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squirlybird

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squirlybird last won the day on September 30 2014

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  1. Best of luck to everyone who just found themselves out of work. I've been in that position myself. Let's hope it's not a sign of things to come.
  2. Sad story. A few happy couples sign up for a helicopter tour and it ends like this. I think I remember something about this story when the accident first happened. Wasn't the pilot described as a bit of a barnstormer in the media and we were left to think he'd caused the accident. Now we find a gross maintenance error the cause and according to some posts the evils of management are to blame. With all the current safety nets in place it's hard to imagine what sort of "rule" might have prevented a tragedy like this. Every day it's us brothers and sisters that fix and fly these machines and US that need to put the cotter pin in and check that it's been done correctly. Don't get me wrong, I see maintenance fatigue management as looming large over this industry and it'll shake things up good when it comes. In the mean time I guess we just manage ourselves. I'll tell an engineer not to work all night if I think it's in the best interest of safety. Just sayin' sb
  3. I had the good pleasure of working with two of these fellows and the news hit as hard as any news has. Given enough time in this buisness we'll probably have the misfortune of losing someone, but an accident like this where some have lost three close friends is nothing but unfair. Everything said here is so true. Peter was gentle, kind and good, through and through. Isn't it amazing how you can watch some pilots manouver an aircraft for only a minute and say to yourself, "that guy is really fuc*in' good". He was. Blake was exceptional. If there's a yardstick to measure engineers by, it ends with Blake. His work revolved around integrity and his life revolved around his family. I can carry on having taken something good from these people. I only wish there was something to give back to their loved ones to ease the sorrow. sb
  4. It's probably all an honest mistake, I'll bet no one knew the rules of the forum. "But the plans were on display . . ." "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them." "That's the display department." "With a torch." "Ah, well the lights had probably gone." "So had the stairs." "But look, you found the notice, didn't you?" "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard." sb
  5. Very sorry to hear the news. Some fellas just seem to embody the notion of a bush pilot. RIP. All the best to your mom and family Jim. sb
  6. pilot5 should work for the CBC with a headline like that. As far as "crap" wages go, really, does anyone pay us what we're worth? sb
  7. Seems like there's more work each year for dual pilot, twin engine aircraft. I'd look towards companies that are doing work for the petroleum industry. Best of luck.
  8. With regards to the battery, an automotive battery blanket works well at any temp's I've run into. I know that if I'm ever in doubt of the camp genny or a circuit breaker popping the best thing to do is pull the battery right out, (you can put it right into your sleeping bag if you like). We used to fly around in the winter with a garden sprayer of isopropyl alcohol and the winter covers - just in case. Check with your engineer on where it's safe to use the alcohol. Intake plenum may be bad. I saw a set of blades once that had been deiced with the survival axe, also bad. Good question for this time of year. The important thing to keep in mind while stooging around in the Canadian winter is just how uncomfortable it'll be spending a night in the bush if your not prepared. sb
  9. I'm actually surprised to read that so many ski pilots are using amber lenses. A lot of our senior ski drivers have warned against them. The problem being that they work so well you may find yourself somewhere you don't want to be. Might be an idea to remove them from time to time if the Wx is deteriorating. Interesting note on the polarized lenses. Anyone know which machines have polarized glass on the gauges? sb
  10. Had a potential "situation" once where the drillers did a sloppy job rigging up the rod. Instead of choking the pipe at 180o, they'd made a simple basket with one endless strap and choked the other end. When I lifted on the load the whole thing came apart like a game of pick-up-sticks. It was scary as **** watching pipe drop all over the drill pad! It all ended ok, but the point is only have one person hooking up loads then get out of the way. These guys hate to wear hardhats but they need to. If you need to have a few guys move in to help land a load have them wait 'till the load is at knee height and then make sure there not getting into any pinch points. Even if they follow this advise, by day two or three they'll get complacent and be standing under you and their 1800# drill. Overshoot! Ask them politely to give you the landing area. Keep in mind that if the moves are vertical it's a lot harder to hold that load in a hover as you go up (ever for an A-star). And as one person on the forum put it - remember to smile. Good luck sb
  11. Back in the ol' days (well before my time) bases were not common place - neither was a regular crew rotation. With the development of the base system came the chance for pilots and engineers to spend some time at home. For most this became the preferred position reserved for senior crew - pool positions were viewed as a place for pilots and engineers to gain experience. More and more it seems like crews are chosing to work the pool. Customers don't call last minute on the weekend, guaranteed time off with family and friends. I think this has a lot to do with regulated time off and the barganing chip that crew shortages provide - if you don't give me a good schedule I'll work somewhere else (good or bad attitude??). As far as being common place or what limitations are put on where you can live or how much you'll be reimbursed for travel - it really comes down to each company and the nature of their work. Some companies will fly you across the country for a two week shift, some will expect you to live in the town where the revenue is generated. As far as your friend not wanting to come in and do runs - dosen't sound like teamwork to me. sb
  12. I think I'd use a longer line. Can you imagine the dust bowl when you picked up that load! Lid or no lid on the tank. Otherwise, cool shot. sb
  13. ChairmanoftheBord I'm curious, was there one (five or six) of these low time pilots that impressed you? Could it be that the selection process is working just the way it should? I've been really impressed at some of the "low timers" our company has brought on. Never complain, always work hard, enjoy what they are assigned to do. Heck, THEY'RE an inspiration to me. sb
  14. Not sure if this got touched on with all these interesting posts - it seems to me the B3 has the same internal gross as a B2, (correct me if I'm wrong). Your original question asked about moving freight - not longlining. That might affect what your doing with the a/c. If it's people your moving, it's worth noting the extra seat mod for the A-Star if pretty much unusable in any legal sense i.e. wt and bal. As far as Eurocopter US's transition course ???, I do know Canadian in Penticton runs about the best Mountain Course if your looking at operating at these altitudes. sb
  15. I've heard this dicussion a few times. "We used to use a 100' and that was plenty, then we went to 120' and that was going to cover us for everything. Now we're using 150' lines and you still have to keep your eyes open". Are the forests of BC maturing to greater heights or have we just gotten smarter. (Obviously we're not talking about Coastal logging operations here). sb
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