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Heliduck last won the day on March 23

Heliduck had the most liked content!

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About Heliduck

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  1. I’d appreciate some feedback on what the industry average rates are for a contract engineer. My situation is that although I’m not able to sign off on the maintenance carried out in the journey log on the particular machines I’m fixing (DOM does that) I’m also a line pilot on 1 of the machines. (Yes, that does mean I’m lucky enough to be fixing things when the other pilots are sitting around, lucky me.) Is the standard a day rate or an hourly rate, & how much?
  2. Heliduck

    The job field

    There’s no shortcuts to gaining experience, so if you want to sidestep sweeping the hangar floor you could try focussing on a full time accounting job with a company & hope to get a few flights occasionally as opposed to a full time flying job & doing accounting on the side. Eventually you’ll have enough time & might be able to shuffle onto the flight line. Whatever you do, don’t run the budget on what it will cost you financially to leave a well paid professional occupation & chase flying, it will demoralise you. If you really want to do it then go for it, by the time you have invested enough to get your licence you’ll have a lot more information on which to base your decision on.
  3. Haha!! Good pick up, at least I’d have some firewood with me at all times!
  4. Maybe mine were a size too big, I had black bunny boots & always had cold toes!
  5. Cabelas snow suit - toasty warm at minus 30 in a 40 knot wind, too hot above minus 10 though. i had bunny boots but my toes were always burning, I have Baffin boots with the inserts now so I’ll see how that goes. I second the thin wooden gloves under leather to keep the fingers warm, but I’ve never found a solution for keeping warm fingers & maintain the ability to use radio switches etc.
  6. What about renting a small digger for the weekend to dig a hole at home, I pay for the whole day but I only have it running for a few hours so maybe the government should regulate that as well. I know, instead of unlimited klms for a hire car why doesn’t the government make sure I’m only charged for the klms I drive? I had an electrician around last weekend & I saw him talking on the phone about another job, damned government shouldn’t allow him to charge me For the whole hour while he’s on the phone to someone else. sarcastic comments as I am a passionate believer that as soon as you get the regulators involved in what clients are invoiced the whole industry is doomed. It’s up to me to check how much the electrician charged me vs how long he was on the job for & argue my case if I’m not happy, not the government. Likewise if a company charges twice as many hours for a helicopter than it actually flew it’s up to the representative who signs the flight ticket to ensure its correct. If they are happy to pay twice as much as the machine flew then so be it, they’re responsible for their budget, not the Operator. Continued abuse of this trust would no doubt see the operator sitting on the bench while everyone else got the work, so honesty pays off in the end. If Blakmac wants the government involved in everything I’d suggest he would me more comfortable in China. I keep repeating myself - time in service is regulated as it is an airworthiness requirement from the manufacturer which the regulator has passed into law, there are no options but to comply. How businesses structure their invoicing is between the customer(buyer beware) & the business.
  7. So if your on 4 hour minimums & only fly 1 hour you can’t invoice 4 hours? Invoices are not legislated, aircraft & pilot flight times are. The tech log, pilots log book & journey log should all match perfectly, invoicing is irrelevant. The question is which time does a pilot enter into their logbook, & after 65 pages I’m still no wiser. I guess I’ll just put in whatever time the Chief Pilot of the company says to & leave it at that.
  8. With the invoice. Flight time, duty time, engine time, air time, lunch time....... none of them have any relevance to what you invoice a client.
  9. Heliduck

    Pilots leaving the industry

    I’m biased I guess, having the technology didn’t help them until the Canadians showed them how to do it!
  10. Heliduck

    Pilots leaving the industry

    Bang on JL! Most small businesses, helicopter operators included, would charge as much as they possibly could if the market would pay. It doesn’t make sense to price fix a low price, the whole concept of price fixing is to have a high price. Now for a bit of a rant - OPEC is the Middle East oil producers union which had a lot of bargaining power pre-GFC so the oil price was high which led to a lot of investment & the helicopter industry in Canada exploded. Since the fracking technology developed by Canadians was exported to the US, the US has become self reliant with oil production so OPEC have lost all their bargaining power, their income has dropped, & so has the income of everyone else who relies on oil for an income. In hindsight the best outcome would have been to patent the fracking technology in Canada & restrict its use, then the US wouldn’t be self sufficient & we’d all be rolling in loonies. Unfortunately most of the companies in Canada at the time were global entities owned in the US so they had all the cards. The state of the industry & pilots income is not related to whether or not Helicopter operators are a@$#holes, or price fixing, or in a conspiracy to keep pilots in poverty; we are a pawn in a global economy & the people playing the game don’t care if we survive or not, they have their own income to worry about. Remember the golden rule - he who has the gold makes the rules. As a pilot we’re along for the ride, & when employed by a small business struggling to survive we’re either part of the solution or part of the problem. I know, it sucks right?
  11. Heliduck

    Pilots leaving the industry

    I guess some people are suited to small business & some people are suited to government departments. Most helicopter operators are small businesses. Personally I take positions with companies who are looking to exploit my strengths, not my weaknesses.
  12. Heliduck

    Pilots leaving the industry

    Recruit for attitude, train for experience.
  13. CVR, dashcams & HUMS can have the same effect as the policeman sitting on the side of the road with a radar - if you know the policeman is there you tend to obey the speed limit. Generally the risk of receiving a penalty or disciplinary action is more of a deterrent to operating outside of a procedure than is the possibility of an accident as people generally think that an accident won’t happen to them, that’s why we keep having accidents. With the reliability of modern helicopters accidents/incidents are mostly due to pilot error so maybe as we transition to fully automated helicopters over the next few decades we’ll go through a period where the the cockpit will be plastered with “big brother” dash cams, recorders & alarms. Pretty simple in an A-star to connect a hydraulic pressure sensor to satellite tracking & send an alert to the Chief Pilot whenever the pressure increases to the maximum system pressure(servo transparency). How much hot dogging would go on if every pilot knew that the Chief Pilot would be waiting on the apron for them with their hands on their hips when they got back to base? Most machines these days have phones, I’m sure I’d rather take it easy than have the phone ring & the big boss asking me WTF I am doing! a comment on this incident - 141 knots down to impact in 3 seconds & everyone walked away, wow.
  14. My comments aren’t related to this particular incident but procedures aren’t worth the paper their printed on if people don’t follow them, & as long as there are VFR pilots in the bush there will be the occasional “hot dogging”. You’re right about the ELT, by the time it is required to operate it’s too late but the CVR information can be used to develop more robust/relevant procedures. Heli500 - We’ve had a 406 not activate after an incident severe enough to total the machine, luckily another machine was close by.
  15. Heliduck

    Pilots leaving the industry

    I understand that the comparison between a pilot & an electrician was just an example of a neighbours experience, but as far as the job description goes that’s like comparing a fisherman to an accountant, totally unrelated. I have the benefit of choice, I’m qualified in aviation & Mining & often move between the 2 as my personal circumstances dictate. I can do that because I became trade qualified & used it to earn an income to pay for my pilots licence. At times I choose to leave the higher income of mining & go back to flying because I love it, I leave flying & go back to Mining because I need the money. I envy those who can stay in flying & survive financially, I don’t envy those who have no other skills/qualifications outside of flying. You can compare yourself to an electrician, or you can become an electrician. The choice is yours.