|Hello everyone… As some of you know already, I’m intent on becoming a bush pilot… I don’t personally know anyone in the “Bush Flying Industry”, though, so I only have a general idea of the operations (serving the resource industry, transporting cargo and people to/from places with difficult or non-existing road access, operating floatplanes or land aircraft from basic or makeshift airstrips, in areas with limited or non-existing navaid coverage…) Thus, I have quite a few questions about the “Bush Flying Industry”, particularly in British Columbia… I’d like to know, for example:
1. How many Bush Flying Operators (“companies”) are in BC, roughly? Would it be around 5-10, or more like (say) 20-50…?
2. What would be the typical size of a bush flying operation? I’m guessing 2 to 5 aircraft, typically 180/185, Beavers and the odd 206, and for staff I’d imagine 2 or 3 pilots plus 3-5 non-flying staff (dock hands, admin, etc.)
3. Area of operations: would a bush flying operator cover a whole province or multiple provinces? Or rather “specialize” in a smaller area, for example north Vancouver Island, Peace River, Kootenays, etc.
4. Likewise, do bush flying operators typically focus/specialize on one specific industry (for example, mining, forestry, gas/oil)? Or would they serve all industries without discrimination?
5. Floatplanes are definitely a big part of the bush flying industry, but what’s the proportion of floats vs land aircraft? Is it 80% floats vs 20% land aircraft? Or more like 50/50...?
6. Types: the 180/185 are perhaps the “kings of bush”, and the odd 206 is also used in the industry… Then there’s the Beaver, which is a bit of a notch above (bigger, more expensive and with a bigger cargo capacity I’d think) Are there any other ubiquitous aircraft types in the bush flying industry besides these, that I'm missing...?
7. Are bush flying operations mostly seasonal? (I would know the answer to that question if I knew more about the resources industries… I believe forestry is seasonal, oil/gas is most likely year-round, and I really don’t know about mining…)
8. How big a part of bush flying operations is the tourism industry? (transportation to remote fishing / hunting lodges etc.) I’d think it’s just a fraction (10% or so) but I may be wrong…
Just trying to have a better picture of the "industry"... Any insight on any of the above greatly appreciated!