• Guest! Follow new job postings on Twitter and Facebook

Banner Towing

ClipperPilot

New Member
If anyone knows the qualifications, im just curious, i have heard that basically to tow the banners all you need is a an ink wet commercial ticket, let me know guys.
 

Hollywood

New Member
i believe you also need a banner tow endorsement. you can get it through your employer probably at your own expense. be careful, i've heard horror stories about some of these banner tow operations around florida.
 

averyrm

Well-Known Member
You don't need a banner tow endorsement - that's the bs they say to get you to pay for training.

I towed banners for a summer - I was added to the company's waivers but recieved no endorsement in my logbook
 

darrenf

resident denizen
You do need a waiver from the FAA. But you should not have to pay for it. The biggest barrier to getting a job banner towing is like any other flying job, meeting the insurance requirements. Most banner ops are using taildraggers and you need some tailwheel time in your logbook before the companies insurance company will allow you to fly. Of course that amount will vary with the company. Good luck, hope you get a job that PAYS YOU as you will have a blast, flying 400 feet off the beach at 60mph is a blast. On a windy day you might have a ground speed near 30mph. All the better to check out the thongs on the beach!
 

172_Captain

New Member
I just started my training as a banner tow pilot. The company I'm with requires CSEL (of course), 350 hrs PIC, 50 hrs tailwheel time and that you do your banner towing training with them. The training consists of a tailwheel endorsement (Piper Super Cub), 50 hrs tailwheel time with a endorsement and banner pick up, tow and drop training. The banner tow training and tailwheel endorsement are required by the FAA, the other training is required by the insurance company.
I'm having the time of my life. The PA-18-160 is a blast to fly, it has no electrical system, the power to weight ratio is very high and I have a 46 pitch prop to boot. She climbs real good!
I'm just beginning my swing training, that is where I swing the hook mounted on a 20' rope between poles that are 6' high that hold the the banner loop. It's 55 kts indicated at 300' agl until "it looks right" then I pull the power to idle and pitch down at a 45 deg. angle, about 60' from the ground I add full power and nudge the stick forward some more to keep the nose from rising and at about 30' agl I pitch up (5'-6' sink after pitching up) and climb out at a 45 degree angle to about 300'. The first time was a little scary, a windshield full of terra firma for 4 seconds and then a windshield full of sky for about 4 seconds. It's alot like riding a roller coaster at 80 kts. Fun factor is high, pay is low. I hope to add 800-900 hrs PIC to the ol' logbook by September. I highly recommend it if you don't want to do the CFI gig.
 

CAVOK

New Member
172, just curious, but are you paying for the stuff you mentioned or is the company? I'm not saying it is good or bad...I am just curious.
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
Cavok,

I think that he is paying on his own dime. I have a pretty good idea which company he is doing it for. If I am wrong about the company, I am still sure he has to pay for his training, which is horsecrap in my opinion.
 

172_Captain

New Member
Correct me if I'm wrong but we all pay our dues in one form or another. Jobs for a low time pilot are far and few between. Hopefully this will lead to something better. Would you spend .50 to make a dollar? It's not like I'm taking any jobs away from the CFI's or the airlines.
 

darrenf

resident denizen
[ QUOTE ]
Correct me if I'm wrong but we all pay our dues in one form or another. Jobs for a low time pilot are far and few between. Hopefully this will lead to something better. Would you spend .50 to make a dollar? It's not like I'm taking any jobs away from the CFI's or the airlines.

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow, do I even want to start on the PFT argument?? Not really, but lets just say that paying someone to let me work for them is not my idea of "paying your dues". My time is more valuable than that. Oops, I guess I did get started on the PFT argument.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Correct me if I'm wrong but we all pay our dues in one form or another. Jobs for a low time pilot are far and few between. Hopefully this will lead to something better. Would you spend .50 to make a dollar? It's not like I'm taking any jobs away from the CFI's or the airlines.

[/ QUOTE ]

Wow, do I even want to start on the PFT argument?? Not really, but lets just say that paying someone to let me work for them is not my idea of "paying your dues". My time is more valuable than that. Oops, I guess I did get started on the PFT argument.

[/ QUOTE ]
So just how far do you want to take that argument? Who paid you for your PPL, CSEL, MEL, Inst, CFI, CFII, MEI,.....? I'm not sure all the guys at the academies (or the FBO's for that matter) that are paying to get all their ratings, just so they can spend the next couple years working for those same academies (or FBO) to get hours and "pay their dues" would really agree with your take on the situation, eh?
Don't take it personally, it's just that there are so many grey areas when you are talking about "PFT", that it can be really difficult to draw the line. In an ideal world we would interview with our prospective employer (major airline, fractional operator, whomever), and they would hire you and then pay for *all* of your training from zero time on up. Ain't going to happen, though, (exception: military!) so we have to keep finding the compromises that work for each of us, hopefully without hurting the piloting profession along the way.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Bottom line is, with banner towing you have to get the training somewhere. It's not part of the FAA commercial PTS to be able to dive and hook onto a banner. No one is going to give you the training for free, especially not the banner towing operations. They are barely staying alive thanks to the wonderful TFRs around "large groups of people and sporting events." Now, if they made you pay for 100 hours in THIER specific plane, then I would worry. If all they are looking for is X amount of tailwheel or X amount in a specific plane for insurance reasons, sounds logical to me.
 

172_Captain

New Member
Kellwolf, that is exactly what I am doing. 50 hrs of tailwheel time, which includes a tailwheel endorsement and banner tow training. That will satisfy the the FAA and the insurance company as well as giving me the ability to fullfill my responsibilities to my employeer. It comes out to $60.00 per hour including the instructor which is the lowest rate I've paid in 20 yrs. After my training I will fly banners for 7 or 8 months, 7 days a week , weather permitting, and log between 700-900 PIC hours. I consider this a great opportunity, having a job, flying, getting paid and having fun.
 

darrenf

resident denizen
[ QUOTE ]
Bottom line is, with banner towing you have to get the training somewhere. It's not part of the FAA commercial PTS to be able to dive and hook onto a banner. No one is going to give you the training for free, especially not the banner towing operations. They are barely staying alive thanks to the wonderful TFRs around "large groups of people and sporting events." Now, if they made you pay for 100 hours in THIER specific plane, then I would worry. If all they are looking for is X amount of tailwheel or X amount in a specific plane for insurance reasons, sounds logical to me.

[/ QUOTE ]

Actually Kellwoof, that is exactly what I did last summer, I got my banner training for free. Once I got my waiver, I could then make money for the company, and thus I was paid for any flight hours thereafter. But you are right, if you need to get that much tailwheel time, you are going to have to pay for it, but as far as paying for the training to pick up and drop, I wouldn't be paying for it. IWhen I worked at mcDonalds as a kid, I didn't pay them to learn how to flip burgers, and every job thereafter, I did not pay them while getting my "Job Specific" training. Flying should be no different, or we lesson our value to future employers. Nevertheless, 172 Capatin, you are going to have a blast this summer. Just be safe, keep those feet moving. Remember, we will most likely lose at least one banner pilot this year, if not more. Don't let it be you.

Darren
 

averyrm

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
No one is going to give you the training for free, especially not the banner towing operations.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, I for one got my training for free in a banner towing operation.
 

Looking4Lower

New Member
When I was towing banners a few years ago, the companies that I worked for had no PFT type programs. They trained you, got you on their FAA waiver, and you're off and running!

As some have said, the problem is getting some tailwheel time to qualify for insurance requirements (i.e. 50 hours and up, depending on the operator). A bunch of tailwheel time would make you extremely attractive to a banner operator, but it's hard to get that time nowadays unless you have easy access to a taildragger.

Other than tailwheel time, there really aren't very many requirements to get into banner towing. Lots of low-timers do it. Like everything else, it helps to have good timing, be willing to accept a job (seasonal) and move out to the action quickly, be persistent, and try to go out and meet people face-to-face.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
What's the typical pay and number of hours flown (per week or whatever) for flying with a long tail?
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Okay, I stand (or in this case sit) corrected, and I'm actually glad.


The only banner towing company that I know of in this area is a highly shady operation out of Daytona. Other than that, everyone else has gone out of business. Planes used to fly banners over Disney, but the TFR has shut that operation down.
 
Top