Low-timer Road Trip

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Chelo
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Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Chelo »

It's that time of the year where these types of threads will begin to pop-up so I felt it would be fitting that I made one. I have used the search function to gather several great tips about the road trip itself but have not found many recent threads, and even fewer with follow ups from the OP. I want to first and foremost be safe during this trip. It’s brutally cold, and I don't plan on sleeping in my car unless it’s a worst case scenario

To keep it short, I'm a low-time CPL w/ Group 1 Multi-IFR with a total of 247 hours. Nothing special or extraordinary and given the # CPL recipients a year, a dime a dozen. I have not yet written the IATRA because the 2 year re-write clock begins once I pass it but I have put in the time studying and I am confident I'd pass it without spending much more time studying. I do not have a float rating as I never thought of taking that route. I should add that I am older than most typical "rampies" at 30, but I was of the mindset that I did not want to go into debt during flight training and have worked through all my education/flight training in an unrelated field.

With all that said, and on to the heart of the matter. My goal is to go north some time in March and hopefully land a job with an operator sometime this spring. I know that very few, if any, entry level pilot jobs for low timers exist and I understand that I will likely have to put in my time on the ramp. This is something I have come to terms with a long time ago and it does not bother me at all, provided it is with a reputable company that won't just dangle a carrot and bury me on the ramp with no hope of getting off it.

I will be leaving from southern Ontario and my first targeted area is Winnipeg. I have 9 days off of work and I may increase that if needed. I have done some homework and searched away on the operators and there are a couple there that really interest me. I have applied on-line to the "green machine" as described in a few posts here but hope to follow up with a visit. There is one other medevac/charter operator in YWG that I will visit as I have heard good things and would love to work for them. From YWG, I plan on heading to The Pas, and into Thompson.

I spoke with a friend of mine who suggested I make a stop in SK and visit with Transwest but have not found any recent information on hiring. If someone could chime in, it would be greatly appreciated. I have not listed any operators in North-western Ontario, but I will be stopping in Thunder Bay on my way to/from Winnipeg. If there are any operators I should be visiting there, despite being a low-timer please feel free to let me know. I am willing to make a stop in Pickle Lake or Red Lake and visit the companies there as well if suggested.

Essentially, there is no part of the country I am opposed to travel to. I will travel further north than what I mentioned if it’s suggested I should do that. I have compiled a list of companies in the NWT and am willing to travel there. From my research here, the only place I should avoid is Moosonee, ON due to there being no roads to get there.

So without creating a larger wall of text, I am hoping to hear from anyone who has ventured out on a similar trip or anyone who has any tips/recommendations/suggestions of places to stay or people to talk to along the way. I am not delusional about what will be required of me work-wise, and I am willing to travel anywhere and put in the time with a reputable operator. Feel free to PM me if you feel that is a better way to share your story/tips/suggestions. I will update this thread throughout my trip with the goal of helping anyone else out in the future who undertakes the same venture.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

Glad you posted this topic. I am pretty much in the same shoes as you are only I did not come to terms yet with working the ramp. I would rather fly chips in a 172 for two years then sit and wait for that magic day. I do have a float rating but with the whopping 7 hours I have on floats is too far from what I would need to pursue that part of aviation.

I would like some feedback on what float operator I could go to where I could log some hours first season while working the dock.

I would like to get some input on possible small chartery companies that you could get in on without ramp.

I will be leaving this week coming up. I have an issue with timing to go at a later time so I am leaving a little earlier than I should be. But none the less hoping to make some connections and get my resume around. Will probably drive all the way to Vancouver and back.
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Illya Kuryakin
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Illya Kuryakin »

I think you 250 hour MEIFR types who want to find ramp jobs should all get together and rent a bus.
Seriously. You're 30. Common sense should have kicked in by now. Your willingness to work on a ramp pretty much sums up what's wrong with this industry at the bottom rungs of the ladder.
The problem isn't the companies that will use you as ramp labour, rather pilots like you willing to be used. That $50K licence sure will come in handy in the forklift course.
Will load airplanes for food.
Will fly for peanuts.
You are a dime a dozen, but do you have to advertise it? Not just you. But, all of you.
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Vern
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Vern »

Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
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DanWEC
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by DanWEC »

Have you thought about instructing? (More importantly, would you be a good instructor and enjoy it?) Much much easier to find your first job that way.
Don't forget about drop zones, visiting the CP's there can get you in the door, they're hiring now for the season. Just don't work for free.
Transwest would likely hire you for the ramp/dispatch, but expect to live a few years in a tiny northern town or outpost. Works great for some, not so much for others.

Sask and MB are good bets as you've mentioned. Don't forget Red lake and Souix Lookout in NWO on your way out there.
Spend some time getting names and even calling ahead.

I brought a laptop and portable printer with me, if I couldn't get the name of my contact before hand, I'd quickly head back out to my car after my introductions to fire off a personalized resume to bring back in 5 min later.

Take lots of pictures, have a beer or two at some of the hotel bars, try not to rush through it, and have some fun with it!! You're shelling out the time and money, make it an experience to remember.
I did the trip a couple of years ago. Got some interesting results and a lot of stories from it!

Good luck!!
Dan
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

Vern wrote:Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
I am quite aware of this, and to be honest I had no prior interest in float flying. But then one day I decided to give it try, because the twin I was flying was out of commission for a while. Did I ever enjoy it! All I wanted to do was try it once, I ended up doing the whole rating that weekend. Unfortunately my funds were not unlimited and being half way through MEIFR I could only afford the rating. This summer though, depending on the outcome of my road trip and job hunt, I will definitely continue time building on float as my school is very reasonable for solo rentals. I really wish I fell in love with floats before I started multi flying. What's done is done now.

As for the instructor route, I would enjoy it to an extent. The thing is I have been working in management for a while, and for a few years I managed a flight school. Fun experience, learned a lot. Done some PRM work. I think my biggest challenge would be adjusting to work for someone in the flight school. I think at times it would discourage me a lot, as I have a pretty good idea (in my opinion) on how to run a successful school. (I have proven results to back that up). I would also rather spend the $15000 (roughly what it costs now to get rated in YYZ) on something else, like taking my degree further.

I have found two companies I want to visit in Moosonee. A bit of a hurdle to get in and out of there, but definitely worth a visit in my opinion. One would likely be ramp job at first, which I do not want and the other would be single engine PIC, which I am very interested in. But both places seem to offer lots of flying hours and progression seems ok. Although the older posts have mixed reviews.

Thunderbay has a few operators, mostly I think ramp/dispatch routes. Air Bravo, Wasaya, and such. Sioux has that big medevac operation, but again thats ramp route... But I am probably going to hit up either Sioux or Moosonee on the return leg, would make more sense driving wise.

I really want to check out Orca Airways in BC. I know the pay is on the lower end but seems like a place where you can get lots of MPIC.

I have lots more in mind, and I will keep updating this, perhaps someone who is doing the same trip could get some ideas out of this also
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

Vern wrote:Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
I think mine came up quite a bit more than $10K, I got almost 50 hours in a twin. I wanted to do all the instrument time in the twin plus my multi check out prior. Now I am able to rent this machine solo with PAX. Which is great, I am planning to take the wife to Bahamas in it one day this year. But she is iffy on the flying, so may be our first trip is going to have to be a bit shorter. NY or ORD? But that is off topic now. I am glad I did that much time in a twin, it built up a lot of flying skill. I learned more in the last 50 hours of flying then the first 250! Managing systems, caring for turbos, decision making, dealing with an actual engine failure all made me a much more confident pilot.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Illya Kuryakin »

glorifieddriver wrote:
Vern wrote:Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
I think mine came up quite a bit more than $10K, I got almost 50 hours in a twin. I wanted to do all the instrument time in the twin plus my multi check out prior. Now I am able to rent this machine solo with PAX. Which is great, I am planning to take the wife to Bahamas in it one day this year. But she is iffy on the flying, so may be our first trip is going to have to be a bit shorter. NY or ORD? But that is off topic now. I am glad I did that much time in a twin, it built up a lot of flying skill. I learned more in the last 50 hours of flying then the first 250! Managing systems, caring for turbos, decision making, dealing with an actual engine failure all made me a much more confident pilot.
An actual engine failure in 50 hours? Don't blame your wife. I wouldn't fly in that POS either.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

Illya Kuryakin wrote:
glorifieddriver wrote:
Vern wrote:Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
I think mine came up quite a bit more than $10K, I got almost 50 hours in a twin. I wanted to do all the instrument time in the twin plus my multi check out prior. Now I am able to rent this machine solo with PAX. Which is great, I am planning to take the wife to Bahamas in it one day this year. But she is iffy on the flying, so may be our first trip is going to have to be a bit shorter. NY or ORD? But that is off topic now. I am glad I did that much time in a twin, it built up a lot of flying skill. I learned more in the last 50 hours of flying then the first 250! Managing systems, caring for turbos, decision making, dealing with an actual engine failure all made me a much more confident pilot.
An actual engine failure in 50 hours? Don't blame your wife. I wouldn't fly in that POS either.
Illya
HAHAHA! It actually is a pretty nice bird, and no expense is spared on Maintenance. I mean to my extent of research. It had a number 5 cyl valve crack, and bits of it got sucked into the cylinder, and well you can imagine the rest of the picture... Happened during my Group 1 ride to top it off! But now its pretty much got an overhauled engine, and the plane is going to be commercially operated so it went through all the inspections. I think it's my luck, I had a partial engine failure more like a huge engine power loss, when my a cylinder cracked on an old 172M that I rented out in CYBW a few years back. That was the longest circuit of my life!
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JBI
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by JBI »

The road trip can be 'fun' and it sounds like you have the right attitude. A few thoughts:

1- Go through the air carrier search on Pilot Career Centre and figure out all the places you want to hit. Make a note of the carrier's ket details - addresses, important people, fleet etc. That should help you plan.

2 - If you have time, take a quick check of their web page: Any news or new developments? If the CP has a few minutes for you, you'll want to be able to show you know a little about the operation. You're not expected to be an expert, but the more you can converse intelligently, the better.

3- Plan to be flexible on your timing. There's a good chance that the CP will busy flying / paper working / on vacation when you show up. Is it worthwhile to spend a day or two in town for that operator, or should you just keep going?

4- Try and figure out if you have a connection at a particular carrier and focus there. While there are definitely people hired off the street, most jobs are obtained through at least a minor connection.

5- If you're a little older (30), this could help you. But, make sure you're able to explain your late start and what you did for 10 years after high school. You don't need to defend yourself, but if you've got an interesting story, tell it!

6- Be making notes of the places you go to - who you talked to, what they said, what the town was like. There's a good chance that you won't get something on the drive, but that it'll be a follow-up e-mail or phone call.

7- Think about whether you're willing to move to a place without a job and if so, where would you choose.

Hope the above helps.
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flyinhigh
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by flyinhigh »

Ok, 2 failures in 250 hours.

I think she is more afraid to fly with you!!!! :smt040
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by North Shore »

glorifieddriver wrote:
Vern wrote:Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
I am quite aware of this, and to be honest I had no prior interest in float flying. But then one day I decided to give it try, because the twin I was flying was out of commission for a while. Did I ever enjoy it! All I wanted to do was try it once, I ended up doing the whole rating that weekend. Unfortunately my funds were not unlimited and being half way through MEIFR I could only afford the rating. This summer though, depending on the outcome of my road trip and job hunt, I will definitely continue time building on float as my school is very reasonable for solo rentals. I really wish I fell in love with floats before I started multi flying. What's done is done now.

As for the instructor route, I would enjoy it to an extent. The thing is I have been working in management for a while, and for a few years I managed a flight school. Fun experience, learned a lot. Done some PRM work. I think my biggest challenge would be adjusting to work for someone in the flight school. I think at times it would discourage me a lot, as I have a pretty good idea (in my opinion) on how to run a successful school. (I have proven results to back that up). I would also rather spend the $15000 (roughly what it costs now to get rated in YYZ) on something else, like taking my degree further.

I have found two companies I want to visit in Moosonee. A bit of a hurdle to get in and out of there, but definitely worth a visit in my opinion. One would likely be ramp job at first, which I do not want and the other would be single engine PIC, which I am very interested in. But both places seem to offer lots of flying hours and progression seems ok. Although the older posts have mixed reviews.

Thunderbay has a few operators, mostly I think ramp/dispatch routes. Air Bravo, Wasaya, and such. Sioux has that big medevac operation, but again thats ramp route... But I am probably going to hit up either Sioux or Moosonee on the return leg, would make more sense driving wise.

I really want to check out Orca Airways in BC. I know the pay is on the lower end but seems like a place where you can get lots of MPIC.

I have lots more in mind, and I will keep updating this, perhaps someone who is doing the same trip could get some ideas out of this also
So, a number of years ago, I worked with a guy whom we shall call 'Fred', and he told me a sad story...

Fred used to work at a small operator with another guy, 'Joe'. They were 'friends', or so thought Fred. One day, Fred came to work really happy - he'd secured a job on the next step up the ladder, and it was going to start the next week. He told Joe of his good fortune. On the appointed day, Fred showed up at his new job only to find that the job, over the previous few days had been filled." Uhhh, sorry man, we hired someone else.."
WTF, wonders our hero Fred? I thought this was a done deal?!
Down the stairs wanders 'friend' Joe "Oh, hey man...sorry 'bout that..."

Just a thought - keep your job prospect cards a little closer to your chest...


Good Luck with the job hunt! Don't forget the CAA membership - invaluable if your car is in the slightest bit dodgy..
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

flyinhigh wrote:Ok, 2 failures in 250 hours.

I think she is more afraid to fly with you!!!! :smt040
She does not need to know about these :lol: :lol: :lol: :rolleyes:
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

North Shore wrote:
glorifieddriver wrote:
Vern wrote:Glorifieddriver, in my experience most float operators (around NWO anyway) do not want to hire pilots that have an IFR. It's a valid point, how serious about floats are you when you spent $10,000+ on a multi/IFR but only have 7 hours on floats.`

I think you'll have better luck at operators that fly wheels. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to try.
I am quite aware of this, and to be honest I had no prior interest in float flying. But then one day I decided to give it try, because the twin I was flying was out of commission for a while. Did I ever enjoy it! All I wanted to do was try it once, I ended up doing the whole rating that weekend. Unfortunately my funds were not unlimited and being half way through MEIFR I could only afford the rating. This summer though, depending on the outcome of my road trip and job hunt, I will definitely continue time building on float as my school is very reasonable for solo rentals. I really wish I fell in love with floats before I started multi flying. What's done is done now.

As for the instructor route, I would enjoy it to an extent. The thing is I have been working in management for a while, and for a few years I managed a flight school. Fun experience, learned a lot. Done some PRM work. I think my biggest challenge would be adjusting to work for someone in the flight school. I think at times it would discourage me a lot, as I have a pretty good idea (in my opinion) on how to run a successful school. (I have proven results to back that up). I would also rather spend the $15000 (roughly what it costs now to get rated in YYZ) on something else, like taking my degree further.

I have found two companies I want to visit in Moosonee. A bit of a hurdle to get in and out of there, but definitely worth a visit in my opinion. One would likely be ramp job at first, which I do not want and the other would be single engine PIC, which I am very interested in. But both places seem to offer lots of flying hours and progression seems ok. Although the older posts have mixed reviews.

Thunderbay has a few operators, mostly I think ramp/dispatch routes. Air Bravo, Wasaya, and such. Sioux has that big medevac operation, but again thats ramp route... But I am probably going to hit up either Sioux or Moosonee on the return leg, would make more sense driving wise.

I really want to check out Orca Airways in BC. I know the pay is on the lower end but seems like a place where you can get lots of MPIC.

I have lots more in mind, and I will keep updating this, perhaps someone who is doing the same trip could get some ideas out of this also
So, a number of years ago, I worked with a guy whom we shall call 'Fred', and he told me a sad story...

Fred used to work at a small operator with another guy, 'Joe'. They were 'friends', or so thought Fred. One day, Fred came to work really happy - he'd secured a job on the next step up the ladder, and it was going to start the next week. He told Joe of his good fortune. On the appointed day, Fred showed up at his new job only to find that the job, over the previous few days had been filled." Uhhh, sorry man, we hired someone else.."
WTF, wonders our hero Fred? I thought this was a done deal?!
Down the stairs wanders 'friend' Joe "Oh, hey man...sorry 'bout that..."

Just a thought - keep your job prospect cards a little closer to your chest...


Good Luck with the job hunt! Don't forget the CAA membership - invaluable if your car is in the slightest bit dodgy..

Great story! I know that sometimes being open is not good, but really right now I am not saying anything more that you cannot find using the search function here, the TC Operator List Search and Pilot Career Centre website...

I already know that there are a few guys out there hitting the road, from the sound of it most people stay more local as where I am going all the way through from Coast to Coast, and as far north as I can make it before March 15th...the lease is up on the car! So yeah no need for CAA, car is covered from Manufacturer :) which is why I am trying to do this trip now, before I give it back. With the pay cut I am about to under take I do not think I will have such luxuries again for a while.

But I will definitely keep the actual job prospects to myself. I do not mind sharing what I have been able to find, as I also have found a lot of needed information from other people who did not mind sharing! We have to help each other out and hope that each one of us will find a seat that will keep us happy!
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Chelo
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Chelo »

glorifieddriver wrote:Glad you posted this topic. I am pretty much in the same shoes as you are only I did not come to terms yet with working the ramp. I would rather fly chips in a 172 for two years then sit and wait for that magic day. I do have a float rating but with the whopping 7 hours I have on floats is too far from what I would need to pursue that part of aviation.

I would like some feedback on what float operator I could go to where I could log some hours first season while working the dock.

I would like to get some input on possible small chartery companies that you could get in on without ramp.

I will be leaving this week coming up. I have an issue with timing to go at a later time so I am leaving a little earlier than I should be. But none the less hoping to make some connections and get my resume around. Will probably drive all the way to Vancouver and back.
Glad you found this thread useful. I hesitated a bit before making it but I am sure some good will come out of it. Keep me/us posted on your road trip and anything you feel might be beneficial for myself or anyone else venturing across the country. Hopefully it works out for you and you report back with good news.
DanWEC wrote:Have you thought about instructing? (More importantly, would you be a good instructor and enjoy it?) Much much easier to find your first job that way.
Don't forget about drop zones, visiting the CP's there can get you in the door, they're hiring now for the season. Just don't work for free.
Transwest would likely hire you for the ramp/dispatch, but expect to live a few years in a tiny northern town or outpost. Works great for some, not so much for others.

Sask and MB are good bets as you've mentioned. Don't forget Red lake and Souix Lookout in NWO on your way out there.
Spend some time getting names and even calling ahead.

I brought a laptop and portable printer with me, if I couldn't get the name of my contact before hand, I'd quickly head back out to my car after my introductions to fire off a personalized resume to bring back in 5 min later.

Take lots of pictures, have a beer or two at some of the hotel bars, try not to rush through it, and have some fun with it!! You're shelling out the time and money, make it an experience to remember.
I did the trip a couple of years ago. Got some interesting results and a lot of stories from it!

Good luck!!
Dan
I thought long and hard about instructing and I couldn't convince myself that I'd enjoy it at all. I would be doing it for all the wrong reasons, and given what training costs and how many people struggle to find funds, I wouldn't want to hinder someone's progress or have someone invest time/money in training only for me to bail at the first job opportunity.

I won't be rushing it at all, I am hoping to have the kind of experience you described. I am taking my hockey gear with me to stop and play at any opportunity. I have some friends in YQT who I will be visiting and sharing a few beers with. I want to make as much of an adventure out of this as possible.

If nothing comes from this road trip, I will be trying the DZ route next. I will not be visiting those that are fly for free or any ridiculous notion they come up with. I won't mention specific names, but I have done research on which ones to avoid.

Thank you for your input, and it's good to see a username that I have found in other threads on this topic. Glad your still active and sharing experiences/input.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

JBI wrote:The road trip can be 'fun' and it sounds like you have the right attitude. A few thoughts:

1- Go through the air carrier search on Pilot Career Centre and figure out all the places you want to hit. Make a note of the carrier's ket details - addresses, important people, fleet etc. That should help you plan.

2 - If you have time, take a quick check of their web page: Any news or new developments? If the CP has a few minutes for you, you'll want to be able to show you know a little about the operation. You're not expected to be an expert, but the more you can converse intelligently, the better.

3- Plan to be flexible on your timing. There's a good chance that the CP will busy flying / paper working / on vacation when you show up. Is it worthwhile to spend a day or two in town for that operator, or should you just keep going?

4- Try and figure out if you have a connection at a particular carrier and focus there. While there are definitely people hired off the street, most jobs are obtained through at least a minor connection.

5- If you're a little older (30), this could help you. But, make sure you're able to explain your late start and what you did for 10 years after high school. You don't need to defend yourself, but if you've got an interesting story, tell it!

6- Be making notes of the places you go to - who you talked to, what they said, what the town was like. There's a good chance that you won't get something on the drive, but that it'll be a follow-up e-mail or phone call.

7- Think about whether you're willing to move to a place without a job and if so, where would you choose.

Hope the above helps.

Thanks for these points, the number 3 is definitely something that is my main concern. Especially since I have a time that I must be back by, so hanging around anywhere, really will not be an option, the more country I leave behind every day, the more chances I have to complete the whole trip, which should cover at least coast to coast... Yellowknife and Whitehorse is a couple places I really wanted to hit up as well.

As far as moving, I will move anywhere I need to as long as the job involves any form of flying. Ramp jobs as I said, I am really not after and if I do take one ever, it would have to really be worthwhile in terms of money and upgrade times. I am currently managing a ground handling company, so I know a few things about handling aircraft, really do not think that they could teach me much. Heck I have even loaded a DC3 with skids in the middle of -60 with windchill weather, at 4 am...so I know how to get it done. And showing how I load planes, should take a few months for the company to determine my personality traits and work habits in order to trust me with flying the airplane then.
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Chelo
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Chelo »

North Shore wrote: So, a number of years ago, I worked with a guy whom we shall call 'Fred', and he told me a sad story...

Fred used to work at a small operator with another guy, 'Joe'. They were 'friends', or so thought Fred. One day, Fred came to work really happy - he'd secured a job on the next step up the ladder, and it was going to start the next week. He told Joe of his good fortune. On the appointed day, Fred showed up at his new job only to find that the job, over the previous few days had been filled." Uhhh, sorry man, we hired someone else.."
WTF, wonders our hero Fred? I thought this was a done deal?!
Down the stairs wanders 'friend' Joe "Oh, hey man...sorry 'bout that..."

Just a thought - keep your job prospect cards a little closer to your chest...


Good Luck with the job hunt! Don't forget the CAA membership - invaluable if your car is in the slightest bit dodgy..
Your CAA tip in a previous thread was one of the first things I made sure I took care of when I was compiling things. Not just handy for a road trip, but something I should have for peace of mind, regardless of where I am.

JBI wrote:The road trip can be 'fun' and it sounds like you have the right attitude. A few thoughts:

1- Go through the air carrier search on Pilot Career Centre and figure out all the places you want to hit. Make a note of the carrier's ket details - addresses, important people, fleet etc. That should help you plan.

2 - If you have time, take a quick check of their web page: Any news or new developments? If the CP has a few minutes for you, you'll want to be able to show you know a little about the operation. You're not expected to be an expert, but the more you can converse intelligently, the better.

3- Plan to be flexible on your timing. There's a good chance that the CP will busy flying / paper working / on vacation when you show up. Is it worthwhile to spend a day or two in town for that operator, or should you just keep going?

4- Try and figure out if you have a connection at a particular carrier and focus there. While there are definitely people hired off the street, most jobs are obtained through at least a minor connection.

5- If you're a little older (30), this could help you. But, make sure you're able to explain your late start and what you did for 10 years after high school. You don't need to defend yourself, but if you've got an interesting story, tell it!

6- Be making notes of the places you go to - who you talked to, what they said, what the town was like. There's a good chance that you won't get something on the drive, but that it'll be a follow-up e-mail or phone call.

7- Think about whether you're willing to move to a place without a job and if so, where would you choose.

Hope the above helps.
Can't thank you enough for the post. I have read a lot of your posts on here, and your suggestions are exactly what I was hoping to gather from a thread like this. I will be going back to put together a list of CPs and I will definitely now be making notes of worthwhile events/findings on my trip.
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glorifieddriver
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by glorifieddriver »

JBI wrote:The road trip can be 'fun' and it sounds like you have the right attitude. A few thoughts:

1- Go through the air carrier search on Pilot Career Centre and figure out all the places you want to hit. Make a note of the carrier's ket details - addresses, important people, fleet etc. That should help you plan.

2 - If you have time, take a quick check of their web page: Any news or new developments? If the CP has a few minutes for you, you'll want to be able to show you know a little about the operation. You're not expected to be an expert, but the more you can converse intelligently, the better.

3- Plan to be flexible on your timing. There's a good chance that the CP will busy flying / paper working / on vacation when you show up. Is it worthwhile to spend a day or two in town for that operator, or should you just keep going?

4- Try and figure out if you have a connection at a particular carrier and focus there. While there are definitely people hired off the street, most jobs are obtained through at least a minor connection.

5- If you're a little older (30), this could help you. But, make sure you're able to explain your late start and what you did for 10 years after high school. You don't need to defend yourself, but if you've got an interesting story, tell it!

6- Be making notes of the places you go to - who you talked to, what they said, what the town was like. There's a good chance that you won't get something on the drive, but that it'll be a follow-up e-mail or phone call.

7- Think about whether you're willing to move to a place without a job and if so, where would you choose.

Hope the above helps.

See number 4 is a big problem. Really slim on that side. Most of my recent connections I could approach are within my scope of work now, and nothing to do with flying. I have went through LinkedIn and FB to determine any possible relations to anyone I might know and came up empty handed. Which is another reason why I decided to do the road trip. I am hoping to at least make some connections at the very least.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by xsbank »

If, on your great adventure, you are offered a ramp job, don't take it unless they offer to check you out on empty legs, freight runs or similar. If they use you in the right seat of an airplane that actually uses a right seater, all good. If you don't get this sort of commitment, keep looking. The big problem for companies is getting good rampies that know something about airplane's and are willing to leave their families to live in Fort Hopeless for years with cheap wages and nothing but that carrot dangling. You guessed it, it's harder to get a good rampie than it is to get a pilot. Rampies, like dispatchers, make or break your company so you are valuable on the ramp, not so much as a beginner pilot, so beware!
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Illya Kuryakin
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Illya Kuryakin »

xsbank wrote:If, on your great adventure, you are offered a ramp job, don't take it unless they offer to check you out on empty legs, freight runs or similar. If they use you in the right seat of an airplane that actually uses a right seater, all good. If you don't get this sort of commitment, keep looking. The big problem for companies is getting good rampies that know something about airplane's and are willing to leave their families to live in Fort Hopeless for years with cheap wages and nothing but that carrot dangling. You guessed it, it's harder to get a good rampie than it is to get a pilot. Rampies, like dispatchers, make or break your company so you are valuable on the ramp, not so much as a beginner pilot, so beware!
Of course companies COULD hire local people, and TRAIN them as rampies......but with the glut in the market of desperate, gullible pilots, they don't HAVE to!
Illya
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Scudrunner703 »

I would definitely take a ride on the Polar Bear Express to Moosonee. I did a season with the single pic guys. Got about 700 hrs. Good pay and free housing. As far as the multi outfit there, never heard many good things except no bond. The new CP is a great guy though.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by FlyingMonkey »

Hey Chelo, definitely stop by YQT on your way to Winnipeg. There are lots of 703/704 operators and most of them do a lot of flying. For example, Wasaya, Air Bravo, Thunder just name a few. The problem your going to run into is that with the total time you have, your likely going to have to work the ramp initially or work as dispatcher. It sucks that after spending all that money and putting in all that effort you might be loading cargo or working a desk for 6-9 months but that's the nature of the industry. It sounds like instructing isn't for you and that's ok. The industry is full of instructors that are in it for the wrong reasons or just aren't cut out for teaching. So good for you for opting otherwise.

Wasaya has a 'wannabe' program where they will stick you in Red Lake or Pickle Lake to work the ramp. After several months of working the ramp you will receive a right seat PCC on the Caravan and you will fly right seat until you accrue 1000 hrs TT. The Caravans fly a ton! It's not uncommon for the Caravan guys to max out at 150 hrs a month. So when you do start flying you will build time very quickly. Once you hit that 1000 hr mark you can move within the company to different equipment, PC12, B1900, basically wherever there is a vacancy. That great about it is that you get your seniority number as soon as you get a PCC! So when you do reach the 1000 hr mark, you will have seniority over guys who got hired after you even though they may have 2000-3000 hrs. I worked for Wasaya and I really enjoyed my time there. The CP is a great guy and they really appreciate guy/girls dropping of their resumes in person.

Air Bravo is another company that would take you with low time. You would have to work as a dispatcher for several months and then you would begin flying part time on charters as they come up. Ive worked for both companies and Wasaya is the better option without a doubt. You can PM for more details if you like.

My advice would be don't be afraid of putting in some hard work on the ramp or the desk. If you have a great attitude and work hard, you will get your chance!
PM if you have any questions!

Best of luck!

FM
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by xsbank »

Right seat on a Caravan? Is that a joke? Is that what they do to you, make you swamp on a Caravan instead of working the ramp? That's a promotion? You can't log that. Is there a column for single-pilot copilot?

You don't learn by watching, you learn by doing! If you are in the Caravan and "the pilot" is in the right seat, fair enough. Otherwise, I have to praise our operators for their creativity and their ability to find new ways to get guys to wash the hangar floor.

Good luck with that.
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flyinhigh
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by flyinhigh »

xsbank wrote:Right seat on a Caravan? Is that a joke? Is that what they do to you, make you swamp on a Caravan instead of working the ramp? That's a promotion? You can't log that. Is there a column for single-pilot copilot?

You don't learn by watching, you learn by doing! If you are in the Caravan and "the pilot" is in the right seat, fair enough. Otherwise, I have to praise our operators for their creativity and their ability to find new ways to get guys to wash the hangar floor.

Good luck with that.
Wasaya has been doing that for the past 10+ years actually. I remember flying out of YRL back in 04ish and they were doing this long before that.
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Re: Low-timer Road Trip

Post by Chelo »

xsbank wrote:If, on your great adventure, you are offered a ramp job, don't take it unless they offer to check you out on empty legs, freight runs or similar. If they use you in the right seat of an airplane that actually uses a right seater, all good. If you don't get this sort of commitment, keep looking. The big problem for companies is getting good rampies that know something about airplane's and are willing to leave their families to live in Fort Hopeless for years with cheap wages and nothing but that carrot dangling. You guessed it, it's harder to get a good rampie than it is to get a pilot. Rampies, like dispatchers, make or break your company so you are valuable on the ramp, not so much as a beginner pilot, so beware!
The carrot dangling is definitely something I worry about. I've read a few things and past stories that almost seem to good to be true, and then there's countless horror stories that have been documented here (most having to do with safety issues). I have kind of keyed in on a few companies that I've done some serious homework on that I hope to have good visits with, so we'll see what comes out of my road trip.

Thanks for the reply.
Scudrunner703 wrote:I would definitely take a ride on the Polar Bear Express to Moosonee. I did a season with the single pic guys. Got about 700 hrs. Good pay and free housing. As far as the multi outfit there, never heard many good things except no bond. The new CP is a great guy though.
I have thought about making a stop in Moosonee on the way home from this road trip. I haven't had a chance to plan the logistics out of what I'll do with my car while making the trip out there so I can't confirm I'll be doing this yet. If I do go, I will definitely make a post updating this thread.
FlyingMonkey wrote:Hey Chelo, definitely stop by YQT on your way to Winnipeg. There are lots of 703/704 operators and most of them do a lot of flying. For example, Wasaya, Air Bravo, Thunder just name a few. The problem your going to run into is that with the total time you have, your likely going to have to work the ramp initially or work as dispatcher. It sucks that after spending all that money and putting in all that effort you might be loading cargo or working a desk for 6-9 months but that's the nature of the industry. It sounds like instructing isn't for you and that's ok. The industry is full of instructors that are in it for the wrong reasons or just aren't cut out for teaching. So good for you for opting otherwise.

Wasaya has a 'wannabe' program where they will stick you in Red Lake or Pickle Lake to work the ramp. After several months of working the ramp you will receive a right seat PCC on the Caravan and you will fly right seat until you accrue 1000 hrs TT. The Caravans fly a ton! It's not uncommon for the Caravan guys to max out at 150 hrs a month. So when you do start flying you will build time very quickly. Once you hit that 1000 hr mark you can move within the company to different equipment, PC12, B1900, basically wherever there is a vacancy. That great about it is that you get your seniority number as soon as you get a PCC! So when you do reach the 1000 hr mark, you will have seniority over guys who got hired after you even though they may have 2000-3000 hrs. I worked for Wasaya and I really enjoyed my time there. The CP is a great guy and they really appreciate guy/girls dropping of their resumes in person.

Air Bravo is another company that would take you with low time. You would have to work as a dispatcher for several months and then you would begin flying part time on charters as they come up. Ive worked for both companies and Wasaya is the better option without a doubt. You can PM for more details if you like.

My advice would be don't be afraid of putting in some hard work on the ramp or the desk. If you have a great attitude and work hard, you will get your chance!
PM if you have any questions!

Best of luck!

FM
PM Sent. Thank you for the great post.
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