Road Trips

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DanWEC
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Re: Road Trips

#26 Post by DanWEC » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:26 pm

Thanks for the offer 180.. still might take you up on that. ;)

But 180 brings up another point. It's a bit of a catch 22 about hitting the road trip while camps are still frozen up. Many operators won't even be at their site. However once the thaw comes they generally have the crews in place. Hm.
My plan has been to head out this Tuesday and I'd like to stick with it. I'm not working now, so why not- but there is also no point in embarking on such an expensive trip if it's not going to be at it's max effectiveness...maybe wait a week?
There are still many operators that go year round though.
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Re: Road Trips

#27 Post by 180 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:53 pm

If you had your heart set on flying floats and understood you were getting yourself into a seasonal situation with slow time building, I'd say it's too early for the road. 

If you have a valid multi-IFR (that's slowly expiring), and think floats would be fun, but not your true end game, then by all means hit the road right now. There's lots of year-round operators who have multi-IFR divisions and float machines who are always looking for good help. You'll probably find yourself in the right seat of something pretty quick, and if you stick around and express an interest in floats, you'll probably score a summer or two on the water eventually if you stuck around for a bit. 

Saskatchewan and the NWTs would be your best bets for larger companies with both divisions.  

Have fun!
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Re: Road Trips

#28 Post by Rowdy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:51 pm

180 wrote:If you had your heart set on flying floats and understood you were getting yourself into a seasonal situation with slow time building, I'd say it's too early for the road. 

If you have a valid multi-IFR (that's slowly expiring), and think floats would be fun, but not your true end game, then by all means hit the road right now. There's lots of year-round operators who have multi-IFR divisions and float machines who are always looking for good help. You'll probably find yourself in the right seat of something pretty quick, and if you stick around and express an interest in floats, you'll probably score a summer or two on the water eventually if you stuck around for a bit. 

Saskatchewan and the NWTs would be your best bets for larger companies with both divisions.  

Have fun!
Aint that the truth! If you want a ramp/right seat spot.. head out soon.. if You want a float season, call now and head out head out end of april early may (as soon as the words 'break up' are uttered)
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Re: Road Trips

#29 Post by DanWEC » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:05 pm

Good advice both.
It's tough at this level to really know what you want to do. It's along the same lines as picking your university degree when you start first year. 90% of people have no idea and half have changed or quit by graduation.

Most of us agree that having a nice high paying job at AC, or even Porter, flying out of a "southern" base is what any CPL in training wants. I've been along this train of thought as well, simply because of the lifestyle, but lately I've been doubting it.

I would love to fly floats every summer for the rest of my life in Northern Ont. I've wanted to since I was a kid, and it's the whole reason I got into aviation. We have a camp just outside of Blind River, Ontario and I spent many summers there watching those guys.
I know that experienced guys are in a bit of a demand, but what do you guys do in the off season? What about spending winters a bit further south?
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Re: Road Trips

#30 Post by 1000 HP » Thu May 03, 2012 4:15 pm

Something to always carry in the plane or car is a Zip-lock bag with a nice roll of toilet paper. You never know when nature is going to call. Sometimes she calls fairly firmly. I remember Phillyfan heading into the bush at a fuel cache location in the Territories while pulling off his socks once :rolleyes: I offered him "the roll". I figure I saved him at least $3 :mrgreen:
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Re: Road Trips

#31 Post by PostmasterGeneral » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:19 pm

Went on a road trip two weeks ago and landed a job a week later. Dressed in black pants, collared shirt, and black shoes. Didn't wear a tie, but looked presentable. I don't subscribe to the whole sleeping in your car philosophy, I got a hotel so I was well rested and showered in the morning, I think that helped keep me alert and presentable for the interview.
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Re: Road Trips

#32 Post by imac0960 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:08 pm

Anyone thinking of doing a road trip this season? This is the time of year to start the wheels in motion.

I also don't recommend sleeping in your car to save money. A real bed, shower and good rest is very useful when traveling long distances. No point getting killed on your job hunt.
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Re: Road Trips

#33 Post by Runway37 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:28 am

I am thinking of going on my first ever road trip. The question to the experienced roadies and owners/operators who hire people showing up at the door:

1. When is the latest in the season (late May, early June?) when a new VFR-only CPL on a road trip may reasonably expect to land (ahem) a job?

2. (for owners/operators) Does it ever occur that one of your pilots leaves (for family, health, other reasons) in the middle of the season, and you hired another pilot who showed up at the door, or who left his resume with you?

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Road Trips

#34 Post by Duffman » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:35 pm

Last season there was an operator looking for a 185 pilot in July. That isn't really typical though.

When to do a road trip is kind of a tough question. Right now everything is frozen and many operators aren't there yet. I would be heading out very soon though. There are always pilots that leave for the reasons you mentioned and others. If you don't get something right away don't get discouraged, keep trying.
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Re: Road Trips

#35 Post by dahspeers » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:58 pm

I literally had my car loaded and ready to go, when I was offered a position I applied for by e-mail. Which was great, but sucked at the same time. I was looking for forward to my road trip.
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Re: Road Trips

#36 Post by Runway37 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:49 pm

dahspeers wrote:I literally had my car loaded and ready to go, when I was offered a position I applied for by e-mail. Which was great, but sucked at the same time. I was looking for forward to my road trip.
Now that's quite something - despite a glut of pilots, people still get a job offer by email.

By the way, a need for a toolbox was mentioned a few times on this thread. What kind of a toolbox is that? Would someone kindly post a link to such a toolbox on CanTire's or Home Depot's site.

Also, does anyone know if, to be hired, it is absolutely necessary to have a CPL (and float) rating sticker in your book, or is it sufficient to have a 3-month handwritten endorsement from your FTU?

Cheers!
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Re: Road Trips

#37 Post by Duffman » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:10 pm

The temporary license is fine, just make sure you get that sticker in your booklet before the 90 days is up.

No specific kind of toolbox, just something compact that you can fix basic things with. A socket set, adjustable wrench, pliers, cutters, multi screwdriver would be a good start. Plus your leatherman of course. Actually, get 2 leathermans. One good one and one cheap Canadian Tire one. If yours falls in the lake it's nice to have a backup.
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Re: Road Trips

#38 Post by Runway37 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:57 pm

Duffman wrote: No specific kind of toolbox, just something compact that you can fix basic things with. A socket set, adjustable wrench, pliers, cutters, multi screwdriver would be a good start. Plus your leatherman of course. Actually, get 2 leathermans. One good one and one cheap Canadian Tire one. If yours falls in the lake it's nice to have a backup.
Thank you, Duffman. By the way, what kind of repairs is a pilot expected to do? And where does one get a good Leatherman, please?
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Re: Road Trips

#39 Post by North Shore » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:37 am

You're not expected to do any repairs - it just goes over well with the engineers if, when it comes time to take off the cowling at inspection time, you are ready with a screwdriver to help take the fasteners off, and do some of the grunt work. Over the years I've learned more about how my aeroplanes work by hanging out in the hangar when maintenance is happening..

Another handy thing in your backpack, if you are on floats is a tube of aluminum putty...if you manage, through, bad luck, negligence or ignorance (or a combination of all three! :lol: ) to put a hole in a float, the putty will patch it up so's you can get home. A leatherman would help, in that case, to get the float hatches off so that you could inspect the damage from the inside. [Not that that actually happened to me - I was told about it by a "friend" :oops: ]

Leatherman? Any decent outdoors shop should have a good selection. Try here: http://www.mec.ca/shop/?q=Leatherman or http://www.cabelas.com/

I wouldn't buy one mail-order, though..try it out first - I think that they've changed the designs now, but some of the early Leatherman designs had sharpish edges on the plier handles, so when you squeezed hard on them, they dug into your hands quite painfully..
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Re: Road Trips

#40 Post by Duffman » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:54 am

I actually meant that you should have basic tools in case something happens to your car on the trip. Unless you're lucky (or stupid?) enough to have a new car.

North Shore offered good advice though, don't annoy the mechanic trying to work on your plane but offer to help as much as you can. You WILL have to take cowlings off, open float hatches, maybe fix a water rudder cable, etc.
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Re: Road Trips

#41 Post by Runway37 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:15 am

Great info, thanks, guys! And last (but not least), how do bush pilots get paid? Hourly for just showing up at work for 8-16 hours, for flight time only, for both? What is a reasonable pay? Or should one just consider himself fortunate to have a job offer and take whatever they are offered, short of the never-acceptable flying for free gig? And are there usually any benefits, or pay in lieu, or none of that? Thanks again!
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Re: Road Trips

#42 Post by Duffman » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:29 pm

I have only ever been paid monthly. Accommodations are usually included, sometimes meals. My first job paid $3000 month with room and board. I guess it's up to you to decide if what is offered would work for you. If I was paid $1500 gross, I don't think I could have even made my loan payments on that.

Don't expect many days off, health benefits or overtime pay.
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Re: Road Trips

#43 Post by imac0960 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:20 pm

Wages for entry level jobs on the dock seem to be around $1800-$3000 paid monthly from what I have gathered through talking with others working in NWO. Accommodations are usually provided, if they aren't; make sure the pay is good as rent can run upwards of $1300 in RL. Some operators provide food on weekends and while on overnights in the bush. Hours will be long, days off will be few and far between. You will learn a lot very quickly from people who have been working the industry a long time. And if you're lucky you will get some time on a 180/185/206 and maybe even get moved up to a pilot position in your first season.
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Re: Road Trips

#44 Post by Runway37 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:55 pm

imac0960 wrote:if you're lucky you will get some time on a 180/185/206 and maybe even get moved up to a pilot position in your first season.
I am under the impression that it IS possible for a newly licensed pilot to get a floatplane job during a road trip. Are you saying it's not very likely, and one has to expect to work the ramp the first season, and hope for a flying job the next season?
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Re: Road Trips

#45 Post by Duffman » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:13 am

It's definitely possible. It's kind of a right place right time thing. If you get offered a dock job with a Cessna checkout later in the season, I would take it, as long as it's with a good company.
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Re: Road Trips

#46 Post by Runway37 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:49 am

Duffman wrote:It's definitely possible. It's kind of a right place right time thing. If you get offered a dock job with a Cessna checkout later in the season, I would take it, as long as it's with a good company.
So that there are fewer tears dropped in the beer, how many applicants vie, on average, for one entry-level flying job, in your estimate?
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Re: Road Trips

#47 Post by Duffman » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:01 pm

No idea. You have 50 hours floats right? Your chances are very good, but you should be heading out on your road trip any day now. If you want you can PM me and i'll give your names of companies that I know are very good and a few to stay away from.
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Re: Road Trips

#48 Post by imac0960 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:00 pm

It's absolutely possible to get a flying gig right from the get-go. But some companies want the lower time guys to work the dock and work their way up to a flying go and not all companies fun smaller aircraft. Best of luck! Hope to hear or see you in the skies soon!!
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Re: Road Trips

#49 Post by Qfly » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:54 am

Been trying to read as much as i can on the topics of finding a job, most of them have been answered already, but one remains kind of vague.
I realize float applications are a mid-april to early june thing, but what about wheel based operators (for a 200 hour wonder)?

Any particularly good time of year to go on a road trip for wheel based operations? Or should I just saddle up and move out whenever Im ready?

Im kind of assuming right now that because I cant really find information on it, that its a year round thing. If Im going to be waiting around for 9 months Im going to be kind of disappointed. :(
Also wondering because my MIFR expires soon and I would like to update that just before going on my road trip
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Re: Road Trips

#50 Post by PropToFeather » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:09 pm

Qfly wrote:Been trying to read as much as i can on the topics of finding a job, most of them have been answered already, but one remains kind of vague.
I realize float applications are a mid-april to early june thing, but what about wheel based operators (for a 200 hour wonder)?

Any particularly good time of year to go on a road trip for wheel based operations? Or should I just saddle up and move out whenever Im ready?

Im kind of assuming right now that because I cant really find information on it, that its a year round thing. If Im going to be waiting around for 9 months Im going to be kind of disappointed. :(
Also wondering because my MIFR expires soon and I would like to update that just before going on my road trip
Take it with a grain of salt from another 200-hour wonder (still flying the glorious desk!), but, from my reading and in personal experience, the good time for wheel jobs' trip is around April-May. I went on mine late May, and, from talking to everybody from pilots to CPs and Ops Managers, basically everybody hired all the direct-entry "junior pilot" jobs by mid-May. That said, one operator hired a guy literally a day before I showed up (I'm pretty sure awitzke from this board snapped that job), so there are jobs out there. The rest of the year is very much a crapshoot of being at the right place at the right time. If you're a gambler, or are naturally lucky, or if you just want a good adventure, there's really no truly "bad" season to do the trip.

Oh, and keep reading this board, there's a fair few road trip threads with different peoples' experiences in here!
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