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Everything posted by Daz

  1. This one - just for the description the ad copy. Guaranteed to give your engineer the cold sweats! https://www.mec.ca/en/product/4012-405/Crunch-Multi-Tool
  2. Actually, strike that; I can't seem to upload the file to a PM. Here's an attachment of a .csv file I exported from my CHIRP app - not sure if it's generic or specific to my Baofeng UV-5R. Also, I have it sorta geared towards recreational use here in southwestern BC. There's the LAD channels, WX Radio channels, all the resource road frequencies, forestry repeaters for this corner of the province, and a few other local repeaters. Some of the frequencies I found online so I can't vouch for their accuracy. At the very least you might be able to use this as a template for your own customized CHIRP file. Hope this helps! - D. SW BC Radio.csv
  3. Sure. Check your PMs! Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you...
  4. I have a Baofeng UV-5R, which is the cheaper version of the UV-82 ($35 on Amazon!). The Baofengs are great value, there's a pretty solid online community supporting them, and they're cheap enough that if it gets trashed, you're not out a whole lot of money. That said, they have the reputation of being a real pain to program manually. I highly recommend downloading the CHIRP program (free open-source software; see link) and getting a programming cable. There's a bit of a learning curve getting started (cheap $4 knockoff cables can be a bit finicky getting the drivers to work), but there's tons of info and support on the CHIRP site. The program allows you to tweak all the radio settings, plus you can build and edit a big ol' frequency list (or several) on your laptop which you then upload to your radio. Pretty handy if you want to have a coupe different frequency lists for different flying/recreational scenarios. Good luck and enjoy your new radio! - Darren http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home
  5. Where did/do y'all get your flight suits from? I live in Vancouver but I spend most of my summer days working in Vernon, so online/mail-order is probably my best option. Thanks in advance, Darren
  6. Company I used to work for had a cool customised 55gal drum that could be longlined and had a hatch on the bottom and some clever rigging that utilised the remote hook release to trigger the drop. If I recall correctly, the drum itself was set up to hang off the longline hook frame with a few short slings, and a hatch at the bottom of the drum which was held closed by a slightly longer sling attached to the hook. Hitting the hook release dumped the hatch and set loose up to 50 gallons of golf balls all over the green. Pretty sure they didn't fill the whole drum...
  7. 532 hour lowtimer here. My 2¢ based on my own experience: There are a couple companies out there that bring on lowtimers in a ground role - you will spend most of your time answering phones, sweeping, fueling, painting, cleaning trucks and machines and so forth. In return, they'll eventually get you PPC'ed (and even a type endorsement in certain cases) after a year or two of hard work. With that PPC, you'll have a crack at ground runs, maintenance and ferry flights, and if you're lucky maybe even the odd revenue job. You'll learn tons, meet some great folks and maybe even make a few connections that'll help you years down the road. The downside of this is that even with your PPC, your main role will still be ground work as most of the clients that these companies fly for require at least 1000 hours. Expect maybe 50 hours flight time per year. Another chance might be the tourism companies Heisenberg mentioned. As I understand it, one company often brings on one or two ground staff per season, and they do eventually get flying after a year or two. Competition is VERY stiff for these jobs, and IIRC they didn't even bring on any new hires this year as they retained all of last year's staff. I spent last summer working for the 'other' guys east of Canmore, and while I don't know how it went in prior seasons I do know that things have changed from a few years back - you no longer pay for your own training. All of us working there last summer already had at least two or three hundred hours under our belt when we started there, and we were paid a base salary plus flight pay right from day 1. I hear LR Helicopters does get lowtimers flying the traffic machines, but I'd bet they would pick from their students first. I'd still go pay them a visit if I were a new grad. Outside of that, I don't have any ideas. I do know that it's tough and it isn't getting easier anytime soon. I've accepted that for the forseeable future, I work in a seasonal low wage job that's friggin' awesome when (and if!) I get the chance to do it. Luckily, I had 20 years of the same thing in the ski industry, so I've had practice at being poor . Also luckily for me, my girl is a registered nurse, so at least one of us has a steady income... As always, these are my experiences, not everybodies, so buyer beware, YMMV and all that. One thing for sure is that you definitely won't find anything by not looking - you still need to go meet people, shake hands, deliver resumes and network. Never give up! -Darren
  8. I hate it when I sneeze just as I'm about to land. Seriously though - glad all are OK. D.
  9. Happy Solstice to all my fellow heretics. To brighter days ahead! - Darren
  10. Yup - pretty crowded in there. Purged a bunch of old messages; should be better now.
  11. Upon re-reading my own post I feel i should clarify that I'm not trolling for jobs; I'm genuinely curious. I *like* where I'm flying right now - I'm flying lots, learning TONS, and the views are amazing
  12. It's been a while since I poked the beehive, so here goes Are Contrail minimums of 1000 or 1500 hours still the norm, or are things changing? Where I used to work, one of our Contrail clients would accept 750 hour pilots to fly for them on a case by case basis. I hear-tell of another Alberta based company that can use 500 hour pilots for their Contrail clients. I've been flying in the tourism end of the business for the past few months, and I've just passed 500 hours - is this a meaningful landmark anywhere else in the industry these days? No reason, just curious. Discuss! - Daz
  13. 5-per, Have you tried on a Gallet 250 with the smaller shell? I have a little peanut noggin and I measured my head seven ways from Sunday - everything pointed to a small shell for me. But, I tried on a co-worker's small Gallet and it was much too tight - in particular, it felt too short front-to-back and made a pressure point right on my forehead. I ordered the large shell, used most of the padding and it fits perfectly. A friend ordered the Gallet 350 in a small shell without trying it (he just went by his head measurements) and he wound up returning it for the same reason as above. Happy helmet hunting, Darren
  14. Very tragic news. Didn't know him personally, but he's friends with many who are close to me. My thoughts are with all affected. - Darren
  15. I'm not sure about Air Nav Pro and Android - everyone I work with uses either an iPad Mini or some sort of Garmin. - D.
  16. Devil's advocate from the iPad side... We're required to provide our own GPS where I work. After quizzing a bunch of our pilots I decided on a retina iPad Mini. Opinions amongst the crew were pretty evenly divided between traditional Garmins and iPads, but given that it's company policy to use iBal, and we're constantly emailing messages, memos, flight plans etc., the iPad made the most sense for me as a do-everything device. YMMV, of course. I use AirNav Pro as the mapping software, and I also downloaded some Canadian topo map overlays, as these added better elevation data than the basic maps that are available. A few of my coworkers use Foreflight which is a very powerful all-in-one flight planning tool, but more useful for the airport-to-airport crowd and less so for those of us that are out in the bush. Foreflight include the latest VNC charts and stuff, but it cost more up front and requires a yearly subscription fee. AirNav pro is a one time $50 charge, and the app can be used across any of your i-devices. There's also airport information and frequencies and stuff, and VNC charts available, but I don't know how up to date it is. There is a way to easily - and wirelessly - share waypoints through the internet, but I can't recall the method offhand. I'm a low timer and don't fly as often as our regular line pilots, but it works very well for me so far. They don't like temperature extremes - a couple guys have had theirs shut down after leaving the iPad in the dash mount while parked facing the summer sun. Same goes for extreme cold. The battery will last for an average day, but have a backup power plan. Most guys have some sort of a 24v to USB plug setup; I carry a big portable battery that's good for a couple full iPad charges and several iPhone charges. GPS accuracy is a non-issue, IMHO - the iPad will resolve down to a few metres which should get you close enough. I will say that the Garmins look more durable - I've seen more than a few cracked iPad screens floating around the hangar from drops in the dirt. Bear in mind that not all iPads are created equal... the wi-fi only iPad does not have GPS capability on its own and will require a 3rd party dongle to receive GPS signal. The LTE/cellular iPad does receive GPS, and does NOT need a data plan subscription to do so. Hope this helps, Darren
  17. I did it last year. So far, I haven't been hauled away and shot by the tax people. Google Form T2200, download it and fill it out. If I recall correctly, the section that applies is "expenses not reimbursed by your employer", and it's very brief. Have your employer sign the form, then stuff it away someplace safe along with the receipt from your helmet. You don't need to submit it, but you'll want to have it in case you do get audited someday. I file my taxes using Turbo Tax, and I put the helmet cost under Other Employment Expenses in the "Supplies" column. There are likely easier/better ways to claim your helmet, but this worked for me last year. I'm doing the same this year for the iPad Mini that I bought to use as a GPS unit. Hope this helps! Darren
  18. Air Nav Pro will work with whatever compatible maps you can download to it, if that makes sense. I've downloaded Canada Topo 250k for BC and Alberta West, and I've set them to be priority. I also have the Air Navigation 4.0 western Canada stuff, which means the airport info (nice when you forget to write down radio frequencies ), airspace classes (including restricted airspace) and all that stuff still show up. I can't remember where I found them to download - it may have been through Air Nav's website. I do remember it was pretty easy. I also like that the elevation info shows up on the little terrain profile window below the moving map (useful as a decision-making tool when working with low ceilings and rising terrain). I don't have Foreflight, but some of my co-workers do, and it's a heckuva all-in-one flight planning tool if you're going to be spending any amount of time flying around airports or in busier airspace. As a dirt-poor low timer, I couldn't justify the expense and yearly subscription fees when Air Nav Pro does everything I need (like display topo maps). I also like that Air Nav Pro is a one-time purchase that works on all your i-devices, so if my iPad kacks it I could conceivably use my iPhone as a backup. Some other things I've learned: Sort out a power supply and/or backup battery. Lots of guys I work with have made cords with a 24v lighter plug on one end and a USB port on the other. We do have a couple machines that the engineers have installed USB ports, but I've opted to buy myself a big external backup battery that is good for several iPhone charges and a couple iPad charges. On its own the iPad should last all day if you turn off Bluetooth and wifi and all the extra stuff, and put it to sleep when you're landed for any length of time. Also, they apparently don't like heat, so don't leave it in a dash mount bracket when you're parked facing the sun. If it's really cold and you're using the plastic ram mount holder, leave your iPad in the holder and unscrew the ram mount when you take your iPad out of the machine. One of my buddies found out the hard way just how brittle the holders get when he busted his while un-clipping his iPad at -25. If you get the wifi-only version of the iPad, you'll need an external GPS dongle as these don't have internal GPS capabilities. The wifi/LTE iPads do have GPS capabilities, but you do not need a data plan nor a sim card for this to work. Hope this helps. I'm still learning my way around Air Nav Pro myself, but so far so good! Cheers, Darren
  19. Well said. In the world of Contrail minimums, hours in the logbook are *everything*. I sure wish I could pull out those extra hours to get over the thousand-hour hump - and I dare say my ops manager and chief pilot sometimes wish I could too. I've lost count of the times that I hear "you should be out there flying these jobs!" We can all agree that working for free sets the wrong precedent. However, in a world where it's difficult to earn that first job and no easier to make it to 1000 hours, the prospect of a flying opportunity - ANY opportunity - will be difficult for a keen low timer to resist. On a more constructive note - what alternatives can we come up with to help worthy and trusted lowtimers build time? - Darren
  20. Oh - regarding endorsements and extra training... A good company should provide the endorsements and training that their pilot needs to get the job done. However, in a sea of low timers all out searching for work, a 206 endorsement might open the door at some companies. As for bucketing and longline training, I'd save that money for job searching road trips and the inevitable poverty that accompanies the first few years in the industry. As _________ mentioned above, you will be doing a fair bit of company training before anyone turns you loose with a line or bucket. D.
  21. I don't know a lot about the other companies listed, but I do know Chinook has an excellent reputation, and although they do not provide "job placement" for students (that I know of), they do have a lot of connections in the industry. To wit - of the four of us low timers where I work, two are Chinook graduates that were hired after our ops manager called down to Chinook looking for entry level hires. It's a big operation, so your acquaintance might not get the same personalized treatment that they might at a smaller school, but - like anything else - you get out of it what you put into it. If they actively engage in their training, stick around all day and basically treat their training like your first job, they'lll come out of it with much more than if they just show up for their training flight then go home. They also might be the first one that comes to mind when ops managers start calling looking for new hires. Hope this helps! - Darren PS - I did not train at Chinook, but I did do an hour or two of recurrence a couple years back, and they sure seemed like pros to me. PPS - I also trained at MVH, and I'd highly recommend them for the same reasons. Also, they hire from their students - some of the best learning experience and most fun I've had in a helicopter was my summer flying out at Drumheller for MVH.
  22. Update: Sticker arrived in the mail this morning. Good timing, as my temporary endorsement expires in a little over two weeks.
  23. Perhaps Transport is getting caught up? I completed my 206 rating yesterday - huzzah! -, and the ops manager had the paperwork filled out and sent away lickety-split, so this should make for a good empirical test (albeit with a sample size of one). I'll keep y'all posted... D.
  24. *sigh* I remember that thread. Let me see if I can clarify what I really meant... I`m not welcoming the ``furriners`` with open arms. What I was trying to convey was that I don`t feel like they`re taking my job away when my 240 hours precludes me from the 2000 hour minimum jobs that they`re filling. I don`t blame the work visas as I see them as a reactionary response to the real issue, which is ever-increasing pilot minimum requirements for jobs that would be suitable for low time guys. I have no doubt that limiting the work visas would eventually open doors for us newbies (and I`m all for it, believe me), however I think it would take some time before clients and helicopter companies came to an agreement on what constitutes realistic minimum requirements to fly certain jobs. In the meantime, I`m genuinely curious where lowtimers actually are flying these days. Carry on with the beatings...
  25. Well, seeing as we're (metaphorically) kicking fresh turds on a hot day... You've got the license, the great attitude and strong work ethic, and you've landed yourself a ground job with a good reputable company. They pay you fairly, treat you well, appreciate your efforts, and so have vowed to give you a little training and even your PPC. BUT... once you have that PPC, you're limited to ground runs and the occasional maintenance flight because high client minimum requirements preclude you from building any significant time. Where do you go from here? I hear-tell that back in the day the place to build your first 1000 hours was in the oil and gas industry, however these days the minimums there generally *start* at 1000 hours. Outside of sightseeing and maybe tuna boats, where are low timers flying these days?
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