i recently had a job offer from venezuela flying a h500 for tunaspotting. $10k/trip lasting up to three months
couple of questions: what's the condition of the machines in general? i'm not talking american companies. is it worth risking your life for it? i'm not desperate for turbine hours. i was told they used dynamite dropped from the helicopter. now, i'm not interested in breaking international laws (even if it concerns fish) when flying. is this legal? flying through airspace without contacting atc is one thing, not that i do that either.
Rumor has it that Fishing is pretty bad right now and a lot of the ships are in Port. If your really interested, Go to www.justhelicopters.com and put the question on that forum. You will also get some replies........ Good Luck...........
Howzit mate?I know this is also not what you are looking for but I see you are in the Caribean.Do you know of any Helicopter Companies in the Turks and Caicos Islands?Thanks for the help and I also hope you do get some good Gen about the Tuna Boats soon.
Not sure about that area but I know the area around Asia Pacific is very quiet at the moment. Was talking to some friends who have a number of machines on the taiwanese boats and they have actually been brining them back to NZ because it has been so slow.
A lot of the bigger boats are tied up in port at the moment. Seems to be the general trend in the industry at the moment. By the way Aeotoroa, if you are going to use the maori name for NZ at least spell it right, it is Aoteoroa
to aeotearoa, or whatever it was supposed to be: i'm not familiar with any companies on those islands. use the internet and search for them, that's what i do.
to pac rotors: yeah, somebody told me earlier in this thread. anyway, i was more interested in finding out how the venezuelan boats are to fly off of and how safe their helicopters are and also about the dynamite throwing issue.
i'm interested in getting experience in a wide variety of helicopter operations. i'm not going to stick around doing only one thing the rest of my life. tunaboats i'd like to try for a three month period, but that's it. everything becomes boring after a while, even flying. i've already done transports off a boat and tomorrow i'm flying some eighty people off a floating oilrigg.
I know a guy flying for Aviatun, out of Punto Fijo, Venezuela. Seems to getting on OK. The market is still pretty depressed but is picking up. As for the dynamite... quite frankly I doubt it. As PIC if they ask you to do it refuse and you will go home. Simple as that. Check out verticalflight.fsnet.co.uk
Maintenance: Depends on the company. Aviatķn (my personal experience) runs a superb maintenance (being a Robinson dealer with no shortage of spare parts at all). Who will you be flying for?
Dynamite: That’s true… and illegal, but once you are there you will understand why it’s done. So, if you are not prepared to do it, don’t even start. If you say that you won’t do it when you are 5 days away from the shore (when fishing usually starts) you will damn a crew of 24 people for another 5 days while the boat goes back home to kick you off and pick up another pilot. 10 days at sea for nothing… they won’t be happy chappies.
ATC: Doubt you can get in touch with anybody if you are 300nm away from the nearest land at 300’.
I superb experience, not for the rest of your life though!
thanks, i appreciate the last postings. don't think i'll go for tunaboats then. don't want to let down a whole boat of fishermen. might get nasty! liked your website! very informative. gave me some ideas to use on my own site... cheers!
Hi I am wondering about Tuna Spotting? Does anyone have any advice/information regarding getting a job flying on on of these boats? What sort of experience are they looking for? How many hours can one expect to fly? Where would I look for a job? How dangerous/difficult is the work? I am currently working on an Australian Commercial helicopter licence.....what additional training should I consider to get into this part of the industry? How many hours do I need realistically to be considered for this type of employment? I'd appreciate all advice, comments or other....thank you
You will find that the two main types of helos used are MD-500Cs, with a few D models around and R-22s. I was talking to some people today actually about the state of the industry in Western Samoa and that region and they expect it to pick up in about a months time. The Chinese have just bought up a whole lot of boats recently so that might be an avenue to look into as well. There are three main areas I think for tuna helos. The pacific ocean type area, the areas off the coasts of China and Taiwan and then South America.
Most of the companies, from what I undestand, want a pilot mechanic who can fly and fix etc. I think this is pretty much a minimum requirement as all of those that I know are dual rated. When it comes to hours, not sure on that but some others in this forum should be able to enlighten you.
I am a looking to break into the helicopter industry. I have a Canadian CPL and an Australian one. I have 140 hours, in a 300 and a 47. Does anyone know anything about tuna spotting and if it is worth pursuing. I mean. Will they take on low hour pilots if I actually get down there and knock on doors? What are my chances? I am thinking about buying another 60 hours....would this be smart or basically are they going to look at a 140 hr pilot in the same way as they would a 200hr pilot. What I mean is do you think that'd make or break a job? Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I should go and who I should call? website addresses etc? Basically I'm in a postion now where I'm not really sure what to do and would really appreciate some advice from those in the know. I am more than willing to fly anywhere and live anyplace for the opportunity to fly helicopters. I just want to fly, thank you for your help
Here in Mexico, there are some ports where Tuna boats "park" Ensenada, La Paz, and Mazatlan, there are lots of tuna boats at these places, I know pilots who have been there, and know a few things about them. But first of all let me say, getting an FAA ticket goes further with these people, and having those 200 hours will certainly help, actually I know of 2 guys, one spanish and one american who got hired with a little more than 180 R22 hours, if you get those hours get them in the R22, tuna boats seem to have many of these and will certainly appreciate them. (although I think the 300 is a much better helicopter, I really feel uncomfortable on the R22's, sorry)
My spanish friend got hired in San Diego on the US side, he worked on a Mexican ship with an FAA license, got hired with 190 hours and got about 8hrs. instruction before leaving with the ship, he called all the tuna operators 1000's of times and they always said they needed more time, then one day, got in tight spot and someone called him.
The pay is OK you make on a good trip (2 1/2 months average) about 6,000.00 USD which is ok for a a beginner and considering you don't spend while on the boat?
Tuna boats operate in Mexico, Panama, Venezuela all spanish speaking, spanish will definately help, (almost a must I would say)
I know one guy who spotted in Guam and he only said "it was the worst experience of my life" so beware with this Guam place.
Most ships I have seen in Mexico look pretty decent to me, helicopters are also good, its a dangerous job for a beginner, I have a friend who caught some net TO in a 206 and ended up in the water, helicopter sank, then about 5 years ago, there was this pilot who left on a boat, the entire boat dissapeared and NOTHING was found ever of the ship and its occupants.
I also have a good friend of mine who is 52 years old and every year he eagerly awaits the time for his yearly fishing trip, he says its the best time in his life when he's on the boat, and he always brings back pictures that make me want to go just for the excellent experience.
Don't tell any prospective employers you are there to build time and leave, try to make a commitment with them for say 1 year of trips, they will love that and consider making you a pilot.
Thanks Blender Pilot, I appreciate the info/advice. So I need to get some R22 time. Alright well i will definately look into that. As for speaking Spanish...well I'll learn that too if that's what it takes!!!!