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Advice for starting a flying career as a Bush Pilot

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Advice for starting a flying career as a Bush Pilot

Old 12th Apr 2011, 03:14
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Advice for starting a flying career as a Bush Pilot

I have recently completed the CPL(A) in Aus. Would like to pursue a career in bush flying.
At the moment i have 160 hours, Manual CSU and undercarriage endorsement on single engine piston aeroplanes < 5700kg and a job that allows me to study at work and fly on weekends.

I am seeking advice on other endorsements that will help achieve the goal of bush flying. and what operators generally look for in low hour pilots.
eg. tail wheel, turbo prob. floats, etc.

My instructor suggested NVFR is a must. I plan to complete that soon.
Is Multi engine or instrument rating worth doing? Im under the impression that its rare for a pilot just starting out to be hired for anything other than single engine VFR flying.

Have also seen 50 hour bush/float flying courses in Alaska and Canada run by some companies. Thoughts on these?

Thanks.
Danger Banglington is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2011, 06:51
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When you say "Bush pilot" what do you mean?
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Old 12th Apr 2011, 08:14
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Seriously, you should download and watch the series "Flying Wild Alaska."

Flying.Wild.Alaska.Season.01.352p.H264.Complete torrents download - Btscene Torrent Details

I know Australia is not Alaska, however you get a good idea on how companies operate and the real-life experience required.
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Old 12th Apr 2011, 08:15
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He means flying a Dash 8 from a capital city to a mine site
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Old 12th Apr 2011, 12:09
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Some experience on a 206 or 210 would be a good start, maybe a ScareVan endorsement too.
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Old 12th Apr 2011, 22:15
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If you just like to fly then AG is one way to go. No glamour or bars and braid but rewarding and demanding work.
You don't just have to fly empty aircraft with giant tyres in and out of gravel bars in rivers to be a useful pilot off airfield.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 12:16
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VH-XXX Watched a few episodes of that show. Thats exactly what i would like to be doing. Do you know if there is much of that kind of flying in Aus?

Super Cecil, Ag work looks pretty exciting, might be the best way to get started in the bush scene. I'll check it out. Thanks.
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 12:35
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Ooh ooh, me first.

Ag work looks pretty exciting, might be the best way to get started in the bush scene.
This is not a stepping stone. Sure some move on to other work but they didn't get into it (and spend the $15,000 on the Ag Rating) just to clock up some scary hours very very slowly.

Wanna fly out bush then go out bush. Yes, NVFR... then GO GO GO.

FRQ CB
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 20:06
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Get in a plane around November of next year and head to Maun, Botswana. No luck there, then you can head to Namibia or north into places like Tanzania or Malawie.
Best move I ever made and the bush flying is excatly what you are looking for.

Check this video and see if you like it :-

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Old 17th Apr 2011, 21:38
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I must be getting old, but being a cowboy is not bush flying, no matter where in the World you are...

Danger Banglington, plenty of great bush flying to be had right here in Oz and top experiences to boot!

Last edited by Howard Hughes; 17th Apr 2011 at 23:30. Reason: To correct Danger's name...
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 22:19
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FEK.....

I did nearly 5 years of bush flying .... and I saw more than one guy given the flick for pulling stunts like the ones on that video...

Great fun i'm sure.... but that's not what bush flying is about.

Get your NVFR and head up to Kununurra or Jabiru or some of the more remote NT towns/communities. You'll have a ball!
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Old 17th Apr 2011, 23:52
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That is not bush flying guys, so don't pay any attention to this garbage. That is what I call dangerous flying.

As for only 1 or 2 years out of your life? This has the potential to end your life. Rolling non aerobatic aeroplanes and unauthorized low level flying has no place in our industry.

What about the next bloke who flys your aeroplane after you've been doing aerobatics and the wings do the slap? How would you feel then?

The goal of all Pilots is to be as professional as possible, and to display sound airmanship at all times.
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 10:40
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You want to go bush flying, first thing to do is to go and find an aeroplane that has no nose wheel, you go and find any tail wheel aeroplane get somebody to teach you to fly it, then you go and find some quite circuit area you can beetle around at 5ooft with a choice of x strips so you can land x wind all day.
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 11:07
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Lilflyboy I am suprised at you posting that flying circus video.
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 12:43
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Being a hero as in this video, dose NOT ! make a pilot. Seems a couple of little stunts make this guy a hero.
It dosen,t.
My motto is and has always been - bring the aeroplane back everyday.
Preferably if i,m attached to it.
That to me is a professional attitude and has kept me alive for the last 15 years.
I would say go Ag if you want real flying. With the current climate and water in the eastern states you,d have every chance.
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 19:00
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Actually I'm sorry about that video. I have a stupidly slow internet connection (being in africa and all) and only watched the first little bit of it.
The cowboy shit was probably around 5-10yrs ago. It doesnt happen anymore.
This is proper bush flying in short strips of very average condition, in very high density altitudes with MAUW aircraft. Then you get all the same stuff like animals on the runway, epic thunderstorms and the like.

So yeah! Once again, sorry for the poor choice in video, but at least you get the idea of the conditions here!
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 23:05
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Would like to pursue a career in bush flying
Why? Everyone who I have heard say that either quit flying because it was too hard/didn't pay enough or is in an airline. Few guys in the RFDS or those who are career PNG pilots would probably qualify but very very few actually acomplish a career as a bush pilot as it is a very hard road to travel.
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Old 22nd Apr 2011, 22:02
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Neville, the bush isnt for everyone.
I for one love my job and the perks that come with it. In my part of the world I get to stay at 5 star lodges and see animals on a daily basis that people spend thousands to see.
There is a lot less pressure and more freedom, while still expecting a high standard of professionalism (again, ignore the previous video....)
The pay, while crap when converted to home dollars, is more than enough to live comfortably on.

Perhaps it may not be something that will be done until your late 60's but I don't have to look hard to see a few guys that have come here, settled in and started a family, When they want a change, they just move to a different company.
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Old 16th Sep 2017, 09:40
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Ratings

I would say for Botswana, a C172, C206, Airvan GA8 or C208 are all good ratings to have.

You need 500 Hours to get a work visa here, so that's the minimum. There is quite a big drive to get local pilots flying and no longer have expat pilots.

An instrument rating is need for the company's insurance although all the flying you will be doing is VFR.

If you have the money to do a Bush flying course, go for it!
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