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Phil Croucher

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Posts posted by Phil Croucher

  1. Please don't shout, it hurts my ears! :)


    Don't think of Aerogulf unless you have a 139 rating, Abu Dhabi aviation might be a good place to start but you have to go through their website, Falcon in Abu Dhabi might be worth a try and then there's Gulf in Qatar. A couple of thousand hours would be nice with an IR, ATPL preferred, but a couple of those companies hire copilots. Aerogulf do not.



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  2. "Dr. Belenky was asked point-blank if a pilot could work a 14-hr duty day indefinitely as long as he had opportunity for 8 hours of sleep each night. He was unequivocal in his response - "yes" he said."


    Well, doctor or not, he is talking out of his proverbial. Chronic fatigue is a mental thing - you can have 21 days of exactly the same sleep, in the same bed with the same breakfast, crappy Alberta Fire Service lunch on the same fire, but you will still never want to see a helicopter again for the rest of your life - that is not a good position from which to go flying!


    And believe me, you want to keep as far away from EASA as possible! :) A lot of their rules came from the UK, and the document that set UK's rules up was written under the aegis of Douglas Bader who hadn't the slightest clue about commercial operations.


    I still maintain what I said in my previous post - aside from making sure you do get the days off you anticipate, the Canadian system works reasonably well for the type of place it is, and the type of people in it doing the work they have to do. It's a credit to those people that fatigue accidents are relatively few (at least, I don't hear of them in my present location).



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  3. "If on the other hand you are over 40... you are too old to adapt to the new glass cockpit technology and it is beyond your learning ability and ceratonin levels...( "




    I'm teaching it here to students between 21 and 55!


    All the old dogs :) at Aerogulf transitioned with little trouble directly from the 212 to the 139. You just have to learn to declutter (assuming yu know what you are looking for in the first place) otherwise it's just another helicopter with the proper training (don't go to Agusta).


    If you need a brush up I have a book called Avionics in plain English that should help.


    The real difference between the VFR and IFR world is the paperwork and sticking to it - knowing that the old girl will lift another 100 lbs with 10 kts of wind doesn't cut it when the paperwork has to look right. MCC is just learning how to work with people you wouldn't normally go to the pub with! :)



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  4. "So what are you saying? If a guy makes a mistake he instantly looses all credibility? Or is it a progressive thing depending on the severity of the mistake?

    Additionally, I guess that means you have never made any mistakes, or have you?"


    Of course I've made mistakes - we all have, and the advice I give to people (as a registered consultant) is better because of them. The problem is that the word "consultant" is all too often synonymous with the words "otherwise unemployable".


    And I'm not saying that one mistake loses all credibility, but that was just one example, and the stuff that he came up with was still nonsense (and running out of fuel in flight is a biggie). Another one who was involved with a company I worked for had clearly not read the 206 flight manual and yet was trying to tell us how to run the company (because if he hadn't read that, what else hadn't he read?) THEY ARE THERE AS ADVISERS and often do not provide very good advice at that. Outside of Canada, there were a bunch of Shell guys who were extremely critical of a comapny I was with who hadn't had and accident in 34 years - a record that is better than an airline! You'd think they'd be able to figure out that the Company kind of knew what they were doing, wouldn't you? :)


    And when the customer's "aviation representative" with whom he "consults" is someone who has had 50 hours on fast jets in the military you have a potential for even more nonsense.


    Wasn't there somebody some time ago who tried to get everyone on the oil patch in some sort of uniform? Concentrating on trivia rather than the essentials! I rest my case.


    End of rant!



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  5. "Most of us have flown in weather less than 1/2 mile on numerous occasions and probably have stories on how poor it was, some we tell, some we keep to ourselves."


    Too right - I have hauled broken motorcyclists off a track in hill fog and it ain't fun. Even had my skids on the ground and hopped over fences (in the miltary). This is why my personal limit is now based on speed - if I don't like what I see at 60 knots, that's when I start thinking of canning it. This is based on the fact that the stabilisation surfaces of mst helicopters don't kick in until 45 knots (76 in the Dauphin!). That gives me a comfortable margin over that. Aside from that I can't measure distance well from the cockpit! :)



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  6. As SARblade says, twin time is important (at least a twin rating!) and the IR. Personally I would do the Canadian one because that includes the ADF. The FAA don't use it. If you are thinking of going round the world, where the ADF is used, you won't have to start learning anything in a hurry. Outside the US, the oil companies tend to like JAA/EASA licence because of the perceived in-depth knowledge and the EASA IR generally is done on a twin . In some countries you have to get the JAA/EASA licence anyway (Mauretania, etc), or their authorities have gone to that standard (UAE with CAR OPS).

    The Canadian IR will give you the best option for conversion.


    Given that the average age offshore is so high (57 in the GOM I'm told) by definition there will be a lot of retirements over the next 3-5 years. A good time to get started.




    PS - another tip - before you atart your IR course, treat yourself to at least 60 hours of seriously accurate flying so that it becomes second nature. Not the usual VFR sloppiness! :) I used to practice tracking with the NDB at Rainbow Lake (if your machine doesn't have one, the indicators on a garmin GPS work in the same sense).

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  7. Fred, in Uk it is also 800 max flying hours per year, and it is even tied down per day, depending on what time of day you start. On average it is 10 hours maximum duty hours per day, with 7 flying hours within that. The original rules were mostly written by Douglas Bader and a committee who had very little idea of what commercial operations were all about.


    Having flown in both jurisdictions, I must say that I am impressed with how there very few accidents related to fatigue in Canada, given that you can do 42 days - it is obviously left to the common sense of pilots. And of course, the summer months are often the only times you can make a living, so there has to be a nod to that, and some of the other peculiar conditions in Canada (remote places, etc).


    Where I think that TC should concentrate any efforts is that, where you get a day off, it should be sacrosanct - it shouldn't just mean "a day not flying". Part of the benefit of a day off is knowing you're going to get one, and that allows you to handle a lot more pressure than normal, and when you get there and find you now have to drive 4 hours to Winnipeg (and back) to pick up spares, you are not a happy bunny. It is just not on. Also, after a 14-hour day, you should just be allowed to stop, rather than "demonstrate your character" by stacking all the equipment for another 2 hours.


    When you're on a camp and away from home without all your home comforts, you may as well work - I find I get more fatigued if I'm just sitting around. And what about crop spraying? Instead of spreading out in a nice comfortable tent on a warm summer's night and actually getting 6-8 hours' sleep, they would rather you drove 2 hours over crap roads to a roach hotel, get only 2 hours' sleep and drive back again. This should be left to common sense as well.


    I think the present system works substantially well - it just needs a little tweak here and there.



  8. "Having been on the bad side of a lawsuit by someone who was just after a money grab I can only say: I hate lawyers, especially the scummy ones."


    LOL! :) One of those tried that here. Not only did he not realise that there's a 60-day limit on serving someone, he applied a scattergun approach and sued everyone at once where they should have been sued in a particular order. He then blinked first and settled for such a low sum after writing himself out of any future prosecutions in his proposal. The only reason we gave him any money at all was to get it sorted before he realised, as he hadn't a leg to stand on - it was just a money grab. As a lawyer he makes a pretty good plumber. I hope his piloting skills are better.


    The best advice I can give any one here is don't go to law if you can possibly help it, because you might end up with someone like him representing you (the fact that someone appoints themself to a position does not mean to say they know what they are doing).


    Somebody previously mentioned that you should fly as if you were in front of a jury - that's good advice. Remember that one definition of a jury is twelve people not smart enough to get out of it (yeah, cynical, I know), and you may have to explain your actions to them one day.



  9. Hybrid - good for you for thinking that way!


    "Maybe some companies would stand behind you, maybe some wouldn't ?"


    And there's the problem. I had another incident when I was at Remote in 2003, where I was picking up a crew just at first light and the usual landing site was right next to the radio antenna and full of cables, so I elected to land in another spot and the poor customer had to walk 100 metres with a suitcase. There was much jumping up and down and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I essentially said if he didn't like it he could walk home, as I have a right not to be abused in my workplace.


    His crew boss supported me, as did Al Ascah (Safety Manager - "1000%") and Doug McArthur (Chief Pilot), but the Ops Manager whose name escapes me, didn't. Support was also significantly absent from him when a customer complained that one female pilot had to be replaced because she wasn't as well built as the other one. And was stupid enough to put that down on paper. The fact that she refused to take a heavy helicopter out of a hot hole apparently didn't signify.


    I can only pass on my own experience - to you newer guys it's a scary thing to say No to somebody, but it comes back much in a more positive way much later in your career. I have been removed from jobs because I wouldn't keep the engine running while I refuelled the machine by myself, with nobody at the controls, I have refused attempts by Niagara Helicopters to put 11 passengers in my 407 (babes in arms etc), and I have refused many times to take passengers who wouldn't wear a shoulder strap. I even had someone complain that I took them round 20 compressor sites by map reading and working out the headings in my head rather than using the GPS, yet I am still working, and am still being offered slots, presumably because of those qualities.


    You guys also have something that we didn't have, the SMS and what in Europe is called Health & Safety. The need for what is politely called a strong personality has reduced a little, but you still can't be a shrinking violet in this game. I am all for being a little anti-authority as it helps protect you against such situations.


    Being a Captain (as opposed to just a pilot) is an internal process, and until you think you are a Captain, and make the appropriate decisions, nobody else will.


    Good luck!



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  10. How times change. I remember a stand up argument with some idiot manager in Northern Mountain because I refused to take off when a passenger wanted not to wear his shoulder strap. Back then, by carefully reading various paragraphs in CARS you could argue that there was no legal requirement to use a shoulder strap, and the company's attitude was that their lawyers were smarter than any that the customers could drag up. I have no doubt that I, and any other pilot in the same position, would have been hung up and left out to dry had anything happened.



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  11. Just ask Cougar - they've been at it a couple of years now. The big problem I find is searching for text in large documents in a hurry, and indexing but I guess AC have looked into that.


    Change - it would appear that build is for the AT & T version of the Note - mine is the N7000 international version so I guess I'll have to wait a bit....



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