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Guest plumber

I've noticed the trend of guys getting their IFR ratings as of late. I also notice alot of them can't find work even with thousands of hours but no twin time. Is it even worth getting the IFR rating if you have no twin time? Also alot of Ex military guys have way less hours but twin time seem to be getting the jobs. I've thought about getting the rating but would hate to throw that kind of money away if chances of landing a job are equal to a 100 hour guy these days. Would someone in the know be able to shed some light on the market for me? Thanks.

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Hi Plumber. This is one IFR chief pilot's perspective, and certainly not the final word of the indstry, although I would think other companies might follow similar trains of thought. From a hiring perspective, I would not normally look at someone with no twin (or even similar type) time as one of the IFR pilots if there are other guys with adequate twin time to choose from. Of course, there are also many other factors and skill sets that would influence the decision depending on job requirements.


When guys or gals come out of training with a new group 4, they have often been trained with a focus to pass the flight test from whatever airport they fly out of, so the learning curve is still very very steep when getting into the real world of IFR. Also, the training usually takes place in something like an R44, which is a very simple machine compared to a twin engine IFR helicopter. So, learning the systems, normal & emergency procedures and SOPs just to get into a twin engine, multi-crew machine is already a lot to learn. Add to that, actually flying in IMC while managing workloads as a crew takes some time to get used to for someone who has never before flown as a part of a crew in those conditions. Here is a video clip of IMC conditions (night VFR) conducted in the arctic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMKaVlpGEcM.


Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it is too much for someone to handle. On the contrary, like anything, it can be learned and most pilots have no problems, however the training bill is much higher than for someone who already has experience flying a multi-engine aircraft. And in an industry of (often) tight margins and minimum experience requirements from customers, it just makes better business sense to hire someone that already has the required hours and experience. Many of the customers requireing IFR operations follow OGP Aircraft Management Guidelines (or have similar requirements), which require a co-pilot to have anywhere from 100 - 250 hrs of multi-engine time.


My advice is to wait until you have some multi experience where you are marketable to companies looking for multi-engine, multi-crew, IFR capable pilots before spending the $$ for a group 4 rating. Because once you get the rating, you need to maintain it, or you lose it and have to write the exam again and do another check ride, $$$, etc.




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Good Day Ladies and Gentlemen,


I usually lurk in the background, and this is probably my first post on this site. I'm pretty new to the RW world, having come from the FW side, and I'm trying to understand the requirement for twin-engine time by some operators, even just for VFR. This could be a bit of thread drift, but maybe it's relevant and if not feel free to move it.


The 'problem' exists in FW as well - most companies want a minimum of 500 hrs MPIC for say a twin turbine. That's fine, I guess...and they'll always find someone for the people that want to get into a jet know that they usually first have to fly a King Air, and before that a Navajo and so on and therefore structure their career accordingly.


But, I do have some twin time and in my opinion flying a multi-engine land aeroplane is not in any way shape or form harder to fly than a single, aside from say...having an engine failure at a critical time like just after take-off. Unless you have an engine failure on a regular basis - or your company does more than the annual recurrent training - you're no better equipped to deal with one than the next guy, so having 'multi time' is not all that relevant...not touching on Contrail requirements and such.


Yes, there are more systems to manage but at the same time there are a lot of redundancies built in. You now have two of everything; pilots, engines, electrical buses etc, which makes life easier and safer if you understand how it all works. It's not 'harder', and it's definitely something that can be learned.


An engine failure in a conventional twin engine airplane does present a challenge, especially depending on the phase of flight and the performance margin of the plane on one engine. All that aside, the most common theme being the issue of asymmetrical thrust which does present a controllability issue, but one that can usually be managed.


Which brings me to helicopters.


Aside from a loss of power after an engine failure (and the loss of associated systems) what's the big deal? There is no asymmetrical thrust problem like in FW.


Unless it happens in the most critical flight regime in a machine with marginal OEI performance, an engine failure in a twin engine helicopter is not that serious when compared to the myriad of other possible emergencies which could possibly be worse...like a high-side gov failure for example.


I can appreciate the above comments on learning the systems, two crew SOP's etc...but say for a VFR operation, why is having 250 hrs twin time so valuable? I really don't understand it and still have a lot to learn so I'm open to any form of enlightenment.



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I work on the IFR side of the industry for a number of years . What I see lately is a number of ex military pilots with absolutely no utility experience nor willingness to get any ,at the top of the food chain. They feel uncomfortable with the experienced utility/long line/mountain pilots getting IFR ratings and twin engine ratings and try to discourage the ascension of such competitors for obvious reasons. The truth is that if the industry does not prepare for the next step by getting VFR guys ratted on twin engines, the market will be flooded with relatively low time foreigners and ex military with more SIC than PIC in twin engines but meeting the customer and insurance requirements. Than, it will be impossible to get on. SOP's , systems, etc are a matter of proper training and it does not take years nor millions of dollars.The flying is rather boring, does not involve much hands on ,nor superior flying skills. My opinion is that you should get your IFR rating ,Plumber, and use your VFR skills with a company that does both.

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Getting an IFR is not a bad idea for any pilot who is making a career out of it. Getting all the tools you need is never a bad idea, even if you write the exams and then do the flying stuff at a later date (exams valid 2 years). I should have done my IFR years ago and chose to ignore the advice of a good friend. Working in Canada IFR is an option but the pay - package is way lower than most international gigs. Getting an IFR would be comparable to being a carpenter who is only familiar with half the tools he has in in his tool chest and thereby he may only be suitable for certain jobs. The more tools you have the better.


Having a solid background in the VFR world should be the place to start; long line, fighting fires and mountain time (course) are also very important tools to secure your career options and employment. If you can manage over a decade or so to get it all you will never be without a job.


Why I say start VFR is because it gives you the basic skills required to work and by 1000-1500 hrs. your skills should be proficient to work at just about any VFR op in Canada, then its the time to start looking into IFR getting the required night hours and looking for a left hand seat in a twin. Once you qualify with the night hours and can qualify for the ATPL and get a PPC on an approved twin,(Hamra and Haron Locked) the world opens up on the international stage.


The other option is to get the minimum for the IFR and forget about VFR but this makes it a harder and there is no fall back position if the IFR world doesn't please you fancy one day.



The International IFR world is a different world unto its own. better accommodation, Oil industry regulated and larger salaries and better rotations, personally i like the 6 and 6 but 4 and 4 fits some guys better. Rotations vary per operator. At this stage of your career you still fly but you learn to manage more and more modern integrated systems .


The best paying twin ATPL package that I know of is a 6 and 6 somewhere in Malongo land and it’s paying around 186K per year on a 6 and six. (No benefits) If you are a non-resident of Canada - Thats pretty much tax-free!! As your overseas taxes are paid for you and cancelled out by the flat rate for non residents 25%( taxation treaties). Others may opt for a different package with matching retirement up to 10% with larger more stable companies with many more contracts and the salary is lower say 140K including living allowance- Again tax free. Its not long to figure out what you would have to earn in Canada for 6 months work to take home 140K. You could even convert to Islam and there are Saudi Aramco Options, although US citizenship may have an influence.... (Air ambulance).


Today the type to have in the twin world is AW139 (most demand) although there is still good job security with 76C/D and 92. (412 still has some desirability) Many new twin type coming soon 189/ 525 down the pipe You may choose to work in Canada rotational, but domestic salaries can be reduced by as much as 20% and then there is the tax issue... Most guys I know that work international have houses outside Canada (more than often in warm places) and spend summers in Canada and move the family with them and become Canadian NON-residents. Most work over rates are between 500- 1200 per day over the equal time hours worked and depending on which operator.


So the long and short answer to getting an IFR is YES! But planning for the long term is key, or at least it was for me.



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Guest plumber

Thanks Guys all really good advice. My ultimate goal would be the over seas market. (Hating winter has come naturally to me) I'm hitting my mid 40's is there much age discrimination?

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