Jump to content


Frasca VRForum468TigerTugsHelicopter AcademyVOLO_VRHome200
Photo
- - - - -

Breaking into the Utility Market

Utility Long line fire Fighting

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 jmic

jmic

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 17 June 2015 - 08:42

Hello, quick introduction

I am a retiring OH-58D pilot, I have 2,900 hours turbine time with experience in mountain, low level (less than 200') and NVG. I would like to become a utility/fire fighting pilot. The problem I have run into is most companies want previous fire experience, long line experience, and previously carded; which I have none of.  What are the recommendations for me to break into this market. I have looked at doing some long line training courses offered in Oregon or Florida. Can anyone give some recommendations or insight.

 

Thank You for the input



#2 AS350 pilot

AS350 pilot

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Company working for:Utility

Posted 20 June 2015 - 16:31

Utility and fire flying is extremely fun. I think that's why many people are drawn to it. I have noticed that many utility companies want one of two pilots:

1. Someone who is "turn key" and has already been there and done it with little to no training required.   OR

2. Someone who shows promis and is willing to be a low guy on the totem pole and pay their dues. 

Fortunately for me, I got into utility and fire by being willing to learn, move, work for less pay (for a little while), etc. 

For your situation, I would have to ask if you are willing to do all those paying your dues things to get to be an experienced utility pilot? It's because of this that the large majority of pilots will decide that another sector of the industry is for them…..because lets face it, by the time you have almost 3,000 hrs most pilots don't want to be put into a situation that they know absolutely nothing about. 

Long line courses can be good but honestly, I would recommend that you go knocking on doors and see if anyone is interested in hiring you. You will basically be like an apprentice utility pilot for a while. 

 

Best of luck to you!


  • 500F likes this

#3 jmic

jmic

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 23 June 2015 - 13:41

I have to be willing to start at the bottom and work my way up, utility work would be completely new to me so I cannot just jump in and expect to be at the top. I am drawn to the utility/firefighting side of flying compared to EMS mainly because it is not setting in an office waiting for a call, 7 on and 7 off like I talked to so many EMS operators about. I can do that but I would prefer to travel, and to have the challenge that utility and firefighting pose. I accept the fact that someone 10-15 years younger than me may be teaching me and critiquing my performance, but that is what thick skin is for. You have to be humble enough to be willing to learn from everyone you fly with. I realize I was at the top of the food chain but the reality is I have never done utility work or fought fires, my skill set will help me learn and excel at it but I have to start from the bottom and work my way back up.



#4 500F

500F

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 June 2015 - 17:25

Good Post AS350.

As he said, most employers are seeking either a turn-key experienced utility pilot, or someone who they can mentor into a great utility pilot for years to come. You are obviously not the former, your only hope to breaking into this industry is to do the later. You'll have to sell a potential employer on the fact that you are willing to listen, learn and be patient. That you are expect pay based on your ability to produce, (not much at first, but gradual increases as you become proficient) and that you will stick with them after you have that experience.  

 

You experience is not what they are looking for, don't flaunt it. There are hundreds of ex military applicants with your #s, NVG time, mountain time, etc.. Attitude will be the deciding factor.


  • AS350 pilot likes this

#5 Spike

Spike

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,624 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 June 2015 - 00:39

The conundrum is; you have been bred from an entirely different animal. That is, while you have the experience you have, initially; it’s not optimal for the utility sector. Some of it is but not all of it. In any case, what I suggest is, don’t shoot for the bulls eye the first time you pull the trigger… Or better said, simply get a job in the helicopter industry and work your way towards utility. Furthermore, you’ll probably need to lower your expectations. Such as, don’t rule out entry-level turbine gigs.  Other than that, try for an SIC job for a heavy operator in order to get your feet wet……



#6 Goldy

Goldy

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,852 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Crescenta-VNY, CA
  • Interests:uuuh? flying helicopers maybe?
  • Company working for:Hey I didn't know you could loop an R22 ???

Posted 24 June 2015 - 23:30

Most utility operators I know don't fly OH 58's /206's or much close to them. They fly 500's and some Astars, so definitely try and get some time in those along the way. 


Fly Safe !!

Goldy-CPL(H),R22A, HP, B, BII, R44 Astro, R1,RII,R44ClipperII, R66, B47G2, S300C, S333, B206B3, DG500, RV10, E480B, AS350BA, S-58T, what next?

FAA Aircraft Dealer
http://www.bestaerialphoto.com
http://www.phpa.org
http://www.rotorcraftpro.com
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvN3GDEXPos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuX9SO5uCno


#7 adam32

adam32

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,207 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California
  • Company working for:Just keeping the bills paid!!

Posted 25 June 2015 - 10:19

Lots of AG operators flying OH-58/206 and you'll make more money and fly more hours doing AG. Easier to break into with your time and experience too.



#8 jmic

jmic

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 25 June 2015 - 20:40

I'm looking at doing SIC for the season, I interview soon so I will see how that goes and go from there.  Thank you for the all of your input.



#9 kona4breakfast

kona4breakfast

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 140 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:AK

Posted 09 July 2015 - 12:27

SIC is not a bad idea for a former mil guy.  Make connections, get to know the civil sector, and find good mentors.  You'll quickly cage your attitude and figure out where to go from there. 


I told my mom I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.  She told me I couldn't do both.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Utility, Long line, fire Fighting

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



PrecisionVRForumHome200NFCVRForum200HomeBE_VRHome200AMTC 2018Spectrum_VRHome200LORD_VRHome200Praetor_Home200Genesys VR Forum 200MaunaLoaVRHome200HeliHelmets-VR Home