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Visiting Helicopter Operators


duof2214
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I have finished my Commercial Certificate and hopeful soon will be starting my CFI program. In 2 weeks I will going to Northern California for a wedding. I would like to stop by a couple of companies that operate helicopters in the Sacramento area. I was wondering should I contact the companies that I would like to visit before, or should I just stop by? I’m just looking to talk to some pilots/owners and network with them maybe even get some advise.

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I think if possible it would be best to contact them in advance. Just let them know your a pilot wanting to get some advice or information about their operation. Hopefully they will offer to give you a tour and make sure somebody is there to speak with you. That being said when I was checking out flight schools I always just showed up unannounced, but I think that's different.

 

So how is the flying in Prescott? I'm moving out there in a couple weeks to fly with Universal.

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I would say its a bit early to be looking into commercial jobs, especially seeing as how you are nearly starting your CFI program. You still have 1 1/2 years until you rack up enough hours for a commercial position. But I guess it doesn't hurt to start early. Check out P.J Helicopters in Red Bluff, CA. http://www.pjhelicopters.com/index.php

 

The only thing on their website they haven't updated is their aircraft inventory. I think now they have 5 or 6 Md500 varients (they picked up an Md530 notar about two months ago from Aero Tech) ; They were looking to pick up a second Bell 214 last time I stopped by to visit them. Except for the S300c they have, all of their aircraft are Bell or MD. They operate no Eurocopters or anything else of the nature right now, and they have around 17 total aircraft.

 

Great company. BUSY company, especially in the summer time. More so of the senior pilots will fly 1,000 hours in just a summer season. I don't know how much flight time a starting out pilot can expect from them. Maybe 500 in a season. Typically brand new guys they hire on for a summer will be let go during the winter just because things slow down so much and most of the senior guys will fly the winter jobs. However, they do look to hire back on guys for the next summer season who have already flown for PJs. Some guys fly up in Oregon here during the winter to fullfil their break from PJs.

 

The company has a great atmosphere, great working environment, friendly staff, and flies just about any kind of contract job you can think of. All of their training is done in house. They have great ties with the helicopter industry, such as they have Bell representatives come up to their hanger facility and give training classes for maintenance/aircraft to PJ employees.

 

I would give a shout out to Mike Gunsauls and let him know you would like to stop by to talk (He is one of three owners to the company and is also the chief pilot.) Tell him Marc Raglin sent you.

 

Good luck with your CFI training!

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Edited by RagMan
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I would say its a bit early to be looking into commercial jobs, especially seeing as how you are nearly starting your CFI program. You still have 1 1/2 years until you rack up enough hours for a commercial position. But I guess it doesn't hurt to start early.

 

It's definitely never too early to start looking and networking. You never know the contacts you are going to make. Just make sure you leave a good impression on everyone you meet wherever you go.

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Flying in Prescott is awesome. The weather is always nice, but during the summer the DA can get quite high. The only thing I would say that I don't like is there are not many busy airports around. I’ve heard very good things about Universal.

 

I know it a little to soon to be looking for a commercial job right now but I figure it is not going to hurt to meet with some people who work in the industry, especially if I’m going to be in the area. I was just reading an article about PJ Helicopters. Apparently they most of the flying for PG&E. I don’t know if I will have the time to make it up to PJ Helicopters, but I will defiantly try.

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  • 4 weeks later...

DUO--

 

ITs always a good idea to go and visit, network , seek advise of more expereinced people I do reccomend to call first and when you do stop in dress for sucess! Maybe not a suit but a nice shirt, combed hair and other approprate attire.

 

I had a friend who went to a job interview for a non flying job in a suit and all the other canadates were dressed like they were just coming in off the street.. this was for a engineers position. He was the only one who took the time to "clean up" he made the right impression and is now surveying job sites.. and flying on the side too.. but not for the same company..

 

The point is even at the school your at now, always look your best, make the right impression the first time you meet those who could be your prospective employers and always take the time to filter the brain mouth connection !

 

Turn off you cell phone or leave it in the car! the focus should be the person trying to see if your the right fit for there company not the most recent TxT from your buddy!

 

--All the best!

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too bad i didn't see this earlier. I work for a heli company in sacramento. It's never too early to network and get your face out there as long as you can make a good impression. If I'm going to hire someone, the first place I'm going to look is in the circle of people I know. If you're ever up in sacramento again, PM me.

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sactown,

 

I am near Napa and saw that you mentioned you are near or in Sac, care to elaborate? It is kind of nice to see or meet those that live in the area. Great thread everybody, making cold calls can be hard but well worth it!

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