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A couple of things to note, the "owners club" is there to make money, afterall, thats the purpose of starting and running a company.

when you got hired on, I'm sure they informed you of the possibility of less than stellar living conditions, after all this is no ordinary job. I fully expect to have to make due in cases because I signed up on my own accord. I know the Hilton isn't available on every job.

which brings me to the dew line work, that is nowhere near the norm for the industry...overcosted overpriced government work gets you way more perks than any other outfit could afford. bad comparison. :down:

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Hi Don, Good Morning

 

Yes sir I have woken up...mostly because my wife being a a few months pregnant wanted something to eat and the whole bed to sleep in. :rolleyes: But hey we're working on it.

 

Same thing with some of the living conditions I've been dealt in the past...dealt with it, fixed it and moved on. And Lord knows (name your poison) the "owner's club" is out to make money. I'd be a little worried if they weren't, nor would I want to their equipment if he wasn't.

 

As a hooktender I've worked in every little hovel, motel room, and trailer court a guy could work, from the far reaches of Willeston Lake BC to some little shithole of a motel (if you can call it that) in Elkford...down into another beuty in Creston, and quite a few floating barge camps from Prince Rupert, Queen Charlotte's down to the Sunshine Coast. Same thing as a rig hand in Rainbow, Zama (all of them!), Provost , High Level, and some little place outside of Hinton. A few were great (perspective is needed of course as I wasn't at home), most were good or tolerable, and in equal amounts of the former, there was shite! As a labourer, if I didn't like it, off I went.

 

As a pilot I've worked Steen River (before, during and after the "revolution"), all over AB for Forrestry in motels/hotels, name your gas plant, and northern Sask/AB in any number of tent camps. And while sometimes the living conditions were less than stellar, and lets be honest..downright crappy,I always found that if I spoke up or wanted to build something a little better, people listened. Owners, and Customers. That would include making my own crapper (no bags for this boy, thankyou very much), to flying on the customer's dime to swim/shower in nice clean water during the summer, to flying in my own tent with frame, floors and stove a day ahead of time (that was my Boss's idea).

 

So that's my 15 years of working under and in "choppers" in a nutshell, at least w/ regards to living accomodations. I enjoy the challenge of the work, and the right to say, when it's all said and done, "been there, done that". And I don't need an "organization" to tell me my crapper's not good enough, shower's aren't good enough , bed is not good enough. nor do I need to be told to "wake -up". My interpretation of CARS is such that as PIC it is my responsibility to make sure all those things are adhered to...just like my machine ie if I don't like it, find out what's wrong and fix it. If all else fails expense the problem and if they refuse to pay for it, move on...especially, as you would put it, in this day and age.

 

The exception to all of the above is of course my wife, who for some un-godly reason wants boiled eggs done 3 minute english and is of course the reason I recieved less sleep than in some of the places I listed above. BUT at the same time I wouldn't change either for the world. I asked for it!

 

PS

You want eggs too ? I'm cookin'

 

Aza

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Good Morning to you Mr. ZaZu.

 

Well said on your post, I don't agree or disagree and TS some of your observations are sound.

 

I would venture to say that your comments about the boss having you bring in your own tent are coming from somebody who is aware or bin there done that. I do-not disagree. Not all companies have the same outlook.

 

If you are a permanent employee of a company, do they have a policy on acceptable living conditions that can have a safety effect on the air crew?

 

A contract pilot in this day and age can and will apply his own standards.

 

My comments about waking up is to come to some type of living standards that are acceptable to everybody, not just a few.

 

In my opinion there is no excuse in today's environment to live like a pig, unless you enjoy it.

 

We live by standards in this industry, why not acceptable camp and food standards.

 

Most MARKETING people over sell the capabilities of helicopters and could care less about living conditions that the customer is providing. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT SALES FOR THE COMPANY.

 

Prove me wrong!!!!!

 

Don

 

PS: There is absolutely nothing wrong with the "Owners Club" making money unless they are like Power Corp. with lots of write-offs. The whole reason for a discussion on this subject would be for HAC and HEPAC to get together and set standards for the crews, when going on contract, including all fires in every province. From a contracting point of view there has to be a give and take, but standards should be applied in the operators Tariff structure and become part of any contract with a client department, so everybody is working from the same page. The control of the helicopter and well being of the crews should always remain with the holder of the OC.

 

If you want to have an example, go to the days of James Bay, 80-100 helicopters operating with little or no oversight from TC. Different companies working together from bases all over the place and functioning as one unit for James Bay Authority. It's commonly called communications.

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Eggs done, nap over, wife off to work...

 

Fair enough Don. 1) YES, the Management has been there, done that.

2) the standards by which the bush pilots at our company live by are not written down. Marketing/Management bids on a job and asks whether or not there is heat, food, power (for the machine) etc etc. I, or we, before going on the job clarify things as to how much extension cord, bring my own bed (ing)? do I need a tent? etc. During or after job, if things are not habitable...phone up boss and say so. Result: Usually tells me to fix it. I have and did, charged the customer, expensed it or whatever. No arguments.

3) Never been to Jame Bay or Dew line, NWT diamond rush or anything to that degree exept enough large fires to see your point...everyone goes along to get along and afterwards talks/complains about the lack of "standards" whether it be radio freq, IN and OUT height restrictions and Living accomodations etc.

 

AND I agree with you that having somebody who is not answerable to CARS set the "standards" ie, Forrestry (name your province), customer of large projects (Voisy, James Bay) can be detrimentle to any one issue, but not exclusive, to #3, including Safety or the lack of proper living accomodations that can lead up to the lack of adherance to Safety.

 

That being said, and no disrespect intended, I have issues with the idea that IF I have problems with my accomodations, I should get on the phone and call a 3rd party (HEPAC) to deal with it, when I should 1) talk to the customer and 2) phone my boss. The "standards" are already set out by CARS, however vague they might be. I didn't fly before de-regulation so I don't know any different. But just like anything else I still have to fly according to my interepation of those rules.

 

I look at it this way...if "my" machine's power check fails, the DOM (or his designate) get's in and checks it out. If I think it's flying rough, I get another pilot to feel it out. That is my responsibility. And as PIC that is my interpretation of CARS

 

The same goes for accomodations...I havn't had to do this but get the management in and try it out. If you don't have adequate power say so. If you don't have adequate food, order some. If the cooking sucks, and I've done this, raid the pantry and cook your own. If the shower stall is unacceptabe...use MEK! If you don't like the outhouses, dig your own hole...what's the difference between a cold seat and a cold log?

 

I, for one, like/love/hate the adventures of flying in the bush. Have I worked and lived in crappy places YUP! Do I complain about it YUP! Do I swear about it and complain about it and then over a beer wear it like a badge of honour YUP. I'm a pilot. I'm PIC. It doesn't matter what goes wrong it's my fault. So fix it. And if you don't have the backing of the Higher UP's, move on. One way or the other you are going to have to answer for it anyways...which is what this topic was about in the first place right?!! LOL.

 

Fly Safe

 

Aza Ehlers

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Good rant, Aza! I agree that in this day-and-age we have the power and responsibility to change things, or we can move on without suffering undue hardship.

 

(Wait 'til the kid's born, then you'll really know about sleep deprivation! I went away on tour to catch up on my sleep...)

 

I'm guessing that "back in the day" pilots didn't have same authority. Someone who didn't put-up-and-shut-up got labeled a troublemaker and had a hard time finding work... Probably a few cranky old operators and customers and pilots out there still nursing that attitude. Anyone comment on this?

 

Cheers,

 

D!ck Mitten

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Hey all !

Well first I have to say Laloshe Sask. has been my worst experience, you just hoped you got a room in the small camp and not the hotel there! Like other guys said the hotel was a dump!

 

Now we are all big boys and most of us knew what we signed up for and were told that things would not always be so nice but we all still went and then went again! We all know why we did, for the money!

The owners and forestry don't always have control over this. I have been flying the fires with pilots and we have landed and looked at what was there and both looked at each other like what the **** are we doing but at the end of the day we both wanted the cash. I have slept in the machine many times but that was my choice and I have no problem with it.

I have been in worse places then Canada and yes the pay was good !

If you don't accept what can happen in the bush then work at a base, yes it is nice to have a nice clean room and good food, but look at the places we are chossing work like "Laloshe Sask" !

The companies I have worked for most of the time would let me pick my accomodations within a resonable budget so I can't blame them.

 

Sorry but thats how I see it.

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The same goes for accomodations...I havn't had to do this but get the management in and try it out. If you don't have adequate power say so. If you don't have adequate food, order some. If the cooking sucks, and I've done this, raid the pantry and cook your own. If the shower stall is unacceptabe...use MEK! If you don't like the outhouses, dig your own hole...what's the difference between a cold seat and a cold log?

 

I, for one, like/love/hate the adventures of flying in the bush. Have I worked and lived in crappy places YUP! Do I complain about it YUP! Do I swear about it and complain about it and then over a beer wear it like a badge of honour YUP. I'm a pilot. I'm PIC. It doesn't matter what goes wrong it's my fault. So fix it. And if you don't have the backing of the Higher UP's, move on. One way or the other you are going to have to answer for it anyways...which is what this topic was about in the first place right?!! LOL.

 

Fly Safe

 

Aza Ehlers

 

Well said Zazu....

 

one question though: What's MEK?

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