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Question about Penair

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Apr 14, 2005
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knew a little bit about Penair and their SIC position flying the bush. My questions are:

Do they have you sign a contract to stay committed to them for a certain amount of time? The reason I ask is because I know if you get an FO position flying the saab they have you sign a 2 year contract.

Is there any multi-time available?

Also, I heard you can get on with them at about 200 Hrs, is this true?

I would love to do this, and not have to build up hours by instructing (Not that I would mind that, but it would save me a lot of money obviously).

I still have a ways to go before that time would come, but it's always good to plan early.

Thanks a lot!
Just say no.

My advice: Don't do it. You won't respect yourself in the morning.

Apparently your flight experience is less than 200 hours but that's not the problem. The problem is you're looking for a short cut into the seat of a working pilot.

Pilots get jobs because of their experience.

I flew in Alaska for 10 years (three for PenAir) and I'll tell you one thing: Those lowtimers in SIC programs get no respect. You'll be doing all the loading and unloading. Putting the tail stand in, taking it off. Gassing the airplane, doing the preflight. You'll only fly when the weather is good and the airplane is empty and the runway is paved. You'll be entirely excluded from all the decision making. You'll make chump change and live in bush conditions (Gallon of milk costs $6).

The only reason PenAir has this "program" is to get a break on their insurance. Caravans and Navajos operated under FAR 135 don't require SICs (either by certificate or OpSpec) so you can't legally log the time as SIC anyway.

Go EARN your certificates and gain some real flight experience and THEN go fly in the bush if that's what you want. But if you're not from Alaska or have never flown in the bush then you really don't know what you're getting yourself into.

Good luck.

Sounds like it could be a pretty crappy job. Also, I definitely don't want to do this if future employers or co workers might look at this as trying to be lazy by skipping the instructor route.

Thanks for the heads up.
PenAir is a great place to work, and a great place to get real world experience in the van and then move into the saab or metro experience and move into the bigger. The caravan sic's are paid crappy but treated very well. Anything you do there will be earned,and you will fly half the legs. Any one who says otherwise just doesn't know what they are talking about! (no I was never and FO there and I am not there anymore.) Yes you can log time as an SIC,and other employers respect it,and if they don't they are dumbasses. There are no Navajo SIC's.
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Does anyone who has ever worked for Penair know a norwegian gal named Marianne? I am told she is a 121 Captain there.

yeah she is cool.
I would tend to listen more to Mar where this is concerned. A good friend of mine was hired there as an F.O. on the Metro some years ago. Back then I think you needed 500 hours of "Alaska time" before you could be a PIC of anything. The upgrade was to PIC of a Cherokee Six in King Salmon and then maybe to the Caravan or left seat of the Metro. He worked hard up there but built some great experience.

I have good feelings about Penair because I went up there in late August of that year and was treated very well by the Penair guys. Jumpseated on the Metro from ANC to King Salmon, rode around with my friend for a few days in the Cherokee Six, then hopped a Caravan up to Dillingham and another Metro back to ANC. It was a blast.

Gavin, this SIC program you speak of...do you have to pay for it?
You just backed up my point but said listen to Mar. that is kind of silly. you still need 500 aktime for PIC

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