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Information regarding the Top End

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Information regarding the Top End

Old 4th Aug 2009, 12:24
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 31
Posts: 14
Information regarding the Top End

Hello fellow Aviation enthusiasts,

As i am heading up to the Northern Territory/ Western Australia mid next week i would like to get some information about a couple of things.

I am after information in regards to Accommodation, Aircraft hire, Means of Travel, Dining, Aero Clubs and all those hideaway places jobs as a low hours pilot could be found.

I have so far planned to head for Darwin and make my way down to Kununurra, Derby, Broome, Karratha, Alice Springs, Kalgoorlie.( Pretty much anywhere Big or small which an aviation service can be found)

Any information about places which could be a possible target would be much appreciated.

Just a reminder that i am as like most of us starting out on a budget.

Also if there are people who would make good contact please PM me as i am looking to meet and greet as many people as possible..

Thanks, Sky Pilot
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 20:34
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sth of the Equator
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Not sure if you have received any pm re the above thread but here is some info.
Not too sure of the current scene in Darwin but there used to be a pilots watering hole called the 'institute'i think it is near the flying school(s).

There is an aeroclub in Alice so that would be a good starting point there.

Kununurra,once again not sure but they have an active scene due,in part, the bungles also don't forget Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing,and Broome and Derby while i am at it.

Karatha KFS not sure there.
Kalgoorlie should still be okay due the gold mining(prices of gold still high),the operator there is GAS .

Do not underestimate the distances involved,not sure if u have wheels or not but consider a small tent and camp at van parks otherwise there is the trusty old backpackers.

Try and ring a couple of the operators and you may get a feel for what lies ahead.

I realise i have not given you a whole lot but have mentioned a couple of places that you may not have considered.

Max
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 00:50
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The Shire
Posts: 2,889
Darwin

Hardy Aviation
Chartair
Direct Air
Air Frontier
Av8
Australasian Jet
Pearl
Vincent
Airnorth
Pel Air

Jabiru

AAA Air Charter
Kakadu Air Services

Alice Springs

Australasian Jet
Chartair
Pearl
Alice Springs Aero Club

Kunus

Alligator
Slingair
Shoal Air

Wyndham

Wydham Air Charter

Halls Creek

Broome Aviation base
Broome Skyways

Derby

Bushflight/Reeflight
Golden Eagle
RFDS

Broome

King Leopold Air
Broom Aviation
(several float plane operators)

Port Hedland

Polar Aviation
RFDS

Karratha

Karratha Flying Services
Tropic Air Karratha Base

Exmouth

Norwest Air Services

Carnarvon

Tropic Air

Shark Bay

Shark Bay Air Charter

Kalbarri

Kalbarri Air Charter

Geraldton

Shine Aviation Services
Geraldton Air Charter
Batavia Coast Air Charter

Kalgoorlie

Goldfields Air Services

There are a couple of smaller operators that I have more than likely forgotten but the vast majority are there.
The Green Goblin is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2009, 01:14
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Australia
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great effort

Goblin wish you were around with that list when I started!

If i may I'll highlight the ones that would be most likely to employ young mate? Maybe if others could fill in the bits i'm not sure about..?

Green - 200-300 hr applicants
Red - 350-700 hr applicants
Blue - 1st twin job (700 - 1000 hr)
Black - 1st Turbine (1000 - 1500)
? - don't know

Basically you'll be black and blue by the time you've got your 500 multi!!
Bourketown

Savannah

Mt Isa

Air Mount Isa

Darwin

Hardy Aviation
Chartair

Direct Air ?
Air Frontier
Av8 ?
Pearl
Vincent
Airnorth
Pel Air

Jabiru

AAA Air Charter
Kakadu Air Services

Alice Springs

Australasian Jet ?
Chartair
Pearl
Alice Springs Aero Club ?

Kunus

Alligator
Slingair

Shoal Air ?

Weipa


Weipa Air

Wyndham

Wydham Air Charter ?

Halls Creek

Broome Aviation base ?
Broome Skyways ?

Derby

Bushflight/Reeflight ?
Golden Eagle
RFDS

Broome


King Leopold Air
Broome Aviation

(several float plane operators)

Port Hedland

Polar Aviation
RFDS

Karratha


Karratha Flying Services

Tropic Air Karratha Base

Exmouth

Norwest Air Services ?

Carnarvon


Tropic Air


Shark Bay

Shark Bay Air Charter ?

Kalbarri

Kalbarri Air ?

Geraldton

Shine Aviation Services ?
Geraldton Air Charter ?
Batavia Coast Air Charter ?

Kalgoorlie

Goldfields Air Services

Last edited by Mr. Hat; 6th Aug 2009 at 03:03.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 02:05
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Mr.Hat- Great manifest, when the time comes I'll be using it..I think we all owe you a beer
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 02:08
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oops green goblin I ditto my last comment for you too!
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 02:11
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Broome Aviation , you can start as green and come out black
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 02:38
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As I have said many times on here before you are best off to dig into a location with a high chance of employment. Driving around is an option in the odd chance you are Johnny on the spot, but in days gone by it was a waiting game.

I'd be going to Kunus and digging in, working at the servo particularly the shell road house as most of the pilots get their luncho pies from there (god I miss 'em) and wait it out.

I'd then crack the tonne and head to Hardy in Darwin if the opportunity
presents although there are other options also.

It really is the wrong time of year though to be starting out, most of the hiring has finished and in another few months the firing will begin with the scenic operators or leave issued for the wet season to the guys that they want to come back the following year (and more and more will return as last seasons guys are not moving onto multi engine gigs and the multi engine guys are not moving onto turbine gigs, who in turn are not moving onto jets). The more senior guys (last seasons returners) fly the wet which is the most interesting time of year to fly. In days gone by you would need a couple of VFR wets before you had a crack at a multi engine job in Darwin (and 3000 single), that requirement was overlooked over the last couple of years but I'd bet my Christmas lunch it will rear its head again next year.

I'm all for guy's starting out, we have all been there and it is an adventure that only those who have left the city can understand. The flying is great, the conditions can be lousy but they make for far more interesting cockpit tales later down the track.

Keep me updated via PM (I extend that offer to all newbies) and I'll keep my ear to the floor at what is happening around the place and may be able to help you secure a start somewhere.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 02:58
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The list is all the work of the Green Goblin.

I agree with Goblins advice but add that you should be keeping the other locations on the "boil" as well if you can. I used to save up and plan trips that were combined with the occasional follow up call just to touch base once I had met the Senior or Chief pilot. Its not hard to keep your name close to the top of the list in many different companies like this.

A fellow I met right at the start of my journey told me to treat it like an adventure as opposed to a chore. However sometimes the getting changed and shaving in service stations started to feel a bit chore like after a while!

Added a couple to the list not sure if they are still running though...

I'm happy to update it if people know the details of the ones I'm unsure of.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 02:59
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Quite often helps to rock up with 20 hours on a 200 series cessna at a lot of these places. If it's your first job, odds are that's what you'll be flying.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 03:08
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Quite often helps to rock up with 20 hours on a 200 series cessna at a lot of these places. If it's your first job, odds are that's what you'll be flying.
A checkride is sufficient.

Chances are you'll be flying an Airvan these days, 210 is the carrot being dangled in front of your face if you behave and don't break too much.

I have over 400 hours in the Airvan, my arse is still sore!
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 03:48
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Many thanks for the list guys...helps a heap with personal job research! cheers
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 05:10
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Good luck guys and what a great list Goblin.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 09:02
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I have over 400 hours in the Airvan, my arse is still sore!
Whats with the Airvan seats? I'd rather be in a C152 any day when it comes to comfort...now thats saying something.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 13:50
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Our op still uses 206 and 210s (and a G1000 182). Not airvans, although agreed, they are becoming more common.

When I was looking around (admittedly many years back), most of the low time employers required the 20 hrs on type for insurance (if not 400TT) although you'll probably do at least this during your initial ICUS. Is this still the case?
GG?
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 14:04
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You forgot a few operators in the NT. Katherine Aviation is pretty big these days, last time I heard they had around a dozen aircraft, probably more now as they took over all the Ausjet bases, Groote, Gove, Ngkurr etc.. Further south you have Helimuster at YVRD, they operate a 206 and even further south you have Lajamanu Air.

Hmmmm Ayers Rock Scenic Flights at Alice.... Gundabalya (sp?) Air Charters up at Oenpelli, Broome Air Services in Broome.. probably a few more.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 01:33
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Our op still uses 206 and 210s (and a G1000 182). Not airvans, although agreed, they are becoming more common.

When I was looking around (admittedly many years back), most of the low time employers required the 20 hrs on type for insurance (if not 400TT) although you'll probably do at least this during your initial ICUS. Is this still the case?
GG?
You usually do about 5 hours ICUS for VFR and 10 for IFR before being let loose. It also depends on the insurance requirements for the operator.

Usually a checkride will be 0.5ish consisting of a few circuits in different configs (flap, half flap, flapless etc) they'll pull the power on you ATO and ask were you are going to land and perhaps later in the circuit see you conduct a glide approach from late downwind. (If you're flying a wide circuit cause you are not used to the speed of a 210 you won't make it) You'll then get a route check with the CP and do a few ICUS legs with the senior guys before being let loose on your own.

250TT used to be the ticket when I started, and 520/540 time is pretty good. If your school has a 182rg use it for your CPL as it has a 540 and retract with similar performance to a 210 (although the 540 is no 520 thats for sure)

Jandakot Flight Centre have a 210 (VH-MVQ) which they are happy to check you out on and may even give you some ICUS. (They do Perth to Shark Bay a few times a week) If you are from the East Coast you are best off to fly into Perth, buy a car, do a checkride on the 210 and drive up the West Coast. Cars in Darwin are over priced (2k will get you a $500 car) and they are even worse off in the country towns. Buy a cheap reliable (no Hyandai or the likes) 4 cyl with Aircon like a Toyota Corolla, Nissan Pulser etc chuck a spare set of belts in the back, cheap tools some oil/coolant and a spare water pump and hoses just in case.

This time of year it gets pretty cold at night in the tropics especially inland around Kununurra so don't make the mistake I did, take jumpers and jackets!!

Oh and never rock up in Pilot Uniform for an interview - dress to impress (no thongs flip flops or jandels) Take 3 blue shirts and 3 white (Alligator wear Khaki now, I believe and they look like Steve Irwin RIP) Invest in a GPS (Garmin 96/196/296 are the way to go)

There were lots of guys that didn't get work in Kunus this year (mainly Kiwis from what I heard) so don't take it to heart if you don't get work. If you are patient it will happen just don't lower your standards and work for below the award. Know your entitlements and if quized about what you would like to be paid always reply with the award.

GG
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 06:20
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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GG you seem to be pretty knowledgeable with these operators up north and your last post regarding shirts sparked up a question. Do these operators mind you wearing long sleeve shirts? I know this must sound like an extremely stupid question, but looking through photos etc they all seem to wear short sleeve and shorts.
My arms and face look like this guy after five minutes in the sun --->

Cheers.
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Old 7th Aug 2009, 06:59
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Wear sunscreen!

I'm sure no-one will mind you wearing long sleeves, however your face will still be bright red as it gets damn hot during the day! (especially during the build)
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 04:28
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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This thread seems very informative and some good info for newbees maybe the moderators could make it a Sticky.
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