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Old 10-13-2020, 08:32 AM   #91  
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Joined APC: Jun 2015
Posts: 110

Originally Posted by rdneckpilot View Post
no idea what the requirements are for rotard fire jobs.

Regarding time away from home ... well thatís a tough nut to crack in this business. Sounds like you figured it out.
Nah, I haven't. Just compromised with SEP job that's flexible. Always think about getting into bigger iron, maybe when the boy is older.
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Old 10-13-2020, 01:07 PM   #92  
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Joined APC: May 2009
Position: pilot
Posts: 329

Originally Posted by geosync View Post
Nah, I haven't. Just compromised with SEP job that's flexible. Always think about getting into bigger iron, maybe when the boy is older.
meh. Itís always a work in progress for me. Now that I have the second decade in the rear view mirror I just have accepted some things will always be a pain in the butt.
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Old Yesterday, 10:08 AM   #93  
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Joined APC: Dec 2019
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Default my 2 cents

Originally Posted by Salt35 View Post
Hi, I am hoping to gain some information on Air Attack/SEAT flying as well. I want to explore this as a career option, but want to understand the realities considering my current circumstances. I am 36 years old and married with 2 kids. I have about 3000 hours of total time with 2300 of those hours in Air Tractor 502 and 602 models as an aerial applicator. I hold a commercial pilot in airplane single engine land/ rotorcraft-helicopter with an instrument rating in both. Although I do need some re-current training. I am currently not flying full time as a career. The ag flying become slow in our area due to changes in farming practices. i.e. ground rigs. I am currently working my plan B, which is as a project manager in the construction industry. I am able to do well supporting my family in this position, but it is not where I want to be in the long run. Any information would be appreciated.
Didn't read the entire thread so hopefully not repeating anything.
1600 hr piston pilot here. more multi time than single - having a tough time getting any job that isn't instructing.
spent the summer working off days loading retardant into air tankers. I wouldn't recommend it. But I spent many days sitting down talking with air tanker and air attack pilots. I learned a few important things.
You need to know people
You need to be persistent
You generally start in Air Attack

Everyone in the aerial firefighting industry knows each other. Most people get a job flying an air tanker because they have a buddy (regardless of experience) whom they know would work well with them in the right seat. You obviously need good hand flying VFR skills. You will not be flying with AP on a magenta line, and will need to complete standard commercial maneuvers while looking outside. Air tractor/tailwheel/bush experience is perfect for a SEAT job.

Right now chiefs are sifting through hundreds of resumes. Unless you have extensive experience in the make/model they are operating, you won't stand out. You will stand out if they already know your name. Be persistent, knock on doors, introduce yourself, exhaust any references you may find, and make your name known. (this is my current plan of action and I have a few leads)

Most people work air attack for a few years to get into the industry. This is always in multi engine airplanes, so you will need commercial multi and some decent experience. ATP minimums is their standard. Make friends, etc. Once you have some twin turbine time, you become a qualified candidate for USFS lead plane. Make more friends, chat with your old air attack buddies on freq in the TFR, and eventually after numerous years in the industry, you may land a job flying an air tanker. My advice- get to know Neptune. All of their pilots are very fun, friendly, and professional. They operate many aircraft and might have more hiring opportunities.

Hope this helps anyone
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Old Yesterday, 06:58 PM   #94  
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Joined APC: Nov 2011
Position: AC90 Left
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Question Still posted in October 2020

Apply and see what 2021 brings

Last edited by pnwchief22; Yesterday at 07:02 PM. Reason: Link added
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