California Fire Pilots Association
Employment / Job information

  • We are not state employees.  We work for a private company that contracts with the state of California to provide maintenance personal and pilots
  • We are unionized and follow a strict seniority system
  • You may spend many years in an OV10 before you have the opportunity to bid a tanker position
  • You may not get the base you want to be at, some have spent more then 10 years waiting for the base they want.  Most spend their first years in temporary positions before having enough seniority to bid a permanent position.  Once you bid, and are awarded, a permanent position, it is yours until you give it up.  A more senior pilot can not bump you from your position except in the case of lay-offs.
  • It is a last hired - first fired policy in regards to lay-offs
  • You will work a 6-1 work week, with an average of a 9 hour day, you are on call from sunrise to sunset.
  • You must reside with in a 45 minute drive from the base you are stationed at, except in the case of relief pilots
  • You season can be anywhere from 3.5 months to 8 months depending on the base you are at
  • You may only fly as little as 30-50 hours, or as many as 300 in one season
Minimum requirements

  • Hold an FAA commercial license with Multi-Engine land and Instrument ratings
  • 1800 Hours PIC
  • 800 Hours Multi-Engine PIC
  • 75 Hours Instrument PIC (actual, not simulated or hood)
  • 50 Hours of either firefighting tanker experience (PIC or SIC), PIC in an aircraft requiring a type rating, turbine PIC