Need help for a career PLZ

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by joshua gavris, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. joshua gavris

    joshua gavris Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Josh G
    so I'm looking into getting my ppl soon to get started in aviation. I'm going for a career in aerial firefighting, I live in California so... the most logical thing to do was to go to cal fire's website and look at career options, but alas they don't say anything about aerial firefighting except that all of their air tactical pilots are employed through DynCorp, so... I go to DynCorp's website to see what they got, but all it gives me are the requirements, (and there's a lot of them), so I start reading through them and there's a bunch of different licenses I have to get and a ton of flight hours in various different aircraft. So then I started looking for a way to get all those flight hours, but all I could find out is that I need to get jobs specific to those requirements and build flight hours I guess. so then I look for jobs in my area but again, there isn't anything.

    if any of you are employed in this field, please let me know how you got there and what is required, and if there is a more clear path to this career.
     
  2. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,209
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
  3. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    18,787
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    What is required?

    upload_2020-6-25_22-5-26.gif
     
  4. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,397
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    Wishing you luck .
     
  5. kath

    kath Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Katherine
    Then you *are* on the right path!

    All those fancy ratings you’re reading about, they all start with the Private first*, and moving on and up from there. So start reading and training for the PPL, and hang out at the airport and meet people and network. You’ll learn gobs.

    *(At least, in the civilian world)
     
    Brad Smith likes this.
  6. Arm3

    Arm3 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2020
    Messages:
    25
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Arm3
    The Channel Islands unit of the California Air Guard has a aerial fire fighting as one of their missions. If you’re young enough and qualify that would be a good option to get the training and experience early on. I’d wager the commercial operators would find that experience valuable if you wanted to follow on to the civilian side. I have no idea how competitive it is to get into the unit though.

    https://www.146aw.ang.af.mil/Resour...Article/867450/146th-airlift-wing-fact-sheet/

    I know for a fact the AF Reserve C-130 unit in Colorado Springs also does the aerial fire fighting and I believe the Wyoming Air Guard also.
     
  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    12,888
    Location:
    high desert NM
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    This is one of those jobs where a lot plays into who you know being a big factor in who gets hired.

    Plus putting yourself in the right place at the right time.
     
  8. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    TOGO
    Have you thought about Army warrant officer helicopter program or any military rotor wing program? Paying for helicopter training yourself is a large investment.
     
  9. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    282
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geosync
    Get your ratings up to commercial first and then worry about specific flying for that. As others have said, military experience is preferable since they train you in the heavy iron doing tactical stuff immediately. Civilian route, you should do aerobatics, bush flying in Alaska or Africa, get your a&p. Basically all the non-standard flying possible. Then, it's who you know. Jobs like these tend to go to buddies who served in the same units in the military, but it's not impossible for a civilian to get in there.
     
  10. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    959
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan Ferguson 1974
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,209
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Ok. I was wondering why I saw her resume online. She wasn’t there long.
     
  12. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    TOGO
    The article has direct quotes from the captain pilot too. Anything happened to him?
     
  13. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Longmont Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rogue_Ryder
    Step 1: Go get a 2nd Class medical and your Student Pilot Certificate before you do anything else. Then go for your intro flight and pursue the Private I'd recommend doing a structured Part 141 school. I'd also recommend going to visit a Helicopter school early in your training and get a Helio flight as well, if you haven't flown in one it's different than airplane (I've flown in a few but never touched the controls). Talk to guys that do the type of flying you want to do as well. Guys doing the type of flying you want to do will be the best source of information.

    When I was a kid I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to become a Pilot, specifically I wanted to be an Airline Pilot. I took my first flight lesson in 1991 and spent 2 weeks each summer at an Aviation Day Camp (from age 11-13) where we'd get Ground Instruction and Fly with an Instructor a few times each session. I flew enough to amass a dozen hours or so and set my sights on going to College at Embry-Riddle and while in High School I took the appropriate Math & Science courses to get accepted there (along with the GPA and SAT score), I ended up graduating from ERAU in 2002 with a Safety Sciences Major and Human Factors Minor and THANK GOD because even though I got my Private I needed to get a Statement of Demonstrated Ability to fly at night and by color signal due to having color vision deficiency and I probably would never have been picked up by an airline, also my Degree has allowed me to have a well paying career working in Space and Defense for the last 17 years (I'm way further ahead financially than if I had a flying career). I started at ERAU in the "Aero Sci" program aka flight school and made many friends that were in the same program that I still keep up with today, of all those guys only 1 flies for the Airlines today, 1 flies Corporate (a sweet gig that he quit Delta for), another is a U2 Pilot but the rest wound up in different career fields ATC, Airfield Management, Accounting, TV producer and Defense Contracting (there are 4 of us Alumni that sit in the same aisle of offices). One common thing we all had in common was we wanted to fly for the airlines when we started and with the exception of 1, went another route either we found other types of flying or were unable to physically or financially get to ATP.

    Having a BACKUP plan or at least a backup skill set will be helpful because as you may or may not know Aviation is Cyclical, 9/11, 2008 Economic Crisis and COVID are 3 major events in the last 20 years that lead to significant Pilot Furloughs. Right now there's not much Oil Drilling so a lot Helo Pilots are on the sidelines as well. The Wildland fire season is 3 months out of the year, so you better have other gigs and you will probably be fighting fires where you're needed not just waiting around for one to start in Cali (could be anywhere in the West including Canada).

    Someone mentioned A&P, that rating will help you land a job as a bush Pilot in Africa and even Alaska; but it's a painfully slow certificate to earn. Bush can be a very rewarding job and is probably the most challenging flying you can do. I passed the written A&P exams but did not have the patience to gut it out at near minimum wage for 30 months or worse yet pay a Part 147 school and have to put in 1900hrs of schooling in 18-24 months! The A&P students at ERAU typically were in the classroom/hangar 40hrs/week with studying/homework on top of that. That left little time to get a part time job to pay bills. If you can live with your Parents or other Family for free and commute to a 147 school that would definitely be ideal if you want to get an A&P or if you can find an FBO and apprentice in the day and do school/flying in the afternoon or evenings (I did it for a year but the pay was too low). Not only can it help getting a flying job, if you ever lose your medical you can fall back on your A&P skills to keep $$$$ coming in, whether it's an FBO at a GA field, an Airline or even a Defense Contractor (lots of Military Planes get "Depot Maintenance" performed by Contractors) you can readily find a job.

    There are a few routes to becoming a Commercial Helicopter Pilot. Without having to spend a mountain of cash, you can join the Army National Guard and become a Helio pilot. You can fly 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year and have a civilian career as well. My coworker did it and became a Blackhawk pilot but switched to KingAirs (C-12s) and says he'll never fly a death trap rotorwing again! Another friend of mine is a Pilot for PHI http://www.phihelico.com/ He lives here in Colorado but commutes down to New Orleans when he needs to work. He makes great money although he did pay out a lot of money to get his ratings.