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Back in the Saddle

Canada The great white north. A BIG country with few people and LOTS of aviation.

Back in the Saddle

Old 9th Feb 2017, 05:21
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1
Back in the Saddle

I was wondering if anyone with a little more experience then me could shed a little light on my situation, (any criticism is welcome). I graduated with a commercial aviation diploma 3 years ago however I felt that I bit off a little more then I could chew and came out of the program with roughly $90,000 in student loans. Being completely strapped for cash I landed a job as an MWD operator putting navigation systems in oil wells and in a little over 2 years I paid back $82,000. I had a master plan to pay off all my loans bank about $150,000 then go up North and fly for peanuts to get my hours. Well the price of oil tanked as you all know and I was laid off, I am currently working as a first year electrician living pay cheque to pay cheque. I would like to get back in the air but seam to be a little stuck right now... Any suggestions, advise and tidbits of information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and Godspeed.

NevilleB29 is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2017, 17:58
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Canadian Shield
Posts: 536
It depends on what your priorities are, and how long you can fend off the bank manager(!)

Personally, if you enjoy the far north and don't have any family in tow, I'd apply to some of the remote mining operations where a good Sparky can earn and bank a lot of money in very short order, even in today's market. Drop a line to the northern airlines too and keep in contact with their personnel and maybe aim to jump ship in 24-36 months...

It's tough out there, but remember "there's always room for someone good".

Best of luck!
er340790 is offline  
Old 11th Feb 2017, 19:27
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: lagos
Posts: 758
Sorry to hear about your situation.

Firstly, to accept wages as low as $10,000-25k a year for flying up north is absolutely crazy, trust me i was there once, and its been the biggest regret of my career. I did everything from washing, fuelling and office work for little reward. Never saw a career path.

Luckily for me, I have dual citizenship, and had an opportunity to fly a turbo prop back home. It wasnt long before an Asian operator hired me on the A320, the others on my course had 200 hours and did a fantastic job and all of us put in the effort in upgrading fleets and positions.

Don't listen to these people online, most of them are unemployed bitter people, anyone who's been in a proper airline will tell you, get in as early as possible , get your seniority number and dont waste time. This is your career, its your livelihood.

Ive not paid to fly, never will, its just as bad as accepting the wages in the great white north but the fact that people are so bitter that 200 hour pilots are getting to fly heavy jets is sad.

Do what you think is good for you, Id be happy to help with CVs or mentoring. PM me!
pfvspnf is offline  
Old 11th Feb 2017, 23:47
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 602
Flying jets maybe some people's goal, perhaps not others. There's nothing wrong with flying the big iron, but if it's not your choice, that's fine too. You're certainly not the lesser person for accepting honest work in the north, if you enjoy it, and the environment. There's nothing wrong with a pilot working non pilot aviation jobs early in their career, it builds character. The boss of the company will like a pilot who does not mind getting their hands dirty, and getting the job done.

If you are happy to work for an outfit where it was not the boss who hired you, that's okay too, just different. I like aviation companies where you have to look carefully to determine which of the people working hard in jeans and a sweatshirt is the boss!

My only reason for being dis satisfied that 200 hour pilots are flying heavy jets, is that 200 hour pilots with jet training, have really not flown solo enough to build up the self confidence it takes to be a natural pilot yet. The pilot with a few hundred hours in the bush very certainly has!
9 lives is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2017, 07:44
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: lagos
Posts: 758
If that's the career you want , then flying in the bush is great, I have a problem with employers abusing it's employees and fellow pilots accepting such low wages.

Major Airlines such as Singapore Airlines , Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, Emirates, Etihad and many others all put 200 hour pilots, sometimes less if MPL on to the right seat of jets. The learning curve is steep but with a sensible training program and hard work the confidence will come. Being up in the bush for several thousand hours won't add much value after a certain point.
pfvspnf is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2017, 04:13
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 602
Being up in the bush for several thousand hours won't add much value after a certain point.
A very true statement, applicable to most piloting skill sets.

I have a problem with employers abusing it's employees and fellow pilots accepting such low wages.
Then start your own profitable bush operation, and pay your pilots top dollar while knocking out all the competition at the same time. If the big iron employers are drawing in all the candidate pilots to well paying right seat jobs, I suppose that the bush operators will have to rise to the occasion. In the mean time, for a pilot who's just gone from paying to fly at all, to being modestly paid at an entry level pilot job, they are probably happy for the job, and the opportunity fora beginning. Let them be proud in their hard earned job, like anyone else.
9 lives is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2017, 07:34
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Asia
Posts: 38
Out of curiosity, did you research the aviation job market and salary conditions in Canada for low time pilots before taking on $90,000 in debt????
slate100 is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2017, 22:30
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South of 60
Posts: 13
Back in the saddle

NevilleB29, I'm guessing you may need to rewrite the IFR exam and renew your IFR rating? You can now do this cheaply in a full motion Red Bird flight simulator at a local flying school. You would only need to do a single engine IFR renewal, as once you get a PPC on a twin, at whatever company you are employed by, you will then have your multi IFR (group 1) renewed.
Apply to North Wright Airways in Norman Wells, NT. get hired, work hard and get your check-out, you'll then be off to the races career wise!
Even better if you went up there with an Electricians ticket in hand!
mccauleyprop is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2017, 03:26
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: East end.
Posts: 239
Hasn't been as good a time as now in a long time for low tube pilots... What do you want to do with your life? If it's this then you better get on with it - stop pissing around and get in somewhere... anywhere... Pound the pavement, email everyone, call them, visit who you can... The jobs are there and I can't believe the advancement I'm seeing right now into airlines.

Good luck. Sooner is better.
altiplano is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2017, 22:42
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: dubai
Posts: 33
Hi Neville B29, As someone pointed out above, what is your direction, floats or airlines? I met a fellow who started flying in Alberta at 40 years old. He sent out resumes to everyone who owned airplanes and wound up in South Africa about 10 years ago. From there he got on an ATR42 from there an A320 in China and now at Emirates. He is due for upgrade soon I believe if he is still here. Anyway point being; mail everyone and not just locally. Get a passport and all your vaccinations while your looking. Anywhere you go from North America you will need them. Hope this helps.
dusty777 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2017, 08:17
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: lagos
Posts: 758
exactly, "the big iron" isnt waiting for you in Canada. If airline flying is what you want to do, the routes are quicker abroad and you are generally appreciated and compensated better for your time.
pfvspnf is offline  

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