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Grasshopper

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Grasshopper last won the day on March 10 2015

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  1. The saddest reality is not that 'the system' is flawed or unfair, it's that THERE IS NO SYSTEM! Major users are consistently moving the goalposts, some now requiring 2000 hours RW PIC. What was accomplished with the provincial forestry agencies in establishing, with the collaboration of HAC operator members, 'competencies' that have to be demonstrated as opposed to 'hours' requirements needs to expanded substantially. The HAC Oil & Gas Committee, comprised of predominandtly operator members, is now actively working to produce a set of competencies which, it is to be hoped, will be accepted (yes, probably over a period of time) by the major users that are currently laying down the 'rules' that are every bit as hard on operators as the they are on pilots. Their are many wise heads in the safety organizations of most of the big users, and they understand the issues, but have been handicapped by a lack of improvement from within our very own industry. It's unrealistic to expect them to initiate a solution for our problem, but they're prepared to consider anything that makes sense. There are some good thoughts for individuals in the posts above, but what we truly need is MAJOR change, not bandaids. The US airline industry overcame these issues a couple of decades back by taking the bull by the horns as HAC is doing (and you HAC detractors out there are invited to tell us who else is doing anything of the magnitude that HAC has already done and is actively doing to help the industry at large, NOT simply for the benefit of the operators).
  2. Wish you well, 'Twinnie,' but it seems like there are as many safety consultants out there now as there are pilots. Let's hope your reputation makes a difference for you.
  3. Quite right, gentlemen, and Merlin's replacement is certainly no equal, in any way but title, on top of which, he's supposed to be retiring this fall, so is hardly likely to have any vested interest in the industry's welfare.
  4. LOL. Like the rest of us - if you were that smart, you wouldn't be hanging around here.
  5. A jaded, negative attitude unworthy of serious comment.
  6. Rates quoted by trainers like the one referred to above are as high as $1500/day and rides go at $600 each. Add your (or their) travel & subsistence costs, your component time and fuel, and it can be pretty expensive. I suppose, in the end, it's all relative. As the man said, "What price do you put on safety?" My strongest recommendation is to shop as widely as you can, including getting as many testimonials as possible, and be realistic about what you REALLY need i.e. in this day and age, is it necessary to do full-on autos from every flight configuration, or is the time-honored philosophy of being able to get a crippled aircraft low and slow enough that all aboard are likely to walk away, supplemented by a few full-ons, not adequate? I'm TOTALLY in favor of as much emergency training as makes economic sense, but firmly believe that quality equipment and maintenance come first, the proverbial ounce of prevention having to be shared as wisely as possible in the budget.
  7. Don't you just love pilots' egos? - "Buy an iPad mini with ....." - "Don't go with the pad option ....." - "Get the ipad, not the mini ...." As compared to: "I've been using an ipad with foreflight for a year .... planned on buying an external gps .... after a year of use without losing receptions .... decided not to bother.' Or: "I would go with the mini. I use the full size iPad and it is a little tight in most helicopters."
  8. Methinks I detect the sounds of ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. Wake up and smell the coffee, fellas. The 'sweep' of UAVs decimating our industry may not be tomorrow, but it's on the way, and it may just be the day after. The technologies that dealt with the kind of issues raised for manned aircraft are rapidly being overtaken by better, faster ones, and they'll sweep aside the problems you correctly describe like a tide. And, while it will undoubtedly take a little longer to achieve the reliability necessary for human transport by UAV, it may well be closer beyond the horizon than we know.
  9. Anybody out west doing well this year at all? While it may not be a banner year, despite the breakthrough fire season in BC, it's been quite survivable for the prudent.
  10. And just where do the ninnies whining about First Nations' focus on money think they got it from? Try being penned up on reserves for a couple of centuries and watching while your white 'masters' show you what their world is really about, and it sure as **** isn't social progress and the milk of human kindness.
  11. We haven't had nearly as much luck with JSFirm as we have right here, and on Aero Ads.
  12. We're all 'inglorious basterds' anyway, Maury, and will meet our just rewards whether we get hauled away or not.
  13. Do you suppose Fred's 'College' has, or could get, its own on-line forum where he might find a more welcoming audience for his superior philosophy and punditry? We can but hope.
  14. Or maybe quit beating your head against the wall, Twin Helix, despite pilot5's advice. Do you really believe you can convince the Shell Oils and Spectra Energys, and even the Atco Electrics and Encanas to lower their minimum experience requirements. About as likely as Shell and BP dropping their twin engine standard, methinks. The larger helicopter operators (i.e. employers of most helicopter pilots) do most of their work for that type of client and have a difficult enough time keeping adequately staffed to do so, without finding work, and jobs, for lower time pilots. This is a sad reality much of our industry has come to grips with, but apparently not universally understood by our all-important pilot community. Like many operators, ours has, on occasion, been forced to use foreign pilots in order to keep aircraft manned with the levels of experience demanded by our clients, clients almost certainly accounting for a majority of the commercial helicopter activity in Canada. But believe me, when we can get Canadian pilots with the experience we require to satisfy our clients, we hire them, and strongly prefer doing so. Yes, there are operators out there milking the system employing foreign pilots, but don't tar the industry with the brush of what is lilkely a distinct minority.
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