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 Post subject: Float courses worth it?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:03 pm 
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I'm curious as to the percieved value of 50 hour float courses instead of a 7 hour basic rating. Bush flying is far more attractive to me than instructing as a preliminary career path, and to be honest, I think I would be happier in the long run with bush flying than driving a 737. I have a number of specific questions:

-will 50 float hours make me insurable? More marketable?
-will a total of 100 float hours make a difference in that respect? I'd be getting these hours in lieu of regular time-building hours.
-will doing the course on the west coast limit me in terms of Northern flying?Will doing it in Northern Ontario limit me in terms of flying on the West Coast? Any suggestions on specific schools?
-Should I spend the extra money to do the whole course in a 180? Or will a 5-hour check-out in a 180 do if I do the rest of the course on something smaller?
-how many low-time float jobs are there along the coast of BC in comparison to those on the Canadian Shield? Does this ratio change as you move up in terms of time and equipment?

-As an unrelated aside, will five years of oilpatch experience (blasting and H2S safety work) in far northern Alberta, North-Eastern BC, and the NWT make me more marketable?

-Another unrelated aside...is it worth spending the extra money on a multi-IFR, or should I just get the VFR-OTT and Night ratings?

Thanks in advance for the help!



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:29 pm 
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Some quick answers.

The cheaper the float plane you get the better, float flying is float flying. Type checks are just that a type check.

There is no need for IFR or VFR over the top.......in fact VFR- OTT is one of the most stupid things ever thought up.

A night rating is useless for a new float plane pilot.

Cat


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:29 pm 
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Night ratings and VFR-OTT you get with your commercial anyways, dont you?
I'd say if you can do float time during your commercial training, that'd save you time and money. The more float time you have, the better, however, the guy i got my first job with was happy with a 7 hour wonder....he dident like to break bad habits people tend to develop over time.
From my experience of trying to find work, west coast operators tend to hire higher time guys than in manitoba, ontario, etc.
If you can afford to do training in a 180, get twice as much time in a champ or something. The more time, the better, i think....but get good quality instruction, from a high time guy.
Good Luck.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:43 pm 
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I agree, the more float time the better. The jobs that you had in the north though not flying related, show that you are capable to live in the North. I believe that this is benifitial, and shows a perspective employer, that you can hack a season in the middle of nowhere. My first job was flying a 185 in Northern MB, and I only a 5 hour float rating. I know what you are thinking, but that wasen't 20 years ago, it was only 4 years.


A muti-ifr is a useless thing to have if you are going to fly floats, by the time you move into a twin job, it will probally already be expired. VFR OTT, what the hell is that, try vfr over the top of the trees scud running your way back to base.

Any how, good luck and maby by the time your done flight school the industry will have picked up so you can actually find a job.



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:12 pm 
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Save your $$ on the 180 and put it towards more time on something cheap like a Champ. On a side note, I took an underwater egress course (how to get out of your plane if you flip it on the water) through work last week. *All* of the old guys that I work with said that they wish that they'd taken it befor they started float flying. You might want to consider that.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:33 pm 
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yes an egress course best thing. my plane flip a week before i took the course. best investment of your life....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:21 pm 
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Hey folks. The egress training is definitely worth it, it looks great on a resume, but more importantly it could save your life. Thoughts on the IFR or float rating are, if you want to go into the bush, save the money on the IFR and do as much of the commercial license on floats as possible. 50 hours is great, 100 is better. You can tell the difference between the guys with 7 hrs or 50 hrs. Don't spend the extra cash on a 180/185 check out, the guy that hires you will want you to fly the plane the way he wants you to. Getting the POH and doing some hangar flying will impress the boss.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:18 pm 
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I think everyone's pretty much on the same page here for once. Concentrate on your float time not an IFR rating for a bush job. I think there is an exception though if you have nothing else to do but time building and then it can help cut down the costs later on.

I did my group 1 IFR and my 50 hour float coarse all before I hit the magic 200 for my commercial licence to get signed off. I think that having the IFR made my resume more impressive and was part of the reason that I got my first float job at 50 hours. I had more training than my boss in that aspect so he showed me more respect for having it and didn't treat me like your average 200hr wonder. Being able to show him that I completed all of this in 200hr's showed him that my DFTE was either demented or I was a quick learner and descent pilot. I got the bush job and I only have to do a refresher when I'm ready to move on rather than fork out 40 hours of training on top of the time building for my commercial.

Also, I do disagree about the 180/185/206 or even a beaver checkout. A fifty hour coarse shows that you have fifty hours. In some locations this means that you may have done something but probably haven't done squat. A checkout shows the operator that you have some experience in the plane that you'll be flying already and if the instructor makes a note that he is comfortable with you flying this plane solo, it will go a long way instilling confidence in your future boss. Not only is it 5 hours of training that he won't have to do, but it also shows that you did something in your training. It will cost a fortune in comparison to a little puddle jumper and will actually be easier and require less skill to fly, but an employer wants to find someone with experience. Preferably both in the industry and on the equipment. A little of one of these is better than neither of either.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:04 pm 
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If a pilot has taken a 50 hour bush flying course from a reputable teacher and needed five hours to learn to fly a Cessna or Beaver, I personally would wonder about that pilots flying ability and would probably look for a pilot with better flying skills.

Cat


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After over a half a century of flying no one ever died because of my decision not to fly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:50 pm 
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I hear that Cat Driver!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:58 pm 
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Heres a couple points.

1. A 185/dhc2 PCC is only good for 1 year so it is not saving an operator any cash because he/she is going to have to do the company initial training with you anyways. I do agree though that you will catch on to the aircraft a little quicker.

2. The reason for saving the cash on a check out and using it towards time building is that the airplane is nothing, it's how you read the water, approach a dock with different winds, turn the airplane on the dock in a good wind and confidence with general float flying. The extra experience on the water will show up when you are hired more than the experience on a larger float plane.

Cheers, 805



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:59 pm 
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My point is, what is better, a pilot that spends $8,000 and has 53 hours on a champ or a pilot that has 45 hours on a champ and five on the operators type. Sure a pilot with 50 hours should be able to climb into most light float planes and be confident and competant in 1/2 hour. But as an employer you don't want a pilot constantly trying to trim a 180 on the roof or lower the flaps with that missing lever on the floor or try pulling power by yanking on the door handle. This especially if they have passenger's on board. It kind of hurts the confidence of the passengers if you know what I mean. Even if you will be flying fire patrol or fish eggs, the operater wants to know that you can grab that throttle without looking for it and find the flap adjustment without taking your eyes off the landing area. Five hours is a good round number to become familiar with an aircraft, the handling characteristics and the cockpit layout and the potential employer will understand that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:47 am 
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My point is that a person that has more solo float time is going to be better at making decisions that affect floats that doesn't affect wheels. The pilot will be better at doing the items listed in my previos post.

Heres a true story to back it up. One pilot builds 100 hrs on floats before 200 hrs total time. Gets hired for the dock and then gets a company check out on a 185, goes to another lodge operator because of insurance problems. A year later insurance problem goes away and pilot is hired back to fly a beaver with 500 hrs tt, flies the beaver for a season and now has a 1000tt so for this season and will be going on the otter. It is with out a doubt to me he is so good on floats because he had a good handle of float flying basics before he had his commercial.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:49 pm 
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805ITT...

We're talking about a 50 hour coarse here and whether doing time on type is valuable. In my opinion it is hours that are most valuable and the smaller the aircraft the more you probably will learn in those hours. Don't waste you money building 50 hours on a beaver when you can buy over 100+ on a Champ.

What I was suggesting is to fly all but 5 hours in a small aircraft. Do your final five dual hours in a plane that is the same as your potential operators. The difference in cost between five hours in a 180 and five in champ should be under $400. $400 will buy you about three more hours in a champ. I hope you're not arguing that 3 hours will make a better pilot.

The potential operater will be looking at two pilots. Both pilots will have 50 hours. He won't look at one as being more experienced than the other with only 3 hours seperating the two. The only difference that will appear is that one of the pilots is familiar with his aircraft. Make sense?



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:00 pm 
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smartass

I think were both talking about the same thing, but I feel that a pilot who wants to fly in the bush should do more than 50 hrs on floats. I'm talking about a 100hrs, doing a 50 hr course but also building 50 hrs of solo, bombing around and learning for yourself. It will be expensive, but no more than flying a twin around for thirty hours. Then this candidate's 200 hr resume will carry a little more weight than the other thousand in the filing cabinet. And for the record, building 50 hrs on a 185 or Beaver wouldn't be that smart, save your money and do it on a 172.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:12 pm 
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805, man that little story sounds familiar! I got the lodge job the following season while our mutual aquaintance was on the beaver


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:35 pm 
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805ITT, first there is no such thing as a 185 or Beaver PPC. Secondly it doesn't matter how many hours you have on type an operator who hires a new pilot is required to do the number of hours of training as stated in their OPS Manual.

I agree the more hours on floats the better. If all you have done is spent a bunch of extra money on a 180/185 checkout with some guy who has about a 100 hours on type, trust me you won't be impressing anyone once you get beyond the office and into the cockpit.

Most operation have numerous non-revenue flying to do early in the spring getting camps and lodges opened up and supplied, which allows sufficient time to get a new pilot up to speed before the paying passenger arrive.

I say get a much float time as you can but also make yourself familiar with the aircraft you may be flying as stated by a previous poster.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:11 pm 
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Now I am sure I said PCC not PPC and as a CP, I know the difference. Not to be that picky.


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