Skylink Planes

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Skittles32
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Skylink Planes

Post by Skittles32 »

Hi there,

Wondering if anyone could give me some insight into the workings of Skylink. I’m thinking about sending in a resume, however, I’ve heard that they still operate some (not all) of their 1900s without any sort of GPS capabilities what so ever... VOR to VOR, NDB To NDB navigation is all it is, and in some cases, some planes are not even equipped with a GPS period! Can anyone confirm this? Seems rather ridiculous that a company wouldn’t install at least a cheap GPS into an IFR certified, high performance, turboprop. I get that there’s not technically anything illegal about flying without a gps, yet in a day and age where literally everyone is carrying a GPS in their pocket everywhere they go (phones) why on earth would aircraft not have it??

Kinda makes Skylink look hella cheap.
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Flight94
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Flight94 »

Correct, some aircraft do not have GPS capability and fly using traditional NAV aids. None of skylink's planes are certified for RNAV approaches.

If you are considering working there, take into account the following:

F/O pay is 33k/yr

1yr bond, approx $16k

Upgrades also bonded

No benefits

Pay your own medicals

YVR and YWG fly mostly at night, including weekends and holidays

Load and unload your own plane the majority of trips

Schedule is unpredictable and changes often, plan on being called on reserve frequently, and it's rare to have 2 days off in a row.

Planes are old, tired, poorly equipped and have no autopilot

Training is condensed to 3 days of groundschool and then on wing training, 5-10hrs.

If you can put up with the above, it will tick alot of boxes for your A's. But so will every other place. The requirements are +/-800hrs, and at that experience level these days you've got options. Explore them.
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Bede
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Bede »

With 800 hrs you can get on with Encore, Jazz, etc. Why would you go somewhere that pays worse, has a worse schedule + has a bond?

I get it why some guys stick around flying for decent 703 operators, but why go somewhere that's crap these days?
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Beefitarian »

Earn seniority for when it flips back and the cheap ass places are the only ones still flying?
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Skittles32
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Skittles32 »

Thanks for the replies and PMs. I think I’m gonna have to rethink my intentions here. Sounds like they lack a lot of the basic things any other company would consider standard... Like a GPS!!! I can understand some of the smaller things, but the inability to properly equip their aircraft takes the cake. They stand out for all the wrong reasons.
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Pratt X 3
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Pratt X 3 »

Ermahgerd! No GPS? Like, I can’t even.
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Skittles32
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Skittles32 »

Pratt X 3 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:40 pm
Ermahgerd! No GPS? Like, I can’t even.
I don’t know if that’s sarcasm or not... but regardless. The fact my 152 had a GPS installed, but not a 1900 is brutal.
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by '97 Tercel »

Are we up to the "Grandkids of the Magenta" yet?
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GoinVertical
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by GoinVertical »

Everyone I know that worked on the 1900 for Skylink valued their time and experience there, say they learned a lot, and hand flying traditional nav aids in a twin turboprop made them a better pilot.

The last guy I know there was there 5+ years ago mind you. None of them would do it now because of the shitty pay in urban centres with high cost of living.
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jakeandelwood
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by jakeandelwood »

If I was working there I'd just bring along my old garage sale Lowrance Airmap. Better than nothin, for reference anyway.
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Teeg
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Teeg »

I dont know about you Skittles, but theres no bigger rush than shooting an NDB to minimums and it working out... this whole career is about pushing your limits, learn from it and become a better pilot for it. 5 years ago a gps equipped 152 to a non gps turbine was typical for career progression. Dont like it? Apply elsewhere. But guess what.... sometimes *gasp* youll have to fly 5 legs in a Qcumber without an autopilot.
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PostmasterGeneral
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by PostmasterGeneral »

Yeah I remember bombing around the arctic NDB to NDB trying to correct your track in a 20 knot gusty crosswind in a King Air. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had in an airplane!
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iflyforpie
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by iflyforpie »

One of the saddest things is the decommissioning of NDB approaches. If you want to find the lowest sector to cancel or do a visual or contact, it’s probably centred on an NDB.

Even in a WAAS equipped aircraft I’d always chose the NDB going into Smithers. Shorter, in the middle of the valley where it’s usually clearer, and away from lee mechanical coming off of Hudson’s Bay mountain. Also did it in a non-GPS equipped 172 in night VFR for safe altitudes since there’s a ton of mountains around there.

Now it’s gone and instead of turning off autopilot and flight director on VFR days it seems most younger pilots would do dot-to-dots on LNAV and VNAV right into the only clouds and turbulence in the sky rather than hand bomb it. And absolutely shit themselves going into Bella Coola or Trail or even Kamloops or Kelowna as the VNAV plots a descent profile that takes you through rocks.
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Don Cherry
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Don Cherry »

Who told you they don’t have GPS? Of course they have. A fancy trimble!
Now, if you ask about tents, covers, heaters or uniform allowance, then the answer is no.
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Skittles32
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Skittles32 »

Teeg wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:03 am
I dont know about you Skittles, but theres no bigger rush than shooting an NDB to minimums and it working out... this whole career is about pushing your limits, learn from it and become a better pilot for it. 5 years ago a gps equipped 152 to a non gps turbine was typical for career progression. Dont like it? Apply elsewhere. But guess what.... sometimes *gasp* youll have to fly 5 legs in a Qcumber without an autopilot.
I’ve got no issues with NDB approaches, nor do I have issues with flying without a gps. It’s simply to do with the fact that they appear too cheap to do any sort of work/upgrades on their aircraft. It makes me wonder how their maintenance is on those planes as well. If they’re too cheap to get any sort of RNAV capability, I have to think that they’re too cheap to even maintain their aircraft properly. But I can only hope that’s untrue.

And with the picture above..... my bad, I guess they DO have GPS. When did that thing get installed? Fresh out of the factory back in 198x? :rolleyes:
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Pratt X 3 »

#gps_shaming

What kind of GPS do you have in the mighty ‘ole 152?
Is it IFR certified?
How much does it cost to keep the database current?
Do you know the cost to install a certified IFR GPS in a SFAR 41C airplane?

Just because they don’t upgrade the GPS doesn’t mean they are skimping on maintenance. As a pilot, I’d rather they fixed the important stuff instead of upgrading a ‘nice to have’ item, especially if I can get things done without one or with the Trimble. Obviously not having the latest and greatest GPS isn’t handcuffing them.
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Skittles32
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Skittles32 »

I flew with either 430’s or 400’s. But I agree with your statement. There’s more important things to spend money on I suppose. The costs to keep those old birds flying can’t be cheap.
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by co-joe »

Wow and I thought we were slummin it with the KLN 89's in the 1900 at my last job.
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AirportCoffee
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by AirportCoffee »

Oh boy. You dinosaurs are so set in your ways it's not even funny. Is it possible to do NDB approaches and navigate your entire 14 hour day via VORs? The answer should be yes to anyone that holds a current IFR ticket. Being able to do so proficiently is another story.

How many times have I heard skylink going missed off the NDB 06 @ YHM because of the ILS being down, or doing the arc into YSB and holding everyone else up.

It's 2020, the least a commercial operator could do for their 1900 fleet is install a couple KLN90's.

Give your heads a shake :rolleyes:
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PA28151
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by PA28151 »

I worked there and it was the best job I've had, handflying raw data instruments was a great stepping stone and learning curve. One aircraft has the trimble all the others have a KLN90B's. There was a machine or two YVR based that had 430's in them with an autopilot if my memory serves me right. Maintenance was never an issue went mechanical once in my time there. If something was snagged it was dealt with in a timely fashion. The schedule wasn't too bad 4 days average a week with weekends and holidays off. If you got lucky you'd get the Northern Route and be home by 7. Windsor and Kingston was around 9-930pm arrival back to base. Crew cars at all the 3 places (kingston,windsor,sault ste marie). Money was rough, thankfully I lived at home with my parents. I see they are paying more now at 33k. One may see loading the cargo as below them after all they are pilots not rampies haha but it eliminates the need for a gym membership thats for sure :lol: Quick upgrades and PIC experience is always a benefit too, it definitely helped with my current job and the command course.
Now I sit for hours on end watching the autopilot fly the magenta line, reminiscing on all the flights into the soo or sudbury in the middle of winter down to mins and the feeling of accomplishment when you get down and it wasn't an autopilot that flew it. There was a great group of guys and gals there that have become life long friends. Embrace the journey and it's not always about rushing to the finish line.
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by iflyforpie »

AirportCoffee wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:50 pm
How many times have I heard skylink going missed off the NDB 06 @ YHM because of the ILS being down, or doing the arc into YSB and holding everyone else up.
Probably not as many times as I’ve heard Jazz or Encore going missed at 300 OVC on the ILS, or going all the way to the RNAV on other side of the airport at 5000 OVC 9+ at 150 knots because of a ten knot tailwind.
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Blackdog0301
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Blackdog0301 »

Don Cherry wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:24 pm
Who told you they don’t have GPS? Of course they have. A fancy trimble!
Now, if you ask about tents, covers, heaters or uniform allowance, then the answer is no.

I've flown that bird with the Trimble. The fact it has a Trimble isn't the most idiotic thing about it. It's where it's located. Can anyone take a guess where they placed that Trimble?

Anyone?











Anyone?






Center pedestal right beside your butt!! Imagine using it in IMC to track accurately to a VOR or NDB, without autopilot, and having to LIFT YOUR ARM AND LOOK DOWN AT YOUR RIGHT/LEFT HIP EVERY MINUTE OR TWO TO CHECK YOUR TRACK all without becoming disoriented, and keeping your scan moving. Let me tell you, it's not easy. New guys who came into that plane for the first time took WEEKS to become proficient in its use. Imagine trying to teach a new guy how to use it. There are times BOTH pilots are looking down at the floor for extended periods trying to learn/teach how to fly using it. I had my share of close calls in that plane... Coming seconds away from entering a spiral dive because you're too busy looking down trying to find that crosswind correction, and the only thing saving you is the second pilot.

On the bright side, I became a master in the art of moving my entire head/body while hand flying IMC without deviating too far off course/altitude.

EDIT: I will say, however, that the people at Skylink are friendly, and professional. They stick to the rules, and expect their pilots to as well. At the end of the day, if you can put up with some of the shortcomings with their planes, it's not a terrible place to work. You gain a lot of useful experience that you really can't get anywhere else.
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by iflyforpie »

Blackdog0301 wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:11 pm
Don Cherry wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:24 pm
Who told you they don’t have GPS? Of course they have. A fancy trimble!
Now, if you ask about tents, covers, heaters or uniform allowance, then the answer is no.

I've flown that bird with the Trimble. The fact it has a Trimble isn't the most idiotic thing about it. It's where it's located. Can anyone take a guess where they placed that Trimble?

Anyone?











Anyone?






Center pedestal right beside your butt!! Imagine using it in IMC to track accurately to a VOR or NDB, without autopilot, and having to LIFT YOUR ARM AND LOOK DOWN AT YOUR RIGHT/LEFT HIP EVERY MINUTE OR TWO TO CHECK YOUR TRACK all without becoming disoriented, and keeping your scan moving. Let me tell you, it's not easy. New guys who came into that plane for the first time took WEEKS to become proficient in its use. Imagine trying to teach a new guy how to use it. There are times BOTH pilots are looking down at the floor for extended periods trying to learn/teach how to fly using it. I had my share of close calls in that plane... Coming seconds away from entering a spiral dive because you're too busy looking down trying to find that crosswind correction, and the only thing saving you is the second pilot.

On the bright side, I became a master in the art of moving my entire head/body while hand flying IMC without deviating too far off course/altitude.
With airway widths it’s a full minute of flying 90 degrees off course until you’re out of protected airspace at their absolute narrowest. Ten degrees off its over 5 minutes. Most of their flying is with radar coverage so centre is likely going to ask where you’re going. An NDB, sure, cross check. A VOR? No need. They aren’t GPS accurate, but they don’t need to be.

The best place to learn a system is in the hangar or on the flightline connected to ground power and reading through the book.

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. In that order, always.
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Blackdog0301
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Blackdog0301 »

Yes, there's plenty of margin for error. And yes, it's almost always done in controlled airspace. But ATC isn't going to wait until you're right on the edge of your protected area before querying the crew. I've been queried by ATC several times regarding our track despite being only a mile or two off track and well within limits when flying purely off the VOR or NDB. So naturally it makes you want to fly more precisely so you don't have ATC nagging you non stop.
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Skittles32
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Re: Skylink Planes

Post by Skittles32 »

Maybe if planes were properly equipped with something newer than...what? 1940’s technology? Many of these problems could be avoided. Just a thought.
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