Demand for float drivers 2017?

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marakii
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Demand for float drivers 2017?

#1 Post by marakii » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:22 pm

I have been reading more and more that there is or there will be a shortage of float/bush/drivers right across the country from the operators due to the hiring of more and more low time guys getting on to fixed gear 703 operators.

What is a realistic outlook on getting a float gig this spring with about 100 hours of float time ? I've already started sending out resumes but my first gig up in Northern Ontario was when I walked in and was hired on the spot but that was a while back.

thanks
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#2 Post by C-FDPB » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:54 pm

i think chances are good. I've already had interest from a handful of companies that are looking.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#3 Post by Invertago » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:36 pm

Seems everyone West of Ontario wants 1000hrs floats to touch a beaver... (That could be read the wrong way). That's a lot of seasonal work just to get on a beaver. 2-3 years when someone doing the wheel route could get a lot further in less time I bet. Probably caravan or King air captain in that time frame flying off solid ground.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#4 Post by Cat Driver » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:59 pm

The reality is the Beaver is far easier to fly than a Cessna 180 / 185 etc.

Owners will hire whoever they can get when the experienced pilot pool dries up.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#5 Post by oldncold » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:43 pm

latest i heard is dhc2 pay 23.00hr yvr cost of living yvr 40.00 hr (based on 160 hr month guarantee) company h.air. ltd / wx shit / stress high buddy declined "opportunity" to go broke
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#6 Post by Cat Driver » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:43 pm

That must be their pay scale for the 1980's not 2017.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#7 Post by skybaron » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:11 am

WAWCON in Canada goes contrary to evolution, common sense, and inflation. Don't expect monumental changes in the pond world anytime soon. HA and others on the lower mainland only want "seasonal" workers these days.

Good luck.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#8 Post by phillyfan » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:56 am

Fewer pilots get into Float flying. Same as fewer people want to work trades jobs like Welder, Carpenter, Plumber etc. It's a generational thing. Take your own guess why? I have a pretty good idea why.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#9 Post by marakii » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:45 am

phillyfan wrote:Fewer pilots get into Float flying. Same as fewer people want to work trades jobs like Welder, Carpenter, Plumber etc. It's a generational thing. Take your own guess why? I have a pretty good idea why.
Why?
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#10 Post by Lost Lake » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:47 pm

Hey Cat. An easier plane to fly is an A320. The difference is when you get into the shit, experience comes into play. I have a few hours on floats, and while it is easier to fly, you carry more insurance liability. Same reason the bigger the plane the bigger the experience/lnsurance/pay is.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#11 Post by FishermanIvan » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:31 am

When are people thinking of going on their Ontario road trips?

I've seen a few places put ads up looking for pilots, but nothing significant yet.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#12 Post by mmm..bacon » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:21 pm

FishermanIvan wrote:When are people thinking of going on their Ontario road trips?
You first on the dates....

Then we can leave a week earlier! :smt040
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#13 Post by '97 Tercel » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:57 pm

:lol:
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#14 Post by AirDoan » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:42 pm

I finished my CPL and got my float rating last year because I'm in my mid 30s and highly doubted I could climb the airline ladder in time to do much with it (without winning a lottery to pay for hours, but that's taboo!). I want to go float because it was a natural fit as soon as I was on the water (actually it was when I beached near Thetis Island while my instructor had a break that I decided this is the flying I want to do). I have already fired off resumes a couple weeks ago and had a few "you need more hours, try again later," a dock hand position offer with no official route to a seat and one "check back to me later!" That's out of 30+ so far using TC and various other sites! All I really want is a decent operator, do a few seasons with them where I get my 500-1000 hours and we both walk away with a worth while investment, and then come back to BC because I want to work near the ocean and/or in the mountains. I'm simple! I like working with my hands so to speak, good on a shovel or with a hammer and don't mind working the dock for a bit to get my seat, but also want to be back west before I need medicals every 6 months! So at this point I hope I can get on with someone this year without the exploratory road trip as opposed to a focused one. Coming from Victoria its a bit of a trek to get to NWO or Northern Manitoba and needs to be planned in advance!

What is the season starting to look like in terms of WX and that kind of thing? Any ideas of roughly when things might start? Are there many or any decent operators that will take on a low timer in Sask? It's an odd question, but my girlfriend can only transfer there from BC should I end up with something more permanent I can't refuse. Not a show stopper just a consideration!
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#15 Post by noon_crue » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:21 am

AirDoan wrote:I finished my CPL and got my float rating last year because I'm in my mid 30s and highly doubted I could climb the airline ladder in time to do much with it (without winning a lottery to pay for hours, but that's taboo!). I want to go float because it was a natural fit as soon as I was on the water (actually it was when I beached near Thetis Island while my instructor had a break that I decided this is the flying I want to do). I have already fired off resumes a couple weeks ago and had a few "you need more hours, try again later," a dock hand position offer with no official route to a seat and one "check back to me later!" That's out of 30+ so far using TC and various other sites! All I really want is a decent operator, do a few seasons with them where I get my 500-1000 hours and we both walk away with a worth while investment, and then come back to BC because I want to work near the ocean and/or in the mountains. I'm simple! I like working with my hands so to speak, good on a shovel or with a hammer and don't mind working the dock for a bit to get my seat, but also want to be back west before I need medicals every 6 months! So at this point I hope I can get on with someone this year without the exploratory road trip as opposed to a focused one. Coming from Victoria its a bit of a trek to get to NWO or Northern Manitoba and needs to be planned in advance!

What is the season starting to look like in terms of WX and that kind of thing? Any ideas of roughly when things might start? Are there many or any decent operators that will take on a low timer in Sask? It's an odd question, but my girlfriend can only transfer there from BC should I end up with something more permanent I can't refuse. Not a show stopper just a consideration!
Just keep plugging away man. Most operators in NWO won't throw you in an airplane unless you have a season on the dock under your belt. Some might give you a check out at the end of the season, in hopes of a pilot for next season and to keep staff. Not saying that some out there won't direct entry hire. I'm 30, and just got to finally fly this past season. I put a season in on the dock, and voila! There's no shame in busting your rear for a few months before touching a set of controls.

With that being said. Float season in NWO starts right around the first week of may, and goes until mid October. There are many good companies that you could get on with and stay with for many seasons. The company I'm with, our two turbine guys have been with the company for I believe 6&10 seasons now.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#16 Post by jspitfire » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:16 pm

There's always more than 1 way to get into the float world. I've got about 1500 floats and have always had full time permanent positons. 9 hrs on the Super cub was my rating, and neverflown anything commercially smaller than a Beaver.

Now of course the catch is instead of many seasons out east, I chose to get a bunch of copilot and SPIFR time. (had about 2500tt when I moved to floats) It's a round about way, and it still wasn't an easy sell to get on floats, but it worked well for me.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#17 Post by Cat Driver » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:24 pm

How did the industry ever get people to think working on the dock makes one a better pilot?

Weird, really weird thinking.

But for sure it gives the operators cheap labour.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#18 Post by AirDoan » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:43 pm

Cat Driver wrote:How did the industry ever get people to think working on the dock makes one a better pilot?

Weird, really weird thinking.

But for sure it gives the operators cheap labour.
Probably from guys like me who've had fathers who believed in paying your dues with the stories to boot. I assumed that is how it'll be and will go with it if that's what it takes! Of course I would prefer a direct entry flying job with my 220TT and 5 hours on floats. But if the choice is doing a season on a dock with a check out for the next or not getting into the industry at all, why not if I can make ends meet on a labourers wage for a few months or a season? In retail I worked part time up to store manager until I decided that I hated that game and wanted to make good on the promise to my 7 year old self and learn to fly. I have been in road and infrastructure construction for the last few years earning my license and rating with my hands and back so one more summer won't phase me.

Your point is taken Cat, so don't take my comment as disrespect. Quite the contrary. I'm just keeping my options open and don't mind getting my hands dirty if that's what it takes.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#19 Post by Cat Driver » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:07 pm

I don't take your comments as disrespect at all.

I make these posts to point out that if pilots refused to work for peanuts doing manual labor for these operators they would be forced to hire you to fly.

The government has issued you a license that states you have met the requirements to fly for hire.

Working on the dock or cutting grass does not improve your flying skills.

Now if an employer offers you a job working in the hangar fixing the airplanes during the winter when there is no flying and puts you to work flying come spring that does make for a more knowledgeable pilot.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#20 Post by FishermanIvan » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:51 pm

Cat Driver wrote:I don't take your comments as disrespect at all.

I make these posts to point out that if pilots refused to work for peanuts doing manual labor for these operators they would be forced to hire you to fly.

The government has issued you a license that states you have met the requirements to fly for hire.

Working on the dock or cutting grass does not improve your flying skills.

Now if an employer offers you a job working in the hangar fixing the airplanes during the winter when there is no flying and puts you to work flying come spring that does make for a more knowledgeable pilot.
That I would love to do, but seems the dock for a little while is the standard fare...
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#21 Post by AirDoan » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:18 am

Cat Driver wrote:I don't take your comments as disrespect at all.

I make these posts to point out that if pilots refused to work for peanuts doing manual labor for these operators they would be forced to hire you to fly.

The government has issued you a license that states you have met the requirements to fly for hire.

Working on the dock or cutting grass does not improve your flying skills.

Now if an employer offers you a job working in the hangar fixing the airplanes during the winter when there is no flying and puts you to work flying come spring that does make for a more knowledgeable pilot.
The funny thing is that you and my girlfriend share that opinion. She's always asking why I would "settle" for a dock spot? Why not hold out for a real flying job, and stay here making better money until I do. I suppose i should heed both of your advice!

In a perfect world I would prefer to get a flying job over the phone this year. Save myself working the dock and the 3-5000 that a road trip from bc would cost and use that for travel expenses or a down payment on a little Cessna to commute with. Maybe I will get lucky. But if not then what would you suggest? If you have a choice between getting a dock job with a guaranteed seat later or not getting started this year what would you do? For me it's timing. I'm already a late bloomer here and if I don't get a start this summer I'll probably figure out something else to do as a vocation (AME or Avionics perhaps) and fly recreationally. If anyone has a direct contact person who'd likely throw me a proverbial bone, pm me! But until then keeping my options open is just being prudent.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#22 Post by bring me the horizon » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:56 am

Although working the dock doesn't improve your flying skills, it does improve other skills that are essential to the operation as a whole. I'm a firm believer in working the dock before jumping into a seat because you learn the operational and logistical side of the job. Essentially you're a dock manager. You pre-flight check all a/c's, fuel them up, weigh and balance, loading arrangements, tying it all down and securing with specialty knots (bowline, spider techniques), docking planes, loading and unloading special loads that you thought could never fit through the door, strapping boats to the side of the float struts and spacing a/c's on the dock for other arrivals and departures.

It's all dock management and once you've mastered that the boss will usually give you a shot at a seat. But beware, nothing in life is guaranteed. You have to be ready to jump into that seat at any time and show the chief you can fly. Just because you've busted your balls on the dock for a season doesn't entitle you to a seat. Memorize your normal/emergency procedures, speeds, dock fly the thing when no one is around or it's a slow day and your time will come faster than you know it.

I think that becoming a pilot is a lot like an internship just as any professional career. A doctor straight out of school doesn't start performing open heart surgery nor does a lawyer intern defend the firms client in court on their first day.

My advice is to go onto the Pilot Career Centre website and find all the float operators in Canada. Most will have contact information on there such as address, email, current recruiting staff, fleet, etc. Fire off a custom tailored cover letter and resume to every float operator on there. Should be about 100 or so. You're bound to get a favorable reply. I never did the road trip thing and my gig wasn't working the dock. Although I wish it was cause I had no idea what I was doing with my wet float rating.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure. Take your time and relax cause no one's chasing iron in the float world.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#23 Post by C-FDPB » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:19 pm

I agree with bring me the horizon that you learn piles of useful and essential knowledge working the dock that helps your transition into flying the plane for the operator. In addition to PCC when I was researching where to apply for my first gig I used the TC civil aircraft register and looked for all of the companies that operated 180/185/206s, cubs, champs, and beavers. Not saying you'll jump into the beaver right away but lots of companies have a smaller 'learner' aircraft with the chance to upgrade to a bigger machine provided your timing and the turn over rate agree. I would also recommend applying to a company that will eventually lead to a flying position. I've seen a few adds pop up looking for commercial pilots with float ratings etc to work the dock without any chance of anything going into a logbook. Like cat driver said, you have your ticket now, so target the companies that have an aircraft you can actually potentially be put on. I wouldn't take strictly a dock job with no chance of flying unless you were working on your license or were working on your commercial or something to gain experience, and trust me you'll learn tons of the non flying side of things.

my 2 cents.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#24 Post by Cat Driver » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:22 pm

Hey I have no problem with pilots thinking working the dock is part of flying an airplane.

So lets see....

When I was issued my CPL and then the sea plane rating did I have to know how to make sure the airplane was within its W&B envelope?

That it had enugh fuel for the planned flight?

That it was airworthy?

I guess I was not taught how to tie a lot of knots in a rope but I did know how to make sure the thing was tied to a dock if necessary...

.....but if you guys think you need a summer on the dock by all means do it.
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Re: Demand for float drivers 2017?

#25 Post by PilotDAR » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:03 am

I'm quite okay with the idea of a new pilot doing honourable, but none the less grunt (dock) work. I did my fair share of pumping gas, cleaning windshields, and scrubbing filthy aircraft bellies even after I was a newly minted PPL - and 40 years later, I'm still doing it!

That menial work has three benefits: It keeps a new pilot humble, reminding them that all work has to be done, and no person is too good to do it. The boss who owns the planes will be out there doing it, if need be so why not the new pilot too? Your willingness to "do what needs to be done", and do it with cheer and purpose will demonstrate the work ethic which will distinguish you from lazy self important pilots in the eyes of the boss. And, you'll be there, working in that environment. When an opportunity presents itself, you'll be there at the ready, and you'll get that opportunity.

I have had more than 40 years working in the aviation industry, doing most every task imaginable to and with a plane and helicopter. I have been steadily and profitably employed the entire time. I have flown many thousands of wonderful hours, own several airplanes, a place to keep them, and I have no debt whatever. To accomplish that, I never once ever applied for a job, nor filled out a resume. Every job I have ever had has been offered to me, because I was there, and I was appreciated by the person who needed the work to be done. It was three years into working for the airline (Worldways) that Phyllis, the HR lady, came to my office, and asked me to provide something for my employee file, as it was empty, she could not figure out how I had been hired!

If you, as a new CPL pilot, can walk into the perfect flying job, power to you! But, if getting to that job has a path of hard, worthy, non piloting work in front of it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that either! Having spent many summers at the dock, I learned a lot, just watching - what not to do in a floatplane on the water. Invaluable education of mistakes I must not make, expensive mistakes, but never expensive for me!
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