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Question for banner tow pilots

Steve

Curtis Malone
Joined
May 6, 2002
Posts
737
Total Time
1170
Just wondering where most banner tow pilots move on to after they build there hours. Do you guys go to the regionals, 135, ?? How do you get your multi and IFR times up?
 

siucavflight

Back from the forsaken
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Posts
3,512
Total Time
5000
Steve said:
Just wondering where most banner tow pilots move on to after they build there hours. Do you guys go to the regionals, 135, ?? How do you get your multi and IFR times up?

You dont.
 

Gutenberg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Posts
160
Total Time
6500
banner tow

Towing banners in addition to CFI-ing, chartering, flying Mx runs.
 

LearAv8r

John Ross Ewing JR
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Posts
254
Total Time
8500+
Steve..it is going to take a while i started towing banners and after many years finally made it to a major. The key is don't give up. I went from towing banners to a 135 operator and then 121 operator. Been furloughed about four times and never gave up. Hang it there it can be done

Lear-
 

pilotmiketx

Registerd User
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Posts
345
Total Time
oodles
Steve said:
Just wondering where most banner tow pilots move on to after they build there hours. Do you guys go to the regionals, 135, ?? How do you get your multi and IFR times up?

Assuming you still have the use of your legs and your ticket after the accident?
 

mcjohn

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Posts
1,456
Total Time
.....
Doesn't CFIing pay more than towing? I would love to do both but banner towing alone seems strange. You need to keep advancing through the ratings experiencing differents trips and weather while practicing approaches and becoming good enough to teach in a multi to build hours.
However, banner towing is supposed to be dangerous. So I'm sure the skills that are built can't really be built any other way, meaning that the responsibilty and skill involved in things like banner towing or crop dusting should quickly qualify someone for a better job.
I'd love to give banner towing a try but I live in N.C.'s mountains and only instruct.
 

Skyline

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Posts
230
Total Time
6400
Safety

Banner towing can't be any more dangerous than instructing. At least with banner towing your hands are on the controls when you spin in instead of a scared students.

Skyline
 

Aerosurfer

I envy the Gaut
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Posts
233
Total Time
Point7
Towing is as dangerous as the Maintence of your planes. Yes you are flyign near stall speed, and yes you get to do a pretty wicked maneuver picking up the sign, but if you are staying within your limits of your own skills and have the respect for the aircraft with the banner, it is no more than a move of finesse. A developed skill, like a chandelle or lazy 8. Belive me it teaches you very good stick and rudder skills.

I towed for 700+ hours, 400+ in taildragger and most of it out of 900ft grass strip. You learn quick and adapt where needed. I never had an accident, incedent, violation. Nor do I have a CFI. You meet the other airport weirdos and build time where you can (beg, borrow, steal), I went onto 135 then to the regionals. Smiling the whole way. Banner towing is a throwback to old school flying and a whole 'nother world away from the mainstream CFI-factories. The money seemed to be about the same as my cfi friends, only during the high season i was flying 100+ hours a month. what cfi can say that? Happy to PM anyone other info on towing

--N
 

Wang Chung

Everybody have fun tonite
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Posts
239
Total Time
4200
Seasonal towing is a good way to build a fast +/-500 hours. At the low end of the totem pole, everybody can use total time so towing call fill that role. It's fun, and if you like taildraggers and stick-and-rudder flying then it's right up your alley. There's lots of different types of flying and lots of different types of experience to gain in aviation; banner-towing is just one of them although you won't get multi or IFR time doing it. Doesn't make it a bad thing, but it is what it is: a flying job, total time, taildragger time, and it's fun.

The problem is avoiding cheapskate operators with shady maintenance. But that's true of any aviation job.
 

pilotmiketx

Registerd User
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Posts
345
Total Time
oodles
Wang Chung said:
The problem is avoiding cheapskate operators with shady maintenance. But that's true of any aviation job.

Unfortunately that's most of them nowdays. Hard to make ends meet with $4/gal avgas when you actually have to pay for PMA parts and a real A&P.

Had a couple of students try to do it recently. The banner operators require a "training contract" of $1500, reimbursable if you make it through the whole season. Training consists of "watch that guy, then go out and try it...we'll be here on the radio to help" followed by 10 ours of unpaid flying (with a revenue generating banner behind you.) Then you get to fight the senior guys for flights when 2/3 of the 3 airplane fleet is grounded by the Feds.

I'm sure there are probably some safe reputable establishments, but my guess is most are probably a step below the shady 135 outfit.
 

falcon20driver

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Posts
533
Total Time
5000
I towed banners for over a thousand hours in 180 horse J-3s and Super Cubs, the most fun flying I've ever done period, you'll definately have a BLAST in a stripped down J-3 with an O-360 up front, one heck of a fun plane. :)

Like the other banner tow pilots said, it's not dangerous if you fly right, just like any flying job.
 

Steve

Curtis Malone
Joined
May 6, 2002
Posts
737
Total Time
1170
falcon20driver said:
I towed banners for over a thousand hours in 180 horse J-3s and Super Cubs, the most fun flying I've ever done period, you'll definately have a BLAST in a stripped down J-3 with an O-360 up front, one heck of a fun plane. :)

Like the other banner tow pilots said, it's not dangerous if you fly right, just like any flying job.

Did you go from banner towing to the Falcon 20 or did you have other flying jobs in between?
 
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