Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:49 pm Post subject: *South England Pool Pilot*
Bit of a long shot but does anyone know of anyone requiring a pool pilot for this season??
I have worked for a company for the last 2 seasons but no joy so far this season.
I have already tried Atlas and Elite and don't have the qualifications for PremiAir.
Aside from holding the required licence/medical and ratings, in order to conduct public transport flying a pilot needs to have some other bits:
A first aid certificate
Emergency and survival sign off
CRM- Crew resource management - can be single pilot CRM
If flying over water life jacket and wet dingy drills sign off
All of which have variable validities ranging from 12 to 24 months
In addition a pilot will require a current base check and a current line check.
A base check aka an OPC (operator proficiency check) is valid for six months per type and is basically a handling check similar to an annual LPC - general handling and emergencies. If an instrument rating were held it would also include an instruments proficieny test too
A line check is valid for 12 months and is an area and route proficiency check - They are normally conducted on actual public transport jobs, the candidate having to satisfy the line checking pilot that they can safely operate all aspects of the flight - weather, notams, mass and balance, flight planning, passenger handling, required documentation to be carried in aircraft, local procedures etc etc etc etc.
If you've never been line checked before this check is unlikely to be a one off flight. Most Operations Manuals will detail that line training is conducted over several trips so that new AOC pilots learn what is required prior to the offical line check flight. All of these trips will be documented.
Copies of the 'test' forms go to the CAA, and training records will be kept by the operator.
There are some exemptions that allow some of the first mentioned sign offs to be obtained after public transport flying has commenced. However a pilot will need the OPC and line check prior to AOC flying.
Normal practice is for a pool pilot to fund the OPC portion (often combining it with the LPC), hence proving they can fly to an acceptable standard. The line portion can then be conducted on a real job, albeit some places insist on a totally seperate non revenue flight and make the pool pilot pay for that also.
OPC and Line checks are company specific unless an arrangement exists between companies to accept the checks - if this exists it will be recorded in writing in the companies Operations Manual.
Minimum durations are specified for both 0.7 for an OPC and 0.5 for a line check. The majority take longer.
As a pool/ freelance pilot you are free to work anywhere, hence the industry viewpoint on the checks. Some operators insist on payment (often the flying is charged at 'cost' although again some places charge retail rates), others allow the check flight costs to be worked off in lieu of salary. More permanent positions with larger companies pay for all the required checks and certificates.
It does mean that you need a reasonable amount of flying be it day rates or per hour in order to recoup any outlay.
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