Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

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ago.xr
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Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#1 Post by ago.xr » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:24 pm

Hi there,
I am CPL student and I would like to target seaplane charter companies after completion of my training.
In order to do so I'm thinking not only to get my seaplane rating but also to do some serious float time in order to be more employable by the end of my training.
But I've got few questions:
- How essential is it to do 50 hours on floats to get a job on a seaplane? Are there other ways to get to the right seat of a Single Otter or Beaver or it's simply a matter of insurance: "if you ain't got 50 hours you can't be insured"?
- Let's assume that you do need 50hrs to even be able to drop your CV at a seaplane company: is it possible to integrate these 50 hrs (25solo+25dual) in the CPL training rather than adding it on top of the 200ish hours? As part of the CPL the minimum dual time required is 35 hours, I am doubtful about doing 25 of those 35 on floats and still be able to pass the flight test...

Schools wise in the Vancouver area we've got (east to west)
- Fort Langley Air (Fort Langley, C180, 50 hrs course);
- Island Coastal Aviation (Pitt Meadows, C172, CPL floatplane integration);
- Victoria flying club (Victoria International Airport, C172)
- Ocean Air Floatplanes (Victoria International Airport, C180, rating-15/50hours courses);
- Pacific Seaplanes (Nanaimo, C172-C180-BE18, rating-15/50hours courses).

Is there anybody willing to share opinions and experiences on these schools?
Did I forget any?
Please, do feel free to give advices and suggestions should you have any, everything's welcome!
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#2 Post by 7ECA » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:39 pm

It's far from essential - because you aren't going to get hired anywhere on the West Coast with 50 hours of float time. And there's no such thing as going right seat on a Beaver or Otter, they're both single pilot aircraft...

If you want to go and spend a bunch of money on float training, there's nothing wrong with that - you've got to get 200 hours total time regardless. And why would doing fifty hours make it doubtful for you to pass a flight test?
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#3 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:40 pm

I recommend either Pacific Seaplanes or Ocean air, in that order.

The fifty hour course is beneficial only if the training was done by someone who has been involved in actual sea plane operations for a long time.

There is no insurance requirement time wise as an industry standard, most charter companies have an open insurance policy and who flies for them is determined by the owner/'s of the company.

Note :::

Once again.

Getting a sea plane rating is not difficult.

Getting proper training is another issue if you want to be a float plane pilot.

Re read my comments about who I think you should learn from.

Good luck on your career.. :smt040 :smt040
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ago.xr
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#4 Post by ago.xr » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:59 pm

7ECA wrote:It's far from essential - because you aren't going to get hired anywhere on the West Coast with 50 hours of float time. And there's no such thing as going right seat on a Beaver or Otter, they're both single pilot aircraft...

If you want to go and spend a bunch of money on float training, there's nothing wrong with that - you've got to get 200 hours total time regardless. And why would doing fifty hours make it doubtful for you to pass a flight test?
Hi guys, thanks for the input.
So this means you need more time on floats to be hired right? I guess this implies that all the floatplane pilots around right now have paid for say... 100, 200 hours from their pockets?
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#5 Post by BeaverDreamer » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:59 pm

Most float pilots don't get to start out on the west coast, it is one of the most demanding environments in the world for floatplane flying. 50 hour courses seem to be the way to go but they won't guarantee you a job by any means. Lots of guys I know did the course and ended up flying after a season on the dock, which isn't the worst thing ever but not for me. Unfortunately there aren't many places that will stick you in a plane with less than 10 hours on floats either. In my opinion 25 hours seems to be a good number for someone trying to get into the game. I only had 7 hours on floats and was checked out after about a month but I definitely consider myself lucky. Manitoba and Northern Ontario are your best bets for getting a job with low time.

If I could do it all again I would probably do my CPL with as many hours on floats as possible. Once you're in the air a 172 on wheels vs. floats won't be that different, it certainly won't hinder your ability to pass a flight test. In fact I believe flying different types as much as possible in the early going will make you a much better pilot than sticking to just 1 type.

I can't comment on which schools are best because I never did one but the schools Cat Driver mentions have great reputations (and Cat knows a thing or two as well!).
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#6 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:01 pm

I guess this implies that all the floatplane pilots around right now have paid for say... 100, 200 hours from their pockets?
No, finding a job flying floats is no different than finding any other job.

You get a sea plane rating and then find a company who needs a pilot.

You apply for a job in such a manner that the company at least gives you a chance to show you can do the job.

It is not some dark magic, it is a mechanical machine that operates off the water and once you have the rating and a commercial license you can carefully learn what not to do as you build time.

That was what I did, once I had the rating I found a job and learned on the job.

No one starts out in any job knowing everything about said job you learn with time and experience making mistakes....the secret is do not make serious mistakes.
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#7 Post by CpnCrunch » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:03 pm

Cat Driver wrote: There is no insurance requirement time wise as an industry standard, most charter companies have an open insurance policy and who flies for them is determined by the owner/'s of the company.
There might not be a "standard", but insurance companies typically have their own minimums. IIRC it's about 25 hours on type, and 50 hours on floats.
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#8 Post by Cat Driver » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:50 pm

Things may have changed since I was in the industry.

However in my last years as a working pilot I worked directly with several of the underwriters in Lloyds of London as a check pilot for high risk flying positions for pilots, such as air show pilots. There were no set time requirements, except they had to pass a flight test for the flying they were to be insured for.

So at that time there was no across the board requirement for a given minimum time to insure a licensed commercial pilot that held the licenses and ratings a job required and pass a flight test.

The underwriters are the people who decide the rules for writing insurance policies and the underwriters at Lloyds are the final deciders period.

However as I just said things change so my comments may easily be wrong for today's world of flying.

The last time I talked directly with their underwriters in their office in London was in 1997 or 1998 as close as I can recall so those guys are probably retired like me by now.
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#9 Post by FishermanIvan » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:48 pm

I got my seaplane job with 25 hours; didn't work the dock at all. I split my seaplane lessons between VFC and OceanAir in Victoria. I DID work a ramp part time for a couple years at the Edmonton Flying Club.

You probably won't find any jobs out west with 50 hours... Those are demanding jobs. I'm flying in Manitoba right now and would love to keep flying out here. It's good work, and the company I work for doesn't seem to have any bullshit; I don't have any make work to do, I don't have any camp work or anything like that. I fly, and that's that. Which is perfect to me.

Come out east early next year and look for work.
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#10 Post by marakii » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:39 pm

FishermanIvan wrote:I got my seaplane job with 25 hours; didn't work the dock at all. I split my seaplane lessons between VFC and OceanAir in Victoria. I DID work a ramp part time for a couple years at the Edmonton Flying Club.

You probably won't find any jobs out west with 50 hours... Those are demanding jobs. I'm flying in Manitoba right now and would love to keep flying out here. It's good work, and the company I work for doesn't seem to have any bullshit; I don't have any make work to do, I don't have any camp work or anything like that. I fly, and that's that. Which is perfect to me.

Come out east early next year and look for work.

So with 100 hours of float time in your log book, the odds are good to get a gig in 2018? And when would be the best time to start digging into getting that job and what type of floatplane are you flying now?

Also how many days in a row do you expect to work up north before you get a day off?

thanks in advance
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Re: Floatplane training - Vancouver Area - 50hrs courses - Schools?

#11 Post by FishermanIvan » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:16 pm

marakii wrote:
FishermanIvan wrote:I got my seaplane job with 25 hours; didn't work the dock at all. I split my seaplane lessons between VFC and OceanAir in Victoria. I DID work a ramp part time for a couple years at the Edmonton Flying Club.

You probably won't find any jobs out west with 50 hours... Those are demanding jobs. I'm flying in Manitoba right now and would love to keep flying out here. It's good work, and the company I work for doesn't seem to have any bullshit; I don't have any make work to do, I don't have any camp work or anything like that. I fly, and that's that. Which is perfect to me.

Come out east early next year and look for work.

So with 100 hours of float time in your log book, the odds are good to get a gig in 2018? And when would be the best time to start digging into getting that job and what type of floatplane are you flying now?

Also how many days in a row do you expect to work up north before you get a day off?

thanks in advance
I fully expect I'll be back with this company next summer. We seem to work just fine together, and I can't imagine they'd be wasting their time with me if they didn't want me back to fly again next year. I expect to have at least 100 hours in floats by the end of this season; hopefully pushing 500 by next falls, since I'll get a full season in.

I'm flying a Cessna 185 right now. They've got a couple turbo Otters as well, so there's room to move up. The career goal right now is Harbour Air out west, so I'll take all the float time I can get. I'm sad they don't have a Beaver any more, but what can you do?

As for time off, they've been amazing. I had two weddings and a week of holidays at my cottage that I told them about right away, and I had it all off. Came back and kept flying. They basically said don't just say I need days off with no notice, and I'm okay for (some) time off. They give me a free place to live, as well. I'm also barely "up north". I'm two and a half hours from Winnipeg. No complaints.

If you're looking for float work, fire resumes to everyone in the winter, and follow them up in person in the spring. Go for the road trip, and knock on doors.
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