Bush flying...whats required?

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andri buettner
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Bush flying...whats required?

Post by andri buettner » Mon May 21, 2018 11:34 am

Hi, my name is Andri and I’m flying now since 4 years the Airbus A320 outbound from Switzerland.
With the ATPL I collected over 3’000 hours on the jet and have about 200 hours on the SEP. The European ATPL is the only license I have so far. Now I’m very curious about bush flying in Canada. The plan is to get a 1-2 year break from my airliner job and experience the real way of flying. Not specifically flying floats, but single pilot ops with single engine planes into the wild.

Unfortunately I have at the moment more questions than answers. I’m aware of the fact that I need a working permit. All I would like to get to know is flying/job based.

1. What license is required for such a job normally? PPL or CPL
2. How much experience is expected
3. Are there many jobs available all year round? (or mainly summer)
4. Is the area of Ottawa good if I’m looking for jobs there?
5. Any other recommendations how to start all that...

The plan would be to get the rating and collect the required hours all in Canada before I would start looking for a specific job. Your help is highly appreciated, and I’m thankful for every information I can get.

With best regards, Andri :D
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Bede
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by Bede » Wed May 23, 2018 6:19 am

Gruezi Andrei,

I assume that you want to get paid for this flying, in which case you'll need a CPL. If you just want to have fun and fly privately, buy your own float plane and fly when you want. The conversion from the JAA ATPL to CAN CPL is pretty simple from my understanding.

If you want to fly in the "bush" you're going to be looking predominantly at float flying. While there is some off strip work wheel/ski flying available, it's getting exceedingly rare. You need 7 hours for a float rating, but having more like 50-100 would be best. Lots of hiring going on, but none that I know of in Ottawa. While you want to fly "into the wild", the downside is that you will probably be starting/living from somewhere, just slightly less "in the wild". You'll want to look at places like Northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. I assume that you're Swiss, so there is a good chance that you speak French. If that's the case, Northern Quebec may be open too, but there are some politics involved with going there.

Jobs are usually summer only. Lots of jobs out there though. Breaking into a market in a new country can be tricky though. Your english seems excellent so that will help. Also, read the sticky thread on here about working in Canada.

If you have any more questions, feel free to PM.

Tschuss
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altiplano
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by altiplano » Wed May 23, 2018 6:45 am

Bede hit the highlights...

a few more comments.

2. experience... your 3000 hours of Airbus experience will perhaps get you in the door, but much of it is not significantly relevant to this type of flying... and some operators will be skeptical of your abilities and work ethic - go into this knowing you have a lot to learn.

3. year round? Summer primarily for floats everywhere except the BC coast where floats go year round. Depending on exactly what your idea of "Bush flying" is... Many operators are going year round into small airports and remote locales across the country.

4. Ottawa - not such a good location to look - minimal positions there for the type of flying you seek.

5. I'd read the forum, follow the job ads, get an idea of the region you want to target and go from there... it's a big country with lots of opportunity. Good luck.
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andri buettner
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by andri buettner » Wed May 23, 2018 8:29 am

Thank you guys for providing me the information I was looking for. I’m very thankful!
Th issue is, I have never made a CPL check ( was doing a special Airline oriented ATPL) so I probably dont do a conversion rather than a new CPL license in Canada, if that is possible.
Well and unfortunately my girlfriend lives now in Ottawa, and french wouldn’t be a big issue. But as I read your reply, I guess its gonna be harder to find a job in the cockpit there.
Anyway, thank you again, and I’d love to come back on your offer that I can ask again if I need to know more about that topic.

Best regards from Switzerland, and I wish you all a great summer with awesome weather to fly.
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Rowdy
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by Rowdy » Mon May 28, 2018 9:45 am

There are no bush operations in Ottawa and exceedingly few commercial operations from our nations capital as well.

There are however many fly in fishing operations that use seaplanes within a days drive of Ottawa. Places like Sudbury, Cochrane, Timmins and Sault Ste Marie will be the jump of points for smaller communities and camps.

With zero seaplane experience and no canadian CPL, you are sort of out of luck.. but with a conversion of your ATPL and a seaplane rating and the required permits to live and work in Canada, you may find some seasonal jobs. Our market is moving quite quickly right now..

BC's float flying, while it is year round, requires a certain skill set and a bit more experience. Most of the operations here want to see over a thousand hours on seaplane and a bunch of time in the DHC-2 as that is sort of the entry into coastal float flying.
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fish4life
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by fish4life » Mon May 28, 2018 9:55 am

A) buy a pair of work gloves
B) learn how to use a chainsaw and hammer
C) “bush” flying tends to be 50/50 flying and manual labour. For every beautiful flight in the evening you might have to load 10 000 lbs by hand. As long as you know this it’s not bad but keep in mind you are now the ground handler, CSA, fueler and flight attendant
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'97 Tercel
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by '97 Tercel » Mon May 28, 2018 10:21 pm

Image

Get one of these and log a bunch of float time - good to go.
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chris_h1976
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by chris_h1976 » Thu May 31, 2018 10:25 am

'97 Tercel wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 10:21 pm
Image

Get one of these and log a bunch of float time - good to go.
Hahahahaha AWESOME! :lol:
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andri buettner
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by andri buettner » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:46 am

Hi

Haha, well then for the beginning I'll get some RC float experience and take care in the meanwhile my license issue. Calling the Swiss Aviation Office soon to see how I have to proceed.
And I'm very well aware and happy that this sort of flying involves making my hands dirty too :)
Best regards,Andri
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lownslow
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Re: Bush flying...whats required?

Post by lownslow » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:24 am

andri buettner wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:34 am
1. What license is required for such a job normally? PPL or CPL
2. How much experience is expected
3. Are there many jobs available all year round? (or mainly summer)
4. Is the area of Ottawa good if I’m looking for jobs there?
5. Any other recommendations how to start all that...
1. At least a CPL is required. ATPL works too but in any case you need the Canadian version of the document.
2. You have more than enough experience on paper, the hard thing will be convincing a potential employer that you actually have the skills required to safely fly for them. Single pilot on a small airplane in a sparsely settled area is very different from two-crew automated IFR in busy centres. Your time can still be an advantage if the operator has some insurance or contract requirement for higher time pilots.
3. Flights to remote areas can slow down in winter due to some areas becoming accessible by winter roads. There’s still a good bit of flying to be done.
4. That’s like a farmer asking what the job market is like in New York City. A good rule of thumb to find where the small planes go for work is to look where they don’t have roads. Air travel is very expensive so it mostly only happens where it’s the only option.
5. I think the easiest route to flying in remote areas without having to do floats would be in a Cessna. Pick a number between 182 and 208 and seek those out, they run year round on wheels in Northern Ontario.
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