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Better Paying Survey Companies Hiring for the Summer

daydreamer

Well-Known Member
I've heard of Dynamic doing stuff in Saudi Arabia and I believe they do two man crews, but I assume they do other places too. Look up Dynamic Aviation. There's also some outfit in New England that used to advertise long rotations (60/30 if I remember right) that might include international work, I believe it was aeroptic, but their site isn't working and I know nothing of pay or QoL Aeroptic a KEYW company
Got the TBNT from Dynamic. I heard good things about them. Same with aeroptics; I heard their work was drying up.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Got the TBNT from Dynamic. I heard good things about them. Same with aeroptics; I heard their work was drying up.
Fugro does some Canada work or used to anyway and there are always the google vendors if you don't mind the low pay as you might be able to negotiate better with experience the 8/6 is pretty cushy and they do the Caribbean and Canada among other places. I think one was called Aperture, AAK blew their contract, but there is one more vendor that two pilots refused to identify for some reason when I was bsing with them in Florida. I guess they have to pretend they don't also map for Google too, but everyone knows who it is.
 

Spirit12

Well-Known Member
Surdex does not currently have employment contracts, however we are not interested in turning pilots over every 6 months. We are looking for pilots who are willing to spend at least three years working for us. If you are in a rush to get to the airlines, Surdex is not for you, so please do not apply. If you want the best training, best maintained aircraft, and the best three years of experience in aviation call our HR department. Over the next three years you will fly 1500 hours, visit every state in the CONUS, and be comfortable flying single engine, twin piston engine, twin turbine, high altitude, over water, mountains, nights, and conjested airspace. About half of our pilots decide to stay and make a career of Aerial Survey. If you decide to pursue more advanced jet aircraft, I guarantee you will be successful given this experience.

If you are an experienced pilot in Aerial Survey you should give us a call. We have recently hired a number of senior pilots with experience from other companies in our industry.

Surdex is one of the premier aerial acquisition company in North America. We are one of the largest federal contractors in the industry and fly for the USDA, USACE, USGS, and others. Our imagery is also seen on Apple Maps, Google Maps, as well as hundreds of municipal websites. Other large aerial aquisition companies (represented on this forum) also contract flying to us. We hire experienced and inexperienced commercial pilots. We also hire private pilots as camera operators.
Fly1234 you are a liar.
Did I mention that Surdex is running low on pilots and its typical for management to request for the pilots to extend beyond the normal 15 with out any additional compensation.
If you are performing camera operators duty you are not flying an airplane or building time.
The last few people that moved from the 206 to the twins needed to sigh contracts. But you claim no contracts are required?
 

Fly1234

New Member
Fly1234 you are a liar.
Did I mention that Surdex is running low on pilots and its typical for management to request for the pilots to extend beyond the normal 15 with out any additional compensation.
If you are performing camera operators duty you are not flying an airplane or building time.
The last few people that moved from the 206 to the twins needed to sigh contracts. But you claim no contracts are required?
What do you consider to be an experienced pilot? I'm currently flying Aztecs for an eagleview vendor. What aircraft and pay would one expect coming from another aerial survey company?
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Yes, that aerial photography experience is very similar to our aircraft and camera systems. You probably know the type of flying we do very well. We also have a couple pilots from the airline and cargo industries currently working for us.
 

Fly1234

New Member
A few of our pilots have come from other aerial survey companies and have commented that our compensation, bonus and benefits were better but you would have to check for yourself.
 

irwin2018

Well-Known Member
Surdex is now expecting new C206 pilots to enter into a 3 year contract and work as an operator when not flying. And expect additional contract e.g. $10,000 and 3 years contract to move to the twins piston.
I did a phone interview with Surdex a while back, unsure if it was for the 206 or twin, but the former requires living near KSUS; Twin pilots are allowed to airline out to the project. They do expect a 3 year commitment, mainly due to training costs associated with transitioning. Overall the compensation was VERY competitive, including bonuses based on how many miles you fly in a given year. Ended up accepting an offer from another Survey company instead that would allow me to commute.

Much like Keystone, if you are willing to accept relocation into their base, it would be a good opportunity.
 

irwin2018

Well-Known Member
There were some dudes that worked on the road quite a bit and didn't have to live in Philly. Essentially they'd just use hotel points whenever they happened to be there. Certainly more of a vagabond lifestyle, but the money is about what Surdex rates are above (that was when I was there several years ago, too) but it's not for everyone. The good thing about being on the road at KAS was earning 2hr of vacation every day you were on the road, that added up quick and you could take a ton of time off after a heavy survey season, or if you left it was a hefty check.
I know they also opened a Reno office recently after closing Tucson, not sure how that one is being staffed.
No idea if they're doing training contracts, they weren't when I was there.
I did a phone interview with the CP at Keystone.....pretty much spot on from what has been discussed here regarding their operation. The Reno office was staffed at that time by an internal pilot.
 

irwin2018

Well-Known Member
Here's the stats for Surdex. Our aircraft are the best maintained fleet in the industry. We have more pilots than we ever have, who get 500-600 hours a year. We fly two weeks on/ one week off and typically additional time off during slow times. Our salaried compensation, bonus and benefits package is one of the best in the industry. Surdex has a training program that will take an entry level pilot through four progressive aircraft. There are no employment contracts at this time, however we do ask for reimbursement of training costs if a pilot leaves after training. Our company is growing fast due to our strong commitment to quality and delivery. Flying for Surdex is the fastest way to launch your aviation career, however we will only accept the best pilots.

We are continually hiring both new and experienced pilots.
Surdex, like other survey operators, does NOT require a training contract. They only ask you stay there for a 3 year period if transitioning to larger equipment (but you are obviously responsible for the training cost). Most (if not all) 91/135 outfits will just require a "handshake" agreement to stick around for one year; if you depart prior to this date they will indicate "Not eligible for rehire" on your employment records.
 

Spirit12

Well-Known Member
Surdex, like other survey operators, does NOT require a training contract. They only ask you stay there for a 3 year period if transitioning to larger equipment (but you are obviously responsible for the training cost). Most (if not all) 91/135 outfits will just require a "handshake" agreement to stick around for one year; if you depart prior to this date they will indicate "Not eligible for rehire" on your employment records.
Irwin2018 Sorry to say this but you don't know JACK. I have first hand experience at Surdex and not just from just an interview.
Surdex does required a contract up to $10K (this is not them paying for you to acquired a Multie rating) to moved from the C206 to the C414 and a 2 year contract to move from the C414 to the C441.
And if someone is ask to stay for 3 years and pay for training to moved to other equipment if that person does desired to leave? Who benefits from that? at what expense?
 
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Spirit12

Well-Known Member
Irwin2018
I see you comment on "dirt bag 135 operations". But when someone expresses concerns about a company on a part 91 you contradict your self and feel the need to defend them?
I'm not saying that Surdex is a "dirt bag company". All I'm expressing is that you need to be careful and make sure you understand that you are signing a contract. The person who started this tread was correct not to included Surdex.
If you are a C206 pilot you are flying maybe 40hrs this summer if you are lucky. But Surdex will be looking for another pilot this fall to fly LIDER. So get your resume ready.
 

irwin2018

Well-Known Member
Irwin2018
I see you comment on "dirt bag 135 operations". But when someone expresses concerns about a company on a part 91 you contradict your self and feel the need to defend them?
I'm not saying that Surdex is a "dirt bag company". All I'm expressing is that you need to be careful and make sure you understand that you are signing a contract. The person who started this tread was correct not to included Surdex.
If you are a C206 pilot you are flying maybe 40hrs this summer if you are lucky. But Surdex will be looking for another pilot this fall to fly LIDER. So get your resume ready.
Slightly bitter......are we?
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Not bitter just setting proper expectations.
The Pilots and Operators are amazing.
I agree. There's some outfits that treat pilots like capable, responsible adults and treat them pretty fairly and then there are some outfits where someone or some people get in charge and treat it like a used car dealership where everything has to be a haggle and a negotiation so that management can get more for themselves.

Thankfully in this hot job market the used car salesmen model of management won't be nearly as successful at retaining skilled pilots as it has to be really satisfying to tell a difficult boss to go to hell knowing not only you stood up for yourself you can find a better job and if the other companies don't want to adjust accordingly they can be short pilots and make less money as planes sit idle and jobs have to be contracted out and the company makes less money than it would just treating pilots fairly.

I respect a manager that can put forward numbers and a QoL to their pilots that they think are competitive and not BS them and any manager that won't let the job, benefits and pay do the talking isn't one I'd like to work for.
 

Spirit12

Well-Known Member
Here is an example of how the pilots are treated.
The pilots are not factory operators. MM previous industry
Reasons why people are late to sun angle, Weather, ATC, Equipment, Airplane, traffic or having to relocate to a different airport for production
No pilot leaves work 5 minutes early because that is stupid.
And if we are using the math you are using $150 per minute
Average pilot is flying about 450hrs per year, 27,000 minutes, with14 crews at 378,000 minutes of production for a revenue of $56,700,00.00
 

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srn121

Well-Known Member
Here is another example. Of why not to work at Surdex.
There's nothing worse than being micromanaged while in the field. I never get called out where I'm at, but earlier in my career when I worked with Surdex I was sent a few texts "describe flight conditions" so I'd make sure to take a few pics each day of all the clouds so I'd have plenty of images to send if needed to defend myself and it was always funny when some manager would ask that and I'd send in a time stamped screenshot of what was on radar, while I was inside and it was raining outside (and that was after flying over 200 hours in less than 45 days as I was doing Lidar for them though my CP was a huge dick). There are pilots that probably need to have tabs kept on them, but that's why you spend the money to hire and retain good pilots that get there work done and have proven trustworthy rather than gamble on a revolving door of new people, but it's fitting with the "pennywise, pound foolish" attitude expressed in that email.

Survey can be a lot of fun and a decent living, but you'd never know that from the way some operations run their flight departments and if places want to treat there pilots like this then it's no wonder why their pilots would want to put on a uniform and leave to get paid much more than put up with the micromanaging and penny pinching. There's a reason I recommended Fugro (higher pay and QoL) and not Surdex in my initial post if someone wants to fly a 441 and do NAIP.
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
Here is an example of how the pilots are treated.
The pilots are not factory operators. MM previous industry
Reasons why people are late to sun angle, Weather, ATC, Equipment, Airplane, traffic or having to relocate to a different airport for production
No pilot leaves work 5 minutes early because that is stupid.
And if we are using the math you are using $150 per minute
Average pilot is flying about 450hrs per year, 27,000 minutes, with14 crews at 378,000 minutes of production for a revenue of $56,700,00.00
And how much is he paying those pilots that make him so much revenue? If there time is so incredibly valuable to the company, maybe, just maybe it might make solid business sense to pay them well and get top talent and I'd love to see if maybe light bulbs go off in his head when he immediately turns around and tells you how little he's going to compensate you knowing he just made a really good argument for why his pilots should be paid well as there are how many pilots at Surdex generating how much revenue again?
 

Stump

Well-Known Member
And if we are using the math you are using $150 per minute
Average pilot is flying about 450hrs per year, 27,000 minutes, with14 crews at 378,000 minutes of production for a revenue of $56,700,00.00
While I’m sure they are doing well for themselves, that $150 a minute is only for when you’re on the lines. Never done survey, so I can’t give a guess as to what percentage of time the engines are running to them producing useful goods.
 

HomerPilot

Active Member
I have thoroughly read through the information pertaining to Surdex above. With that being said, are there any current pilots who can explain the current conditions, or current pilots that could message me?
 
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