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Drill Movers

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I think that the 2 pilot requirement that some clients have is affecting things for the worse. Because some of them only allow a 12 hour duty day, you need 2 pilots to service a drill job since the drillers work 12 hours. So instead of one pilot working a 14 hour duty day and flying maybe 3 hours a day with a few breaks here and there, you have 2 guys sharing the work. One guy will work the morning and the other guy will work the afternoon. So they fly 1.5 each maybe. Nobody likes this on the pilot side but that's what the clients want. And both guys need to be experienced and fully capable so it's not like this is helping bring up any new guys. Maybe the demand will be higher across the board so there will be room for new guys but there will also be guys going out to work that maybe shouldn't be because there's no one else. So the incident rate might go up, which is the exact opposite of what the 12 hr duty day is supposedly going to do. These guys that make these rules need to get their heads examined. Every one I've met is ex-military, fixed-wing or offshore IFR. So their experts aren't expert in anything that we do. Drives me nuts.

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I'm sitting hear with another drill pilot right now. We both move drills in the Astar and in the 500.


What it all comes down to is money and time off.

If you want some good people then start paying better and offer some type of shift.

I don't know about the others, but i'm not leaving my current job to go somewhere elce and make less money, with more time spent away from home.

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Talking as a pilot who worked in Canada during 07/08 alot of us who came over from Australia,NZ and parts of Europe have now got over the age that it is possible to get the Reciprocal Working Holiday visa's and speaking for myself I now have got Married and have a kid so going away for 6 months isn't an option any more.

The other big factor is PNG and Indonesia in this part of the world, its going off down here with alot of very large copper gold,coal,nickle projects and more oil and gas seismic than you can shake a stick at most of the pilots we have here (40+ here alone and we are only one of 3 large companies with similar numbers in PNG) have all passed thru Canada at some stage and now settled into the good month on month off roster here, plus the money is pretty sharp too and with the Aussie dollar the way it is against the US it's even better plus you get paid as a salary so at least you get consistant pay.

But on another note with it getting so busy here its getting hard to find guys that are proficient on the long line especially 200ft (due to jungle canopy) as well so your not alone on that one.

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All previous posts seem pretty logical. Things are booming down in the Southern Hemisphere pretty good. That Australian Dollar is doing very well and keeps some of those guys at home now rather than traveling to Canada. From what I know they get plenty of pilots for Indonesia and PNG, but maybe they just don't get very proficient long line pilots as dan1978 said. That being said, they are on no shortage of pilots. Filling their hiring shoes easily enough from what I hear.


As to why there are no Aussi, Kiwi and American pilots applying, you can't really blame them. Courtesy of certain people in the industry and on these boards, they have been made feel completely unwelcome. Give them the boot when times are down, and now start whining as to where they are?? Seriously, Wasn't GSH the first to axe all their contract and foreign sponsored pilots back in the middle of summer 08. As a contractor, and still in uncertain times, I wouldn't be in a hurry to be back in that situation.


IFR world seems very attractive alright. Even rotations, all year round, good pay, and no roughing it in tent camps and the like. If companies aren't willing to train up lower experienced pilots anymore, then where do they think all this is gonna go.


Personally, I am kind of happy to see it this way. I know when things were really bad a couple of years ago, it was a struggle to even get a response from operators about work. Now I am getting emails about job offerings, and as much as I would like to repay the operators in kind, I like to take the higher road. A simple, thank you for getting in touch, but I am good for the season, and hope you have a prosperous season ahead.


Not so much fun when the shoe is on the other foot huh?

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Is it really a surprise the "Big" companies are having problems attracting good people who happen to be able to move drills in any geographical area? Not really... no, given the track records of these outfits.


As numerous others have said, pay and conditions are a factor, but so are aircraft mtnc, client relations, and general company culture. There is simply a great deal to chose from once a person has established credentials, and these companies don't make the cut.


Nothing new, been that way for 25yrs with the larger operators.



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Rotations and Pay...bottom line me thinks.


I know many guys that are fed up with the 6 to 8 weeks on and 2 off. I love my job but I love my family too...as a matter of fact, I love my family more! More than happy to go and give 100% and please the client and sell the company ect ect.., but not at the expense of my family. The problem is if you dare say no to a tour or extension then you get the old "I have a stack of resumes this high on my desk" answer and some keener than keen guy goes in and does it all and there you are with no work because you want to be part of your family.


As far as the money, well we all know the answer to that one.


I get the shivers just at the thought of going up north and moving drill! LOL!

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Showing my age here, cue Peter, Paul and Mary music,


"where has all the talent gone, long time ago..........."


1. Live in stinky tent - no thanks

2. Share stinky tent with stinky crew - no thanks.

3. Eat stinky food - no thanks.

4. Work a stinky long tour with only a short time off without stink - no thanks.

5. Get paid a stinky wage for your talent - no thanks.


I spent a few years moving drills, some of the most satisfying work you can do as a pilot but the conditions wear you down. Every guy I worked with were solid drill pilots and were loved by customers. They all moved on for a better lifestyle. One is flying AW139's overseas, another is travelling the world on a mega yacht flying a EC135, etc, etc........everyone of them got their IFR and said adios.



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Scuba I'm glad to hear that things are well down under and as a canadian pilot I hope that remains so.


That being said You won't hear alot of Canadian pilots complaining about crew shortages just operators. Might be time for them to step up and put some time and money into some younger up and comers.


Its a weird concept but making a decent wage and a schedule that won't end you in divorce court isn't to much to ask is it?

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