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Subject: Seasonal Firefighting
 
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h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/05/2005 9:02 PM  
Does anyone have a recommended source for information on flying firefighting helos on a seasonal basis? Particularly seeking info on good operators, certification requirements, and when the heck is fire season?
SupremoUser is Offline
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02/06/2005 12:25 PM  
Suggest checking on the OAS.gov site and browse around until you see the contract requirements for both operators and pilots. There are different areas shown along with operators who have contracts. Then you can contact them, or figure out if you have what is required, or what you need to get. Operators are always looking for pilots in the fire season but the problem is going right to work with an "OAS" card in hand so you can head for the fire zone. Those are simply flight checks required to confirm you have the skill levels for the particular operation like long line, fire drop, etc. The site will answer most of your questions or point you in the right direction. Good luck.

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/06/2005 9:36 PM  
Supremo, THanks. THe OAS website seems a bit daunting but I will continue searching and sorting the info. And if you or anyone else has other info or words of advice they want to pass along I will be most appreciative.
SupremoUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 8:20 AM  
What is your background and qualification? Perhaps there are some things you need to know to prepare?

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 8:25 AM  
USAF combat search and rescue, 20+ years, 3600+ twin turbine. Lots of hoist, sling, water, desert & mountain ops, and low level.
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 8:27 AM  
Definately a lot I need to learn and am willing to learn.
SupremoUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 10:57 AM  
wheeeew....the only thing you need to learn is flying in the sillivilian world! With that background and experience you may find you intimidate more than a few of the hiring people. sad but true. I found I had to cut my resume in half in order to get any responses. It seemed like I was way overqualified, or unemployable, or whatever. When I cut it back, I got a lot of response. As Lyn said, the offshore market is a place to start but you ain't a new guy and its hard to go to work for measly bucks when you are flying with pilots who don't have a clue and yet are telling you what to do. Yeah I know....you have to start someplace but its still a bitter pill to swallow when you see what your fellow workers can't do and yet are "superior" to you. EMS may be the best direction for you to go for fast utilization of your skills. Kind of depends on what you really want to do and what you are willing to give up.. like home life, or stability vs money, or ???? Good luck with the search Rocky

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 12:03 PM  
any recommendations on a good training outfit/school to go and earn the OAS Card?
SupremoUser is Offline
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02/07/2005 12:06 PM  
Hawkins & Powers Aviation in Wyoming is a good start. They will be gearing up for the fire season shortly. Rodgers Aviation out of Fresno is another. As I think of more I'll post them.

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
Rotor_DriverUser is Offline
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02/08/2005 5:42 PM  
Have you considered Evergreen. The SAR contract in the Philippines is still looking for pilots. With your background they may be interested.
DF____User is Offline
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02/08/2005 6:08 PM  
Last I knew H&P was out due to the whole air tanker grounding issue. Shame they had a pretty good reputation. Can't comment on any other schools other than the school of hard knocks, some of us probably have PHD level education from the SHK. Good Luck
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/12/2005 10:28 PM  
Thanks for the great posts and responses to emails. The professionals here have been able to give me some good pointers. Hopefullly as my AF gig winds down I will soon be on the lines. Fly safe and have fun out there!
smurf76User is Offline
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02/16/2005 10:43 AM  
A few hours in the civilian world and being proficient with the longline would hurt. H&P, Evergreen, Rodgers, Helicopter Express, HTS ... And the other question “when the heck is fire season”. Well, CWN = when the smoke columns are rising, Exclusive = mostly June through October, depends on the contract.

there are several ways to skin a cat
SkookumUser is Offline
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02/22/2005 12:33 AM  
Have you checked out the article written by "fire dog" here on JH under Articles, Industries, "so you want to be a fire fighting pilot"? Quite bit of info there. He originally posted it on the Forum a about a year ago.
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/22/2005 3:57 AM  
Yes, I have read the articles and it sounds like my kind of flying! But I wonder if 100' hoist would use a similar technique as long line flying.
ScottyUser is Offline
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02/26/2005 10:47 AM  
I wouldn't worry too much about finding someplace to get training. If you can sell yourself to a company they should train you and you will have to be carded through them with USFS/OAS anyway. With your SAR expierience have you given any thought to the heavies? Ericson, Heavy Lift, Carson, et. al. are all good companies for the most part and Pave Hawk/Super Jolly time is a real selling point for those guys. Plus they're two pilot operations, something you're used to. You will start SIC, but the money's still pretty good. Just a thought. Scotty
h60rsqpltUser is Offline
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02/26/2005 4:05 PM  
Scotty, good suggestion. I am putting together a resume to send to them and some other operators as well.
SupremoUser is Offline
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02/27/2005 10:04 PM  
I'd suggest you take time to find the phone numbers and make some calls to the chief pilot of the different companies. A personal contact is SOOOOOmuch better than a resume. Do an internet search for their websites, and then make the call. Numbers are easy to find. If you don't you'll just end up sitting by the phone that probably won't ring unless its a telemarketer....... Make a list of the things you want to find out, things you need to know, what they require, what they pay, what the season is, where you'll be, per diem, equipment, crew, maintenance, benefits, etc. You should qualify them as much as they qualify you so you don't get screwed by a fly by night outfit. When you find a seat that sounds good, ask around to see if anyone has any input on them. This is a good forum and you can usually find someone who knows them, or someone who does. The rotor world is pretty damned small and rather tight knit with the pros. There are those who will try to undermine you for the seat, but the pros with time are more than willing to share knowledge and job info. I'm in a seat now that is unique in crop spraying but they have been known to take on new guys and train them (of course your experience counts here). Shoot me a private email if you want more info. Rocky

Risk is the price you pay to avoid a dull life.
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