PPC

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nicholasstpierre
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PPC

#1 Post by nicholasstpierre » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:40 pm

Hi everyone,

I will start my training very soon, I just have a couple of things thats I want to clear out first.

The school I was thinking of to do my training is Passport-Helico in Mascouche ( Montreal), There is an option in the pricelist for the training that is called ''PPC'', and listed apporx. 5000$ CAN. What is it exactly, and is it worth it? They told me at the school that I absolutely needed the PPC to get hired as a pilot. But I haven't seen another school offering it...

I have read somewhere on this forum ( but I can't find it anymore) that most operators will not give a mountain course to pilots under 500 hours. But, in BC, you need a mountain course to fly. So how does low-time pilots deal with this situation in BC? A solution I was thinking was to be an instructor, but you need a minimum of 250 hours to be an instructor. So how the hell can someone in BC build some time??? I must be missing something here, because it doesn't really make sense ... :?

Thank you!
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sky's the limit
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Re: PPC

#2 Post by sky's the limit » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:50 am

Hi there,

Just heading out flying, so I'll keep this short.

You need a PPC (Pilot Proficiency Check) to work a helicopter. Most schools sell the simple Type Endorsement which is nothing other than a few hours on the machine and some letters on your license. What the school is not telling you is that it is the OPERATOR who hires you who trains you for the PPC and either administers it or gets Transport to do the PPC ride. Operators are required to give you training upon hire, and most would not allow a pilot to go to work - especially a low-timer with no experience. Buying a PPC at a fight school a waste of money for a low-timer, and high timers wouldn't do that anyway.

As for BC, the only agency in BC that requires a mountain course is BCFS - Forestry - and there is good reason for it. Some people do get started in BC, I did, but generally people come there later on after they've got some time in and have learned the basic's about flying. The jobs available in BC to the 100hr pilot are very limited. Again, most operators won't bring on many low-timers in BC as it is so hard to get them to build time towards 500hrs +.

Most schools in Canada don't hire low-time instructors.

Hope that helps.

stl
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Re: PPC

#3 Post by snoopy » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:17 am

Wow... feels like "Groundhog Day" STL.... LOL :wink:
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nicholasstpierre
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Re: PPC

#4 Post by nicholasstpierre » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:14 am

Hi STL,

Thank you again for that quick response.
Operators are required to give you training upon hire, and most would not allow a pilot to go to work - especially a low-timer with no experience. Buying a PPC at a fight school a waste of money for a low-timer, and high timers wouldn't do that anyway.
So you're telling me that I shouldn't waste my money on paying the PPC directly at the school? And my future employer will have the obligation to give me that training upon hire, whatever the employer?

thanks!
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Re: PPC

#5 Post by Daz » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:28 am

So you're telling me that I shouldn't waste my money on paying the PPC directly at the school? And my future employer will have the obligation to give me that training upon hire, whatever the employer?
Some perspective from a fellow low-timer in BC*:

I wouldn't pay for a PPC; save that money for supporting yourself on your job hunt after school. Getting started as a 100 hour pilot might take a couple years - if you paid for your own PPC right out of school, there's a chance that it might expire before you get an opportunity to use it.

A good company will train you and put you through a PPC on their expense, but only if they've decided that you're worth the money and effort. After I finished school, I was hired by my school to fly sightseeing tours last summer - although they could easily justify charging me for training and a PPC (they *are* a school after all!), they footed the bill for my training and PPC.

Around these parts there is a company that has gained some notoriety for hiring low-time pilots on the condition that they pay for all their own training and PPC. Pilots get started flying sightseeing tours (in the mountains), but it costs likely more than they would earn.
I have read somewhere on this forum ( but I can't find it anymore) that most operators will not give a mountain course to pilots under 500 hours. But, in BC, you need a mountain course to fly. So how does low-time pilots deal with this situation in BC?
If you have the money you can sign up for a mountain course any time, however you'd get a lot more out of it if you had a few hundred hours of flight time under your belt. At 100 hours you're likely still working on the basics - get a few hundred hours under your belt then you'll be much more confident (and able to focus on new skills) once you get in the mountains.

I hear you on the plight of the low-timer in BC. I also hope to fly in the mountains someday, and I know that low-timers don't start out in the rocks. Most people start out flying somewhere flat (like maybe sightseeing tours, oil and gas support in northern AB, or mineral sampling way up in the tundra), then after they've built some hours they can start pursuing a career in the mountains. There are BC companies that do this - there's a sightseeing operation near Revelstoke, and I'm currently chatting up a local company that does mostly heli-ski support but starts their rookies on mineral sampling jobs in the Arctic (and they would pay for the training and PPC). So it *is* possible to find work in BC, but you likely won't be actually flying in BC for the first couple years.

*Disclaimer: I only have 222 hours myself, have not taken a mountain course, and have only limited time and experience in the industry. These are my thoughts and opinions - caveat emptor, grain of salt, and YMMV. :mrgreen:
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Re: PPC

#6 Post by nicholasstpierre » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:52 am

Daz,

Thank you very much for the info. I have not decided yet if I will train in Quebec or in BC, but the more it goes, I think it will be BC helicopters.

Thanks again!
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