Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#26 Post by Floatr » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:47 am

So looking at someone who is 50 or older, has previous flight training(but many years ago) and assuming can pass the Cat 1 medical and is strickly looking at flying floats...what would be the quickest way to get flying as a job...???

-Wouldn't the best training path be doing a commercial license program completely on floats...?

- Is there even a flight school in Canada that has this type of commercial float program like Air-Hart had some years ago in Kelowna B.C ...?

- How would flight schools/younger instructors look at someone at that point in life wanting to start in aviation even if there is a high level of enthusiasm...?

- Without a commercial program completely on floats the best/quickest option looks to be getting a commercial license in a C152 then a 50 hour float course...?

At this age I would think getting good training and as much experience on floats is the goal so a "50 ish" job seeker would stand out amid the job seekers......

...but it all starts with passing that medical...!
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#27 Post by Floatr » Mon May 01, 2017 4:35 pm

so no good advice for the original post...?

Has float training become a very,very small segment of the flight training world...?
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#28 Post by bring me the horizon » Tue May 02, 2017 9:10 pm

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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#29 Post by WastedFlyer » Tue May 02, 2017 10:27 pm

Very informative, thank you! I'm still a bit concerned that most posts say "IF you have the money, go for it!"... I had almost forgotten that becoming a pilot is perhaps a "rich's people" thing (I have nothing against rich people, in fact, I wish I were one! :) ) Having said that, I'm pretty sure there are lots of people who managed to get their CPL & float ratings even if they were half-broke... Many years ago, I heard about a co-worker who was considering to do his PPL. We got chatting and when he asked me what was the most difficult part of becoming a pilot, I replied that by far the hardest part was to get all the money to pay for the ratings! (I still think so, luckily my friend had plenty of money and got his PPL in no time...) Other than simply "getting a loan", what are other suggestions to make getting a CPL and assorted ratings more affordable? (perhaps I should make this another thread...)
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#30 Post by bring me the horizon » Wed May 03, 2017 1:34 pm

Very informative, thank you! I'm still a bit concerned that most posts say "IF you have the money, go for it!"... I had almost forgotten that becoming a pilot is perhaps a "rich's people" thing (I have nothing against rich people, in fact, I wish I were one! :) ) Having said that, I'm pretty sure there are lots of people who managed to get their CPL & float ratings even if they were half-broke... Many years ago, I heard about a co-worker who was considering to do his PPL. We got chatting and when he asked me what was the most difficult part of becoming a pilot, I replied that by far the hardest part was to get all the money to pay for the ratings! (I still think so, luckily my friend had plenty of money and got his PPL in no time...) Other than simply "getting a loan", what are other suggestions to make getting a CPL and assorted ratings more affordable? (perhaps I should make this another thread...)
Go up to the oil sands and work for a year or 2. Save all that money! ie: no hookers and/or blow. Then, move to a city that you can get a part time job and that offers cheap flight training and finish your ppl, cpl, other ratings all in one shot! The key is consistency. If you don't stay consistent and current in the aircraft type not is it going to hinder your aptitude but it'll cost you more down the line.
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#31 Post by WastedFlyer » Sat May 06, 2017 12:52 pm

bring me the horizon wrote:
Very informative, thank you! I'm still a bit concerned that most posts say "IF you have the money, go for it!"... I had almost forgotten that becoming a pilot is perhaps a "rich's people" thing (I have nothing against rich people, in fact, I wish I were one! :) ) Having said that, I'm pretty sure there are lots of people who managed to get their CPL & float ratings even if they were half-broke... Many years ago, I heard about a co-worker who was considering to do his PPL. We got chatting and when he asked me what was the most difficult part of becoming a pilot, I replied that by far the hardest part was to get all the money to pay for the ratings! (I still think so, luckily my friend had plenty of money and got his PPL in no time...) Other than simply "getting a loan", what are other suggestions to make getting a CPL and assorted ratings more affordable? (perhaps I should make this another thread...)
Go up to the oil sands and work for a year or 2. Save all that money! ie: no hookers and/or blow. Then, move to a city that you can get a part time job and that offers cheap flight training and finish your ppl, cpl, other ratings all in one shot! The key is consistency. If you don't stay consistent and current in the aircraft type not is it going to hinder your aptitude but it'll cost you more down the line.
Thank you for your advise BMTH... I wasn't sure if the Oil Sands was still a source of great, good paying jobs (with the downturn in the oil industry and the collapse of the oil prices), but I can find that out... Now that I think of it, the very fact that the job market for pilots at this time seems to be booming (particularly for bush pilots, apparently) has to be a symptom of "good times" for the Canadian resources industry as a whole (I'm a bit concerned for BC's forestry industry, though, with the renewed American protectionism...) I'll be looking for these good-paying job opportunities in the North / interior (I've never been a big fan of the "big cities" anyway, so the idea of working it the "middle of nowhere" is appealing in itself...)

I agree w/ your note on consistency... When I did my PPL in my teens, I made the mistake (in hindsight) of spreading out my lessons (as it was more affordable, month-by-month)... I'd schedule flights once a week, but if the weather was bad one day, I'd end up not flying for two weeks, not good... Lesson learned, now I'll just save all I need up front, and aim to fly at least every other day...
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#32 Post by PilotDAR » Sun May 07, 2017 1:10 am

As is the case with any flying instruction, it is inescapable that the major cost is the operation of the aircraft. Thereafter, the quality of the instruction may be related to what you're paying the instructor. Very experienced instructors don't often give their time away. And, add to that, seaplanes are unusually expensive to insure. This is because the insurer knows that nearly every place that aircraft lands and takes off will not be in the "controlled" environment of a runway at an airport. Worse, if there is a problem just severe enough to render the aircraft not ferryable, it's going to cost lots to get the plane home. Whereas, that problem in a wheel plane was much more likely at an airport, near a road.

For those pilots I have seaplane trained, the seven hour minimum was not enough - to meet my standards. The guidance I work to for training requires a minimum of 25 hours of dual. My recommendation for their hull insurance will not be accepted with less. That said, those 25 hours did not afford the opportunity for the new pilot to broadly experience "away" operations. Bush operators know this, and I suppose, keep a keen eye on their newer pilots, that's up to them.

The only shortcuts to the cost of obtaining the entry level skills in water flying are to do lots of reading about the techniques, so you're not spending time in an expensive plane, understanding something which can be presented on paper, (and maybe the occasional video clip). Next, learn the basics in the lowest cost floatplane you can. The bigger planes can come later. If you can handle a Cub, Champ, or old 172 well as a floatplane, the 180+ will come fairly easily later. The skills are fairly portable between types*, and the skills to get a low power floatplane up and out will be good for you when you're later flying a loaded 180+. * Flying boats are very different, and a different set of skills. In my opinion, they should be a different rating than a floatplane. If you can, build a relationship with a floatplane owner. Personal mentoring goes a long way for new water pilots. That was my success - aside from the closely supervised 5 solo circuits (which were not insured, he just took the risk on his private 180 for me), I did not fly solo in a floatplane for well over 100 hours - all dual, and learning. Thereafter, I was "lent" the 180, when doing so suited the owner's needs.

Consider buying a very modest floatplane (Aeronca Chief, etc.), Forgoing hull insurance, and doing your training and experience building in it. I did that, buying a low cost amphibian, when I needed to accumulate a few hundred hours of amphibian time to be easily insured on a very much more expensive amphib.
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#33 Post by Cat Driver » Sun May 07, 2017 3:25 pm

The sea plane rating would be a lot less expensive if T.C. dropped the five solo take offs and landings because the insurance would be a lot cheaper.
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#34 Post by WastedFlyer » Sun May 07, 2017 8:14 pm

PilotDAR wrote:As is the case with any flying instruction, it is inescapable that the major cost is the operation of the aircraft. Thereafter, the quality of the instruction may be related to what you're paying the instructor. Very experienced instructors don't often give their time away. And, add to that, seaplanes are unusually expensive to insure. This is because the insurer knows that nearly every place that aircraft lands and takes off will not be in the "controlled" environment of a runway at an airport. Worse, if there is a problem just severe enough to render the aircraft not ferryable, it's going to cost lots to get the plane home. Whereas, that problem in a wheel plane was much more likely at an airport, near a road.

For those pilots I have seaplane trained, the seven hour minimum was not enough - to meet my standards. The guidance I work to for training requires a minimum of 25 hours of dual. My recommendation for their hull insurance will not be accepted with less. That said, those 25 hours did not afford the opportunity for the new pilot to broadly experience "away" operations. Bush operators know this, and I suppose, keep a keen eye on their newer pilots, that's up to them.

The only shortcuts to the cost of obtaining the entry level skills in water flying are to do lots of reading about the techniques, so you're not spending time in an expensive plane, understanding something which can be presented on paper, (and maybe the occasional video clip). Next, learn the basics in the lowest cost floatplane you can. The bigger planes can come later. If you can handle a Cub, Champ, or old 172 well as a floatplane, the 180+ will come fairly easily later. The skills are fairly portable between types*, and the skills to get a low power floatplane up and out will be good for you when you're later flying a loaded 180+. * Flying boats are very different, and a different set of skills. In my opinion, they should be a different rating than a floatplane. If you can, build a relationship with a floatplane owner. Personal mentoring goes a long way for new water pilots. That was my success - aside from the closely supervised 5 solo circuits (which were not insured, he just took the risk on his private 180 for me), I did not fly solo in a floatplane for well over 100 hours - all dual, and learning. Thereafter, I was "lent" the 180, when doing so suited the owner's needs.

Consider buying a very modest floatplane (Aeronca Chief, etc.), Forgoing hull insurance, and doing your training and experience building in it. I did that, buying a low cost amphibian, when I needed to accumulate a few hundred hours of amphibian time to be easily insured on a very much more expensive amphib.
Thank you PilotDAR for all your insight and suggestions... I agree that 7 hours seems way too little to have a good handle of floats operations... Many years ago (90's), I read the Marin Faure's book "Flying a Floatplane" (which I plan to re-read before I start the float rating, of course) and it gave me an almost intimidating respect for floatplane operations, so I have no illusions that i will be a "piece of cake". I like your suggestion of getting started on low cost / smaller floatplanes, not so much for the low cost, but for what you said "the skills to get a low power floatplane up and out will be good for you when you're later flying a loaded 180+". Good point! :)
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#35 Post by PilotDAR » Sun May 07, 2017 9:48 pm

...gave me an almost intimidating respect for floatplane operations, so I have no illusions that i will be a "piece of cake".
I am regularly intimidated by floatplane operations. I only have about 1000 hours flying water, so I still pay lots of attention to what I'm doing, and where I'm taking the plane. I can't say that I have not damaged one (okay, two), but I always flew them home safely, and have never needed to call the insurance company!

With land planes, we get comfortable with margins of safety, which the "system" builds in for conservatism. Longer runways than we need, good wind direction indicators, smooth runway surfaces, planes which are capable of carrying more, and climbing a bit better than the book says. So those "phew" moments can be memorable, without being injurious. I have noticed that with the exception of happily long lakes, float flying otherwise can lead to to moments which were typically "oh my gosh" rather than "phew...". You gotta learn to see them coming, and change your plan before you're caught! Feeling intimidated is life saving, if you listen to yourself!
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#36 Post by WastedFlyer » Thu May 11, 2017 10:59 pm

PilotDAR wrote:
...gave me an almost intimidating respect for floatplane operations, so I have no illusions that i will be a "piece of cake".
I am regularly intimidated by floatplane operations. I only have about 1000 hours flying water
"Only" 1000 hours... LOL :D
PilotDAR wrote: With land planes, we get comfortable with margins of safety, which the "system" builds in for conservatism. Longer runways than we need, good wind direction indicators, smooth runway surfaces, planes which are capable of carrying more, and climbing a bit better than the book says.
Indeed, that's the feeling I got reading Marin Faure's book: compared with "land planes" (where all we have to do to be safe is to follow established procedures), in floatplane operations there seems to be a lot of stuff that can go terribly wrong unless the pilot "did it right," and the only way to "do it right" was learning through practice :shock: I'm bracing for those glassy water landings where it's basically impossible to judge where the water surface actually is (I remember the suggestion was glancing toward the shore and use it as a reference).. fascinating... Frankly, it does makes flying floatplanes all the more interesting and challenging! :D
PilotDAR wrote: You gotta learn to see them coming, and change your plan before you're caught! Feeling intimidated is life saving, if you listen to yourself!
Good point! :)
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#37 Post by PilotDAR » Fri May 12, 2017 4:25 am

(I remember the suggestion was glancing toward the shore and use it as a reference).. fascinating..
Remember, it was only someone's suggestion, and not necessarily a good idea! If you're landing close along shore, and a deliberate glance is not required, but glassy water landings are not the time to be taking your eyes off your far ahead visual reference. Glassy water technique can be aided by practicing slow flight, until you're really good at precise pitch and altitude control. Then, you fly your approach with that precision, but faster, and descending with power. Worse than glassy water, is glassy very clear water, where what you're seeing in the water is the bottom. Then you have zero hope of judging the surface.

During a float flying course, it can be difficult to have the conditions to enable this "real conditions" training and skills development. But, at the very least, that training must impart in the new float pilot the recognition that even in severe clear, with a long lake, and even a gentle breeze, a "safe" landing may be difficult - due to conditions. Those conditions which beckon a land plane pilot, maybe a lure for trouble in water landing conditions. While training a pilot/owner in his 182 amphib in Norway, I had to tell him to be scared, really scared, while approaching in those conditions. Unfortunate "peer" pressure meant that bowing out of that arrival (with hundreds of his friends watching) would be difficult, so I mentored him in, But I explained that had a landing there not been "important, I would not have attempted it. I remember thinking, as I tied up the plane, that even at shore, I had a hard time seeing that the floats were actually floating in water!

Image

The water was much more invisible than the photo makes it appear.

Aside from "base", every time you land and takeoff in a floatplane, you're probably also your own airport manager too! How well did you do your job in making the aerodrome safe for operation, and identifying hazards?

1000 hours on floats? Not much in Canadian (bush) aviation. I pale in experience to my peers, I'm just more vocal about it!
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#38 Post by WastedFlyer » Sat May 13, 2017 11:02 am

Thank you for your notes PilotDAR... I've read that one technique sometimes used for glassy water landings (which might help in clear water landings perhaps) was to approach in a very shallow descent, not trying to actually "land", but aiming to hit the water ("gently"?) , bounce and go around for another try... With the water surface now disturbed, the water would no longer be glassy and it would be easier to detect where the surface is... Would this help with clear water too...? Just curious...
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#39 Post by PilotDAR » Sat May 13, 2017 1:30 pm

I would not attempt to bounce a floatplane off glassy water. If you're needing to land, and you touchdown, stay there. Every time you change what you're doing with a plane, other things change too, reconfigure, and changing your mindset from "land" to "takeoff". The more you change, particularly in haste, and with less than ideal visual cues (why you had to glassy water in the first place), the more risk you create for yourself. Minimize change, particularly sudden change, while flying. And.... if that's not enough reason, yes, you could make a splash mark, a bit of wake, and a local area of disturbed water, ideal for surface reference. SO now you go around, and make a second approach to a disturbed spot of water - it's going to be a pretty small spot. Spot landing attemps on glassy water are a remarkably poor idea.

Many times, on glassy water landings, I have spotted a little cats paw of breeze texture on the water. Great, I can land there! Yeah... if you land long, you're over glassy water again, too slow, and can't determine your height above the surface. A bad place to be, now your only safe option is a slow speed go around - again - change....

Some things are simply not safely possible, and spot glassy water landings are high on the list. That's why they teach the technique as they do. Anyone who suggests deviations from the standard glassy water technique either does not know what they're talking about, or is massively experienced, and can fly this magic, but knows better than to suggest it to new pilots.
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Re: Guidance about Bush flying prospects...?

#40 Post by WastedFlyer » Mon May 15, 2017 6:14 pm

Note taken PilotDAR... Thanks for the advise! :-)
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