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Everything posted by Speedgeeza

  1. lol Just to quantify that a little more. I was working on the same fire as this fellow, a HTS IFR pilot working fires etc for the summer. The information was volunteered, not sought. It had been a slow few days with periods of sitting around. I commented that I was just about flying my minimums. He replied that it made no difference to him whatsoever if he flew or not, as there were no mins or additional flight pay, and that he was quite content to read his book or watch a movie on his laptop. Now if his intention was to mislead me then he was successful. But I really don't think that it was.
  2. That was from the "horses mouth" so to speak, just five days ago.
  3. Errr, you missed the point entirely, Marc. If you take a little time to read and understand my initial post again, you'll see that I didn't "whine" at all about my "current employment situation." The point I was trying to make, such "contentment" with ones employment situation is very likely to be eroded by strong arm tactics as those mentioned, as more operators view it as the new standard. Thus, chances of finding a better situation will become ever more difficult.
  4. Ridiculously huge pay per flight hour? Canada the only country with this system? Forgive my ignorance, but throughout my flying career (both fixed and rotary, JAA,FAA,CAA), I've always received some kind of additional pay for hours flown. I know HTS was $60/hour a few years ago (for all machines), with an additional $15 for longline. I expect it's gone up a little, but not much if the comments of their pilots can be believed. And the longline bonus has long since evaporated. In addition, their IFR guys who fly in the bush for the summer get no flight pay! And their salary has never been an
  5. I really hope HTS are not successful with their bid, for our own sakes! It seems this company is systematically under-mining the foundations by which pilots/engineers earn a living in this industry. I believe their "no minimums" hire policy from last year crossed a line, potentially setting a new standard as to what companies can demand on future projects. Some might view it as an act of desperation to get HTS machines hired, whatever the cost. Others, a tactic to drive out the competition. Whatever the case, when their machines are hired on with minimums (fire contracts) and their pilots/en
  6. There's no such thing as a "night rating." As mentioned, if you have the experience, then the "restriction" will not be put on your license in the first place. Once you've done the hours, that's it. Nobody is going to say, "Well done, you've passed!" In your case, you'll have to pay the fee to have it removed once you have the experience. I learn't to fly in the uk, then flew in Africa, US and now Canada. Each time (except once, more about in a min) they did not put the restriction on my license as I have hundreds of hours night. When I converted my Fixed-wing commercial, they did put t
  7. Don't see what the big fuss is about. In real terms, little will change. I learn't to fly in Britain way back when. Then I went to fly in the US and then Canada. Niether the Canadian or the US exams scratch the surface compared to the JAA when it comes to subject matter covered. Much of it far too in depth in my opinion. As it stands right now, if a Canadian pilot was set on getting his FAA ticket he would have little problem with the FAA exam and check ride, while a US guy might find it a little more difficult doing the Canadian.
  8. Don't wish to high-jack the thread, but Canada is the only country where I've never had my logbooks checked for validity.
  9. Yes, there seems to be a common thread across many trades. The current system does sound fundamentally flawed. I remember only a few years ago, a friend from the uk was unable to return to work here due to changes in the regs, Had to prove a salary over seventy thou.
  10. Red seal trades, I think that's where it's at for young people today. This downward trend in the helicopter business hasn't just happened this week. I started off in engineering and earn't the money to pay for my training. It seem's you need more than one string to your bow to get by these days...
  11. In a nut shell, it's been my experience the worse the accom, the higher the away from base. But not always. On one job, I was housed in a pretty crappy place but the shower worked, the kitchen had what I needed, the bed was clean, so I just got on with things. I was flying big hours so wasn't in the place much. When I got back to base two weeks later, the base manager rather sheepishly asked how things had gone while I was handing in my flight reports. "It wasn't the Ritz..." I told her. It was then that I found out two previous guys had complained, one bitterly, regarding the place and had t
  12. Sounds to me like you'd made up your mind before posting. I started flying 25 years ago, fixed-wing ATPL, floats, Instructor, Instrument Instructor, aerobatic Instructor, JAA, FAA & CAA licences, both fixed and rotary. I've seen a few changes. I've seen people come and go. The ones that go "that way", some of them good friends, seem to pray on my mind more and more the older I get. The main issues I've seen over the last six or seven years is operators holding off before hiring. ****, the owner of one company makes no secret that both he and his son hate pilots! Nobody here has suggested
  13. Wouldn't matter if you were twenty years of age, my advice would be don't do it. If you have something of nest egg from the sale of your business, find something else to do with it.
  14. I've only worked for the bigger names and it's always been that I've signed the contract after a successful PPC. No mention of training fees or with-holding funds for such. I figured if I flew so badly that they didn't want me, they wouldn't have offered me a job! I'm always very grateful for the training as it's just so damned expensive and rather enjoy PPC's. Resharpens skills, refreshes and reminds us of the dangers out there.
  15. I've had to stay in a few crumpy accoms, but it didn't go unnoticed by the Base Manager. But she was a good sort! When ever work is thin on the ground, it seems some companies will do what ever it takes to maintain their rigid profit margin. Reduced mins for example, favouring crews that will "rough it" without bitching to look good in the eyes of the customer and so on. When a company asks a pilot to jump, they jump if they want to go fly. I get paid significantly less now than I did five years ago yet the dry rate for hire (thus eliminating the increase in fuel costs) has remained constant.
  16. The only license I know of which is recognised outside the country of origin which requires no additional conversion, is the UK JAA. It's accepted in several Middle East countries as their airspace, training etc is based on the very same curricular. I've seen jobs ads which stipulate that a JAA license is required. I believe, to convert to a JAA license requires taking all nine (it used to be twelve) exams for the commercial. And I can tell you, the depth and spread of knowledge will have you thinking you know nothing about flying. Very demoralising...
  17. First off, I don't get much time to "catch up" what the "oh so wise" people in power are doing regarding the governance of my job. So thanks for spelling it plain and simple. When I'm away, I'm away and like to keep busy. I for one, certainly don't want to be spending more time on Jetliners getting to and from job sites more often that already am. Shorter tours would mean that! I'll be completing the survey. Cheers
  18. I grap a good 100ft'er at the beginning of the season and it stays with me. Doesn't take long to coil up if you do it properly. Bit of a heavy b*****d though. Even if I could get away with a shorter line on some jobs, I stick with the 100ft for continuity re sight picture, depth perception etc. I agree, those small VR windows are a pain in the neck!!! I'm 6ft and it seems like I have to stuff my head as far forward as the pedals to see the load if it's blowing a bit.
  19. If the outifit you're working for is half desent, there should be a portable grounding post complete with cable with your refuel kit that you can shove into the ground near the drum. Regarding the landing gear rubber mounts. There should be bonding leads which link one component to another around the mount, providing continuity. In my younger days, I was rather fastidious regarding grounding procedures. As time went on, especially if I was in a rush or under a bit of pressure, I became lazy and somewhat blaze' regarding it. But not so long ago, I was hanging out by the machine with a couple
  20. There seems to be a lot of animosity being vented in this thread. The bottom line is, a business has to make money. If you think that it's making to much money at the expense of people such as yourself, start up you own business. See how easy that is! For the last five years, I've worked contract because it suits my life at the moment. Every year about this time, I've been fortunate enough to get an email asking if I'd come back to fly. And I do. Having been brought up in a large, busy family business (and still involved) I know the ins and outs of what makes a good employee as viewed from t
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