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The Owner's Club

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Information on The Owner's Club, otherwise known as The Helicopter Association of Canada, is available on its website. Its head office is in Ottawa where it can effectively lobby Transport Canada concerning whatever matters it deems appropriate.


There can be no doubt that this lobbying is effective. One only has to recall that when the Pilot Flight and Duty Time regulations were first enacted, the 30 day limit for air time for pilots was 120 hours. The wails and moans from the operators could be heard from coast to coast. Apparently, it was just not possible to operate under such restrictive rules. After much rending of hair and gnashing of teeth, the standard was changed to 150 hours in a 30 day period. There have been other such changes. Rooting through the CARS at TC's website will reveal just how often the regulations are amended. This sort of thing doesn't happen unless someone has a hissy fit.


Engineers and pilots should learn from this that an Association would benefit them greatly. In particular, Transport Canada would have bona fide input from the population of helicopter workers across the country. Why these workers hesitate to associate is no mystery. They fear ostracism, and perhaps rightly so as the control freaks of the helicopter establishment in Canada will not cede their power without one **** of a fight. If the Union ball ever gets rolling, there may be blood, even though freedom of association is one of the most fundamental rights of democracy.


And guess what? The Helicopter Engineers and Pilots Association of Canada actually exists. There are good people at the helm, including Blackmac, a stalwart gentleman who endured much aggravation in his efforts to found an appropriate and necessary organization that would be of great benefit to his fellow pilots. Suggestions have been made that he is unfit to lead because he is bluntly vociferous. Nothing could be further from the truth. When fighting fire, a good weapon to use is fire itself.


"The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."

Woodrow Wilson

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standard was changed to 150 hours in a 30 day period.


Smells like union whining again. What wrong with 150 in a 30 day period? If you can't fly 5 hours a day, change your job. An extra 30 hours in "a tour" is not to shabby.


Wait! That's not fair! The operator is going to make more money by me flying an extra hour!! :shock:


Hey! So What?? SO AM I :up:


I'm all for the association, and have no problems there. There are a few of us I think, that thought the 120 was a bit restrictive. My plan has always been to go and make some cash, not to see how little I can do for more pay.


Union = LCD as a rule :down: , as has been said by many here on this forum.

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What's wrong with 150 in a 30-day period? CHRONIC FATIGUE if you do it all Summer!! Especially if you are not rotated at the end of your tour! Even more if it's done in two weeks!! That's when people start backing into trees and clipping rotor blades (it was happening all the time in 2003).


Anyone can do 5 hours in a day for short periods, but it never works like that. If TC is so bothered about PDM and CRM they should start listening to pilots instead of owners.


Yes, yes, I know, "it's the only time I can earn some money" - so join an Association and out the darned wages up!!



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I think the last poster has missed the mark.....although I agree with him for the most part....there are a few issues that could be worked out in favour of a common ground "base-line" that could be applied to all aviation workers on certain issuses such as meal-allowance, away-from-base pay....flight pay for engineers and pilots both, tour length and training...all those things applied across the industry could have a worthwhile benefit to all of us.....none of that has to include organizing unions, or hiring practices or protection of jobs for people not pulling their weight. Some companies pay wages at such different scales as to make things very confusing as to "what they are really getting"....why not an industry standard for flight pay on a given machine, meal allowance for geographical locations, and duty times?


Some say that the industry regulates itsself....humbug....there is too much irregularity in pay, working conditions and expectations. there is no other industry that operates this way....and its outside provincial labour regulations.


if there was an association of professional aviators that can counter the effect of the owner's lobbying, we might have a bit of a voice to make our concerns heard.

We don't need to form a formal 'union' to do this...and Blacmac has the right idea....just we as the members have to realize that WE need to control it...not the Teamsters ect. We must tell our future employer's that we expect "industry" wages..and working conditions...." when the operators realize that they won't have crews to fly or fix their machines for the season, they will be in a tough bind because their equipment will sit idle...and we don't have to have a 'strike', or carry placards around in a public demonstration....we just refuse to work for a lowball company. The low charter rates and cut-throat operators will figure out pretty quickly that they will have to pay a fair, and i mean "fair", rate to have a qualified crew to keep them in business. 100 hr pilots will be of no use to them....and engineers are already at a premium....


I am aware of a lot of companies that would be operating more equipment if they had more available crew.

I'm not suggesting blackmail...just a consistant rate for food, lodging and flight pay. Nothing radical. And for us engineers...some kind of recognition of a realistic duty day.


If there were induviduals that cling to an ideal of fair work for fair pay across the board....we could achieve more as a group than as individuals. It would also discourage those that are intent of cutting charter rates to get business at the expense of the crews. Afterall, the easiest way to cut costs is to drive wages down.... I don't know of too many crew that are 'over-paid'



Thanks for listening....hope I didn't offend flight crews...but I also hope that management got the message.

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120 hours a month--------my Geritol dose works longer than that. That's an average of 30 hours a week. Sorry folks, but this pilot used to do 120-150 hours a month(6/2 summer: 4/2 winter;some slinging, some everything) on average YEAR ROUND and I still haven't got used to these"corporate hours".....and now someone has ruled that my company needs "an exemption" for me to put in that extra 30hrs. I want to FLY........not sit around my room, coffee shop, airfield, on a log in the bush. etc........and it got "diddley-squat" to do with what I'm being paid. If I ain't going to work when I'm away from home, then I wanna go home because I always got work to do around my place. Anyone thinks that "bumping' my wages or salary up 20% - 50% is going to change that......well they better get their hands on some good "world class" Vancouver Island "weed" because their smokin' "crap" now. Try "tailoring" the hours to the type of work being done and THEN talk wages and whether they are adequate or not. While doing that, check world-wide on the rental rates for helicopters and see where Canada comes in. In 1974 it cost as much to rent a Bell 47G4 in Japan as it did for a Jetbox in Canada. We're the "WalMart" of the helicopter world folks.

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I may have missed the point somewhere, but all Summer 2003 I kept bumping into people almost falling asleep who wouldn't take days off even if the company offered them, which was seldom enough. More than any one I can pull the stops out to get the job done, but there is a line beyond which one is just being plain stupid.


I agree with cap - if I'm away from home I want to work, but the "heroes" who wear tiredness as a badge of honour need a wakeup call



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My God it's hard to believe we are getting some common sence discussions going here.


TC should not be regulating or have anything to do with hours flown for pilots and or hours worked for engineers in the helicopter industry.


TC includes the helicopter industry in with the "Air Taxi" industry.

Everybody in the helicopter industry knows very well that there is no relationship between the operations of a FW Air Taxi and helicopters.


Any hours worked or flown in the R/W operations should be worked out between HEPAC and HAC. Let the industry govern itself along with the insurance companies.


Industry wide insurance rates should be addressed and training of new pilots on a national basis.


All it takes is the WILL.


Cheers, Don

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Especially if you are not rotated at the end of your tour!


That's why it's called "a tour." We should go home at the end of it. :up: (Association Benifit) Long, days, poor accomadations, poor food, poor standby locations/conditions, etc :down: (Association Benifit)


I agree that TC should not be setting the rules and hours. Never could figure out why I am limited to 150 hours in a 30 day period - until it is deemed and "emergency" :shock: and then I can fly a whole bunch more! How is it that I can become unsafe after 150 in non-emergency flying, but am able to extend in emergency situations. :down: (Read emergency to read Fires)


in 1998 I was on a fire that was into the mop up stages and my days were such:


2 week period


Leave home, (8am) drive to the airport

Fly to the fire - .2 hrs

Walk down to the "shack" where we would eat rest, BS, until just before lunch we would do a recee flight - .3 -.4 hrs

Crawl into the ambulance and have a nap

Sit and feed the chipmunks

Eat some munchies

Do a recee flight - .3 - .4

Have a nap

Go home - .2

Home by 6pm.


It was then determined that I needed some time off because I had worked to many days in a row. :lol:


The fact that I could then go home for a few "days off" and work around the house for 12 - 14 hours a day, get drunk, etc. is of no concern. TC still counted it as days of rest as I was off the job. What a joke. :wacko:


I realize that there are a few of us that always want to be the hero and work till we drop, and that there are companies that don't want to hire the extra pilot for the rotation schedule in case there is not enough work to keep them busy, and will try to "extend' our tour. <_< The fix for this? (Another Association Benifit)


Will we ever get a uniform voice across the country? I hope so. Fair and equal conditions, wages, etc would be good. :up: Unions to get it done? :down: I hope not.

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I agree with you skids up - how come you're suddenly safe to do a whole lot more in an emergency? When I was spraying, I would have got a whole lot better sleep camping out under the machine, but no, I had to drive 3 hours each way to a hotel!


I realise they have to legislate, but there doen't seem to be much common sense in there



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Well, I guess that I'm what you call "middle of the road" on this subject. I firmly believe that MOT CAN legislate intelleigently in this regard. "Can" and "wil" are two different things though.


How do I relate to member of the hierarchy of MOT, when that person is an ex-Colonel/Lt General and advises me that in 20 years of flying he was considered a "high-timer" because he had flown 7000hrs? He advises that he had commendations for doing 350hrs one particular year. He is flabbergasted when I advise that on many years I did 800-900hrs. He states that I "was an accident looking for a place to happen" then and that if he got his way, the 1200hrs/annum would be reduced greatly. You might as well be talking to some starving kid in the Sudan about going down to the shopping Mall this afternoon......what's a Mall?....shopping?


There's different kinds of "tired" also. It has to do with how "fit' you are, what "nagging" problems that you carry from home, the client, how well your "ride" is maintained, do you have to "chase your cheque down" at each pay period, etc. Regardless of these types of things, ALL humans do not function the same working the same amount of hours. ALL engineers don't need just 7-8 hrs of rest a night. Some of us are "mattress backs" and could sleep 'til 10AM each morning. Others were raised on a farm perhaps and are up looking for the coffee pot at 6AM and ready to "rock 'n roll". Some "fly a tank off', land, stay in the a/c while the engineer refuels and back into the air again. Others get out and away from the a/c, hit the coffee pot, sit down and "heels up" for 45 minutes and relax. There's many, many ways that that 6-8hrs can be performed and the results are not always the same because we ALL have different tolerances. This is also quite noticable when the occasion arises for the traditional "communal" drinking of some "barley sandwiches"



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