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First Job Seeking Advice – Road Tripping

Taken from the Aviation Forum – Link to Discussion

First Job Seeking Advice – Road Tripping

Ah yes the time old tradition of a pilot on a road trip looking for work. I have been on a few myself and I am glad those days are behind me.

Reliable transportation is paramount to any good road trip; my vehicle of choice was a 1992 Chevrolet S10 Blazer, she was a thing of beauty. Baby blue paint accented by only the smallest patches of rust; it had a five speed manual transmission and four wheel drive that sometimes even worked.

The greatest feature besides its natural sex appeal was the folding rear seat that allowed for a small foam mattress that fit perfectly between the rear wheel wells.  This came in handy as a broke pilot looking for work, I saved tons on hotels and only got a small amount of frost bite. Pro tip Invest in one of those awesome MEC -40 sleeping bags as you will most likely be driving around in Canadian “Spring”.

I made the mistake on my first trip of not equipping my her with a portable CD player or figuring out some alternative method of distraction. Yes I had the AC Delco cassette tape playing brick in the dash that was in perfect working condition. Problem was in many parts that you will traverse there will be no radio signal. This shouldn’t be an issue these days with every song downloaded onto your iPhone and a plug in but back then being broke I could barely afford gas.

You will learn just how sparsely inhabited Canada is when you press seek on your radio and then forget about it for an hour or two only to have some random radio signal startle you as it comes into tune in the middle of nowhere.

Paying for training Pro Tip put all or as much of your flight training on one credit card that offers points, I used a BMO Airmiles Mastercard, do not use the miles for flights. Get gas cards! You will need them for your employment expedition!

Now that you have set up your sweet ride that doubles as a hotel room, its time to pack your vehicle!

Water, Beef Jerky, Pop and Chips, the water is what you should be drinking the pop and chips are used to barter passage or render assistance if your vehicle breaks down in lesser traveled parts of the country.  Pack a shovel a chain and a come along I put myself in a snow covered ditch north of Fort Liard and was glad I had them. Often I didn’t see another soul for hours and had it not been for a random tuck passing by I would have had trouble digging myself out. Remember you might be on your own for hours.

Also pack a small camp stove and a spare can of gas. Sometimes fuel isn’t available. Make sure you have good tread on your tires before setting out, the long hours of driving will wear them down for sure.

Canadian springs can be unpredictable so be prepared. Pack all your worldly possessions as you want to be able to start that day if you find a job. However do not pack anything too valuable, chances are you would have hocked anything of value to pursue flying anyway. This is of course is if you break down you might have to abandon your vehicle and only take a backpack away from it.

Small town airports never really lock their bathrooms and you know the secret code (1215) also like a good pilot pack an old CFS to gain intel on such places. Small town airports also come in handy to park your vehicle and plug it in on those cold nights. Airports are surprisingly quiet, insuring your sleep will not be disturbed.  Being at the airport also positions you for your “interview” the next morning. Bring extension cords to plug into the vehicle outlets so you can charge your cell phone or plug in your laptop.

Truck stops have showers you can use so strategically use them before knocking on doors of employers, but don’t look too clean most bush operators will view your well groomed exterior with suspicion.  A healthy five o’clock shadow is key to landing your first gig.

Plan your route in advance to cover the most territory for companies you actually qualify for.
Oh and good luck and remember to pack resumes and try to taylor them to specific operations needs.

Taken from the Aviation Forum – Link to Discussion