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Harmonic_Vibe

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Harmonic_Vibe last won the day on September 26

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About Harmonic_Vibe

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  • Birthday 05/20/1968

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  • Location
    Van Isle
  • Interests
    Spending time with wife and kids, boating, fishing, sampling beer and wine

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  1. Holy crap that is terrible. Ol' Eddy was one of those characters unique to our industry... the kind of guy who would have been home on a ship raiding Spanish galleons in the 1600's. He deserved much better and should have retired into a comfortable chair to reflect on all he'd accomplished, and not against small odds. RIP HV
  2. I found a stack of old Okanagan newsletters in a filing cabinet... absolutely incredible to read them.. and the picturesI I got my first job in aviation in 1989 and reading these things makes me feel like a baby... I cannot tip my hat enough to the pioneers who actually managed to fly aircraft with climb rates of less than 500 FPM in the mountains! And then teach others how to do the same... amazing... Anyway, here are a few pics... there are hundreds but I limited it to people I actually know... Terry Dixon with hair is priceless! HV Collection_of_Pics_from_RotorTales.pdf OK Dec 81.pdf
  3. Can’t message, PM me

  4. Contact me, 10,000 FAA ATPL, Spanish, longline, medium, etc...

  5. Horrible news. I assumed he'd be in Vancouver for the events over the next few days and was absolutely stunned to hear he wasn't going to make it. A sad and tragic passing and all condolences for family and friends. HV
  6. Oops... I literally thought almost everything I wrote would be censored... but since it's not, I hope the point still come across. It's not as funny as I planned with the actual words on display! But I stand behind every one. HV
  7. Sir Lands, please do not feel I'm picking on you, just using your post, which I think is fairly stated and to the point, as a good example. Do we work in private enterprise or are we State Owned? If an operator does most of their work in the winter and is able to allocate no fixed costs to their aircraft in the summer, the opposite of most, are we able to make a reasoned argument of unfairness, or are we just bee-atching (notice my clever workaround for these filters on this site that disable words like #### for no reason) because we don't benefit? As an Operator and in Management, I can't tell you how trump-in-moscow-prostitutes-peeing-on-bed (trying to avoid saying pissed off so I'm not filtered) I am that we are competing with such bids. But they're fair!!!! If rumours are true and biker gangs and mafia are laundering money in our industry then that is TRUMP-SPEAKING (sorry, I said bullshit and it translated itself)... This is capitalism and the way to succeed is to have the best pilots and engineers with the best business model.. it isn't to point fingers and ask for regulations or unions you'll regret later... My opinion of course... As Sean Hannity would say! HV
  8. When we say customer service reps, that is a very broad topic. People in the Philippines working from a call center under sweat shop conditions are often on the other end of the phone. It's frustrating when they have trouble understanding you and I am always amazed at how polite they are!! Offshoring that type of thing is what you should protest, not the seeming lack of help you sometimes receive. There is little doubt they're working hard. If we're talking about service reps in the Canadian helicopter industry, such as Bell or Safran or Rolls, etc, then I must take exception with anyone treating them poorly because to a man (or woman) they're fantastic to deal with... there was the one guy who told me to keep flying the aircraft making excessive metal, but not to go too far from an airport! But he's long retired. The fact is the people taking care of that role in Canada are awesome... So I can't imagine why there would be abuse... Of course I have zero idea what Graycloudsonthehorizon is talking about, but I love a good controversy! HV
  9. Holy cow, just read this. Best wishes for full recovery! HV
  10. I would like to know more about Rome....

    3500 hrs.
    2500 206/L
    700 mediums

    currently working 2 and 2's year round

    Cheers

  11. I used "argue" in the sense it used to have, "give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one's view", rather than what we usually think of today... raised voices, spilled beer, followed by a head butt and yet another ruined shirt from rolling around on the floor! I have zero doubt, based on many calculations, that a 400 hour year for a B2 requires somewhere from 1800 to 2000 an hour. It varies because of geography, industry sector (pilots get paid more to move diamond drills in the mountains than they do to drop off road engineers in the morning and pick them up at night for instance) and a host of other factors that affect cost. If you're not getting the annual revenue, either because of reduced rates, reduced hours or both, than something has to give. Missed loan payments. Layoffs. No paint or tin bashing. Buying components with almost no hours remaining. Stringing out vendors for months. You name it. That's why prudent operators don't overextend in bull markets. Get those payments down, not up! Someone with no payments can operate at variable operating cost for years... most of us can't and really, nobody should. Even those that can, hurt themselves when things do turn around. HV
  12. Good morning, I see you were up early checking your stocks! Now not wanting to argue (ok, I actually do), I feel the need to point out some material differences from US Corporate and Canadian Utility. I have attached "B2 Variable" so you can see the breakdown of variable costs. I have zeroed labour because we, as an industry, employ engineers full time and it's not that useful to assign an hourly labour cost to a single aircraft, without knowing a lot more factors. ConklinDedecker says it's $108 USD per hour flown in maintenance labour and a corporate aircraft, always hangared, using an A&P and flying 295 hrs a year will likely run something like that, but to have an apples to apples comparison I made it zero. I also zeroed fuel cost since that is usually covered by the client, one way or another. Anyway, the cost of engine overhaul, all airframe parts, running maintenance and "major periodic inspections", which includes 12-years and paint, is roughly $290 USD per hour. I like using C&D numbers because they use OEM list pricing. They do not factor in discounts you might get for volume, nor do they consider you might find PMA or used parts for far less than factory list. In other words you should be able to operate more cheaply than C&D says, so if you use their pricing you have built in a buffer, small as it is. I also attached the C&D fixed cost summary. You will see they have a single pilot at $167,000 a year between salary and benefits - that's $215K Canadian at today's forex. That might be scale for corporate in the US but it's certainly not for utility in Canada. The US insurance rates can be close to twice Canada's (injury and wrongful death differences).They also include "Aircraft Modernization" at $30,600 a year and a bunch of other items we don't really see in utility. The point I'm making is C&D as raw data (what does an average engine overhaul cost for instance) is great, but unless you operate in the US, the totals and summaries need to be studied and understood. It's far better to use the actual costs you know are the same (parts and overhauls) and then use your own costs. What you pay your people. What your hangar costs, etc, etc. Some operators have paid off aircraft and don't factor in depreciation (depreciation is a tricky one for helicopters as some appreciate while the operator is still depreciating them on paper) so don't need to worry about their banker and can go much lower than anyone else. This doesn't mean they're losing money, but they're certainly not helping the overall industry maintain an expectation with the clientele. The final thing is the more you fly the more the fixed costs are diluted. At some magic number the fixed costs are all covered and then you really start making money. This depends on the clients and how much money they have to spend, because when they fly 800 hrs on an aircraft one year and 300 the next, they expect the same rate and will often go elsewhere if they don't get it. We are in the boat with the clientele and as much as we want to be proactive, our industry is necessarily reactive - we help paddle and sometimes we help man the pumps! HV
  13. I feel like I have to point out that the vast majority of the flying we do is for clients of the private type. Fires are great and since we all pay taxes it's good to get some of that back. However, on an average annual basis the industry, as a whole, spends 65% of its time flying for oil and gas or mineral exploration clients. All the other stuff we do is captured in that approximately 35% slice. The reason I bring this up is because when I read the posts it sometimes sounds like operators are a bunch of idiots with no idea how to run their business - and this is often true! But lots of operators know what they're doing and when the clients enter a downturn like we've seen in mining and oil and gas over the last 4-5 years, we do the best we can to keep the lights on, pay the staff and support those clients so they remember us when things get better, as they always do. It is so easy to say an operator "low balls" but what does that mean? An Astar only costs about $300 an hour (USD) to operate, not including fuel. The fixed costs are what drive the rates, and that's where tariffs come from. We calculate what all the costs we incur annually are, whether we fly or not (and the pilots and engineers are a massive part of that), target some reasonable hourly target like 400 hrs, factor in the direct operating costs to fly those hours (component reserve, flight pay, running maintenance, etc) and then divide by those 400 hours to get our tariff. For example, after calculating all our costs, a 407 tariff might be $2200/hr. So that tells you the company needs over $800K on an annual basis to break even and hit their profit goal. This is why talking about hourly rates is meaningless if you don't know how many hours, what time of year, etc. When I am asked how much an hour costs, I like to say, "if you only have one hour it's $750,000... if you have 2 hours it's $375,000... and so on". It's for laughs yes, but it's essentially true. If your 407 is not going to get $2200 an hour, which is likely barring BC bursting into flames again, then you need to adjust your hourly targets up as your rates go down. This is mathematical at this point but the key to the whole thing is the client! If I had a dollar for every time an accountant said we need to charge more and fly more I could retire. This is what we strive for always!!! Pretty hard to do when clients are going bankrupt at the rate of several per month as mining juniors were a couple of years ago. The 20+ seismic companies that had 40+ crews working every winter are now single digits with 4-5 crews. One tenth of what it was, but somehow the operators are not running their businesses properly! I'd say by how few operators have gone belly up that most know exactly what they're doing. It's too bad that everyone can't get more guaranteed salary, and that the downturn has caused pilots to leave the industry, but much of what has happened the last few years (since 2008 to be precise) were solidly in the realm of macroeconomic forces. The good news is, those same macroeconomic forces seem to indicate we're entering a definite upturn, with predictions of a 5-year bull market in the mineral exploration side of things. Maybe everyone can get those raises and better schedules soon. Hopefully we don't go out and buy a couple hundred helicopters to dilute the market again, but it'll probably happen, at least on a small scale. If you need to expand your business, buy existing aircraft that are underutilized, please don't import a whole bunch! Sorry OEMs but we're not ready for that yet! HV
  14. What a terrible thing to have happen just before Christmas. Of course there is no time this would not be awful, but especially with families coming together and looking to regroup and strengthen their relationships the timing could not be worse. Sincere condolences to all those concerned. So very sad.
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