they show up ready to work.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#2 Post by C-FDPB » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:48 am

I definitely agree for the most part. Don't bother applying if you have a commercial licence period. If you have a private and a float endorsement or are interested in getting experience on the workings of an outfitter operation it does have some benefit there. But if flying is what you're after it won't be found here. Like float flyer said 50hrs is a stretch and nothing goes in the logbook. You do get to see an interesting part of the country and learn lots. So for the non commercial give it a shot if you like. Red Lake can be a time.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#3 Post by Shady McSly » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:22 pm

I could work circles around those jerkies...how do I apply?
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#4 Post by Kzanol » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:33 pm

I'll start by saying John is a nice guy and a good pilot, however in todays pilot market, no pilot should need to take this job. This job is for a general labourer that will get paid an hourly wage. If you have a commercial pilots license, you can start applying to Jazz! If you have a float rating there are lots of float pilot entry jobs now, hell I've even seen Beaver spots listed as entry level now. Bare minimum you should even consider accepting is a dock job where there is a 180/185 on floats that actually flys and isn't a dock magnet. 5-10 years ago it was a different story, lots of pilots and not alot of flying. With the american dollar turned around and the lack of pilots wanting to work their way up through the bush, no pilot should have to slug it out on a dock, doing all the camp work and live in a shack, just to ride in the back of the otter on camp check days. Keep applying to the guys with Cessnas and Beavers and you will get a call from someone.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#5 Post by C-FDPB » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:55 am

Kzanol wrote:I'll start by saying John is a nice guy and a good pilot, however in todays pilot market, no pilot should need to take this job. This job is for a general labourer that will get paid an hourly wage. If you have a commercial pilots license, you can start applying to Jazz! If you have a float rating there are lots of float pilot entry jobs now, hell I've even seen Beaver spots listed as entry level now. Bare minimum you should even consider accepting is a dock job where there is a 180/185 on floats that actually flys and isn't a dock magnet. 5-10 years ago it was a different story, lots of pilots and not alot of flying. With the american dollar turned around and the lack of pilots wanting to work their way up through the bush, no pilot should have to slug it out on a dock, doing all the camp work and live in a shack, just to ride in the back of the otter on camp check days. Keep applying to the guys with Cessnas and Beavers and you will get a call from someone.
+1 John is one heck of a guy. Great pilot and great to work for.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#6 Post by upnorth180 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:37 pm

John is a fine man and excellent driver. The author of the post sounds bitter. Typical self entitled children's attitude. As impressive as his fresh commercial licence must be, it doesn't entitle you into the left seat of an otter until you pay your dues and learn something. Be cautious bashing a good operator, it's a very small industry. I'm certain you weren't guaranteed any flying, so don't be upset.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#7 Post by noon_crue » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:27 pm

John and Rena are awesome to work for! They are great people, and they treat their dockhands like people. That being said, you will work you A** off. But if you're not a slow walker, have a strong work ethic, and get through the season, you will get a good letter of recommendation. A lot of their dockhands from the previous years are flying up here for other companies the very next season. They have a great name and reputation in this industry, especially in the Red Lake Ear Falls area. The other operator's know that if you work a full season with them, there is a very good chance you're a strong worker and can handle the job.

And it does suck that the hours on the Otter you will get, aren't loggable. But you are getting the experience of flying an otter. And that means the dockhands aren't fighting for time at the controls.

IMO if you're looking for your first ramp/ dock job, I would apply, and get a feel for how a fly in operator works.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#8 Post by Kzanol » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:09 am

noon_crue wrote:John and Rena are awesome to work for! They are great people, and they treat their dockhands like people. That being said, you will work you A** off. But if you're not a slow walker, have a strong work ethic, and get through the season, you will get a good letter of recommendation. A lot of their dockhands from the previous years are flying up here for other companies the very next season. They have a great name and reputation in this industry, especially in the Red Lake Ear Falls area. The other operator's know that if you work a full season with them, there is a very good chance you're a strong worker and can handle the job.

And it does suck that the hours on the Otter you will get, aren't loggable. But you are getting the experience of flying an otter. And that means the dockhands aren't fighting for time at the controls.

IMO if you're looking for your first ramp/ dock job, I would apply, and get a feel for how a fly in operator works.

Why would you work a full summer on the dock to get a job in a 180 next year, WHEN YOU CAN GET THAT JOB NOW? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Are you high? There are not as many pilots trying to move up through the bush anymore and thus pilot requirments for aircraft are at an all time low. Have you seen the job ads? Beaver ads requring a commercial license and a float rating. I would almost (*note almost) say go to Kenora Air first and get straight into the Beaver, but thats a different story. They aren't the only operator offering jobs like that though, search around.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#9 Post by noon_crue » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:23 pm

Kzanol wrote:
noon_crue wrote:John and Rena are awesome to work for! They are great people, and they treat their dockhands like people. That being said, you will work you A** off. But if you're not a slow walker, have a strong work ethic, and get through the season, you will get a good letter of recommendation. A lot of their dockhands from the previous years are flying up here for other companies the very next season. They have a great name and reputation in this industry, especially in the Red Lake Ear Falls area. The other operator's know that if you work a full season with them, there is a very good chance you're a strong worker and can handle the job.

And it does suck that the hours on the Otter you will get, aren't loggable. But you are getting the experience of flying an otter. And that means the dockhands aren't fighting for time at the controls.

IMO if you're looking for your first ramp/ dock job, I would apply, and get a feel for how a fly in operator works.

Why would you work a full summer on the dock to get a job in a 180 next year, WHEN YOU CAN GET THAT JOB NOW? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Are you high? There are not as many pilots trying to move up through the bush anymore and thus pilot requirments for aircraft are at an all time low. Have you seen the job ads? Beaver ads requring a commercial license and a float rating. I would almost (*note almost) say go to Kenora Air first and get straight into the Beaver, but thats a different story. They aren't the only operator offering jobs like that though, search around.

That was the only job offer I got, and didn't feel like working the ramp down south for another year where I wasn't happy. I said FiretrUCK it! and took it. I had a great time, had a lot of fun, and now i'm flying. I don't regret that choice at all.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#10 Post by NWONT » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:02 pm

KZANOL, are you high or drunk or both? How about telling us about all the guys with a fresh Comm Lic that got hired directly into a Beaver!! This business isn't a joke and operators like to know what kind of work ethic a new hire has. Also the insurance companies have a big say about who flies the planes that they insure.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#11 Post by awitzke » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:53 pm

Doesn't stop Slate Falls or Bamaji from insuring and getting 200 hour pilots flying.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#12 Post by NWONT » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:11 pm

The next time I see a 200 hr pilot flying a commercially registered Beaver will be the first time I see a 200 hr pilot flying a commercially registered Beaver. I've been around awhile and I sure as hell wouldn't get in it and I don't believe any insurance company would allow it.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#13 Post by phillyfan » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:07 am

Our Insurance company allows it and we have tried 200 hour pilots on the Beaver. They simply can't do the job properly. The season starts at ice out. Depending on the season, that could mean we have tourists sitting on the dock waiting to go. A 200 hour pilot is not equipped to get in a loaded Beaver with 3 hours of training and put in a full day flying into lakes he has never been to. It's not safe for him, or the paying passengers. We certainly don't have the time to put in 25 hours or more with the guy at ice out. Hiring somebody on the dock and training them as the season progresses in hopes they return the next season works well for us. We are not a flying school and don't really care whether it's popular among industry folks. If a newbie pilot decides to work as a waiter or Walmart greeter it really does not affect us. If required, we would simply hire a hard working guy from around town? It's not as if we will be strong armed into an unsafe situation. It's more important to us that we have a well prepared and trained pilot who won't kill our customers.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#14 Post by NWONT » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:22 pm

For years on this site young pilots have been bashed for putting in some time on the dock, working their way into the drivers seat. It's not just chucking bags and loading freight. They get to learn while watching how pilots approach the dock and rocks in different wind conditions. They learn how to properly distribute the weight of the load to make the plane perform better. They are not just mindless beasts of burden, they are apprentices of their trade constantly learning without realizing it. How many have you seen that don't know how to even tie a knot to secure their plane to the dock? How many can't read a map if the GPS quits? We have all seen many crashes involving Beavers with many casualties while being flown by guys with plenty of experience. A beaver is fairly easy to fly on a nice day but shit can happen quickly and that docile Beaver can bite you if you get complacent. If you have 200 hours TT how much of that can possibly be on floats? There is much to be learned in that first 500 hours on floats and every bent wing tip and curled float costs money. I understand getting sued by widows can get expensive also.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#15 Post by headinthesky » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:27 am

Can anyone tell me if there is a benefit to taking a dockhand job for the summer vs doing a 50 hour float course and applying with a cpl and 50 hrs float time. For me I'm not sure if its worth the $15000 risk of not getting a job this summer on floats since most operators will have already hired staff for the season by the time I'm done the program. Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#16 Post by noon_crue » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:29 pm

headinthesky wrote:Can anyone tell me if there is a benefit to taking a dockhand job for the summer vs doing a 50 hour float course and applying with a cpl and 50 hrs float time. For me I'm not sure if its worth the $15000 risk of not getting a job this summer on floats since most operators will have already hired staff for the season by the time I'm done the program. Any thoughts?

Thanks

As I previously stated. If you work hard, and stick out the entire season (with John and Rena). You will get a letter of reference. To the best of my knowledge, almost all he guys that worked for them the last couple of seasons have gotten flying jobs the following year with other operators. Myself, and the other 2 guys I worked with there all have flying jobs this season.

IMO you will learn more about how everything on this side of the industry works. Not just flying in the bush, but all the other things that go along with working for a fly-in operator; camp maintenance, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, diagnosing and solving issues on your own. All the things some people don't think about when applying for a job.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#17 Post by 5400AirportRdSouth » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:08 am

If you have your heart set on floats, and want to learn whats really involved in the tourist trade, this is as good a start as any. You wont be doing any loggable flying, but its a better investment in your education than dumping 15K into a "bush course". You'll learn a hell of a lot more here than you will tooling around in a 172XP on bluebird days with no load on.

I put my back into a season with John and can say without any shame that there isn't a chance in hell I'll ever be able to work as hard as that man.

As a direct result of not being a self-entitled tool with big sunglasses and owed a flying job, I got two job offers(yes, for flying jobs ) within 12 months of finishing up my season at Lac Seul, solely on the basis of Johns recommend.

The other guy I worked with that year also got a job with a local operator in Red Lake as well, for the next season.

PS - eat your wheaties.... I'm not kidding.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#18 Post by dahspeers » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:59 am

They offered me a job last spring, and I really wanted to take it. Just wasn't in a position where I could work for the $2000 a month salary they offered. I ended up going to another operator, the pay was much better but it was awful place to work. I ended up tearing my MCL after slipping carrying a propane tank up into an Otter and that ended my season.

The original post in this thread is the first bad thing I've heard about them.
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Re: Lac Seul Dockhand job

#19 Post by Lost Lake » Wed May 04, 2016 7:53 pm

Funny how people are saying that operators are desperate to hire experienced bush pilots. I have 6500 hours on everything from untralights to twin otters. I have excellent references. Sent out resumes to operators advertising and not advertising. Heard of beaver pilots getting hired on turbines. I got 1 offer for a beaver. Operators aren't as desperate as you think. If they are, it is probably a wage thing. By the way, with the strong US dollar, a pilot's season's wages are covered by the dollar difference in the first week. I wonder if bush operator's want experience when they know they have to pay for it. I've been around long enough to know how most of them think
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