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Everything posted by Jamhands

  1. Oh good, a business model built around not paying the aircrew. That sure helps us all... Brutal. No pilot, low time or otherwise should be volunteering. If you do, you are screwing us all over.
  2. I have written a letter to Hon. Jason Kenney and my MP stating my opposition to Mr. Jones' letter. I hope others will do the same as I find Fred Jones' position disgusting considering what is actually going on in the industry. I don't have a problem with TFWs filling holes that may legitimately be there but it is my personal opinion of the canadian market that there probably isn't. In fairness I don't know every detail of the industry. From what I have seen though I am willing to bet the majority of companies using the TFW program are not training Canadians to replace TFWs or working to end some of the ridiculous customer pilot minimums prevalent in the industry. 1000 hours to hop gas well leases is crazy and a company that knows how to choose good pilots and train them to do their job should be able to send a guy or girl of flight school to do it safely. But I'm getting side tracked. TFWs are a quick and cheap solution that only benefit the operators, not the workers, not the aspiring hard working Canadians and not the industry as a whole.
  3. To this I have the same response to anyone who makes that statement including my own mother. "The only way my job is dangerous is if I'm not doing it properly" That can include saying no and just not doing it. Also part of my job.
  4. On further research fishtail air's own website states Moro was the pilot. Sorry for adding confusion.
  5. According to a pprune forum regular flying in Nepal with same company, Pilot of rescue flight was Maurizio Folini. (Mentioned in the article linked above)
  6. So I'll take the bait, apparently it's all tall order to ask for a bit of helpful advice here anymore. Pretty green in the heli-ski world myself but seeing as its all fresh ill share what I've learned as I'm eternally grateful to those that have been helping me out lately: -learn your area inside and out, make mental and GPS (in that order) landmarks of bad weather routes and your outs to fuel caches, lodges or pickups. The weather WILL get bad and having a mental map in your head goes a long way. -make approaches with options to break off and try again. 3 strikes is a good rule, after 3 tries and you don't feel comfortable find another option. -be part of the team, listen at guides meetings and ask questions. Same as any job, if you know the ins and outs of the operation you're supporting it'll make your life easier. -don't lose your reference no matter what. Use your flag, rock, tree or whatever. As long as you have something other than snow to look at when you're landing. Otherwise just pay attention to wind and stay ahead of the helicopter in your head, again just like any other job. Most of all limit your food intake, it comes fast and delicious all day. Im sure theres a lot more hints and tricks out there but as stated this is not advice from an expert but better than answering a question with a question.
  7. It seems clear that the WG proposal is not suited to VFR helicopter work and thus we should all appreciate the work being done to voice our concern. I didn't get the impression from the survey or from discussion here that we are choosing to remain at the status quo, but that we cannot accept regulations suited for one facet of the industry. Thats why I signed the petition.
  8. Apologies to rotorspeed. Green Arc is the one that should be doing his own homework when it comes to statistics.
  9. Rotorspeed, "nearly 90% of all new commercially licensed helicopter pilots never find gainful employment in the industry in Canada" I have an especially hard time believing this statistic and it doesn't come as a surprise that although you are quoting it, you can't back it up. I have personnaly seen Richard and Paul's records that track the hiring rate out of the school and it isn't BS. If you want to state statistics, maybe you should do your research and find out if they are in fact true before trying to support your argument. Asking the rest of the forum to do your homework for you is not a good way to make an argument. Somehow I don't think anyone will be taking you up on your offer to have them look up your statistic for you. As a bit of background to my opinions here, I graduated from a class of 9 students pursuing commercial licenses at MVH, we were all given a huge leg up by MVH and currently 7 of them are working in the industry for 5 years with experience levels ranging from 1500 - 2500 hours including myself. I don't know much about the US system or the industry so I'll try not to comment on what's better. You however, seem to have extensive knowledge of the US helicopter industry which is great for providing insight to those on this forum that are interested in the US. You also seem to have a pretty good bead on what's happening up here. What is your background in regards to the Canadian industry? Have you worked for any Canadian operators? Tours in Canada? If so, for how long? When? Might give someone reading this for information some good background. Our industry is far from perfect and it is a continuous battle for many operators and pilots to fill the gap in experience levels to the challenging flying here. Perhaps the US system is better for developing pilots, maybe it isn't. I don't have all the facts to make a judgement call on that one. But I do know that north of the border, MVH is one operation that does there absolute best to help deserving low time pilots make there way in the industry. IMHO I feel it's ignorant to refer to that operation as a puppy mill. Everyone is free to choose where they spend there money when it comes to flight training, ab initio or IFR/Night. I think the most sound advice is do your own homework on the people you're giving your money to, and make a judgement call on where the best bang for your buck will be. If someone chooses to do their training on an N registered aircraft that is their choice. However, if someone's goal is to work in Canada, it would seem obvious to me to choose a school with experience working in Canada, with contacts to operators in Canada, and a proven track record in getting students work. I am certain there are several schools that can boast that over any operator from the US. It's simply regional knowlege and networks. Ultimately, flight training is expensive, and again, it's my opinion that people make informed decisions, get some FACTS, and choose what will give you the upper hand when looking for work. You do get what you pay for. G
  10. Non-heli related tid bit regarding ipads in the cockpit...According to my old man at Air Canada they are phasing in Ipads as electronic flight bags starting with the A320 fleet. Currently the 777 fleet has been a "paperless cockpit" since day one at AC albeit a factory installation. Hopefully we won't be too far behind the fixed wing world, if AC can figure it out, garaunteed it can't be that complicated... A VNC on an Ipad sounds awesome to me, still would carry paper copies myself though.
  11. One of the gripes I have with this whole scenario is in fact what the flight manual's procedures are. To summarize it states: If oil pressure is low or nil....apply autorotational procedure. This "autorotation procedure" can be found on a previous page (which is not specified in the Oil Pressure loss section BTW) under the heading of "Engine Flame Out In Cruise Flight" Apparently one is supposed to assume this is the procedure they intend you to perform. Item # 3 in the list of appropriate actions is "Twist Grip to shut off detent" This is clearly a description of an engine failure as the title indicates and not specific to a loss of oil pressure. I guess the point I'm making is that by the letter of the flight manual, one has to make an assumption about what the proper procedure is. I had noticed this earlier and made my own mental adjustment to the loss of oil pressure reaction. Until of course I read the service letter. The first thought in my head then was, am I the only that thinks that's a really bad idea? In regards to what legal reprecussions a pilot may face, I wonder if the ambiguity within the flight manual is trumped by the service letter. As far as I'm concerned one could argue the flight manual leaves some room for interpretation. The last point is more out of curiosity because in reality, as several others have mentioned, this probably would not cross mind. I would not be shutting the engine down unless there was an indication of a fire. Anyway, great response to the original post. Happy to have so many useful opinions on an interesting topic.
  12. Company received a service letter from Eurocopter pertaining to an incident involving a loss of engine oil pressure in an EC 120 in flight. (See Below) The point of the letter was to reiterate the flight manual's procedure for a loss of oil pressure in flight. This simply states the pilot should apply the autorotational procedure described for an ENGINE FLAME OUT which includes rolling the throttle to the shut off detent. Any ambiguity about whether a loss of oil pressure should be taken slightly differently than a loss of oil pressure has been straightened out by this service letter from Eurocopter and IMHO they are two very different scenarios. It has always been clear in my head that in the case of a loss of engine oil pressure, entering autorotation and landing immediately is obvious but shutting down a running engine seems like a poor choice. I for one would take my chances and take advantage of any power said engine might produce at the end rather than shut it down pre-emptively. Thoughts? S;arnnN SERVICE LETTER To the attention of maintenance and flight personnel CUSTOMER SUPPORT AND SALES DIVISION 40220 Tarnos - France Tel, (33)(0)5s9744000 Telex 570 042 Fax (33) (0) 5 59 64 74 98 Technical Support Department Fax (33) (0) 5 59 74 45 34 JSV/CD/ML Service Letter No. 281 8/1 1/ARRIUS2F Subject: ARRIUS 2 F Uncommanded in-flight shut-down following illumination of engine Low Oil Pressure warning Iight. Bordes, August 22,2011 Dear Sir or Madam, This Service Letter contains the findings of investigations conducted following an uncommanded in-flight shuldown that occurred on an ARRIUS 2F engine in August 2010 during the final phase of landing. During a commercial flight, the pilot heard an audio warning signal and noticed the illumination of the red low oil pressure "ENG P" warning light. The pilot confirmed an oil pressure level of 0.1 bar on the VEMD and initiated an autorotation procedure while keeping the engine lever in the "flight" detent. Then the engine shut-down occurred during flare, during the final phase of landing. The pilot performed autorotation with no additional consequence. This engine shut-down was caused by damage to the Gas Generator front bearing which resulted in rotating assembly seizure. The bearing was examined and it was determined that the bearing damage was due to a loss of lubrication. Further investigations conducted on the engine did not reveal the cause of the loss of lubrication to be found. The purpose of this Service Letter is to remind you that, following illumination of the "ENG P" warning light, the EUROCOPTER EC120 B Flight Manual requires immediate initiation of the autorotation procedure as soon as the engine oil pressure level is confirmed as low or nil. This autorotation procedure necessitates engine shut-down. This requirement is related to the velocity and extent of the engine damage once lubrication is interrupted. Please contact us if you require further information or assistance. J-S. VIGNES Technical Support Department SIEGE SOCIAL ET DIRECTION GENEMLE : 645'11 Bordes Cedex - France 16l. (33) 5 59 12 50 00 -Telex 560 928 - Fax (33) 5 59 53 15 12 Brevets Szydlowski - TURBOMECA Soci6t6 Anonyme au capital de 38.553.056 Eu.os - Registre du Commerce et des Soci6tes Pau B 338 481 955
  13. Agreed. Thanks Pilot 5 for being a complete dink to a guy who set out to find out how to solve the problems that you yourself have suffered. I hate the fact that I may have to work with customers with on a chip on their shoulder against pilots after reading the things you say on here.
  14. In my understanding of unions, especially pilot unions, the intent is to represent pilots as a group and negotiate labour contracts with the management of the company they work for. Now I apologize for another "my old man says..." story, but being the son of an airline pilot I've been force fed a lot of the union doctrine. What I've determined, is that it polarizes the entired company into an us vs. them scenario which at the end of the day seems to hurt everybody. Furthermore, ASRD is not the management of a company we work for. They are a customer, and as a customer, does it not mean if they don't like the job you're doing, they shouldn't have to use you. However, they do NEED to use helicopters so it is their interest as Rocksteady pointed out to keep us happy and safe. I don't claim to be very experienced in this industry with just four years involved, but the logic behind a union representing pilots to customers doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. How do you prevent entire companies from obstaining from the union and disregarding the union or associations decisions and going to work while everyone else is parked? To me the nature of our business doesnt lend itself to a pilot's or engineer's union but to an association of companies to highlight our concerns. Which as it turns out we do have, so perhaps more energy should be given to that. More importantly, as a helicopter pilot you are the sole representative of the company in many cases and in charge of the flying you do, so a lot of the responsibility lies with the individual to turn down unsafe work. Am I being naieve and too simplistic here?
  15. "In some situations it is OK to run from your helicopter, but never run to your helicopter. Slow down because some day you are going to forget something that will make you look like an *** or worse." Rush up -> #### up Some of the best advice from my first employer. My tidbit of advice for new pilots especially if you're young or look young when faced with sceptical pax (I am well experienced in this department) is give a detailed and accurate pax briefing and make sure the ship looks good. Before they hop in it's just about the only way you can prove you know what you're doing. On that note if you legitimately don't know what you're doing, say something.
  16. I don't know much about fighting fire as I'm pretty green to it however I did watch ASRD throw everything they had at the fire south west of town and subsequently move everything to the second fire South East for a day and half during winds of up to 100 km/h yesterday. The second fire that started within 5 miles of the townsite is what burnt half the townsite to the ground. Not sure about ignorant but there was no lack of effort from what I saw. Watching the town be incinerated from the air was very disturbing. Slave Lake is devastated and I think all of the residents respect the efforts of everyone involved. I must add the efforts of everyone in Athabasca and all the surrounding commnunities has also been amazing. Good luck and many thanks to everyone still involved in this disaster. GA
  17. Two fires within 10 Miles of town of Slave Lake. Communities to the East of the town are being evacuated and watching quite an airshow from the deck of the crew house here.
  18. I was also completely unaware of the proposed changes taking place in regards to FDT. Maybe I'm living under a rock (or in camp) but I do think it's pretty important because if changes are made they WILL affect all of us. It's clear we need some kind voice and HAC may be doing a great job attempting to do that but let's face it, working against some of the biggest unions in the country like ACPA isn't going to be easy if that is in fact the challenge. So a broader unified voice could go a long way. There's been some good debate about whether the changes are good for us or not but I think many of us are nervous about expressing our opinions here. I believe to have an effect, as a group, the helicopter industry needs to keep expressing our concerns, and the more people involved the better. Maybe the site organizers could set up a yes or no poll on the site to test the waters as to what a larger scope of the industry need. Obviously the issue is deeper than that and internet polls are flawed but this could be a good way to get the ball rolling.
  19. Glad I'm not the only one that thought this.
  20. Working in Northern Alberta. Signed on to be a pilot/operator to keep working when things started slowing down at my previous job. Been in the industry for 3 years but current salary is based on being an operator and not neccessarily a pilot so I don't know if I can properly answer the second part of your question.
  21. I tend to think the only cool part about Edmonton is the fact that they have an airport downtown. What really drives me nuts about the whole thing is driving around the Chuck seeing billboards about how I should "beat the Calgary habit" and fly out of YEG. Maybe if they had kept the Muni open to commercial traffic instead of making everyone drive 50 mins out of town I might consider it! You're already 1/3 of the way to Calgary by the time you get to YEG anyway. More importantly, anyone know what the plan is for all the medevac traffic in and out of there. Is being flown into Leduc really that much better than whatever backwater you had to be airlifted out of??
  22. Peeling and orange if you are sitting and waiting deters some bugs and usually you end up with orange juice on your hands which they don't like either. But in my experience peeling a banana tends to attract them. In my tree planting days I found using little or no shampoo at the end of the day also makes you less of a target but for some not living in camp that may not be a viable option. Otherwise, stay in wind, and keep moving. Nowadays I'm pilot/operating and call me crazy but I think my grubby coveralls splashed with lube oil, bitumen and chemical tends to keep them away. Mind you deet might be healthier than that method.
  23. Big pat on the back to the crew of this story. I've often worried/wondered about the outcome of any kind of emergency while doing Night VFR over the city during the few months I was doing it. Large dark fields often left me wondering if that would really be a good idea due the mentioned power lines and light posts. Even with the odd wide open spaces within the city the urban pilot (and the bush pilot for that matter) are still left with very few options. The best mitigation of risk I was ever able to come up with was to maintain sufficient height AGL to give the most options. (not trying to indicate this solves all your problems though) I realize that's what almost every pilot will tell you is a given for any flying day or night but this story brings up a concern I've often had witnessing the policing operations a few 100 kms to the south of where this incident took place. I understand the Police have a job to do that requires them to sacrifice the cushion of decent altitude but this is a prime example that ANY helicopter, Police or civilian are subject to the same rules and risks. As a fellow single engine Night VFR pilot the thought often crossed my mind while watching the 120 fly over my house at less than 500 feet at 2 AM what would happen if things took a turn for the worse. There are a lot of people down below and that's why us non police pilots are required to maintain 1000 feet AGL to protect the population. Again I commend the crew for a job well done but maybe one should use this as a wake up call that anything can happen and a little more margin for error is sometimes worth the inconvenience to the mission. Just some food for thought. G
  24. Mountainview Helicopters Flight School in Springbank AB does not charge for ground school under the following conditions: 1. you do your flight training with them. 2. you do the ground school in the class format with the other students and not one on one with an instructor. The ground school costs are covered in the hourly cost of the helicopter. The Classroom course runs 3 times a year. Next class would be starting around Jan 15. Runs Monday to Thursday 8:00 - 12:00. Takes 4 - 6 weeks to complete the 80 hours for commercial so the 40 hours for Private license would be a week or two less. Extra ground school carried out one on one with an instructor costs 40 $ an hour. Keep in mind that you cannot write the written exam until you have completed 50% of the flight time required for the license your are writing for. Meaning if you do the ground school too far ahead of when you do your flying, it can be a challenge to remember everything for that long. Cheers.
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