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Everything posted by coastdog

  1. So many days just like this ... those perfect days ... all over the country ... in every season ... on so many different jobs. I can still remember some of the bad days too but they slowly fade away into the mist of time. Those perfect days are forever.
  2. Told my Ops Manager that the starting next year I wanted to go half-time and he replied .... "sure, you can do whatever you want with the other 12 hours in the day".
  3. Well, it's not that earth-shaking as far as nasty notes go but here you are. At least their printing is neat.
  4. I was out flying and actually have no idea who left the note and I'm pretty sure they didn't know me either. In any case the attitude wasn't called for. I like to think most of the pilots I know would have taken the high road and been civil about it. I'd would have more respect for them if they left me a card or called later to give me a piece of their mind (with perhaps an opportunity to defend myself) but instead it was kind of a spineless way to communicate. Regardless, I will be trying to mind my gear better.
  5. To the pilot who left me the anonymous note after blowing away my 206 intake plugs today in Shearwater, B.C. I really should have done a better job securing my gear and I apologize for the hazard and any inconvenience. I’m not exactly sure how things went south. My stuff had survived plenty of traffic over the past three days without incident ... but sometimes #### happens. You will be pleased to know that I didn't actually need the 'good luck' in finding my plugs as suggested in your note but located them quickly as they were less than 10 metres away and in plain sight. I will also be f
  6. I found myself in Staples one day and discovered this handy calendar part of Day-Timer. It comes in a box with a separate pocket-sized booklet for each month of the current year. On the left side is space for notes, things to do and expense records and on the right is a daily work schedule. The work schedule doesn't exactly cover a pilot's day hour-wise but it's easy to work around. The best part is by the time your book is coffee-stained and dog-eared, you just grab a new month and your good to go again. If you worry about your smart phone's battery going dead in the middle of your work day o
  7. Been flying the 407 this summer. For those of you not familiar, it's equipped with a squat switch on the gear and records actual air time. This is what I put in the ship's log. Easy. I also make a note of my time off and my time down at the end of the flight and this figure is billed to the client and put in my personal log. When I'm loading crews hot in the field or any other activity where the machine is required to be running, that's "flight time". I will make exceptions to this if I think it's unfair to the client (really). At the end of the day the difference between the two numbers is no
  8. There are obvious limitations with respect to pilot's wrenching their helicopters in the field. The depth of my own ignorance in technical matters is vast and well documented. In my opinion the number one fix-all for most pilots should be a Sat-phone. However a good (small) kit should be essential for minor items that pop up like adjustments or repair to refuelling gear, longlines, water buckets, etc. My bag contains things too large to carry on my belt (leatherman - of course) and include multi-tip ratcheting screwdriver, 2 adjustable wrenches (large and small), 3/4 socket, lock wire, duct ta
  9. will your program curse or slap me upside the head if I get the answer wrong? It seems I learn best that way ...
  10. Most amazing and useful cockpit gadget ever devised: The Pen Pal.
  11. I've had good luck with Pelican, they make a full range of waterproof, sturdy flashlights from keychain LED's to super-bright Xenon. Fenix makes a powerful light at a reasonable price. Although I haven't seen them in person the new Leathermans would automatically get my vote. If you're going to fly an Airbus or 777, I recommend the Surefire Aviator, optimized for pilots with high disposable incomes (I'm sure it's a very good light too).
  12. So there I was, a 36 year old newbie with 15 years experience and over ten thousand hours of mostly useless fixed wing time, and a fresh rotary endorsement. Like so many others when I got my big break, I accepted readily and began sweeping, fueling, loading, washing, helping in the hangar, answering phones, etc. I did get paid a token amount but I could have worked at McD's and made more. The first thing I did was put my ego in a box and stored it in my garage. I worked without complaint, showed up early and did more than was expected. On the weekends I trained in the 206. The company
  13. In theory I would agree also ... except that I did just that many, many years ago. Uprooted my young bride and moved to a "Port", where we thrived and survived for almost 14 years. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. My darling bride "cried when she arrived there and cried harder when she left". Of course we did all this when we were young and crazy, no kids and have since moved to warmer climates ...
  14. Been married to my first wife now for over 25 years. Once at the end of a long, hot summer after five weeks in the Yukon on fires, I arrived back at base with my machine to the smiles of my wife and 7 year old son. Within half an hour of my arrival we got a call to cover for a logging support machine that was AOG a short distance away. I was the only guy on base and my bags were still packed, so off I went. My son turned to his mom and said "why did dad even bother coming home?". She stormed into the boss's office and gently explained her displeasure. He said he didn't want to send me, but tha
  15. In my family there was always a great respect paid to those that packed a wrench (my grandfather was an engineer - Regina Flying Club, 1930 - 40's) and I've had the great pleasure to work in an environment where everyone worked and played nice together. I've also worked around places where the cultural difference was so thick you could cut it with a knife ... I learned a long time ago that the simple act of cleaning up your machine after a long day on a fire or sticking around late to hold the flashlight can win the heart and mind of even the most hardened wrench.
  16. Electric socks ... ohhhh yeah. You can find them at any decent sporting goods store. A small battery (get a couple), slip those suckers on ... now you can do the hotfoot, baby! Really, they work well, not too expensive either.
  17. I am sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people in this industry are fed up with being sick and tired. I am certainly not, but I'm sick and tired of being told that I am.
  18. The koala looks like quite the ship. Was that an invitation...?
  19. I'm not trying to start a debate on which is the absolute better machine, just what you would rather fly or wrench. The 407 is fast, smooth and a great climber but I find the 350 easier operationally, Big doors, folding/removable seats, lots of baggage compartments and (for me) a more comfortable cockpit (the collective position doesn't block everything in the center console). But I like the Bell too - it's hard not to like the speed and power. So which would you rather drive to work?
  20. No, two minutes of black screen was not part of the plan. When I edited the final cut, I forgot to trim the audio portion at the end and completely overlooked it. I could have gone back and re-cut, but I am after all a pilot ... and I'm lazy, eh.
  21. Just finished this video, taken from a tour of the Yukon in '98. Filmed primarily on the Salmon River and Primrose Lake fires. Hope everyone enjoys the attempt. Currently working on an Aircrane Video ..... http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=qH-zevRIrQE
  22. Congratulations to Helimat on the successful touchdown of his new copilot/apprentice! Don't make the same mistakes I did raising mine ..... feeding him and teaching him to speak.
  23. Swissmatt, that is in fact myself, Campbell River Spit, circa 1962. The cowboy hat and sixguns slung on my hips might have suggested different career aspirations. I discovered later that flying airplanes and helicopters paid more and did not require proficiency on a shovel ....
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