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Kris

Lights, Mediums, Or Heavy?

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Hey Im a second year apprentice. I've been workin on light a/c since I started in this industry and im starting to get curiouse, whats it like when you move up to larger aircraft? I was told by some of the medium guys i work with that its alot more work but the pay is better, and what about heavy aicraft like a s92? which I have never seen up close yet. Does anyone have any experiance or stories they want to tell? what kind of machines do you prefer to work on? Im curiouse about pay scales as well. Do you make more working a base position on heavy choppers or out in the bush on lights?

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The ususall norm is bigger aircraft more work, but in some instances that can be misleading. The more complicated the aircraft the more work required. Being a Bell meduim engineer is like being a chef, you will never be rich but you will always have a job.

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My suggestion would be not to consider mediums or heavies until you've been licensed for at least 5 years. Better to cut your teeth and get your experience on lights/intermediates. It takes years to get good at troubleshooting and developing a good analytic mind. If your aircraft is grounded because you can't figure out how to fix it, it's better if it's a $1500/hr loss than a $3000/hr or higher loss.

By the time you make it to the mediums/heavies, you're more likely to have acquired the skills and experience to help you better cope with any maintenane issue.

 

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My suggestion would be not to consider mediums or heavies until you've been licensed for at least 5 years. Better to cut your teeth and get your experience on lights/intermediates. It takes years to get good at troubleshooting and developing a good analytic mind.

 

I will be the thorn. Trouble shooting...Ive seen guys with 20yrs experience not be able to trouble shoot. Either you can trouble shoot or you cant. What takes the time is learning the particular aircraft systems.

I started on the mediums and haven't looked back. My whole career, all three years have been on the mediums. I say get into the lights. If you want any sort of home life you are more likely to get that as a base engineer then you are as a medium wrench chasing fires or moving drills. The mediums will get you places you might not get to see with a 206 or Astar. I think it depends on what quality of life you want.

cheers

Swede

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I started out on lights, 206 and Astar, which were easy to learn on and not much maintenance, then moved onto the S61 where the work was much more involved, currently i am working on the AW139 and i gotta say it has to be the easiest machine yet to work on, with the exception of a few areas. Basically we perform 25, 50, 150, 300hrs with not much maintenance and once you hit the 600hr you will start to do alittle more. In fact you don't touch anything on the engines until 600, although we do 50hr bleed valve cleanings, 25hr comp. washes. The pay with the lights was always ok, and the work was always less than the guys on the mediums. In fact a number of summers i worked on jobs with 2 Astars and was making more than the medium engineers and half the work. Pay on the 61 was definately better than the lights, with an increase in workload to go with it. The contract i'm on with the 139 is by far the best money yet for the work performed.

 

rh350

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My suggestion would be not to consider mediums or heavies until you've been licensed for at least 5 years. Better to cut your teeth and get your experience on lights/intermediates. It takes years to get good at troubleshooting and developing a good analytic mind. If your aircraft is grounded because you can't figure out how to fix it, it's better if it's a $1500/hr loss than a $3000/hr or higher loss.

By the time you make it to the mediums/heavies, you're more likely to have acquired the skills and experience to help you better cope with any maintenane issue.

 

I agree that you need to get your troubleshooting sorted early, but I have worked on r22's 206, 350, 500, 412 and S-76. When the company is lots of hours on an old 76A is a good way to build the troubleshooting skill, They are always broken. But if you can get on an 350 or 206 that is doing 8-12hr days you will get pretty fimilar quite quickly.

I have had almost 2 years on 412 and am just getting comfortable with it. The ability to think laterally and in a analytical way and the will to learn will get you farther than a specific type of A/C. I still try to learn something new everyday.

New Aircraft are pretty nice to work on though. :)

 

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If you want any sort of home life you are more likely to get that as a base engineer then you are as a medium wrench chasing fires or moving drills. The mediums will get you places you might not get to see with a 206 or Astar.

 

 

most of our mediums stay down south hopping from hotel to camp chasing fires, while our lights and intermediates go to some of the most remote and amazing places in the country for EXTENDED periods of time. So my point is, I'm not sure how you think a medium will get you places you might not get to see with lights, and how you think they are synonymous with a home life lol. I think that just depends on the operator

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most of our mediums stay down south hopping from hotel to camp chasing fires, while our lights and intermediates go to some of the most remote and amazing places in the country for EXTENDED periods of time. So my point is, I'm not sure how you think a medium will get you places you might not get to see with lights, and how you think they are synonymous with a home life lol. I think that just depends on the operator

Yeah too true. I think I associate lights with more hanger oriented work. Depending ofcourse what part of the world/ operator you are with.

Swede

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