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-   -   Tell me flying Jumpers (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/part-91-low-time/59409-tell-me-flying-jumpers.html)

B200 Hawk 05-16-2011 06:38 PM

Tell me flying Jumpers
 
I am taking this up as a side job and was wondering the typical day of a jump pilot.

USMCFLYR 05-16-2011 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B200 Hawk (Post 994636)
I am taking this up as a side job and was wondering the typical day of a jump pilot.

PM rickt86 (if you can).
He seemed to have been vocal about flying jumpers in the past.

USMCFLYR

Cubdriver 05-16-2011 07:36 PM

There are several year old threads here on this. I do not think RickT is going to reply any time soon. We have not seen him here since January. The answer depends on the size and type of drop zone you work for. If it is a mom and pop affair then the hours could be quite minimal, the pay almost nil, and the aircraft slow (182/206). Most of the mom and pop outifts do not even attempt to keep any pilots around. They will have a cadre of hobby pilots to tap and pay is nearly nothing. Also, beware of ads that say "skydiver pilot wanted, do not apply unless you are within 50 miles of Podunk" or something similar. This means the job is not livable.

If on the other hand you find work with a large outfit they may have Otters and King Airs, they will definitely work long hours to keep the high-cost airplanes flying, and they will pay just enough to keep the pilots around without having to moonlight. $20k a year is a typical figure for salary. The minimums will be about 1200 to apply and you will face lots of competition. It might be easier to just go to an airline. Frequently these outfits will let "pilot trainees" work for nothing as chute packers, low level managers and desk clerks in the name of a chance to get trained, but don't believe anything they tell you about upward mobility because they are notorious for leading innocent people along with such claims which go unfulfilled. Go in as a pilot in title and job function, or do not go in at all.

Oblique 05-16-2011 07:56 PM

Check out DiverDriver.com: The Jump Pilot's Information Resource and Dropzone.com - The single best source for skydiving information

B200 Hawk 05-17-2011 02:02 PM

To be honest I am not doing it for pay, just for fun on the side. I currently make a good yearly salary with a 91 company flying King Airs. Just looking for some solid info on the operations. I know it will be in a 182.

DirectTo 05-17-2011 02:19 PM

I used to do it on the weekends just for fun. Mix of 182s/206s. It takes a certain kind of pilot for sure, and there are your better and worse operations out there.

lakehouse 05-17-2011 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B200 Hawk (Post 994636)
I am taking this up as a side job and was wondering the typical day of a jump pilot.

]Is the job salary or per load? How busy is the place, are you a full time guy, ie the main guy?

If you can be the main guy at a fairly busy place, you can get like $400-$500/week salary if its busy, and then just ask for rain days off, also ask if you can get a packer to help you wash the plane in exchange for jump tickets.

The diverdriver website is awesome, but let me know if you have questions about working at a DZ, you can end up working your butt off some weeks and not flying at all others due to WX, that is why I would really try and get salary.

lakehouse 05-17-2011 02:38 PM

I just read your second post, but left my last one because maybe it can help someone else. Just go do it, it really is one of those things that is hard to explain everything about, but make sure you feel good about the plane, they will always be POS, but you should still feel the engine and airframe are solid. Its really fun flying, but super dangerous if you do not know what to watch for, so listen closely when your being briefed by the fulltime pilot. That website listed is also really awesome. Let me know if you have any questions.

lakehouse 05-17-2011 02:40 PM

Also get paid at least $10/load or dont do it, because you just wreck it for the low time guys if you go fly for free. The owner is making bank, you deserve at least $10/load.

Fr8doggie 05-17-2011 03:51 PM

Quote:

you just wreck it for the low time guys if you go fly for free..
GREAT advice! There are many pilots who depend on some kind of pay while trying to build time. Just because you personally may not need the money doesn't mean no one else does. Never work for free.

lakehouse 05-17-2011 04:34 PM

ya, do not lower the bar for the industry, you deserve to be paid, and we do not need to be planting seeds out there that people will work for free.

learme 05-17-2011 04:53 PM

Anyone know any jump outfits hiring in the Bay area??Looking for something on the side!

lakehouse 05-17-2011 05:06 PM

dropzone.com has a classifieds page that has employment

B200 Hawk 05-17-2011 05:12 PM

Oh yeah, definitely not doing it for free. I'm not that stupid, hahaha.

learme 05-17-2011 05:14 PM

YEAH, I been looking on DZ haven't seen any around the bay area on there

Dougdrvr 05-18-2011 07:50 AM

Carry a spare set of mag keys. A favorite trick (from my Cessna 206 days) is the last jumper out the door will shut the mags off, and take the keys.

xtownboy 05-18-2011 10:59 AM

Free time is still time!
 
I have mixed feelings on this topic, this is a great way to build quality time if you get involved with the right operation. I am a new comm pilot and just took a job flying jumpers on the weekend, this this is a non paying job which I know is a major issue with some people, but this drop zone has been around for over 40 years and has NEVER had to pay a pilot. I am not happy about the no pay but the time I am earning is unreal. I don't even have my multi yet, but the owner is going to check me out in his Beech 18 after I get the multi rating. So only having only 260 hours and a comm ticket for 30 days I am already building time in a 182, plus the chance to log pic time in a twin turbine this summer. How can you say no to someone who offers you that chance? Maybe it is diff in other parts of the country but here in Ohio Comm pilots are not that rare (my neighbor is a Comm pilot) we have pilots all over the place trying to build time. I do not feel guilty about working for free to build time. That being said I will not take up a spot for the next guy in line, get in get your time, get out and help the next guy get in then move on, don't plug up the pipeline. I know this may upset some people but for those of us that didn't have airline captains as fathers to help us, or mommy and daddy to pay for then CFI rating while letting them live at home free while teaching, this non paying job is the best job I have ever had and I used to make 60k year.

USMCFLYR 05-18-2011 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xtownboy (Post 995309)
I have mixed feelings on this topic, this is a great way to build quality time if you get involved with the right operation. I am a new comm pilot and just took a job flying jumpers on the weekend, this this is a non paying job which I know is a major issue with some people, but this drop zone has been around for over 40 years and has NEVER had to pay a pilot. I am not happy about the no pay but the time I am earning is unreal. I don't even have my multi yet, but the owner is going to check me out in his Beech 18 after I get the multi rating. So only having only 260 hours and a comm ticket for 30 days I am already building time in a 182, plus the chance to log pic time in a twin turbine this summer. How can you say no to someone who offers you that chance? Maybe it is diff in other parts of the country but here in Ohio Comm pilots are not that rare (my neighbor is a Comm pilot) we have pilots all over the place trying to build time. I do not feel guilty about working for free to build time. That being said I will not take up a spot for the next guy in line, get in get your time, get out and help the next guy get in then move on, don't plug up the pipeline. I know this may upset some people but for those of us that didn't have airline captains as fathers to help us, or mommy and daddy to pay for then CFI rating while letting them live at home free while teaching, this non paying job is the best job I have ever had and I used to make 60k year.

You are right. You'll probably be taking some shots for these actions - and being that you are so new to aviation - it is a case of you not knowing what you don't know.
I'd probably bet that you opinions will change over time.

What you are talking about btw is called 'bartering'. One action or service in exchange for an equitable action or service. Quite common in the past , especially rural areas, and an acceptable means of payment for services rendered. Of ocurse this assumes that #1 - it is truly equitable, and #2 - that both parties keep their side of the bargain. In other words - I hope htat you truly build that PIC time and multi-time that you are betting on and this school/DZ isn't just getting a bunch of few hours out of you.

I built a little time hauling jumpers myself and can appreciate the time building aspects, but I still got paid $10 a load (and this was 20 years ago - which is a little disheartening to hear RickT say that the pay is about the same now!)

Your last few sentences come off a little scewed in my opinion too. You sound resentful of others that build time as CFIs and the whole 'mommy and daddy' thing is usually just a way to complain. What about all of those CFIs/pipeline patrol/banner towers who have none of those connections that you bemoan yet still never tried to defend reasons for working for free?

At least you nailed it with the 'get your time and make way for the rest to come up' (and even help them) attitude, but we'll all just have to wait and see if that deal comes through when the time comes too. ;)

USMCFLYR

Cubdriver 05-18-2011 01:30 PM

Well the market is the arbiter of this and there are so many hobby pilots around the wages are depressed. They are not in it for the money to begin with. Here's an analysis showing the wages could be just about anything if the market approved.

Revenue
4 tandem jumps/hr @$250ea
-------------
1,000.00/hr

Cost
pilot 20.00/hr
aircraft @125.00/hr wet
hangar rent 10.00/hr
website 5.00/hr
packers 75.00/hr
misc. 25.00/hr
----------------
260.00/hr

Net
----------------
740.00 /hr

Diver Driver 05-18-2011 04:27 PM

When I flew jumpers, I got paid per head. Bigger plane, more jumpers, more money. The system worked well. I got $2 for each licensed jumper, $6 for each static line student and $10 per tandem. (we didn't do AFF).

It wasn't unusual to turn 2 tandems each load all day in the 182 and 3-6 in the 206 and 207. To this day, the most money I ever made in aviation in a weekend was turning loads for 12 hours straight on a sat and sun. Don't work for free, if you can't get money out of your DZ owners, negotiate free jumps and get your A license.

USMCFLYR 05-18-2011 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diver Driver (Post 995420)
When I flew jumpers, I got paid per head. Bigger plane, more jumpers, more money. The system worked well. I got $2 for each licensed jumper, $6 for each static line student and $10 per tandem. (we didn't do AFF).

It wasn't unusual to turn 2 tandems each load all day in the 182 and 3-6 in the 206 and 207. To this day, the most money I ever made in aviation in a weekend was turning loads for 12 hours straight on a sat and sun. Don't work for free, if you can't get money out of your DZ owners, negotiate free jumps and get your A license.

Another form of bartering. Agreed.
The DZ where I worked offered free lessons, but I was hoping to go military soon and couldn't risk injury at the time.

USMCFLYR

Fr8doggie 05-18-2011 04:49 PM

Years ago I was making $50-$100 a day on weekends flying my butt off with jumpers. A rich newbie came around and stole my job because he offered to do it for free. Years later a newbie working for free spun the plane into the ground and killed 5, including the cheap owner.

You get what you pay for.

Cubdriver 05-18-2011 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fr8doggie (Post 995427)
Years ago I was making $50-$100 a day on weekends flying my butt off with jumpers. A rich newbie came around and stole my job because he offered to do it for free. Years later a newbie working for free spun the plane into the ground and killed 5, including the cheap owner.

You get what you pay for.

182/206 drop zones cannot pay livable wages which precludes having the higher level of safety associated with an experienced pilot demographic. They would rather take their chances on safety than pay a livable wage. You would do the same thing. FAA and insurance companies monitor drop zone accident rates which are not all that bad compared to other operations.

xtownboy 05-18-2011 06:46 PM

The owner I fly for does not need to hire anyone, he has over 15k hours in his log books. He only agreed to meet with and give me a shot based on the recommendation of another pilot who used to fly there. I am not a rich guy by any means, I work for GE full time during the week and fly as much as he wants me to during the weekend.
Maybe its just the area I live in but jumper pilots don't get paid for this job. In fact an odd question came up during my check ride. I had not even mentioned that I was probably going this route and the DE asked me "why the FAA requires a jumper pilot to have a comm ticket and not just a pvt, even though you are not paid for your services?" A: The FAA considers the hours you earn compensation.

Airhoss 05-19-2011 07:25 AM

Quote:

I know this may upset some people but for those of us that didn't have airline captains as fathers to help us, or mommy and daddy to pay for then CFI rating while letting them live at home free while teaching, this non paying job is the best job I have ever had and I used to make 60k year.
xtown....

Kind of a dichotomy there pal. You take a shot at all the "rich" boys with airline captain fathers then turn around and fly for a revenue producing outfit for free?

The guy who's running this outfit is laughing all the way to the bank. He's working you like a tied circus goat. So do what you have to but don't come on here with your rationalizations and expect anybody to agree with it.

It's guys like you who keep the pay in GA at rock bottom levels. Good luck on not killing yourself in the Be-18 if she is a Volpar turbine conversion she's got some very nasty stall characteristics and has killed more than one jump pilot after flipping over and playing dead during the exit phase.

NoBeta 05-19-2011 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xtownboy (Post 995475)

the DE asked me "why the FAA requires a jumper pilot to have a comm ticket and not just a pvt, even though you are not paid for your services?"

Not being paid. This needs to change.

Quote:

Originally Posted by xtownboy (Post 995475)

A: The FAA considers the hours you earn compensation.

I'll bet the US Dept. of Labor and some Pro-Bono folks would have a sound argument against that. Administrative Law is always inferior.

Rama 05-19-2011 10:41 AM

Your cheap ass owner who's willing to give a job flying a twin beech as your first multi job is a moron. Obviously money trumps safety there, be very careful. The irs may consider the flying time compensation, they do not like free labor either.

pilot1278 05-19-2011 12:06 PM

"I know this may upset some people but for those of us that didn't have airline captains as fathers to help us, or mommy and daddy to pay for then CFI rating while letting them live at home free while teaching, this non paying job is the best job I have ever had and I used to make 60k year."

I get the general point you are trying to make, but it comes across as a bit hypocritical when you yourself made some pretty decent scratch (60k ain't exactly living in the poor house). Some people are living in poverty due to this flying dream either because they spent every last dime on it, or had to take out huge ass loans to make it happen.

lakehouse 05-19-2011 01:08 PM

Just remember, at 270 hours, two years ago when pilots were being furloughed by the 1000's from airlines, I got a job flying skydivers for $400/week in a 182. It went to $500 2nd year, and I got KA90 time when I broke 1000 hours. I also had no family help getting the job. If I had stuck around I could have flown the turbines at between 750-1000 a week.

So go do it for free, but your cutting yourself short.

determined2fly 06-14-2011 12:43 PM

Anyone know if 1000TT standard now for a jump job?

Oblique 06-14-2011 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by determined2fly (Post 1008210)
Anyone know if 1000TT standard now for a jump job?

1000TT is usually the standard for turbine operators. 500TT is generally the requirement for a 182 or 206 but it depends on the drop zone. As rick mentioned above he got hired with 270TT so it never hurts to drop off your resume.

As for pay, I'm still trying to figure out what the average is right now. I fly a 182 and I'm paid $5 per tandem. It sucks when I only take 1 tandem up, but that doesn't happen too often. From what I've seen so far $10-$15 per load in a 182 seems to be the going rate.

USMCFLYR 06-14-2011 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblique (Post 1008329)
1000TT is usually the standard for turbine operators. 500TT is generally the requirement for a 182 or 206 but it depends on the drop zone. As rick mentioned above he got hired with 270TT so it never hurts to drop off your resume.

As for pay, I'm still trying to figure out what the average is right now. I fly a 182 and I'm paid $5 per tandem. It sucks when I only take 1 tandem up, but that doesn't happen too often. From what I've seen so far $10-$15 per load in a 182 seems to be the going rate.

My information is OLD, but it provides a (sad) comparison between 1989 and 2011. I was hired with 260+TT and was paid $10/load flying a -206. It amazes me that pay for flying jumpers has not really increased in over 20+ years!

USMCFLYR

Airhoss 06-14-2011 07:53 PM

In 1989 I was making $5 a load for the first five and $15 a load there after. That was in a C-182 and a 206.

quinny89 06-15-2011 07:59 AM

No such thing as a 'standard' for a jump pilot job.

frightdogadam 06-15-2011 08:29 AM

about 10 years ago I would make about 35-50$ a day for 8 hours of flying. C-205/PC-6. lots of fun but no money and the planes didnt have insurance. Got hired the same day I got my Comm. about 250hrs TT.

lakehouse 06-15-2011 03:52 PM

Many places pay $400 a week salary for a Cessna if they are a busy place, but your only days off will be rain days, and you need to manage the 182 usually.

lifter123 06-16-2011 05:18 AM

I get $50 for the first 3 loads, whether we fly or not, and then $10/load after that; C182.

propblast 06-20-2011 08:28 AM

$50 to walk in the door, then $15 a load. Van.

propblast 06-21-2011 10:57 AM

a question for jump pilots...do you guys log the time as 'solo' in your logbook? if you have a solo column in your logbook that is. And if you have to leave one airport to go to another airport to conduct your jump operations, would you count that as cross country (less the 50nm, but still works for 135 and ATP requirements)? i know it a small amount of time, but over the summer it would add up to a decent amount to cross country time.

lifter123 06-21-2011 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by propblast (Post 1011699)
a question for jump pilots...do you guys log the time as 'solo' in your logbook? if you have a solo column in your logbook that is. And if you have to leave one airport to go to another airport to conduct your jump operations, would you count that as cross country (less the 50nm, but still works for 135 and ATP requirements)? i know it a small amount of time, but over the summer it would add up to a decent amount to cross country time.

Yea, if I'm the only one in the airplane coming down, I usually log about .2-.3 solo if the total run is .7. I had to do some thinking the first time I put that down.


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