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Commuting Canyon Pilots


KyleA
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I'm sure this subject has been beat on several times but I'm looking at trying to get on flying in the canyon. If I'm to late this year than perhaps next year.I'm looking at Papillion because of the 7-7. Or any one else who tolerates commuting pilots.

 

Are you commuting by car, plane?

I heard their is a possibility to jumpseat.

What areas do you reside when on hitch?

What do you pay for accommodations?

Is there a site that you all converse through to arrange accommodations?

Any other pertinent info would be most appreciated.

I would be commuting from SAN.

 

And if there is a link I can get all this info from, please let me know so that you don't have to revisit all these questions again.

 

Thanks much in advance.

 

Kyle

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1. Most of the guys at Pap commute by plane via jumpseat.

 

2. If you work for Pap you can jumpseat for free on a few different airlines after you pass your 135 ride.

 

3. Most of them will rent a room with another pilot, talking to the other pilots there will usually clue you in to whats available.

 

4. 350-500 depending on who you're living with

 

5. Nope

 

This info is for folks working at Papillon out of Boulder City/Las Vegas. South rim is a whole different story.

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The rim is a hell hole. Commuting is difficult to say the least. Hour drive from Flagstaff and limited flights out of Flag. 206s are horrible, on shift housing is awful, pay is ludicrous, etc. Do yourself a favor and go to Vegas and skip South Rim. I have flown both. Papillon for South Rim and Maverick for Vegas.

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The rim is a hell hole. Commuting is difficult to say the least. Hour drive from Flagstaff and limited flights out of Flag. 206s are horrible, on shift housing is awful, pay is ludicrous, etc. Do yourself a favor and go to Vegas and skip South Rim. I have flown both. Papillon for South Rim and Maverick for Vegas.

 

Gee, if you guys don't want it,...I'll still take it!

 

'tis better to be employed in Hell, than bored to death in Purgatory!

:D

Edited by r22butters
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Gee, if you guys don't want it,...I'll still take it!

 

'tis better to be employed in Hell, than bored to death in Purgatory!

:D

 

Can't say I'm bored in Purgatory but if those are your only two options. Most likely you're correct.

 

How about the South Rim, How does it work for you commuters?

 

Thank you.

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Gee, if you guys don't want it,...I'll still take it!

 

'tis better to be employed in Hell, than bored to death in Purgatory!

:D

 

 

Yeah Butters I agree with you!

Edited by ChprPlt
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Commuting seems to work whether you're in Vegas or at the South Rim because a LOT of people do it...it's just a matter of figuring out the details and getting comfortable in a routine. The transition is tough (for you and especially any family you may have who are left behind and haven't experience the gypsy lifestyle of a helicopter pilot yet), but you just have to relax and give yourself a few months to get the hang of it all. A few of the SR guys who commute a bit further manage to arrange their schedule to something like a 14/14, I think it winds up being like a 12/10. Jumpseating is easy, you'll have to pay for on-shift housing one way or the other, and you will need an on-shift vehicle either way also. The biggest differences (besides airframe) between the SR and Vegas is that after a few seasons at the SR you can potentially get into the utility side of things, and the SR is a more rugged and remote type of environment...Vegas obviously is not :P So if utility is the career direction you're after, you definitely want the SR. Vegas is 100% tourism.

 

Hope this helps.

 

HG03

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Commuting with Papillon is a snap due to the jump seat privileges enjoyed on several airlines. San Diego to Vegas has multiple departures, finding your way back and forth would not be an issue. You just have to make sure you are back a day prior to your hitch. Checking the schedules carefully and monitoring available seats should be a part of your routine.

 

Most commuters rent an apartment or a room in a house with other pilots. Its pretty easy to network around the hangar and work out an arrangement. Another option is the Boulder Inn and Suites if you happen to get on in Boulder City. Its a hotel room, but its reasonable. Somewhere in the ballpark of 220.00 for a week. Lots of options for housing, just have to search out the one that fits your personal requirements.

 

There is a huge difference between the South Rim and the Boulder City operations. The primary difference lies in the types of tours that are run from each location. The South Rim is primarily air only tours, with the exception of the Grand Canyon West up and down support provided by the South Rim. Boulder City offers a combination of air only and landing tours in the bottom of the canyon on the west rim. Boulder also supports the up and down operations at Grand Canyon West with AS-350B2 aircraft in combination with the Skywalk tours. Boulder is all Eurocopter, predominately EC-130B4, with four AS-350B2's. Two of the AS-350's fly out of McCarran. The South Rim is predominately Bell 206L, with some EC-130B4 in the mix as well. There are a couple of 407's in the fleet that are used mostly in the utility division. They also operate an MD-900 for the park service.

 

You will hear some negative about the South Rim operation from an employee viewpoint, but Im certain you can find many who loved their experiences there. If you are looking to strap on a helicopter and fly lots of hours, it is the place to do it. Hot swap, hot fuel, fly fly fly.

 

Unfortunately there are not any online resources that I am aware of for commuting pilots flying in the canyon. Only one company offers the 7/7 to my knowledge, and the 5/2 or 4/3 schedules make commuting impossible.

 

Good luck, and feel free to contact me with any other questions you might have.

Edited by rollthbns
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Heligirl and rollthbns, a goldmine of information. Thank you much.

I come to the commuting game late after being spoiled with an ENG contract for 15 years and coming home every night. But the kids are now grown and the wife is hinting for space alone so it's time to venture out and see how it's really done. Thank you again for the load of info.

 

Safe flights,

 

Kyle

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Kyle,

 

As far as I know they took on their last class for the season (South Rim) in May and wont be hiring again until January or so.

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  • 2 years later...

Morning all,

Some good posts & info above, but I'm just wondering if much has changed in 2 years?

I'm moving to Tucson and exploring the possibility of commuting, somewhere, into the Canyon.

Is 4/3 from the South Rim and 14/14 from Vegas still the main/best options?

Cheers

Phil

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Morning all,

Some good posts & info above, but I'm just wondering if much has changed in 2 years?

I'm moving to Tucson and exploring the possibility of commuting, somewhere, into the Canyon.

Is 4/3 from the South Rim and 14/14 from Vegas still the main/best options?

Cheers

Phil

As far as I know the only schedule available for work in Vegas is 5/2. I work for Papillon Vegas side and they are only offering the 5/2 schedule. I have a buddy that works for Maverick and they only do 5/2 and I am pretty sure Sundance does that as well. So...Plan on moving to Vegas if you want to fly here. Henderson is a nice place to live if you work here.

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Thanks heligirl.

I've spoken to a Pap driver but still hoping to hear from anyone working for Maverick at SR?

I worked for maverick, they do a 7/7 schedule also. It's a little harder to get on if you don't have turbine time but you can. They do pay a little better than pap but all they do is ditch tours. Nothing else never will change. With Papillion they do other stuff and if you have a good attitude and work hard there's a chance of you getting on the utility side. If you have any interest or desire to get into utility go with Papillion. If your just building time, maverick if you can.

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Guys; I took the early retirement from the airlines and would like to get back into Helicopter flying. I have over 13,000 total time and 900 of that is Army National Guard helicopter time, all turbine.

 

The question is, how competitive am I or what old I need to do to get hired for a season or two of tour work?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Guys; I took the early retirement from the airlines and would like to get back into Helicopter flying. I have over 13,000 total time and 900 of that is Army National Guard helicopter time, all turbine.

 

The question is, how competitive am I or what old I need to do to get hired for a season or two of tour work?

 

Thanks in advance.

So you have 13,000 fixed wing and 900 helicopter? If that's the case then no your not in the running. I don't see to many company's hiring somebody with only 900 hours of helicopter time. You need to consider yourself a 900 hour pilot not 13,900. There is a huge difference.

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So you have 13,000 fixed wing and 900 helicopter? If that's the case then no your not in the running. I don't see to many company's hiring somebody with only 900 hours of helicopter time. You need to consider yourself a 900 hour pilot not 13,900. There is a huge difference.

 

Some of those canyon operators also use airplanes. Is it not possible with 13,000hrs to get on flying fixed then switch over to helicopters once you've been with the company for a while despite being under 1000hrs helicopter?

 

Or is it 1000hrs helicopter NO exceptions?

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