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Where Does A Lowtime Start?

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Have some friends and friend of friends who have recently finished flight school or have just enrolled.

With things being a bit slower out there, where does someone point guys and gals new to the industry?

 

When I finished school it was a matter of road trips and meeting people face to face, but things were better back then and there was more in the way of companies that took on low time guys and moved them up.

 

Any advice appreciated! Thanks everyone

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Man sorry no work for low timers and I have tried everything I can. I am about to give up. Go to the government and try to get them to help you find something

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Is there still really 2 out between Calgary and Banff?

 

I know a few guys that came up via the one, you paid to get going but you had a spot right off the bat, but I have heard mixed opinions...

 

From what I hear about the other place though, that wait period is becoming longer and longer with fewer spots opening up.

 

Does anyone know the situation with LR and guys getting to fly the news?

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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

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Thanks for the info Daz!

 

So there isn't a ground period at the company east of Canmore? If you get accepted you get a flying position?

 

How many summers can someone expect to stay at that company? Is it up to the pilot to move on before a low time guy gets the next spot?

 

I have also heard that the Canmore company won't be taking any extra people on. Is that purely because the current guys and gals flying aren't moving on? Or have they increased the amount of positions and theirfor hired too many people the year prior?

 

I hope this is helping the odd guy or gal out there looking for info!

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I was very fortunate. I started with a ramp job in Vancouver. Paid for my night and ifr ratings and eventually got a shot at the flying job, but with the slow down in the off shore world it will be hard for a low timer to get going at the moment. It's still a valid option, but you will have to pay for additional training.

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Don't go in to it with negative opinions. You just never know, right person, right time, making a good connection with the right person... anything is possible. I just walked into doors few years back, got a chance to help out, cleaned everything, cars floors, helicopters, offices, ops gear you name it. got Ppc'd and now full time. No one should listen to the people saying that there is none, you never know. If you are willing to work your *** off and don't expect anything you can only get happily surprised...

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