Friday, September 5, 2008

Yeah...I wanna be a pilot...

Every so often (at least once a week...) we receive e-mails from individuals who are interested in working as pilots with the Canadian Coast Guard. Probably less than half of these requests, are from individuals who have taken their pilot training and have amassed a minor amount of hours in the air. The bulk of these requests come from individuals who mistakenly believe that by signing up with the Canadian Coast Guard, they will actually receive their pilot training.

First of all, pilots employed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada / Canadian Coast Guard are on loan from Transport Canada. The same goes for the accompanying ground support crews (aeroengine/aeroframe techs). The Coast Guard does not train pilots. And just to avoid any confusion here, neither does Transport Canada!

Becoming a pilot is a long, tedious and expensive process. The only branch of the government which actually trains pilots, is our military. The Department of National Defence. You need smarts to be a pilot and/or to be accepted into the Air Force as an officer trainee. They don't just take any yokel who has a hankering to be "the guy in The Guardian".

So for anyone out there who wants to be a pilot with the Coast Guard, either fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft, find yourself a flying school and start shelling out them dollars. Then when you're all trained up, and if you're good enough, you can apply to work with the best in the business, so you can volunteer to put your life on the line, in order to save someone else's...

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