Originally Posted by Turbine
Well first of all you are just putting yourself in a bad situation from the beginning by flying that low all the time. 200-500 ft. AGL! It's thrilling at first but if you lost an engine you would be screwed in a lot of situations. The planes are usually old and have been flown hard their whole lives.
In the summer it will be hot as %$&* and you will get bounced around all day. In the winter you have to worry about getting trapped under a low ceiling with potential ice or rain.
I think the worst part is that you are not going anywhere. Typically it's just flying around all day spotting oil rigs, pulling units, rednecks on tractors etc.. It gets old real fast.
You have to find the right company to work for. The good operators operate well maintained equipment and give you the tools to keep you safe. Things like gps with obstacle database, tcas, weather radar, are all things that I have on board.
Also, most pipeline flying is done at 500-600 agl. Nothing you can't see from 600, that you can see at 250.
As far as the experience, its great. If you only one line it could get old fast, but the bigger companies fly for a lot of pipelines. I personally fly over 8000 miles of pipeline every month.