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As usual, I find it rather interesting popping in here to see what pilots get worked up about. I am of course referring to the falsifying of logbooks thread.

 

Not to say things shouldn't be done about this, but in all seriousness how big a problem is this in actual fact? I would submit it is a very minute issue in the grand scheme of things.

 

Conversely, there are some pretty major issues each and every pilot working for ASRD should have, and those are with ASRD itself, their terrible organization, almost complete lack of standards when it comes to operational flying in the fire environment, and last but not least, the treatment of the companies they hire. This has been a topic of some discussion for a couple decades that I can remember, so I ask, who is auditing the customer these days? Unfortunately the answer is nobody.

 

Some of the things I've witnessed during this spring's fire flap in Alberta can be described as appalling at best, negligent and potentially fatal at worst. If you are reading this and nodding your head in agreement, then it is you who I'm asking (along with myself) to step up and do something about this. If you are reading this shaking your head and wondering what on Earth I'm talking about, then it is you who need to open your eyes, pull your head out of your wallet, and start understanding how far off course this whole thing has gone in the last 20yrs.

 

Without getting in to specifics, ASRD practices are very poor on fires, particularly fires like McMurray with some many aircraft. Talking about safety is one thing, implementing it is an entirely different concept. When the poor fellow from Campbell was killed, was anyone told to land for an hour, briefed on what happened, given time to call family or friends who only knew they were flying in Alberta? Not anyone on our fire. Not acceptable. In fact I have yet to hear a single official word from ASRD on the accident. Not good enough. A bit of a tangent here, but one I think any of us who have lost friends or family over the years can relate to, but it's not generally what I am talking about.

 

So, who is going to audit the customer? HAC? Not a chance. The pilots association? Oh wait, we don't have one of those... so here we sit in 2011 working for customers (Gov't and private sector) who continually put conditions on our service in the name of safety, yet just as continually put helicopters and their crews in dangerous situations and there is not a soul doing anything about it. I find it astounding. At the risk of dating myself, I don't remember it being like this in the 80's. Perhaps I was just young and ignorant in those years.

 

AR

 

 

 

Couldn't have said it better my self, and if you are under the misconstrued notion that the Operator is going to back up the pilot if there is any difficulties whatsoever then forget about that completely. Money comes first professionalism second.. Do you have any legal way of fighting for your rights to act in accordance with professional standards... NO! Unless you are rich and can afford to litigate. Complaining will make for quick deposit on to the non existent black list.

 

 

In response to Dr. Dukes question about who is the best to work for... Definately NOT Ontario or they will hang you out to dry faster than any of the other Forestry departments...

 

It comes down to civil servants who possess a 'god like' mentality and for the most part cannot be fired or centured for any reason.. After all, writing somebody up for anything is written into the guidelines of how to get promoted... kinda like the Italian fascist movement in the late 40's and 50's report your neighbours and if ya cant find anything then make it up.. I won't get started on the Nepotism and other viral strains of no existent slime that saturated the various departments.

 

Representation is the key here... although far out to sea at present.

 

Superb Post AR. :up:

 

P5 :)

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Couldn't have said it better my self, and if you are under the misconstrued notion that the Operator is going to back up the pilot if there is any difficulties whatsoever then forget about that completely. Money comes first professionalism second.. Do you have any legal way of fighting for your rights to act in accordance with professional standards... NO! Unless you are rich and can afford to litigate. Complaining will make for quick deposit on to the non existent black list.

 

 

In response to Dr. Dukes question about who is the best to work for... Definately NOT Ontario or they will hang you out to dry faster than any of the other Forestry departments...

 

It comes down to civil servants who possess a 'god like' mentality and for the most part cannot be fired or centured for any reason.. After all, writing somebody up for anything is written into the guidelines of how to get promoted... kinda like the Italian fascist movement in the late 40's and 50's report your neighbours and if ya cant find anything then make it up.. I won't get started on the Nepotism and other viral strains of no existent slime that saturated the various departments.

 

Representation is the key here... although far out to sea at present.

 

Superb Post AR. :up:

 

P5 :)

 

Didn't the Italian fascist movement end in 1943 when Mussolini was executed? And I think you better lay off the rum far out to sea because your post doesn't make sense. Just saying.

 

HH

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I have always said what every forest fire department in Canada needs is a EXPERIANCED HELICOPTER PILOT on staff that is there to do nothing but look after all HELICOPTER related issues. Not people that have "LOTS OF TIME IN THE PASSENGER SEAT" or believe they know everything helicopter related. Get someone on staff that has been there and actually knows what goes on from the other side of the windscreen...

 

My guess is you would see a dramatic differance in how the heli side of a fire was handled.

 

FYI - There are at least two fire agencies with helicopter pilots on staff and three more who use contract helicopter pilots as safety/operational consultants on a regular basis.

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Didn't the Italian fascist movement end in 1943 when Mussolini was executed? And I think you better lay off the rum far out to sea because your post doesn't make sense. Just saying.

 

HH

 

The remnents of the facist ways carried on even after the war... The reality is that working for forestry is a balancing act dealing with civil servants,safety and the inherent danger that the job brings. Now if balancing the Safety and the inherent danger was not enough , you must then walk around on eggshells all day hoping that some ladder climber doesn't have it in for you for any number of reasons.. No kidding I know a guy that worked for forestry in Ontario for 4 years and was diagnosed with PTSD.( Post Traumatic Stress disorder) The odd thing is that he had no diffiuclties until he started working for Forestry... In addition I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of pilots that simply just won't work for forestry for one reason or another....

 

Just the facts!

 

P5

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Forestry across Canada is a difficult customer; Ontario adds another layer of "tough" since your customer is represented by a dues-paying SRO or forestry tech who may like to "look out" for the interests of the brothers and sisters flying the MNR machines.

 

In my experience, if you're lucky enough to work with the same tech or crews for a while they'll get over your "only a contractor" status and you'll work together well. At this point, however, the SRO or his boss usually decides there are mosquitoes going hungry at some camp you couldn't find on the charts without Lat/Long.

 

Also, our Forestry customers are bent on getting the best value for the taxpayer's money, which is bureaucrat-speak for finding new and creative ways to pencil aircrews/operators out of a livelihood. We might be bringing years of experience and millions of dollars of equipment to bear on the customer's needs, but dammit, helicopters are expensive to hire, and college kids will put out fires with a shovel for a lot less!

 

Oh well, we get to travel, meet interesting people, and get paid to turn jet fuel into smoke and noise.

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Just to clarify some facts. Immediately after the accident in Slave, ASRD gave all active aircrew the option of landing and taking a break for however long was thought to be personally necessary. Then, after about 20 minutes the call came down and they suspended all rotary wing operations on SWF-056 for the rest of the day. All aircraft returned to Slave and were stayed. The IC for the complex was at the safety meeting the next morning and almost broke down speaking of the events of the previous day. Then they went as far as to offer professional councelling to anyone who needed to talk, as they had brought someone in.

I am not defending anyone, or any organization, but trying to present the facts.

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Forestry across Canada is a difficult customer; Ontario adds another layer of "tough" since your customer is represented by a dues-paying SRO or forestry tech who may like to "look out" for the interests of the brothers and sisters flying the MNR machines.

 

In my experience, if you're lucky enough to work with the same tech or crews for a while they'll get over your "only a contractor" status and you'll work together well. At this point, however, the SRO or his boss usually decides there are mosquitoes going hungry at some camp you couldn't find on the charts without Lat/Long.

 

Also, our Forestry customers are bent on getting the best value for the taxpayer's money, which is bureaucrat-speak for finding new and creative ways to pencil aircrews/operators out of a livelihood. We might be bringing years of experience and millions of dollars of equipment to bear on the customer's needs, but dammit, helicopters are expensive to hire, and college kids will put out fires with a shovel for a lot less!

 

Oh well, we get to travel, meet interesting people, and get paid to turn jet fuel into smoke and noise.

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thanks for reporting the other side of the story, hired gun... it's appreciated...

 

It's not "the other side of the story" Twinny, it's what happened on fire 056, where the accident took place.

 

Ask any of the people working 057 as two of my co-workers were, which is just up the road, and there was not a mention of it. Nor was there a mention on my fire which was also close enough to be "in the area." In fact, neither on my fire nor on 057 were there safety meetings held before or after the accident, although I understand the pilots on 57 managed to get one going for a period of time, not the case on my fire. The sad truth is ASRD has no over-riding policy for these type of situations. As I said in my OP, this is a side bar to the main issues of working with not only ASRD, but several of the other fire agencies, and a great deal of the private sector customers.

 

Thanks for all the responses, I am glad to see the thread has mostly stayed on track. No time for a full post now, will try to get to it in the next few days.

 

AR

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