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What would you do??

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gear goes down

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Posts
96
There is this job that I am considering taking (if you can even call it a job). Well, hears the deal, its flying a 172 about 70 or so hours a month doing fire patrol. The pay isn’t exactly great, well, its nothing. That’s why I’m not to thrilled about it. I have the free time to do it, so that’s not an issue. It requires a instrument rated commercial pilot though. And I have not seen the planes yet, but from what I heard, they are a peace of “poop”, I mean really bad. I guess I will just have to see for myself. You can all so get a chance to fly a twin, so that time would help a lot.

So that’s the issue. No pay and apparently bad planes (one told me that he doesn’t think its even airworthy). I only have a little under 250 hrs so the additional hours would help. So if you were in my shoes, what would you do? You’re a low time pilot, and want more hours. Would you take the job, at least until you get enough hours to get a “real” job?

I would really like to get a cargo job for a while, but according to there websites most of them require 1,000 hrs or more. So if you know of any places that hires someone like me, let me know.
 
Cargo

gear goes down said:
I would really like to get a cargo job for a while, but according to there websites most of them require 1,000 hrs or more. So if you know of any places that hires someone like me, let me know.

FAR 14CFR 135.243 (2)(c), the 135 mins for PIC IFR flying cargo. It's not the companies, it's regulation. Unless you can find a VFR company somewhere like Arizona, then it's 135.243(2)(b). Get familiar with this part if you're interested in cargo.

As for the job ?, well only you know what's best.

PilotYIP has a good quote in his signature:
PilotYIP said:
Fly because you like to, if you are in it for the money you may be disappointed.
.

Good advice to say the least!

Good Luck.

*THEIR*
 
That's tough, working for free sucks, but with 250 hours nobody is going to pay you, you need to think about where you want to go in aviation and if this deal in a crappy 172 will move you closer to your goal, you will have to fly some reasonably crappy planes at some point in your carrer, but you shouldn't fly airplanes that are obviously unsafe,it's your job to know the difference, it'll be your ass if you crash, no matter how crappy the maintenance was. Will this guy eventually pay you to fly for him? Most of these guys who "hire" pilots for nothing are lowlifes and will treat you badly. Take what you can get, think hard about instructing, I learned a lot doing it and it is well respected among other pilots. Much more than I thought it would be. Best of luck.
 
MTpilot said:
That's tough, working for free sucks, but with 250 hours nobody is going to pay you, you need to think about where you want to go in aviation and if this deal in a crappy 172 will move you closer to your goal, you will have to fly some reasonably crappy planes at some point in your carrer, but you shouldn't fly airplanes that are obviously unsafe,it's your job to know the difference, it'll be your ass if you crash, no matter how crappy the maintenance was. Will this guy eventually pay you to fly for him? Most of these guys who "hire" pilots for nothing are lowlifes and will treat you badly. Take what you can get, think hard about instructing, I learned a lot doing it and it is well respected among other pilots. Much more than I thought it would be. Best of luck.
Some pilot said he thinks the plane is unairworthy...at least that's what the rumor mill said.

I'm not an A&P but how does a pilot know if a plane is unairworthy? The paint is terrible looking, needs new carpet, headliner is stained from cigarette smoke, plastic interior trim is cracked and fading?

To the original poster, if you think them 172's "look" unairworthy, wait untill you see them scruffy looking Commanders you'll be rightseating in with the check haulers.
 
I'm pretty much in the same situation and here's what I've decided. I'm a low time guy and was looking around at random jobs such as fire patrol, airial photography, banner towing, etc. Most of those places seemed pretty shady. After talking to several people, I decided to go get my CFI to build my time the old fashion way. It really does seem like the best way to get your time to move onto a part 135 place. Most places post minimums of 1000 hrs because of the 135 minimums, but there's ways around it and you can get hired with less time. I haven't started instructing yet, but I can tell you that it's not for everyone. Continue searching for other oportunities if you're one of the people that doesn't see yourself instructing, but realize that it's probably the best way to build your time. You can get to the hiring minimums relatively quickly and it'll probably make you a better pilot.
 
Here is a scenario to think about. You are out there flying this piece of junk C-172 that you are not sure is airworthy. A Fed happens to see you getting into this rag tag excuse for an airplane and decides to ramp check you. Long story short, you get numerous violations for flying an unairworthy aircraft. The rest of you career becomes an uphill battle to explain the violations on your record. Get the point ? Under no circumstances fly an unairworthy airplane.

TP
 
The old fashioned way?

I suppose working as a CFI might be old fashioned but then, so is HARD WORK, for little money.

C'mon.

I was a CFI, you stand around, drink coffee, do a crossword, go fly a little, flirt with the secretary, go fly a little.

Nobody gets rich, but it's fun and easy.

Better yet, you find a flight school with a 135 dept. Slave away at those crosswords for a couple years and WHAMO, you're riding in the right seat of a Navajo on a charter...of course you're not legal to log the time but on the empty leg back you sit in the left seat and log it as PIC...

Use your imagination a little.

What would I do? At 250 hours, I'd probably take the job and keep looking for another one. In fact, that's what I've been doing for 20 years.

Take the job...keep looking.

Good luck.
 
You should be paid something for the flying. I flew fire patrols and got paid reasonably well. Believe me, there is quite a bit of money being made in this fire patrol contract. If you do take the job and find the planes to be un-airworthy then walk away. If it appears to be more of a cosmetic issue then stick with it and have a good time. I have flown many planes that didn't look too great cosmetically but they were a blast to fly.

Goodluck
 
ask to see the maintenance records and get a maintenance guy to nit-pick through them with you. at my flight school i have a pretty good relationship with the MX guys so they would help me out. are you in the same boat? might you be able to find a MX guy to kill an hour or two going through records and giving the plane a once-over?

cover your butt, bro. there's no one else looking out for it in this world but YOU.
 

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