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Better Paying Survey Companies Hiring for the Summer

srn121

Well-Known Member
#1
I know a lot of pilots are coming off or will soon come off Picto seasons and maybe a few of you are wondering what to do to get you to 1500 TT or potentially stay on longer working survey if you didn't have to be gone nearly as much. Here are three companies I can vouch for and that are superior to any of the Pictometry vendors as far as QoL and compensation.

Fugro www.fugro.com
I talked to their chief camera operator and they were looking for pilots about a month or two ago and may still be as I believe their's an opening. It's commutable as in they pay for you to come to the plane and fly you home. I believe it's a 20/10 rotation and their minimums have come down to like 5 to 7 hundred hours off the top of my head.

Aspen Helicopters www.aspenhelo.com
Don't let the name fool you as they have 5 or 6 Partenavias.. The used to do a 2/2 or 3/3 rotation and the pay was pretty decent with benefits. They used to need a minimum of 500 hours, but it's also commutable. Bonus points if you're willing to move to Southern California.

Quantum Spatial www,quantumspatial.com
I think we're still hiring for the Caravan and are looking for a minimum of 1000 hours. We do a 16/12 on the west coast, but they might try to talk you into a 23/12 in the midwest which is a bit tough. Pay has increased and benefits are decent enough. They send you to Flight Safety every year and you know your schedule months in advance on the 16/12.

You'd be an employee at all three companies, although Fugro used to hire contractors too as needed and pay them $300 a day, GSA per diem and the hotel and rental car were paid for.

Hit me up if you have any questions as I know some folks at all of them. You can apply through their websites I believe and for Aspen you can email your resume to dispatch@aspenhelo.com
 
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srn121

Well-Known Member
#4
They had one or two pilots that were full-time go part-time while I was there and they should be flexible as they do a lot of local flying with some very interesting projects that are usually just a day, but sometimes they have week long operations. I think they'd be more than happy to have one extra pilot they could call in the event something big was going down and to occasionally go on the road if you were interested in it, but I haven't been there in awhile.

Im down in socal, does Aspen ever hire any part time pilots?
 

Jcd40B

Well-Known Member
#5
Quantum Spatial www,quantumspatial.com
I think we're still hiring for the Caravan and are looking for a minimum of 1000 hours. We do a 16/12 on the west coast, but they might try to talk you into a 23/12 in the midwest which is a bit tough. Pay has increased and benefits are decent enough. They send you to Flight Safety every year and you know your schedule months in advance on the 16/12.
I can't seem to get a salary amount from Quantum. They have a 15-paragraph job posting on Climbto350 but neglect to simply put their base salary, when that's what everyone wants to see, when it comes down to it.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#6
I can't seem to get a salary amount from Quantum. They have a 15-paragraph job posting on Climbto350 but neglect to simply put their base salary, when that's what everyone wants to see, when it comes down to it.
You're right and they recently revised their ads, but I think they've still omitted the pay. It's hourly, but I think first year with what I believe their offering on the 16/12 rotation you'd be looking to take home in the mid 50s not including per diem. I'm happy to talk about it more if you have any questions feel free to pm me.
 

jmak

Well-Known Member
#7
Thanks for posting.

Can you give an idea of daily life? Morning or evening flying, solo or with a camera operator, condition of aircraft, any IFR flying? Are there annual pay increases? Can someone make a living here, long term?

Looking to make a move and not super interested in airline flying. 1800tt, 900me, 200 turbine.

J
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#8
Thanks for posting.

Can you give an idea of daily life? Morning or evening flying, solo or with a camera operator, condition of aircraft, any IFR flying? Are there annual pay increases? Can someone make a living here, long term?

Looking to make a move and not super interested in airline flying. 1800tt, 900me, 200 turbine.

J
It's very laid back. We mostly do lidar on the west coast so we're not chasing sun angles. Most of our guys up until last season probably averaged several thousand hours each and had been there at least a few years, but the shortage caught up with us and accordingly pay went up. I got a healthy raise as a result and the company bringing up base pay increased too, but I had a strong year. The QoL is the strong point with us being able to commute from anywhere and I bounce around a little bit visiting family and traveling and we know our schedule months in advance.

The west coast does work all over and I just got back from a rotation in Tennessee, but we have the 16/12 rotation and the caravans. You can fly the caravans in the midwest, but you'll also likely fly navajos and I think they're all 23/12.

We typically launch in the morning if the weather's good. We can do one long flight in the caravan and that's it. If the weather's not good you get to do whatever, if it lifts in the afternoon our compensation is hourly and you can get paid more going up for a lift then, however some of our work we can only do safely during the daytime. Some rotations you won't fly much at all, sometimes you're in the desert and fly every day. Once you fly your day ends and you can do whatever. You and the camera operator split a car and he has some additional duties, but once the plane's secured you're off after a full flight.

You keep all your hotel points and miles. We stay in Marriotts and Hiltons. I still like IHG, but my co-workers try to avoid them, but in some places you might not have that option like up in Alaska. We get a per diem which is 52 a day which could be better, but we almost always choose our hotels and a lot of crews will go for ones with a breakfast.

I've only been here for a year and a half so I'm not sure what the future will hold. In this job market long term you could make much more moving on after 2 years, but perhaps pay will go up accordingly by then. I'm happy here, but there are a lot of interesting opportunities that seem to be opening up. I think one of the greatest perks is the people we work with on the west coast. Our pilot group's awesome and most of the camera operators are really good, but in every group sometimes two people won't get along so they'll try to separate crews if the pilot really wants not to work with the operator and sometimes vice versa.

We do have boots in the caravan, however most of our pilots are averse (and for good reason) to taking them into the icing. Management's totally understanding and I've never been pressured to fly in bad weather to relocate projects.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#10
Oh I’m really tempted to apply. Might do so tomarrow if it commutable.
They've all been looking for commutable pilots at times. At Quantum the west coast managers just did a good amount of phone interviews this week for Caravan positions so if that's what you're after I'd apply as soon as possible. The midwest should still have some 23/12 Navajo openings too. They've got a conquest and a turbine commander and there's talk of them trying to get one or two more turbine aircraft at some point.
 

jmak

Well-Known Member
#11
Thanks for all the info, srn121. Could you give us an idea of what to expect during the interview process and initial training?

Thanks again.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#12
Thanks for all the info, srn121. Could you give us an idea of what to expect during the interview process and initial training?

Thanks again.
I had worked with them previously in a contractor role with another company so I never did an in person interview, but normally they'll try to get the pilot a ride along with a crew working somewhere and I got one before I went to FSI in Wichita for a week of training.

The phone interview is pretty simple and they may ask you some questions about unrelated flying like your multi experience depending on if a CP can sit in on it. I did mine with three folks, a cp, a west coast manager and I believe a midwest manager over the phone. I didn't feel too surprised or that I needed to study for it at all.

FSI's a lot of fun. The caravan sim flies different than the caravan and is very trim sensitive. Expect two to three days before you get the hang of it. I believe it's little over a week long with the classroom, maybe 10 days. You'll be in a nice hotel as FSI usually has great rates with most of the ones nearby and you'll have a rental car which you may be splitting if they send a second pilot to training with you like they did with me. You'll probably be in a classroom with folks from Empire and possibly Baron, but unlike them you'll have wheels as for some reason they make their pilots take the shuttle.

After that you'd get sent out on our IOE which basically has you flying with an experienced pilot and operator and getting a feel for the caravan which normally lasts a week to two weeks.
 

Jcd40B

Well-Known Member
#13
Anyone know of a specific contact for Aspen for submitting resumes? I don't see anything on the "Employment" page of their website. All I can find is the general email they use.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#16
Anyone know of a specific contact for Aspen for submitting resumes? I don't see anything on the "Employment" page of their website. All I can find is the general email they use.
You can try dispatch @ Aspenhelo.com as that goes to their front desk and I believe is monitored by some of their managers too. Brad's email is on their website and he'd be a good guy to reach as well so you could CC him or email him directly.
 

Whatusername

Drive hard and NEVER lift.
#17
They've all been looking for commutable pilots at times. At Quantum the west coast managers just did a good amount of phone interviews this week for Caravan positions so if that's what you're after I'd apply as soon as possible. The midwest should still have some 23/12 Navajo openings too. They've got a conquest and a turbine commander and there's talk of them trying to get one or two more turbine aircraft at some point.
I re-read your post. I'm really short of the 1000TT for Quantum and it looks like I need to knock out that multi to have a chance for Aspen. TT wise I'm sitting right above 900 hours. And if the weather plays nice (well nice enough for Nebraska) I'm hoping to have the multi-add on by the end of June.

Should I still try to apply? Or would it be better to wait until I get the total time?
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#18
I re-read your post. I'm really short of the 1000TT for Quantum and it looks like I need to knock out that multi to have a chance for Aspen. TT wise I'm sitting right above 900 hours. And if the weather plays nice (well nice enough for Nebraska) I'm hoping to have the multi-add on by the end of June.

Should I still try to apply? Or would it be better to wait until I get the total time?
At Quantum we should have the caravan spots filled within the next week or two as I understand it, but I'm not a manager and the applicants I'm aware of all had over a 1000 hours. If you have some survey experience they may hire you with your multi rating if you're a tad under for the east coast flying with the navajos, but I'm not too familiar with the situation there.

As for Aspen they can't do anything with you until you get your multi and I've heard a manager tell this to a guy who was in the same boat as you. He basically wished him luck and in a very polite way told him to come back when he had his multi. That pilot did get hired on when he got his, but he got it quickly, Aspen was really short handed, he was a local and knew an Aspen pilot (but he didn't have any survey time and just had 500TT) so your results may vary.
 

jmak

Well-Known Member
#19
Am I correct in assuming that this is seasonal work or is there opportunity to work year round? If seasonal, what is the typical season? Also, what happens to your health benefits in the off-season?

Thanks,
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#20
Am I correct in assuming that this is seasonal work or is there opportunity to work year round? If seasonal, what is the typical season? Also, what happens to your health benefits in the off-season?

Thanks,
It's a year round position at Quantum and was also year round at Aspen and Fugro when I was there.
 
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