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i worked for alberta forestry last year-in the mountains, too-and i don't have a mountain course (sadly) but didin't seem to be much of a problem. have lots more hours than their requirments so perhaps they were waived, but i was never told by my boss that they had to do anything special for me.

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I came back from a week long trip in Alberta last week looking for anything I could get my hands on. No dice. Be sure to call ahead and get an appointment before you leave for your trip. I didn't do so. I just called ahead asking if they would have time for me if I showed up. At this time of year many of the CP were too busy. All I got were offers to drop off my resume and suggested to call back at a later date to see if any openings were available. The few people I did see were kind. But it's a real pain to drive hours and spend all that money when a postage stamp or a fax would have been as effective.

Besides the past couple of week many of the guys I'd wanted to talk to were in Las Vegas for HAI or this week Ottawa for the HAC conferance. From the sounds of it a lot of the operators have already picked their low-timers for this year. I've called across Canada and got the same response: "No need for low-timers, but keep in touch." And the only offers for work were from operators who stated there would be no chance of flying or training: Alpine and Black Hawk. And $9/hr for a seasonal job is a poor choice when you've got loan payments.

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Definately feel for those trying to get that first job, we've all been there. One of the worst jobs I remember as a newbie was freeing up a stuck toilet (came included with a triple-coiler, toilet paper, the whole she-bang!!) Persistance and a pi$$ pot full of luck are assets......and a strong stomach. :up:


For those new people hoping to get that first break, have you accurately assessed what you're up against? Playing devil's advocate here. Persistance and determination are good traits, but in the current market, man, it's a tough sell. Most of the ads looking for guys seem to have elevated the basic requirement to 1000 - 1500 hrs. Wow!! I suspect most operators are scrambling right now to fill the roster with that. Yes I know, some of you would be happy to push the broom, but given some of those requirements, between the broom and the odd maintenance flight - she's going to be a long haul!! :(


Kyle: You might be working on this already, but is there some way you can establish a resume forum or something for the new guys/gals. Give `em a chance to dazzle prospective employers on-line without having to go cross country. Maybe a fill in the blanks kind of thing so the B.S. is kept to a dull roar. When the guys are looking for a new-timer, they can peruse the list and make the call to some unsuspecting guy. Wouldn't that be a great call to be able to make. "Hey kid, pack your bags we need some help". Is this an expensive option? I don't know how these web-sites work.


SAR, didn't mean to go off topic, but most of the operators go through the same thing at this time of year. Bless them for their patience.


Good luck to your friend.



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SAR, I make no apologies for my comments.

I would appreciate any pointers or suggestions anyone may have to offer that I can pass along to him.

Those are my suggestions to any new pilot planning a road trip. The only reason I'm so blunt about it is because we've had a few newbies show up at the worst possible time (obviously unintentionaly) and were put off and even gave us attitude because we weren't able to give them more than the standard "leave your resume, try so and so, come back tomorrow when our crisis is over" kind of thing. And no we weren't being jerks about it either!

We always prepare and make time for anybody that calls ahead before coming, eventhough we're not hiring. They will get a tour of the facility, a brief history of the company/operations, a look at whatever A/C are here and whatever advice we can give them.

Anybody that just shows up will get what we can give them at the time. If it's the whole meal deal great. If we can't take the time to give him/her the full meal deal, he/she will be asked to come back at a more convenient time. And if they're not happy that we can't give them 20 min of our time at that particular moment, then #1 they should've called before driving many hours to come and see us and # 2, they just proven to us that they have no organizational skills whatsoever.

If the guy isn't smart enough to pick up a phone to make sure there will be someone to meet him at the end of his multi hour long journey then we're sure as **** not going to send him off to work in our million dollar helicopter.

Yes, we've all been new emplyees at one time and we all got a break from someone at one point or another but we also got our first job because we had a head on our shoulders (most of us anyways).

Every new pilot that walks in our facility is treated with respect because we realize that even though we have no position for him/her at the moment, he/she might be the perfect 1200hr candidate that we need 5 years from now. Obviously, if we are rude to them when they come to see us, they will remember this forever and they most likely will never give us another chance! We're not friggin stupid!!!!!!!!

So SAR, Blackmac and MINI, lighten up for friggs sakes!!!!!!!!


Bottom line, I wish all newbies good luck in your job search and yes, we will be glad to give you some of our time if you call ahead, and whoever it is that you go work for, don't let anyone tell you to fly over gross, in bad weather, beyond the limits etc.

No job is worth you getting hurt.



:up: :up:

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SAR, (and Mini, Blackmac)

I apologise if you were "pissed off" by my comments. That was not my intention. This is often a sad result of this non-personal aspect of written communication.


However, I stand by what I said.

But I will offer a full retraction IF your friend can find a job in this industry by...1, Not knocking on lots of doors, 2. Not smiling, or 3, Being cocky.


I did not suggest that your friend would do any of these things, but you asked for "tips, pointers and suggestions" to help in his search, and I felt these points would be very important in making the crucial 'first impression'.


I DO remember what it was like to find work as a low time pilot......it took me years, not just two weeks, to get a proper job.

I wish all 100 hour pilots luck in their job-search. I spend time with them (and buy lunch) whenever possible, though I am not in a position to do any hiring.


Also, I did not realise your request for "tips, pointers and suggestions" meant just the names of companies. Maybe your "simple" question was too complex for a small primate like me to understand.


Again, my apologies.

Your friend is about to find that the $50,000 for training was the easy part, and if he thinks the job-search is tough.......just wait until he gets a job !!!

I wish him luck and safe travels in his career.

Sincerely, Cyclic Monkey

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The above Alberta minimums are quoted from the Alberta Forestry Pilots Handbook, but as Shaggy also mentioned, I think experience waives the course. As I also said, I am not a pilot but I work on the air operations side of Forestry here. I will find out more in detail about that question for you. And in hindsight, I know two of the companies here had 2 new pilots (lower hours) that did indeed fly with us....HOWEVER, this was in a "special" situation (as stated above). One was chartered for our Air Operations Officer (206) and I believe the other was also used in this capacity (EC 120). I know these 2 pilots did not fly as Initial Attack pilots. I think both of these fellows were at or about the 450 to 500 hour mark. During the season I deal with these companies on a day-to-day basis. The BM's and CP's are out there slingin buckets with the troops too, so positions could be tight. Between the 4 companies here, there are I think 8 AStars - 2 206's and 1 EC120...and just as a note, between 3 of the company CP's, there's well OVER 30,000 hours.....


I'll find out more info for you.....hope this helps....





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Cyclic Monkey,

I don't believe you were ever a 100 hour wonder, your such a smooth and professional pilot and have aquired a vast amount of information in such a short flying career. :rolleyes:

Thought I'd say hi and have fun next week and say hi to everyone at the lodge if your still headed in that direction, I'm off to Idaho tomorrow for a week. Give me a call when your out.


407 driver tell Hollywood. His Doctor is looking for him his test results are in. :shock:

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FireHawk, Is Hollwood (AKA Speed-Racer) as bad as we thought? The condition is Un-named and Un-cureable I'd bet?

We've had him in quarantine this week as you suggested, so we won't be catching it, nor will he infect any more flocks of chickens in BC as he did last month in Abbotsford !! :D:D (Stick to sheep I told him, but NOOO. )


And You're right about CM, he was a rotary-legend, a virtual Heli-God, when he arrived here 15 years ago ...he was BORN experienced !

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No!! I wasn't born a legend......I just made-up those stories, (like most of my posts).


But I did start young. This is the photo from my first lesson as a pilot.

The lesson was about how to catch naps when you can, how to recover from "pilot flu" (a hangover), and how to avoid mowing the lawn on your time-off.

As usual I scored 100%.

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Wow, I didn't really expect this topic to become so heated! Anyway, I thought I might add my 2 cents as a low time pilot myself. I've personally done the cross ?Canada road trip, and for anyone thinking about doing it themselves I say go for it. It is one of the most eye-opening experiences you can get and you'll learn more than a thing or two on the way. Call ahead! As discussed earlier, CP's don't have time for the "hundred hour wonder" and despite my best efforts to disguise my inexperience by standing tall, speaking confidently and saying things like "Having personally flown over 6000 minutes in this aircraft...." you are still a liability to them. I found my biggest asset in my, albiet, unsucessful attempts at a job, were solid references. If you can get a CP to say in no uncertain terms that you are a dependable, diligant worker with a head on your shoulders that says a lot more than your own ability mince words on a resume or cover letter. Also, don't assume that your non-flying job experience won't help. Having done some intensive ground crew work last season I can honestly say that I applied only a small percentage of what I learned in flight school. C of G limitations and performance charts were key however air law and nav don't really matter when you are driving a fuel truck. When a company asks you to supervise a ground crew of 10 or so non-pilots who are loading 6 aircraft (simultaniously) with PAX and supplies, co-ordinating flights in and out of an LZ which seems to be no larger than a driveway, fueling aircraft in between flights and personally conducting every passenger safety brief, all with no supervision. You have now become the fuel guy, ATC, Dispatcher, Ground Crew SME (subject matter expert) and when time permits, squeegee kid and pilot. I think that if you have a resume that says you can multi-task and work under stressful conditions without becoming the poster-pilot for hypertension, you have just as good a chance of getting a job than you would if your resume says you have never missed an auto. Just my opinion, I'm just a low time guy and not a CP but I know it worked for me.


P.S. if you are driving cross country looking for work, checkout Hostelling International for cheap places to stay ($20 including a full kitchen)

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