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Drill Movers

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Are you facing this 12 hour day moving diamond drills as well? Or is this primarily oil and gas?




Currently no, I am in oil and gas, however I have been in camps doing the drill thing before, dealing with the 12 hour driller split shift and drill move during the day. Maybe that is why I am happy! I hate drills, if some young hotshot wants to go out and move a drill and claim "drill pilot status" he can go fill his/her boots, but unfortunatly, client requirments seem to stop that now.

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Sirlandsalot Hit the nail on the head. Rotation and money! Most companies are still stuck on little salaries & high hourly pay. Some meat-head out there that can not long-line, thinks it is fatiguing now and says we should only do 6 hrs a day? There goes the cash. So with that goes the incentive to put up with all the crap we have been putting up with for years to get that cash.


We are all coin operated. So are our families and therefore I personally will go for the schedule because the money is gone!


My cent and a half


That's what They said.

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A quick question Hiller. Is this 2 pilot/12 hour duty day prevalent in the mining sector? If it does progress that way one can only assume the experienced pilots will bail out of that market.


I wouldn't say it's prevalent, as only the larger mining companies are doing it. But it's certainly common. And it will for sure drive guys away when there's somewhere to go. Like I said, I understand the intent but the guys who make these decisions are far removed from the reality. The big client companies have got to stop putting guys in positions of power that aren't qualified to make the decisions they're making.

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Hey everybody, this is sort of a job posting but I put it here because it's also a discussion topic I'd like to broach. Hopefully someone doesn't cut-and-paste and respond negatively to every sentence I write but these are the chances one takes when emerging from one's shelter!


Where has the talent gone in Canada? Four years ago the whole country was hopping and people were barely able to fill seats... barely able but still managing. Now, in 2011, there are way less helicopters working. One company alone sold 4 Mediums into Brazil and had to move a couple into the US, which reduced the available Canadian Medium fleet by almost 10%. One operator did that.


Several Operators have closed their doors. Many more have downsized. So the pilot shortage should be over (and engineers), for the short term, anyway. But it seems to be worse! There are pilots available but the guys with longline time that can go out and move a diamond drill without client complaint seem to non-existent. Where are they? We used to get resumes from Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, even the odd American (is that redundant?). All with drill experience. Now there is almost no one. To be fair we get resumes from guys (or girls) who want to get on a job we have in South America and do month-on-month-off in the Amazon basin, but those seats are easy to fill. Where are the people that want to go see the most unpoiled area on Earth (except for Antarctica)and experience the sound of silence for the first time in their lives? Did a whole lot of people die and no one tell me?


So, where are they? I read lots of posts from guys about foreign workers and the like, and their issues with "those guys" stealing Canadian jobs, which I don't want to see. But Air Taxi type stuff with horizontal reference and passenger movement is one thing, vertical reference in the places we work is another. Highly specialized and a high degree of skill and expertise required. Never mind Canadians, is there anyone available in the world?? I mean guys that can fly precision loads and work in the arctic or anywhere without client issues? We have placed ads everywhere with minimal response... if this is the case now, what will it be like when the crunch they're predicting comes? Holy cow...


The only solutions I can see are convincing clients (which I and many others are working on) to reduce prescriptive hour requirements, and to let in more skilled pilots from overseas...


Or somebody needs to open a couple of crates of pilots... ASAP!!!!!!!






Elequent post!


There are loads of qualified Canadian pilots that could fill the position.


The solution is simple and obvious!


Call back some of they guys that were doing a good job in the past but were burned for non aviation related matters and sent packing. If ya open up the non official non existant he said she said poor personnality (I disagree or have my own brian) bad attitude black list. Ie the list of those that can't be fooled by cheap lies,high school mentality and cronyism, and adimit the errors of your ways then yur all set!





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I totally agree with some other comments made earlier. Offer a decent rotation, and decent pay. I talk with several guys who would be happy to work a shift where they can be home more for there family ect., the pay would ALMOST becomes secondary.

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The 'frontier' attitude of the mining and drillilng industries has been around since the piston-bangers did mmost of the work, and the conditions that most of those posting here appropriately complain about were the accepted norm back then. Opportunities for pilots that didn't exist then are myriad now and it's perfectly logical that, as soon as those with the necessary talent have senough experience to move on to more comfortable environements, they're sure to do so unless the money is good enough to keep them around (and, even then, it certainly won't keep them all).


The all too obvious answer is for the client industries to wisen up and improve the living and working conditions for drill programs, like O&G did long ago and even many of the provinces have done for fire camps.


As well, if operators, including the 'bottom-feeders,' had the sense to collaborate on matters like this where safety is clearly an element, and present a united front to those clilent industries by adapting acceptable camp and schedule standards, the situation would improve quickly enough. Unfortunately, those bottom feeders just don't 'get it' and this 'immature in its maturity' industry will probably continue in this vein for another half century or so.

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One more point,

It used to be fun to be in those camps, it was like a paid vacation. You were allowed to fish, and even do the odd random revenue fishing trip with the client. Thats all gone. All the camps are dry now too. What was wrong with the core shack social? No body ever got hurt. The job always got done. Moral was always high. I remember getting bottles in the parts orders from GSH management, but that was a while ago. Anyone ever been to a camp with a floating sauna? Anyone ever seen a twin otter full of booze show up to camp? I have, but not for a while.

I can deal with rough conditions if its fun.


The money is good now, but its a short season.

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