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Everything posted by Swamp76

  1. And all drivers (of automobiles) should be required to take an anuual road test and be prohibited from carrying passengers outside of family until they have driven 50,000 miles (80,000 kms). Enact both at the same time and I'll vote yes.
  2. You are correct. It is a dynamic industry and the ability to adapt is extremely important. We see every day that the best wrenches and drivers are the ones that take whatever comes at them and understand it, then make it work. Lack or understanding is dangerous. Inability to get on with it is dangerous. ------ I think Craig Dobbin must be rolling over in his grave. I was worried what would happen to the hummingbird without him, and from what I've seen the ship has suffered without his strong hand at the tiller. The man had vision, so true. Now......it's just another corporation without any.
  3. The old answer olds true: It depends. If you are at an airfield, the uniform helps considerably as it is still a very class based society and a airline captain holds a fair amount of status. For an average white Canadian in many African locations, there is nothing you can wear to blend in unless there is a significant European population already there. Be careful and take a long hard look at any advice you get. -------------- Harmonic_Vibe, I tried to send you a PM.
  4. My 'apathy' assessment was directly related to how this topic has generated so little interest. I thought my initial observation woud generate at least one comment. Now that was are discussing it, what I see is a lot of guys getting tired of holding the line against constant pressure to bend the rules from all sides and just give up. It's easy to do, and I'm falling victim to it myself. Check pilots tired of trying to enforce a standard only to be overruled by operational necessity for instance. If operating class 1 is inconvenient, then go class 2. If we're losing too much payload, redefine hostile environment. On and on...... Bullett's tongue-in-cheek comment above has a lot of truth hidden in the margins. Me, I'm tired of trying to pass on what I've learned the hard way only to get a blank stare that says "why would I go to all that extra work?"
  5. Another 5 minutes I'll never get back.
  6. Transport Canada requires 400 hours PIC to qualify for an instructor rating preventing the use of newly licenced pilots as instructors. By the time a pilot has the 400 PIC they are employable in the working world and therefore schools must pay a competitive wage. I hope it never changes.
  7. That is the apples to oranges comparison. If all helicopter flights were from a heavily prepared location (airport) along a highly regulated route (airway) to another heavily prepared location (airport) with an hour or more of reserve fuel (IFR) then the accident rates would be similar. As a matter of fact, they are. For example: CHC's accident rate is comparable to a large 1st Tier airline. What I have seen throughout the last 19 years in helicopter aviation (mil/civil, VFR/IFR, single/multi, bush, offshore, EMS, training: I move around a lot) is a bunch of seized-wing rules and perceptions applied to aircraft that are only vaguely similar in how they are employed. If an EMS operator needs every call (billable hours) to survive then they will start doing single-pilot night ops into unprepared areas. Just write up a procedure for the Ops Manual. Then they will have an accident because it is a horribly unforgiving environment and it is legal for them to send any barely qualified pilot out there to try when even the best are working hard to do it safely. Done deal. How much regulation is there out there to guide them as they try this? I feel we need to look at how we educate our rotary pilots from the viewpoint of a blank sheet of paper, not a carbon-copy of what the "airline" guys have been doing. We spend hours training for engine failures when it is just one of many single point failures in the aircraft. How much time is spent in the simulator doing uniquely rotary training? You say the simulators aren't that advanced yet? I agree. Then get back in the aircraft!! Be careful , take it slow, but train like we fly, not like an airbus flies! Features like the training switches available in latest generation helicopters are perfect. No limited FOV, no unrealistic terrain databases. The training possible in the aircraft is ideal, high GW is simulated and you have an out. Let's create our own standard that works for us.
  8. Military SAR: long time ago but I remember the aim was 12-hr shifts exendable to 16, 12-hr flying limit, and working 6 days a week standard with more if needed. Later I was on a civil EMS job; SK76's. Left about 7 years ago. Crew changes at 0700 and 1900, able to extend to 14 hours if necessary (allowed option to finish call and return to base to change crew). Rotations were 7D/7N/7off on some bases, a more variable 28 day, equal time rotation on others. The push was to move to a 2D/2N/4off. I liked the 7's and the 28 day rotation. I found the constant duty day changes on 2/2/4 only worked if there was little flying. Later, working offshore, I have experienced several different rotations to accomplish 24-hr coverage. Most of our work sites are well beyond the civilized world and things like civil/military SAR coverage so the client relies on us. Each location is unique in crew and a/c availability, flying workload, and weather or daylight cycles (the equator and 60N are very different environments for day/night planning). I have found that long days are OK, but in general the most fatiguing factor for me will be the frequency of the changes in the duty cycle. I can work nights (or days) quite happily for weeks but if I am switching nights to days and vice versa every couple days I'm wiped out in a week. These operations have all been equal time rotations of 28/28. 35/35, or 42/42 days. Depending on site all days are work days or 6 days a week. Given a choice I'd work 35/35. I would take the shifts in blocks of not less than 4 days/nights.
  9. Regardless of where you work (US, Thailand, Angola, PNG, etc) on a work permit/visa, you will pay income tax locally. That government that issued you the work permit wants their piece too. Many companies cover this local taxation as a benefit but the requirement by the local government is still there. Revenue Canada considers this tax paid on your behalf as a taxable benefit. If properly reported it can cost you a significant amount of money. Revenue Canada will not normally tax you twice on the same income. You can provide the proof of income tax paid elsewhere (if you are still filing in Canada) and have the tax owed in Canada reduced accordingly. BTW: if you are using the OETC, then Revenue Canada will reduce the value of that receipt in accordance with the percentage of the foreign income that was considered taxable after application of the OETC. I love government.
  10. All types: Mi-26, big, ugly, tough I've flown: SK-61N, a true lady
  11. From my limited instructing time I can offer this observation: All the instructors I have worked with have tried hard to impress on all the students what the business is really like. Some listened and tried hard to apply what we were telling them. Others dismissed us as just telling stories to scare the new guys, and carried on with the attitudes they had brought with them. While we may not like the attitude, they had been warned, they wanted the licence, and they did not have a lack of skill. Hence, our moral obligation was fulfilled and our job was to train them to the commercial standard. I have had a former student, who I had told "if I am ever asked by a future employer what you were like in flight school, I will tell them" after yet another incident highlighting his laziness and lack of respect for anyone, put my name on his resume as a reference. Go figure.
  12. Yes, there is lots of hiring going on out there. On the other hand, in my opinion, the EMS job that CHL has should easily be the best helicopter pilot job in the country. The flying is great, job satisfaction from the nature of the work is high, and you are home on a set schedule all the time. CHL was, and I am sure still is, the problem. All this discussion and none of our resident union proponents have discussed any contract terms other than the big raise. One that I've had related to me is that CHL now has the right to call in pilots on their days scheduled off to work in order to cover shifts, something that is happening with alarming regularity. The contract, I was told, has some binding language that these pilots don't like. In the good old days, we just said 'no'. Or 'yes'. As we saw fit. When it comes to safety issues I have never needed a union to prop me up to confront my employer. I'm curious about the potential status of the competitors when the contract comes up for renewal. Will the current union try to recruit the pilots at the competing bidders? Are the competitors now forced to unionize to bid? Will it be viewed as union-busting if the MOH drops CHL? I can't wait to hear from you.
  13. Hello, I had heard it mentioned some time ago that STARS in Alberta was looking at opening up a new base. If anyone has any info they are willing to pass along, I'd appreciate it.
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