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Banner Towing

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Well-known member
Jan 23, 2005
I live in Asheville NC and will be layed off from my from hotel job Jan 3rd. I have no money saved due to paying off flight training debt. I have 380 hours with approx. 100 hours instruction given (mostly c152). Health insurance is pre-paid through March 31st. My wife and I are trying to have 1st baby soon (please no advice on the baby thing - we'll arm ourselves with food stamps if we have to). So, I have a few months while layed off to build hours. I really want to get into banner towing this winter so I guess Florida is the only option. Can anyone give me some tips on places to work during Jan, Feb, and March. I will recieve a little money from unemployment but training funds are insufficient. Are there any places (besides that PFT Tim guy!!) that would let me fly/work off any training cost.

Also, After March 31st I need health insurance so I'm considering relocating (difficult because we are very attached to the house we own here) to find a full-time instruction job with benefits (baby thing). I Haven't done much research yet, but the only places I know off hand would be Mesa Pilot Development in NM and Sheble Aviation in Kingman AZ. Both are supposed to be undesirable place to live.

Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
PM if appropriate.
Try to find Gulf Air out of Gulfshores, AL. He is always looking for someone to train. Usually the flying is year round, but not sure now after the huricanes.

He doesnt charge any training fees or any BS like that, he may even put you up at his place.

The question is, are you tailwheel qualified?

The operation in Myrtle Beach seems to stay busy, really dont know much other than that.

I know there is alot of flying on the Jersey shore and Long Island, but dont know when if they are year round or not.

If you start towing, just be safe.
Thanks so much both of you! No, I'm not tailwheel endorsed. There is a guy in the area (boonies of western NC) that gives tailwheel endorsements but it's rather hard to track him down. I would prefer to get the endorsement with the experts towing the banners but if it's real important to already have the endorsement then I can track down the guy up here. I think it's an Aeronica Champ or something super small like that that he flys.
Is it required to have this endorsement in advance? Is that what you mean by tailwheel qualified?
I think you'd be better off having the endorsment before you apply. Bost banner tow places dont have HR planning in advance how many pilots they need. They hire when the previous guy splits and most of the time they could use you yesterday. The less time they will have to train you the more money they can make.

Most of those operators are going to want substantial tailwheel time before they hire you.
So I guess I'll hunt this guy down up here in the hills.

They just had a green 172 or something from who knows where towing a banner around Asheville for the mayor election. Some guy was flying retarded low over the hills to avoid the broken cloud layer. Scud running with a banner in tow!? Can someone shoot an ILS with a banner behind them?
What's up with tricycle gear towing banners? Is it really uncommon?
Don't have a kid until you can support it. Food stamps are a euphemism for stealing from the rest of us tax payers.

Good luck on the job--just don't get yourself into a bind this early in your career.TC
Sky Signs in Myrtle Beach requires that you complete their 50 hr training program in order to be hired. This satisfies their insurance company, gets you 50 hrs of tailwheel time, a tailwheel endorsement and banner pick up/tow/drop training, most of it is cross country. No previous experience or tailwheel time required but you must exhibit proficiency throughout the training or you can be washed out. A word on airplanes and banner towing; if and when you begin towing banners you begin to realize the importance of a good airplane. Sky Signs uses PA18-160 Super Cubs, bare bones, no electrical system, no interior trim, one seat...900 lbs empty 160 horsepower with a SuperBorer prop. This airplane will out preform anything you have flown from 0 to 80 kts. The Super Cub must be flown all the time though, it has none of the pilot enhancements that a 172 has. I wouldn't tow banners with anything less than a Super Cub and once you start towing banners you will see what I mean. Think 40 lbs with a 250' arm and god only knows how much drag. There is a placard on the Sky Signs planes instrument panel "maximum banner weight 600 lbs", don't ask me what it means but I believe it is the weight that the lead rope is designed to break.

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