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jas01470

TEMSCO Tour Season In a Camper

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Do you know of anyone that has worked a tour season for TEMSCO that has lived out the season in a camper/RV? I know that living in the provided housing is all part of the experience, but my wife and I would really like to get the full experience (including the drive from the lower 48 to Juneau/Skagway). Having our own place, even if it's only a fifth wheel camper, is a must with my wife and dog.

 

As we think this through, the questions that keep coming up are, "Are there affordable RV camping options for an extended stay?", "Will we be able to navigate the ALCAN during early spring and mid-fall", better yet "When exactly are new TEMSCO recruits required to be there for the start of the season/training and when does it end?".

 

Flying for TEMSCO is at least another 2 years away for me as I am a relatively fresh CFI. However, with how tough it is to find information on this specific subject, I thought getting started sooner is better than later. Thanks in advance for any insight. -J

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Im sure its doable to spend the spring/summer in an RV somewhere. Though Juneau is landlocked, only way in or out is by plane or ferry/barge. Not many areas to get on the road and travel around from there.

 

Skagway has a highway that runs out to the North so you can get out and about. Its a lot smaller of an area than Juneau. There is a train that travels from Skagway into Canada.

 

Training starts early April in Ketchikan around the 2nd. You pay for your flight up. If youre not there when class starts, you lost out. Season will end first week of October. Training Lasts most of April and you wont get paid during this time. Youre an employee when you pass your 135 ride, at which time theyll cut you a small check, $375 or so for passing. You will work 6 days a week and have 1 day off. They pay once a month. You dont get to really choose what base you go to. The company will choose for you. Last half of the season, you can expect to start getting a couple days off per week. Dont go to a Temsco to travel around alaska. You wont get that kind of time off. Go there to fly Astars, get mountain time, and enjoy the views from above.

 

Theres at least one RV campsite in Juneau, Skagway Im not sure. Dont know about prices.

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Thousand hour pilots don't get paid during training?,...damn that sucks dude! Even five hundred hour cherry drying pilots get paid during training,...sh*t, even Fedex paid me during their three weeks of training!

 

Well, I hope those Astars are really nice :D

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Thank you for the info RagMan.

 

We would like to leave a month or so early from the St. Louis, MO area and enjoy the trip up to one of the ferry terminals with the fifth wheel. Once we arrive in Ketchikan for training, we don't plan on traveling around. At least not until we have to hitch back up to head to Juneau/Skagway. It will 100% be for building turbine/Astar/mountain time. The trip up, back down and being able to have my wife with me are all just +'s. It looks like I'll need to start saving up to cover that lag in income!

 

Working 6 days/week I'd assume you build quite a bit of hours. Do you have an idea of what the seasonal average is?

 

Butters, not getting paid for training will be rough. However, from what I've read on the forums, TEMSCO training is second-to-none so I'll take it. We have an Astar AATD at my flight school...we'll see if that helps me out at all.

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I had mates in both Skagway and Juneau that lived in RVs.

Once you pass your training (3-5 weeks) youll be assigned a base. Depending of how quickly you pass through training you may or may not have a choice. Once they send you on your way youll hit the ground running in terms of further base training, so youd have to take Marine Highway (aka ferry aka blue canoe) with your RV. Problem is if the boss wants you at your base the next day, the ferry schedule may not accommodate you. One solution would be to base yourself in Juneau as its the bigger base and most pilots are assigned there. If you get allocated Skagway then figure out the ferry schedule and work out a day off with your Base Manager and then transfer the RV that way.

Ragman is correct with the other info.

I know the Skagway RV Park is pet friendly but it is small.

In my second year, a whole group of people did the ALCAN south at the end of the season, maybe 3-4 vehicles from RVs to sedans.

I loved Skagway so much. I wish my wife could work from there because Id return in a heartbeat.

Best of luck.

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To add, season flight time depends on the base. In Skagway the group ran from high 200s to low 300s both seasons.

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Thanks Little Bird. It's sounding like my best option might be to roll the dice and set up in Juneau and leave the wife there while I complete training in Ketchikan. Would you say that you prefer Skagway over Juneau? If so, why? I know it doesn't really even matter since bases are assigned, I'm just curious.

 

Also, I totally understand if you'd rather not share, but what did you earn on your first and second years there?

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Skagway is a very small town. 700 odd permanent residents growing to over 10,000 people on a 4 ship day! Its crazy to see. But once everyone goes, the town is quiet again! I liked that you can bike everywhere. So much nature to take advantage of; hiking, paddle boarding, skiing, snow shoeing, drinking, frisbee golf, swimming etc. You got to know a lot of people quickly and theres always something going on in town. If you like small and can entertain yourself then Skagway is for you. On the other hand if you want more entertainment like bars and restaurants and a better variety of groceries then Juneau is the choice. Its just small town versus big town I guess.

Salary was between 3.5 and 4.5, cant remember exactly.

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There are two RV parks in Juneau. One is the Auk Bay RV. I lived two summers in a 5th wheel in the otherone which has since been renamed. Its on the Back Loop Road. Very very do-able. Only a 10 minute drive to the office. Just be sure to DRIVE to Skagway, then ferry to Juneau. Ferrying to Juneau from Bellingham will kill your bank account.

 

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Do you know of anyone that has worked a tour season for TEMSCO that has lived out the season in a camper/RV? I know that living in the provided housing is all part of the experience, but my wife and I would really like to get the full experience (including the drive from the lower 48 to Juneau/Skagway). Having our own place, even if it's only a fifth wheel camper, is a must with my wife and dog.

 

As we think this through, the questions that keep coming up are, "Are there affordable RV camping options for an extended stay?", "Will we be able to navigate the ALCAN during early spring and mid-fall", better yet "When exactly are new TEMSCO recruits required to be there for the start of the season/training and when does it end?".

 

Flying for TEMSCO is at least another 2 years away for me as I am a relatively fresh CFI. However, with how tough it is to find information on this specific subject, I thought getting started sooner is better than later. Thanks in advance for any insight. -J

Keep offshore oil/gas in mind once you get 1,000 hours PIC. All of the major offshore helicopter operators provide excellent training, and you are paid a full salary during training. No legitimate helicopter operator should expect new employees to work for free while receiving federally mandated training.
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21 hours ago, cctk2 said:

There are two RV parks in Juneau. One is the Auk Bay RV. I lived two summers in a 5th wheel in the otherone which has since been renamed. Its on the Back Loop Road. Very very do-able. Only a 10 minute drive to the office. Just be sure to DRIVE to Skagway, then ferry to Juneau. Ferrying to Juneau from Bellingham will kill your bank account.

 

Thanks cctk2. The biggest question I'm struggling to answer is if this whole thing will be financially doable. Do you happen to remember about how much it cost you to rent a spot in the RV park you stayed in? Was it full hook-ups? From what I've been able to find, there are nightly, weekly or monthly rates. Was there anything you didn't like about the park you stayed in? The one you mention on the Back Loop Road looks like it might be the Glacier Nalu campground, or maybe the Mendenhall Campground. Either one looks nice. 

Yes, there's no way I'm paying a "blue canoe" to take me around the ALCAN!   

Little Bird had mentioned that salary was between 3.5 and 4.5, which could either be 3500 - 4500/month or 35000 - 45000 for the season? Do you have any input on that?

Thanks again for any input. 

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10 hours ago, Hand_Grenade_Pilot said:
On 7/5/2019 at 3:20 PM, jas01470 said:

Do you know of anyone that has worked a tour season for TEMSCO that has lived out the season in a camper/RV? I know that living in the provided housing is all part of the experience, but my wife and I would really like to get the full experience (including the drive from the lower 48 to Juneau/Skagway). Having our own place, even if it's only a fifth wheel camper, is a must with my wife and dog.

 

As we think this through, the questions that keep coming up are, "Are there affordable RV camping options for an extended stay?", "Will we be able to navigate the ALCAN during early spring and mid-fall", better yet "When exactly are new TEMSCO recruits required to be there for the start of the season/training and when does it end?".

 

Flying for TEMSCO is at least another 2 years away for me as I am a relatively fresh CFI. However, with how tough it is to find information on this specific subject, I thought getting started sooner is better than later. Thanks in advance for any insight. -J

Keep offshore oil/gas in mind once you get 1,000 hours PIC. All of the major offshore helicopter operators provide excellent training, and you are paid a full salary during training. No legitimate helicopter operator should expect new employees to work for free while receiving federally mandated training.

Thanks Hand Grenade. I am definitely keeping offshore O/G in mind. I've actually subscribed to a few companies for job postings to stay on top of minimum requirements. It looks like PHI is at 1500 Helo PIC. Is it still possible to get your foot in the door in the GOM at 1000 PIC? What gravitates me to AK/TEMSCO is the experience of flying in the mountains. It is unfortunate that training is unpaid, but I'm willing to take that hit for the experience. 

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9 hours ago, jas01470 said:

Thanks Hand Grenade. I am definitely keeping offshore O/G in mind. I've actually subscribed to a few companies for job postings to stay on top of minimum requirements. It looks like PHI is at 1500 Helo PIC. Is it still possible to get your foot in the door in the GOM at 1000 PIC? What gravitates me to AK/TEMSCO is the experience of flying in the mountains. It is unfortunate that training is unpaid, but I'm willing to take that hit for the experience. 

Hiring minimums fluctuate with supply and demand. Right now, at least in the offshore industry, demand > supply (of pilots). Bristow, Era and PHI have significantly lowered experience requirements from years past. When I started flying offshore about 4 years ago, there had been layoffs/paycuts. When things started to stabilize and pilots were needed again, they were picky about wanting offshore experience. Now it seems as if they’re just looking for bodies to fill seats.

Flying in Alaska will be a lot more fun. If you’re interested in utility flying, a few years at Temsco could open up an opportunity for that. It could open up opportunities to fly w/ other operators in AK as well.

Offshore pilots only do the job for two reasons; $$$ and the schedule. If you want a solid paycheck, the freedom to live anywhere, and lots of time off... it could be a good fit. But the flying in itself is not particularly fun or rewarding.
 

Which one you chose just depends on the type of career and lifestyle you want.

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