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Coastal

Desperate Times?

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You high timers seem to have difficulty to put yourselves in low-timer shoes. BEFORE the license, they paid $450 each flight hour. Paying only $150 (Hélicraft) is a progress. Flying for free (Passport Hélico) is a REAL gift, and anyone receiving a gift smiles. Getting paid for flying appears only accessible in a next life.

 

That's the seamy side of a fascinating job. Better to be a pilot than to be a starlett at Hollywood.

 

The problem of flying for free can be easily fixed, indeed: just start to pay them. Low-timers are not to blame, operators are.

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You high timers seem to have difficulty to put yourselves in low-timer shoes. BEFORE the license, they paid $450 each flight hour. Paying only $150 (Hélicraft) is a progress. Flying for free (Passport Hélico) is a REAL gift, and anyone receiving a gift smiles. Getting paid for flying appears only accessible in a next life.

 

That's the seamy side of a fascinating job. Better to be a pilot than to be a starlett at Hollywood.

 

The problem of flying for free can be easily fixed, indeed: just start to pay them. Low-timers are not to blame, operators are.

I, as every other pilot, was not born with 5000+hrs. I got to where I am through hard work and determination. I never worked for free and couldn't possibly contemplate paying to work! This problem is clearly defined in your post.....Unscrupulous operators take on "employees" who will work for free or in Helicrafts' case actually charge people to work! This allows them to charge less for their machines and undercut the competition....competion lowers their rates to compete and eventually find that they're not able to pay their staff either so they take on free guys or wow get the guy to pay to work and make a wee profit and round and round it goes. So you end up with lots of lazy culls flying machines because they or their parents can afford it while the truly gifted,hardworking guy/gal never gets a chance because they have to get a job to eat,pay rent etc. This has got to stop!!!

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So there I was, a 36 year old newbie with 15 years experience and over ten thousand hours of mostly useless fixed wing time, and a fresh rotary endorsement.

Like so many others when I got my big break, I accepted readily and began sweeping, fueling, loading, washing, helping in the hangar, answering phones, etc. I did get paid a token amount but I could have worked at McD's and made more.

 

The first thing I did was put my ego in a box and stored it in my garage. I worked without complaint, showed up early and did more than was expected. On the weekends I trained in the 206. The company was busy and six months later I had a PPC, my name on the pilot roster and a corresponding raise in pay. I stayed a good long time and loved every minute of it.

 

Today I'm watching another young, low time guy toughing it out, paying his dues. He's there every day, finds useful stuff to do and most importantly he listens well, watches what goes on and doesn't miss a thing. Don't imaging he's getting paid all that much but that will change. Best of all, he too will one day be able to lecture to his children the benefits of poverty and personal sacrifice in character-building .....

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Rumours say that there will be another area for young pups to fly for free very soon........

 

Can anyone confirm this ????

 

Ya i can confirm that. Kananaskis Heli has 2 longdogs sitting just off the trans canada at the Stoney Nakoda Casino 20 minutes east of Canmore, ready for tours.

 

p.s. Although it may seem that you are working for free, you should always be making something if you are doing work for someone.

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The problem of flying for free can be easily fixed, indeed: just start to pay them. Low-timers are not to blame, operators are.

I would have to disagree that it is the operators that are to blame because we get 100 hour guys showing up saying that they just want to "hang around helicopters" because they have no job. I'm sure they would help out for free if they were asked to but WCB etc. have something to say about that. On another note, I remember years ago that almost every hangar in small town in Canada had hangar rats hanging around...kids between 10 or 15 years old that just thought being around helicopters was cool. I don't seem to see those kids around anymore. :huh: Anybody have hangar rats anymore?

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don't seem to see those kids around anymore. :huh: Anybody have hangar rats anymore?

 

Nope. And you can thank our friends the various terrorist organizations for that. I can't even get into my hangar without signing a form and getting a badge for security.

 

Getting on the air side of the airport is not the friendly thing it used to be.

 

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I didn't make a whole lot of money on my first job either, but I did get paid. I did what I had to do, worked hard and learned lots. Thankfully, there was a few pilots there who liked what they saw and did what they could to help me get started.

 

In the ensuing years, I've worked my *** off and I still have a ton of student loans. No serious complaints though, I love what I do. We now have a 'Free Employee' where I work and it really burns my ***. He gets paid in free ferry flights that should be going to our low time pilot.

 

She also worked hard to get where she is and is now getting the shaft because of this guy.

 

Good luck getting any respect in this industry if you're working for free.

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Good luck getting any respect in this industry if you're working for free.

 

 

I have to confess that I offered to work for free when I was 23.

 

A wise old pilot by the name of Bob Ough gave me a hard look and said this.

 

"no employer will value you any more than you value yourself. You will be known to be worth every penny you are asking."

 

And that's the bottom line.

 

Because Bob Ough says so.

 

 

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