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Do any of your passengers ask how many hours do you have on type gefore getting in ?


BTW what's your reply if asked?


I was fortunate enough to work as a sightseeing tour pilot last summer - my first job in the industry. Often people asked me "So, how long have you been flying?", to which my standard answer was "Oh, the past couple years now...". This wasn't a lie - as I started school in 2008, and I was working in 2009 - but admittedly I was taking a bit of license with my non-specific answer. Generally I got the question *after* we were in the air, so it was more just making conversation. My other canned answer was "It's my second day!" - but I only used this with passengers that would appreciate the humour. Invariably, it got laughs :D.


Once in a while I would get someone specifically asking me how many hours I had, and I always answered them honestly. Again, I think I always got that question after we were in the air, so my passengers had already made the decision to fly with me.


I'm very thankful for the folks that did decide to come fly with us, as essentially they *were* getting in with "just anybody". I like to think we returned the favour by being safe and professional.


A well known operator that gives rides in 44s at the the Lethbridge airshow knows how it's done. They are very efficient at loading and unloading px, with 2-3 machines in the air all day.


This is exactly how we did it - in fact I think we might be talking about the same operator. One person flew, while the other two pilots and the base manager did the transactions, briefed pax, escorted them to the machine, loaded and buckled them in, and then unloaded them after the flight. Then again, we did this every day, all day, all through the summer, so we were pretty well versed in it.


Sometimes herding excited kids and grandparents with video cameras grafted to their eye took more situational awareness than the flying!

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Then there was the time we were returning to town in a Bell 47 and it was starting to get dark and the Pilot says "boy this cool, I've never flown at night before". Needless to say the customer sitting between us was speachless. BTW it was the first job the Pilot or I had been on. :o

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Speaking of tour rides, I was sitting in a boat on Okangogan lake, and a R44 came flying by. We where over a half mile from shore and bet he was maybe 300 feet. No way would he make shore, and there where no pop outs!


I did tours as well at the start, 3 pilots, loading...unloading....unloading...loading all summer long. Great job, hot days, large customers, low time and piston power!

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