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Posts posted by pilot5

  1. The article was written base on an hour long interview. The reporter has been writing stories weekly on past highschool graduates from my hometown in order to try and motivate future generations. The town I come from generates alot of kids who do not want to pursue any sort of a career after highschool. For someone not in the flying community such as the reporter I believe it is almost impossible to write a story and get every fact straight. For someone who knows nothing about the industry I think she did a good job at summarizing it. At the end of the day this was a reporter who was trying to motivate the youth to pursue their goals. Enjoy the summer everyone. Patrick

  2. Words cannot describe the feelings of both anger and sadness at this time with news of yet another fallen friend. The pilot in question was only in his 30's with a new born child at home, sure he would have been a great dad ,a tragic loss. My heartfelt condolences to his family in this great time of loss. Gods speed friend.



    Please everyone, be careful out there, as rewarding as a career can be ,this helicopter flying thing is potentially dangerous. Be on your guard all the time and take extra care all the time. Take extra time with daily inspections, checking weather, slow down and take inventory of all the potential risks before strapping in and going. Take nothing for granted. I sincerely hope that everyone stays safe this summer please.



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    A bit of good, a bit of bad...It's nice to see specific reference to the challenges facing new pilots, hopefully someone reads between the lines and it leads to a dialogue on how to get more experience for low-time guys/girls.


    I don't think it's very realistic to think that the industry will ever be able to ween it's self entirely from foreign labour, nor do I think it's necessarily a desirable long-term objective...the real challenge is finding the right balance. If moves are made to develop "new pilot-friendly" programs, the industry will still very much need supplemental labour until the program has a chance to work it's way through.


    Unfortunately, such a project would (I suspect) play out like highway improvements...build today to accomodate the demands of 5 years ago.


    Either way, good on Fred et al for at least keeping our industry on the radar of the government.



    HAC- Owners club!


    I would have written something to this effect..


    Dear Mr. Kenny


    Industry stake holders have been burdened by a serious shortage of experience well trained Canadian helicopter pilots . This is due to the present day client and insurance requirements and ever decreasing margins and lack of foresight by senior managers of some stakeholders in past decades. Unfortunately instead of being able to hire inexperienced Canadians and train them on the job, industry takes the economical path to outsource in foreign juristctions and by doing so for the last decade has created an increasing dependency and subsequent shortage of Canadian experience commercial helicopter pilots. Today there exists an enormous gap between what is required and what is available from the current Canadian Labour force. Unfortunately this problem is in part due to substandard training requirements and criteria demanded by TC Canada in terms of management training to assist those with decision making authority acting on behalf of operators and stake holders to assure full compliance with both federal and provincial laws. All to often it is far less expensive to hire a foreign pilot and subvert the rules than to hire and train a young Canadian .


    It would be in the interests of all Canadians and to the benefit of Canadian workers and families to end this dependence on foreign workers in this very small skilled profession by visiting the existing Canadian Action plan and job training incentives to assist operators to hire and train young Canadians. and once and for all put the jobs back into the hands of Canadians. I look forward to working with you and your colleagues to find a solution to put an end to an over dependence on foreign workers.



    Or something like that........



    Jones is an air head! Playing it up for the owners club and not representing the Canadian crews or the best interest of all industry stake holders and demonstrate some foresight and find a long term solution ..."LONG TERM" Total Lack of leadership...but then agin for the most part he is put in place as a puppet of the owners club so I really don't expect anything more...


    Same old same old....!. Blaaaaaa


    Several valid points in all previous posts. All point to the same systemic problem...





  4. Always nice to read your positive insightful point of view P5. Not sure why your aviation experience was so traumatic, but have a pretty good idea. By the way if you are going to try and impress us with your intellect and huge vocabulary, try spelling "disingenuous" correctly.


    Not that the system is by any means perfect and couldn't use some improvement, but ultimately fate is in your own hands breaking into the industry. The point is that there will be a lot more sacrifices after dropping your 60K + for a license, it really is the easiest part of the journey. Expect to put a minimum of 1-5 years on the ground learning the operational aspect of the job and don't look at it as complete waste of your time. Its an opportunity to learn maintaining a helicopter, equipment and how the industry functions. If you truly feel that you are being taken advantage of, then leave. You always have that option!


    If a person truly wants to be a commercial helicopter pilot, do your homework before spending your hard earned money. A highly experienced instructor once told me that you have a less than a 15% chance of finding a flying job, he later told me he actually thought it was less than 15%. With those odds, the competition is going to be fierce. It can be a long hard struggle to get there. If you are not prepared to put in the time and effort required, don't drop your hard earned cash. If you are still determined to do it, then chances are it will be a long hard road. There are exceptions, some pilots get lucky and everything falls into place, but it is rare.

    Sorry for the SP error- just trying to say like it is without any fluff! Am I sorry, sometimes- but Im not going to throw my self out the window and roll in dog shiit! Do I regret getting into the industry - NO- because without the experience I wouldn't know how to detect the warning signs of the type of person or manager that I would never work for no matter how desperate or poor I was.


    Like anything else the industry is changing and the most of the old crusty arsholes that hold or held positions of power are slowly fading into retirement- No names. My only hope is that they are not replaced by more of the same...and that the industry develops more along the lines of professional behaviour, and with a little more integrity- sure it will never be perfect but one can only hope...



  5. Line worker wrote:


    "Just work hard, water off a duck's back and all that. IF you get screwed somehow, as Whitestone and his alternate profiles believe you will, (sorry, couldn't help it), just move on, always forwards and keep working hard."


    So just a little confused here? Are you suggesting that Whitestone has many profiles thereby limiting the amount of "complainers" or those that have been "screwed" and all complaints are only comming from one contributer vs many? If so, well there is a serious issue of willfull blindness blindness here on your part and disengenious thinking?? Maybe it's just a wording issue?? Then again we tend to percieve things based on what we "want" to believe vs the often unpleasent truth and fact.This inhibits change and improvement.


    The rest of the post does have some merit on the positive side cotton candy, lollypops and all....Yes work hard!!


    Blinders back on!



  6. First I'm cowardly, lame and a dinosaur. Now I'm bitter about a past flying career. You people should associate more often.


    I'll address the dinosaur part: You start the engine. You roll on some throttle. You pull up and go. Has something changed that I'm not aware of? Added bonus: You're all still talking about the same things we talked about back in the dinosuar age. The more things change, the more things remain the same. I can't wait for all the meaningful and insightfull comments on that.


    Now we come to the bitter old man part of the intelligence you've gathered roaming around this board, listening to all your buddies and patting yourself on the back for a job well done:


    I had an absolutely enjoyable and fantastic career in aviation. I worked for the greatest company ever. That company had some of the best and most experienced engineers in the world. The owners and managers were experienced, knowledgeable and stood by their employees. I got to travel the world. I got paid to do it. I was able to parlay all of that into a successful business. When I retired from active flying, I took the years of experience and many thousands of hours obtained in bush, arctic, mountain and desert environments and used that exprience in a variety of aviation-related jobs at which I was successful. I continue to be extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given by the company that took a chance on an unknown at the beginning of my career.


    How's that for bitter, young fella?


    I applaud some of you here for your due diligence, your name calling and disparaging comments, and your sense of honour and integrity honed to a keen edge over your lifetimes. By the look of what I see and most of what I read, I am extremely happy that I don't personally know any of you. I'm sure you feel the same way, so I'd call it about even.


    Now run along and go give yourselves high fives all round.

    Well Med Man, I can't say that I can agree with the complete synopsis contained in the above quote. Although not a dinasaur of this industry yet.( extinct) i can sympathize with many of your comments. It's really quite hard to generalize or at least make general statements about the Canadian Industry, with the exeption of the observations as they pertain to ones personal experience over the years. For me its been a rather disapointing experience in Canada, not from the perspective of operational professionlism, training, day to day specific stuff as it pertains to the job we do.. for the most part my impressions have been positive. When I have found deficiencies or gaps, is with the way people treat other people from the " professional conduct perspective" outside when the rotors have stopped turning...It's rather deplorable, even cut throat for the most part. How you ask can I make a comparison?? Or have something to measure my experience against... Easy, go work with the Brits, Indians, Scotts, Irish, Africans.....( outside Canada)..There is a marked difference in these working environments where the professionalism and conduct extends inside and outside the work place... Gentlemen for the most part. Sure there is some banjoing and underhanded activity but no where close to the underhanded slick cut throat crap that goes on in Canada.. I can remember working for one UK outfit in Africa and the Chief pilot asked me point blank... Is it really that cut throat in Canada? My response was yes! It is! I felt embarrassed to be Canadian! Is it going to change? I hope so, and maybe with the new generation there is hope for a kinder and more gentle approach to how we respect and treat those within our profession and we start behaving like professionals and quit with the underhanded low standard behaviour that is typical of the undercurrent that exists today, as it pertains to compliance and spirit of the Canadian labour laws. Absolutely deplorable. My hope is that change will come... how and when remains a valid concern. Quite frankly I surpised no one has gone postal!





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    I suppose one can safely assume you intend "corporate interests" to include anyone who has a financial agenda witth a corporation (i.e. shareholding, management income or such)?


    Regardless, I don't think any reasonable person would consider it "slagging" to point out how many times the association *** untion *** bargaining agent flag has been attached to the pole, only to end up shredded before reaching the top.


    Surely there are myriad subjects more likely to produce benefits to the readers and the industry than this tired, worn old shoe.


    Although an old issue I have a feeling its not going to go away. I tend to think another mechanism association- union whatevere you want to call is a little like automation... a little is good, too much is not- non is bad( like now). much like that robot vaccume I though would be a good idea( takes care of it) until the rotty took a dump in the kids room and mr. robovac got hold of it and spread it around the house... Nuf said!! Little good, too much bad.



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  8. Canada is a land of immigrants. That being said come on in and immigrate pay crazy taxes find a Canadian girl and yur all good. Do not come work the season go home and do it again the following year in and out . This takes scarce seasonal opportunities from Canadians that are here year round with families to support. For the most part where the problem lies is with operators who bend the rules and know full well what tjey ate doing. In addition what's with the under 31 rule? What if yur 40 or 50. Seems unfair to those who got a late start. The system is not perfect but in the last few years imporovrmrnt has been made to protect Canadian jobs. As the years pass the demand will only increase for skilled pilots and the industry must start brining the low time guys. I can only see the gap widening as the older generation continues out to pasture in greater numbers.


    So come immigrate to Canada and enjoy our wondfull taxes and balmy winters.



  9. Pilot5 you figure the FAA atpl isn't as recognized as others?


    Definately not. I work internationally and there are several companies that won't look at you with a US ATP lucky I have both. There is a compounded additional problem to getting a Canadian ATPLH if you dont have one and the only way is to work for a company where you can get one ( HeliJet- Orange- doubt Stars still hires commerical IFR but may) Paying for it is not possible either for 2 reasons 1. it requires a multi engine 2 crew type rated helicopter 212,222,or 76. 2. The you have to get an operator to do it and as most are busy so its slim chances not to mention extremely expensive. As far as doing a check out at Flight Safety or CAA for the initial PPC forget that too as most companies that have the approved TC ACP's ( that work at flight safety) wont lend them out if you are an independent. In other words the Canadian ATPL helicopter license is not impossible to get but next to it ,if not employed by a Canadian operator. One company I know in quebec started doing checks on the A109 the TC stepped on it although it was fully duel pilot equiped, it qualified as a single IFR on the type cert so no go. I have a feeing that the accessibility of an independent ( who doesn't work for a company) to get the Canadian ATPL is out of reach


    The US ATP is however accessible and the check ride can be done on a single. However less accepted..One company I applies to with both Canadian and US just scoffed at the US ATP...



  10. A good question but not as simple as one would think. You can convert any ICAO license, some countries require a Airlaw exam some require that you write the entire CPL exam. The more difficult issue is what the company will accept and this more often than not for the higher paying jobs is an ATPL. More and More the ATPL is becoming the entrance level for those sought after International jobs... The Airlaw exam in this case is the only requirement to convert. By far the hardest license I have ever converted is to the Kenyan License... The exam is based on the entire JAA question bank..( crushed into 100 random questions). So brush up on your knowledge of inertial navigation systems failures and calculating and navigating using meridians. Even seasoned ATP's have difficulty in this case.


    So the best thing to have for converting is the ATPL. If you do not have a Canadian one go get a US ATP, which is accepted by fewer companies for the most part... Then as was mentioned there is the work permit issue... in most cases you will be offered a temporary work permit sponsored by the company at the begining, as those annual ones for expats are limited in numbers and the company will want to feel you out before giving out the coveted longer term permits....


    Hope this is helpful.

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  11. We've been working such long shifts away from our families for so long we don't even know what "normal" is anymore. Like someone said to me yeas ago as if that was justification "That's helicopters!" Good for you Putz that you that you are perpetuating the 1967 way of thinking. These crap[y long tours and long hours will only continue if we keep thinking that this is the only way. Of course companies don't want to hire two pilots, of course they don't want to pay more. They will use what ever argument they can to prevent this. The fear that the whole industry will collapse, that machines will sit idle because there are no crew for them but in the end if we do get a better tour time and duty time the industry will change and adapt. Did we all stop driving because the price of gas doubled?



    For someone who loves his family (even the first Mrs. Whitestone is still a little fond of me.. LOL) all i can say is that we will only have quality of life if we stop working such long tours and stop working for hours flown. Most of you are so far behind you don't know how much you have lost.




    We all have an opinion about the flight and duty times or at least we should. I think you could have made your points without calling anyone down. You've made it very clear in your history of posts that you are in management at a big company, all the more reason for you to be gracious in that regard, not to be so petty as to point out that someone works for a small company and where they work, NOT COOL! (if where someone works makes any difference?)



    Here Here! Whitestone elequently spoken. The sad reality is that the 1967 mentality prevails. The industry is slow to change, in Canada at least. Same cannot be said for the Brits, and even Africa that is in most cases back in the technological stone age but as far as governance is concerned they follow the ICAO recs for the most part. So why is Canada so behind the times when we look at FDT and regulatory changes for the rotary end... ??? Cant say for sure, but its must have something to do with the complete lack of representation of the folks atthe grass roots level. HAC has determined that this forum itself is threat and has partnered with the Verticalmag... seems nefarious or perhaps its because they realized that in an open forum like this one and the lack of control that has arisen with the FDT issue alone and TC agreeing that HAC does not represent the pilots and crew. Measures must be taken to make affiliation or future loss of control could occur... Just speculation of course but desperate times calll for desperate measures.... Who knows but one thing I do know... There will never be a President of HAC put in place who stands up for the pilots and engineers.. of this you can be certain... because it contravenes the 1967 sweatshop mentality, toe the line and give meaningless lip service. Completely disengenious!!! $$$= Membership and a say in whats approved and what is not... Thats the world we live in!!! Booya!!

  12. HV wrote: "I agree completely that not all pilots are alike, but pilots also need to select duties for which they're suited and also need to express themselves properly (which includes respectfully) when something is unsafe or they are becoming fatigued, etc. I don't see how we can get away from prescription (a stated goal (in writing!) of the working group) yet then say we need to write the regulations for the lowest common denominator. These are diametrically opposed goals... One cannot serve God and Mammon..."



    Please see this demo notice submitted to the provincial duty officer.


    Dear Mr. Duty Officer


    As you are aware for the last 12 days we have been very busy with fire 141. This letter is to provide you notice that I am becoming fatiged,and respectfully request that I only remain on duty for 12 hours of the day less 1 hour for morning inspection and 1 hour to complete my daily flight report and paperwork. I am certain that my operations manager will agree with this decision. Please assure that the helicopter remains on the fire and with these extra 2 hours of rest I should be able to continue to conduct my duties without further fatigue. As all pilots are different and some are more easily prone to fatigue especially after 6 hours of bucketing per day. I look forward continuing on with ASRD and trust that this notice and request doesn't negatively effect my employment with ABC helicopters and that any questions concerning this matter are directed to me and or my Ops manager without delay.


    Respectfully yours


    Fatigued pilot.



    ?? Anybody want to suggest the both short term and long term effect of such a letter???


    Helicopter and Pilot gone from fire!!!!???? But hold on the letter is respectful!!! Response from operator or at least the ones I know- Not asked back!!



    Although I agree with some Mr. Vibes comments concerning fatigue, without a regulatory or stated rules that would reduce hours worked, it would make for a very short-lived career pursuant to the aformentioned demo notice letter. The goal of the pilot is to conduct his duties safely! Unfortunately, Provincial authorities will hold to the stated rules... The causal hire contract leaves no room for flexibility for fatigue or any form of procedure for governance to modify or adjust duty times as a result of fatigue while respecting the professional integrity of the pilot.


    I agree with Fred! Something needs to be done. This LA LA land belief that Ops managers will not put the corporate interests first and satisfy the customers needs is just simply unrealistic. The pilot will be released and replaced with another pilot/ helicopter who will conform, who doesn't complian about fatigue...


    So the lowest common denominator is by definition then " a pilot or person whh is more succeptable to fatigue" ???


    Yes one size doesn't not fit all and I support that our type of operations "cause more fatigue".



  13. Yes there is a fine line on what is acceptable and what is not.. What is the "Truth" or "Factual" for one person may be the complete opposite and bear no qualifying " Truth" to another... ( I guess freedom of expression and belief has its inadequacies)


    Which brings me to an interesting comparison when I think of "Truths or Miss Truths" . Perfect example, my wife. If she has decided that the snow bank is purple... there is no way that she can be convinced otherwise.. It's really not what the color of the snow bank actually is but more an issue of what somebody wishes to believe or saving face. Telling them they are wrong is not the way to continue the discussion, as this will only bring conflict. Nobody wants to admit they are wrong and sometime its just better to let people believe what they wish, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary...after all they are entitled to believe what they wish and this is what freedom of belief and expression is...


    So as aggravating, frustrating, and absolutely absurd as a claim, statement or a truth might sound... sometimes its better to just agree that the snow bank is purple...


    Mike, I wouldn't be too concerned about threat letters from lawyers... proving damages in Canada is extremely expensive and litigating or even the process to get to litigation will run into the upper 10's of thousands... so unless it's really something serious I'd blow it off...IMHO


    But I understand completely the dilemma of balancing freedom of expression and avoiding difficulties...





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  14. Hi Mike, Totally agree!! No misinformation! In keeping with and I quote: " So, it is in everyone's best interest to refrain from spreading misinformation here on the forums"


    Would you be so kind as to remove any inference or associated language or posts that suggests that HAC has any involvement or concern with representation or the best interests as far as individual pilots are concerned, and is instead a mechanism for the owners and operators.





  15. Having just come back from a short winter deployment and talking with one of my crew who had been stranded out over night in the past got me thinking about winter survival.


    Dressing to outside temps while keeping the machine warm enough to keep the windows clear is definatly a challenge. Sweating is one thing you want to avoid at all costs in winter so if you are too warm, ventilate or shed layers. I was once told to keep everything essential to survival on my back so to speak as you may only get out with that if there is a post crash fire.


    What are some of you carrying with you in the machine? A winter specific survival kit (containing what)? Is the bug spray still in yours like it was in mine? As my kit was just essentially a bare bones summer kit i made up and carry my own. I first got a 2.5 litre pot and filled it with things like a knife, fire starter, a lighter, matches, some strong string, a little first aid kit and a few other items. I threw this little kit into a 50 litre water proof duffel bag with a -40 down sleeping bag, some Canada Goose down bib pants, a reflective tarp and a few other things. It does take up a bit of space in the machine but it's a choice i have made.


    I also carry in the baggage compartment a 24" bow saw, 36" snow shoes and a collapsible "rescue" snow shovel. Other than the kit, i have on my person a large knife, a lighter, a space blanket, some chap stick and a few power bars that i never seem to eat before their expiry date because they taste like saw dust.


    I give my crew a good pre-flight briefing letting them know i will bend over backwards to not leave them out over night but that they should be mentally and physically prepared to so.


    There is a lot of information on the Internet about winter survival, building fires, shelter, getting water, etc. and i have been looking at that to refresh my momory and learn something new but if anyone has any experiences or ideas they would like to share they would be welcome.






    Screw winter~ move to mexico and hybernate until its done... YUK!

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  16. And for the record, I HAVE dipped a cowboy boot in a glacier fed river (the Exstew, between Terrace and Prince Rupert) to provide mix for the whisky... May 1990... Seems like yesterday!





    So there were no cups or mugs available in Camp? You were camping on the river? Or were you just stopping for snort between fuel cycles? In any regard you elected to take off a toe jam smelly boot add a shot of wiskey and drank it from the boot! Thats pretty gross dude! But different strokes for different folks I guess! **** its free country everyone is entitled to do strange things.




    Ok fill yur boots!!!

  17. Well that's just the thing, pay and regulations are related. For years and years owners have used the regulations to cheat their employees, citing Provincial versus Federal and you are governed by this and not by that. And no you don't get overtime you are a salaried employee and no travel time to the job site is on YOUR time (it's a leisure activity after all). The only reason was to cheat on pay in any way they could. You only get paid while flying, don't discuss the "deal" you have made with other pilots. Most guys think it's to protect their pay but it's just so you won't all get together and say WTF !!!!! i am making less than the guy i am flying around who spends his day at the end of a shovel. Aren't you all tired of that?


    I love my job that i have now, love my boss and would do anything for him because he TREATS ME FAIRLY. Every paycheck in the bank on time, all expenses paid and no outrageous demands. For my part he gets 100% dedication, i take care of my fuel supply, ops gear, the machine and our customers like they were my own. At the end of the season i even stayed in camp by myself to finish up the project, one week sitting in the snow waiting and one week flying crews who came back to finish up. It's a two way street! My bosses success is also mine and i will do a good job, my best in fact, but i am finished working for free and it's about time everyone pulled their heads out of their a$$es and did the same.


    I hear there is a western operator (not "scullcap helicopters") who is being challenged on the overtime by former employees but it's being kept very quiet, has anyone heard anything about that? Will be interesting to see if they win and maybe all the others will come looking for back pay. Anyone care to comment on that? Now there's some fodder for a new thread! LOL


    Whitestone (Mr., if you please... :) )




    Well, lowering hours worked, FDT etc. Could be the catalyst that operators need to go to customers and demand higher rates and stop the spiral to the bottom. Increase crew costs legislated by law could be a big boost or at least be a factor in stopping the low rate war??



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  18. I think legislation is the only way. Most operators or forestry forestry folks will quote the regs... You can do 14 hrs and if you don't there will be somebody who will! Sure there are responsible ops mangers out there that will say ok well change you out after 2 weeks but they still want to keep forestry happy. What would happen if you went to the duty officer and said your starting to feel fatigued after 10-12 hrs.... It wouldn't be long before yur skidded from that fire . Assertive or not! Not welcome back!!!


    The better way is to legislate it !!! People understand this and expect the max !



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  19. Batiskaf, I should answer you directly. I don't think you can legislate out stupidity. In the post that you responded to, I wrote that I signed the petition. I don't agree with the legislation presented and the petition may allow us time to tailor it to our area of the aviation industry. I do believe as individuals we are responsible to identify fatigue in ourselves and others and act appropriately. To close the last hole in the chain, there has to be legislation.


    As for growing up, I think I've done quite a bit in the last few years and I will continue to do so. I encourage others to do the same. Cheers.

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