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Picto Companies Hiring for 2017-2018 Season (Fresh Commercial)

srn121

Well-Known Member
#21
Are these companies actively accepting resumes already or should I hold off until August to submit?
If you meet all their requirements I'd apply sooner than later. You can always follow with another email late in August if you don't here back from them. If you go with Skylens you can find the directions on their website and there's a thread already in this forum where the owner will update if he no longer needs pilots. http://skylensaerial.com/pilot-employment.html
 

Omar

Well-Known Member
#23
I'm just starting my Commercial Multi and will possibly have that and Comm Single done by Mid -September. Should I apply and include a note that my Commercial ratings are "pending", or something to that effect? Or should I just wait till next year's hiring season?
 

srn121

Well-Known Member
#24
I'm just starting my Commercial Multi and will possibly have that and Comm Single done by Mid -September. Should I apply and include a note that my Commercial ratings are "pending", or something to that effect? Or should I just wait till next year's hiring season?
I think there were a few companies still looking for pilots in September. I'd recommend getting your commercial first or at least checkride scheduled and seeing if you can speed it up by training more as it's a great opportunity without wasting more time and money on a CFI.

I do believe there were one to maybe even three vendors that were still looking for pilots in September from what I saw advertised last year, but mid-September's really pushing it.
 
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Omar

Well-Known Member
#25
I will try to speed it up as much as possible. Plane and instructor availability at my school may hinder me but I will do my best.
 

bimmerphile

SuperCritical™ Member
#26
I will try to speed it up as much as possible. Plane and instructor availability at my school may hinder me but I will do my best.
I got on at the now defunct picto vendor before I had my ticket, but my ride was scheduled. This was in October and they didn't have all their pilots for the season, so I was the last guy hired. Try to get it done asap, you may be able to get on if someone bails before the season
 

Yakob

Grand Prognosticator Nominee
#28
If anyone is interested in Air America, I recently found out about some more maintenance issues from this past season. There have apparently been multiple fuel leaks.

In one case, an Aztec engine caught fire during starting. The fire went out after the pilot kept cranking and cut off fuel, but that wing was covered with soot afterward. The company wanted the pilot to keep flying that plane and defer the issue.

In another case, fuel was leaking pretty badly through an Aztec's Janitrol cabin heater. Apparently the company also wanted to defer it.

Admittedly I was not at Air America this past season, so I heard about this second hand. But it's something to think about if you are interested in Air America. It sounds like maintenance has gone downhill since I left, and it wasn't exactly stellar even then.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#29
General question:

When you're flying picto, is it a single-pilot operation, or is there a pilot and a camera/equipment operator?
 

Yakob

Grand Prognosticator Nominee
#30
General question:

When you're flying picto, is it a single-pilot operation, or is there a pilot and a camera/equipment operator?
Usually single-pilot. However at Air America we had some Aztecs that were used for Lidar for Pictometry, and they required an operator who sat in the back as well as the pilot. I'm not sure if any of the other vendors do Lidar though.
 

ozziecat35

4 out of 5 great lakes prefer Michigan.
#31
General question:

When you're flying picto, is it a single-pilot operation, or is there a pilot and a camera/equipment operator?
Depends on the operator / mission.

At my survey place, the single shot (field to field) was all single pilot. With the big grids we're doing this year, 2 pilots, 1 to manage cameras / etc.
 
#32
Currently at AA- I haven't felt one bit of pressure to fly an aircraft when something was wrong. Everyone I've spoken to has been pretty generous with suggesting to get something checked out. At the same time, you should probably expect any older light twin to have hidden issues. They do give you the choice to upgrade.
 

Yakob

Grand Prognosticator Nominee
#33
Currently at AA- I haven't felt one bit of pressure to fly an aircraft when something was wrong. Everyone I've spoken to has been pretty generous with suggesting to get something checked out. At the same time, you should probably expect any older light twin to have hidden issues. They do give you the choice to upgrade.
I'm glad you haven't had any issues and personally I never really did either during my time there, but like I said someone was let go for refusing a broken Aztec last fall.

Are you on the 172 or Aztec? I got the impression the issue was worse with the Aztecs. It is true they give you the choice to upgrade, and while I would recommend prospective Picto pilots avoid Air America in general, I would definitely recommend avoiding the Aztec.

Older twins may be prone to some issues but it helps a lot if you actually maintain them properly. Landcare and SkyLens both operate Aztecs, as do other survey companies but I haven't heard of any issues like Air America has had.
 
#34
I'm glad you haven't had any issues and personally I never really did either during my time there, but like I said someone was let go for refusing a broken Aztec last fall.

Are you on the 172 or Aztec? I got the impression the issue was worse with the Aztecs. It is true they give you the choice to upgrade, and while I would recommend prospective Picto pilots avoid Air America in general, I would definitely recommend avoiding the Aztec.

Older twins may be prone to some issues but it helps a lot if you actually maintain them properly. Landcare and SkyLens both operate Aztecs, as do other survey companies but I haven't heard of any issues like Air America has had.
Currently in a 172 and probably going to stay there. From what I've heard as well it's mainly the Aztecs that have the bigger issues. I have about 50 multi time but now I just prefer avoiding older light twins altogether-- to each their own.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#35
If anyone is interested in Air America, I recently found out about some more maintenance issues from this past season. There have apparently been multiple fuel leaks.

In one case, an Aztec engine caught fire during starting. The fire went out after the pilot kept cranking and cut off fuel, but that wing was covered with soot afterward. The company wanted the pilot to keep flying that plane and defer the issue.

In another case, fuel was leaking pretty badly through an Aztec's Janitrol cabin heater. Apparently the company also wanted to defer it.

Admittedly I was not at Air America this past season, so I heard about this second hand. But it's something to think about if you are interested in Air America. It sounds like maintenance has gone downhill since I left, and it wasn't exactly stellar even then.
I'm not privy to details, but an engine fire during start that goes out when the engine starts smacks of piss poor starting technique, not a mechanical issue. And as for the heater, any 135 that had that happen away from base would just MEL it to get it home or depending on their MEL and time of year until the next scheduled inspection. It's possible AA has their issues but without further information those two appear to be poor examples.
 

Yakob

Grand Prognosticator Nominee
#36
I'm not privy to details, but an engine fire during start that goes out when the engine starts smacks of piss poor starting technique, not a mechanical issue. And as for the heater, any 135 that had that happen away from base would just MEL it to get it home or depending on their MEL and time of year until the next scheduled inspection. It's possible AA has their issues but without further information those two appear to be poor examples.
Admittedly I don't have any details other than what I said in that post, so you may be right. From what I heard it sounded like the heater one was a continuous fuel leak. regardless of whether the heater was on. Air America is not a 135 operator and their pilot are independent contractrs, which is a scam; also, the contracts are written so that pilots are liable for any damage to the aircraft which I think adds a rather different dimension to the issue of whether their aircraft should be flown with such discrepancies. I can vouch that AA certainly has their issues as I used to work there; I have related many of them on this board.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#37
Admittedly I don't have any details other than what I said in that post, so you may be right. From what I heard it sounded like the heater one was a continuous fuel leak. regardless of whether the heater was on.
Interesting, I wonder why they didn't just pay an hour of labor to have someone disconnect and cap the line. Surely there is more to the story. But yeah the independent contractor thing is dumb and probably illegal.
 

Cory Trevor

Well-Known Member
#39
Loved my time at AA. There's still times when I'm doing airline flying and I reminisce about it while flying over the places I used to map. I enjoyed working for Jake and never had an issue. No matter where you go you'll have fun. Be safe and don't take it for granted, it's unlike any other job you'll have again in your life
 

Yakob

Grand Prognosticator Nominee
#40
Loved my time at AA. .. I enjoyed working for Jake and never had an issue. No matter where you go you'll have fun.
Admittedly I enjoyed my time at Air America as well, but you'd be singing a different tune if you'd been injured on the job, in which case you would not have been eligible for Worker's Comp; or if you'd had an incident/accident and the company docked your pay to cover their deductible. There's also the issue of possible future dealings with the IRS thanks to the illegal 1099 arrangement.

It is true that it is a unique and usually fun job, but the same experiences can be had at any of the other vendors without the considerable risks of being a 1099 independent contractor.