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Skidsup

 

Posts: 31

Joined: 18-July 03

 

Posted Today, 06:21 PM

one of the many reasons I don't like fighting fires anymore.

 

This poster is not to be confused with the original "Skids Up' who joined in March of 03...

 

I still like fires :)

 

Just sayin...

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Just my 2 cents I have been lucky enough to have been working on fires for 19 years now in all the provinces in Canada and territories and several of the states, I have never had any really bad experiences with any of the provinces I do my job whatever is asked of me that day as I would with any other customer be it drills seismic etc....sure I have flown the odd individual that I didn't see eye to eye with as most of us have but in the long run the positive experiences I have had on fires far outweigh the negative, I have worked with a lot of great crews from other companies who at the end of the day help each other out any way they can, there is a certain brotherhood among heli crews on fires that is seldom found elsewhere, it's the one time where we are brought together for a common cause! we do our jobs and we help in any way we can and most often are the less appreciated of all the fire crews yet we still do it year after year! As for you pilot 5 in all my years on fires I have only seen 1 pilot run off or blacklisted and that was on a Parks Canada fire when said pilot sexually harassed a female radio tech, what exactly did you do?

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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.

 

 

There is no doubt that there are many forestry personnel that appreciated and are effected when such a tragedy occures. This however does not eliminate the fact that forestry should back off when it comes to an experienced aviator who knows the Job. Sure there are going to be instances when a lower time pilot needs some guidance. But over all it would be best to allow the experienced folks to carry on with their job and provide the same professional respect accorded to other professionals. If you have an issue with the performance of your family doctor would you call the Canadian Medical association and file a compliant without first speaking to him or her... As we know that most ( not all) ops managers will waste the pilot at the smallest compliant $$$ , try approaching the pilot first and ask him or her why such an operation was performed in a certain way, perhaps extending this professional respect could go a longer way in improving performance and safety...

 

But the greater question remains ... is the job we do perceived as a profession by the client??? If yes then it would be nice and appreciated if it was treated as such and proper professional respect assigned and not just the lip service.

 

I am still reluctant to work for forestry, but having a full time job and only doing it part time in the summer on days off I have the luxury of telling forestry to stuff it if they start to get difficult and no fun.

 

P5 :)

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Just my 2 cents I have been lucky enough to have been working on fires for 19 years now in all the provinces in Canada and territories and several of the states, I have never had any really bad experiences with any of the provinces I do my job whatever is asked of me that day as I would with any other customer be it drills seismic etc....sure I have flown the odd individual that I didn't see eye to eye with as most of us have but in the long run the positive experiences I have had on fires far outweigh the negative, I have worked with a lot of great crews from other companies who at the end of the day help each other out any way they can, there is a certain brotherhood among heli crews on fires that is seldom found elsewhere, it's the one time where we are brought together for a common cause! we do our jobs and we help in any way we can and most often are the less appreciated of all the fire crews yet we still do it year after year! As for you pilot 5 in all my years on fires I have only seen 1 pilot run off or blacklisted and that was on a Parks Canada fire when said pilot sexually harassed a female radio tech, what exactly did you do?

 

 

Nothing!

 

Here is copy of the legal letter sent to OMNR-- its public record so there is no problem with the posting.

 

December 21, 2007

Via Registerd mail

Government of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Aviation and Forest Fire Management Branch 475 Airport Road, RR#1, Box 2 Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5K6

Attention: Mr. Bob Crowell Operations Manager

Dear Mr. Crowell:

Re: MNR Reference Number: P2007-00003 Captain XXXXX

Helicopter Pilot, CHXXXXXX

 

Robson Court, 1000-840 Howe Street Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z 2M1 T: 604.687.2242 F: 604.643.1200 www.millerthomson.com

A. Paul Devine

Direct Line: 604.643.1227 Direct Fax: 604.643.1200 [email protected]

File: 087913.0001

 

We act for Capt. XXXX with respect to his engagement as a helicopter pilot in Ontario. Capt. XXXX is an extensively qualified helicopter pilot who resides in the Province of British Columbia. As you may recall, there was an “incident” involving Capt. XXXX at the end of the forest fire season in the third week of September 2006. At the time of the “incident”, Capt. XXXX was flying for Campbell Helicopters Ltd., a B.C. Company based at Abbottsford Airport. Campbell Helicopters Ltd. had a contract with the Ministry to provide pilots and equipment for fire suppression in the Province of Ontario. Capt. XXXX was one of the helicopter pilots working on this contract. He had just concluded his flying activities for the 2006 fire season.

 

Capt. XXXX was flying in helicopter C-GPET on an approach into the airport at Dryden. As a result of other inbound traffic, he modified his approach, and over flew part of the visitor and staff parking lot. Capt. XXXX maintains, and the fact is, there was nothing in what he did that constituted a contravention of Civil Aviation Regulations. Nor did anything from this “incident” result in a Transport Canada investigation. Nevertheless, he was verbally upbraided by the Duty Officer at Dryden. This action itself may have been a breach of the Civil Aviation Regulations given that it interfered with a pilot in command who was scheduled to fly back to Vancouver later that day.

 

Vancouver Whitehorse Toronto Calgary Edmonton London Kitchener-Waterloo Guelph Markham Montréal Affiliations Worldwide

MILLER THOMSON LLP Page 2

 

Our client subsequently raised an issue with you as to whether he had been blackballed as a pilot in Ontario. He received assurances from you in a letter in February 2007 that this was not the case. You said that he would simply be spoken to the next he returned to fly in Ontario. This is also consistent with a note you received from Bill Wiedenhoeft of the Ministry, who stated that in his discussion with Laura Siemen of Campbell Helicopters Ltd that “We simply passed on the facts of what occurred this day and as well expressed our concern over this type of performance relative to safety.”

 

Our freedom of information requests, however, paint a much different picture about this discussion. We have been provided a memorandum from Ms. Siemen of Campbell Helicopters Ltd. dated September 27, 2006. This recorded her discussion about the “incident” concerning our client’s actions when flying into the Dryden base. Ms. Siemen records that she was told was told specifically by Mr. Wiedenhoeft and Mr. Maxwell of the Ministry that if Capt. XXXX was on one of the Company’s aircraft in 2007, it might inhibit the ability of the Ministry to hire Campbell Helicopters Ltd. Further, in subsequent response to our client’s concerns, there is an email from Mr. Maxwell entitled “Baad Pilot Reminder” dated March 6, 2007. This was an email that was sent to Mr. Maxwell after your letter of assurance to our client. It advises that: “here is a reminder about [name redacted] having to speak with you prior to any flying for MNR. There are also a couple others that are on the @#$% list”. It goes on to say: “XXXX- XXXX was flying for Campbell – no longer is (unacceptable flying).”

 

This note was followed later by a letter from Mr. Maxwell dated March 30, 2007 wherein he wrote to the Operations Manager at Campbell Helicopters Ltd. for an Occurrence Report, which was to include details of the cause of the “incident”, and an outline of the actions taken by Campbell Helicopters Ltd. to prevent a recurrence in future. The response back was that the pilot had been terminated. It will be interesting to have Mr. Maxwell explain how he knew of the actions taken against Mr. XXXX on March 6, 2007 weeks before the wrote to Campbell Helicopters Ltd. Nor did the response from Campbell Helicopters Ltd. evoke a letter from the Ministry stating that such action was not necessary, or that our client could be engaged again to fly in Ontario. The effect of Mr. Maxwell’s letter was to obtain exactly what he wanted. He wanted Capt. XXXX terminated from his employment, and he used the vehicle of the incident report to obtain this result.

 

The fact that our client “no longer is” flying in Ontario is due directly to actions taken by the above-named employees of the Ministry. The effect of Mr. Maxwell’s letter was to obtain exactly what he wanted. He wanted Capt. XXXX terminated, and used the vehicle of the incident report to obtain the result. It is clear that Campbell Helicopters Ltd. was told to get rid of Mr. XXXX as a pilot or else the Company would not receive a contract in future. This has caused and continues to cause our client to suffer significant direct and indirect damages. These consist of a direct loss of income by inducing a breach of his contract of employment with Campbell Helicopters Ltd., and indirect damages due to his loss of reputation as a pilot. His previously unblemished record as a pilot has been irrevocably besmirched over this incident. He has effectively been blacklisted for flying in Ontario for the Government ofOntario despite assurances to the contrary. At a minimum, he lost $100,000 flying this past fire season, as well as general damages for damage to his reputation. We have been instructed to commence an action on behalf of our client claiming that the actions of the Ontario Government induced a breach of his contract with Campbell Helicopters Ltd. We will seek special, general, and punitive damages against the Ministry on behalf of our client.

 

This letter is to give you notice of our instructions to commence litigation. Please notify us as to your counsel for the purpose of serving our Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim. We also put you on litigation notice that any and all records, correspondence, emails, and other evidence relating to this incident be preserved pending the initiation of our action on behalf of our client.

 

Yours truly, MILLER THOMSON LLP Per:

A. Paul Devine APD/jt

c: Client

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I have been lucky enough to have been working on fires for 19 years now in all the provinces in Canada and territories

 

What's it like fighting fires in PEI? My dream is to get on a big campaign fire there someday!!

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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.

 

 

AR

 

I was on Fire 57 when said accident occurred. I can attest to a feeble attempt at morning safety meetings, but there was no mention from ASRD of the accident only hearsay thru the rumour mill amongst aircrews. Out of the 30 or so A/C on the complex at 0800 there was 1/2 of the pilots already out with crew moves and such, 1/4 on the afternoon double crew shift, and 1/4 in attendance until all the line camps got setup and then I am not aware of how the meetings went after that as we had our own (between the 3 machines in my camp)! I can only shake my head in the lack of dissemation of info through the complex. One of the days they moved a B-train bowser without telling half of the pilots, with one of them making an approach to an empty gravel pit at the end of his fuel cycle and having to shut down in the camp until he was brought some fuel because he couldn't fly the 20 miles to the next bowser! Some of the other line camps were notified but not the one I was in.

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I was on Fire 57 when said accident occurred. I can attest to a feeble attempt at morning safety meetings, but there was no mention from ASRD of the accident only hearsay thru the rumour mill amongst aircrews. Out of the 30 or so A/C on the complex at 0800 there was 1/2 of the pilots already out with crew moves and such, 1/4 on the afternoon double crew shift, and 1/4 in attendance until all the line camps got setup and then I am not aware of how the meetings went after that as we had our own (between the 3 machines in my camp)! I can only shake my head in the lack of dissemation of info through the complex. One of the days they moved a B-train bowser without telling half of the pilots, with one of them making an approach to an empty gravel pit at the end of his fuel cycle and having to shut down in the camp until he was brought some fuel because he couldn't fly the 20 miles to the next bowser! Some of the other line camps were notified but not the one I was in.

 

 

Good too see many are maintaining landing with their (mandatory) 20 min. reserve....????!!!

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Good too see many are maintaining landing with their (mandatory) 20 min. reserve....????!!!

 

He had about 20% remaining in the Astar, well within the 20 min when landing at camp just couldn't get anywhere else...:)

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The answer is simple. The Helicopter Pilots of Canada Union. Only when you have the power to park all the medium helicopters in Canada for a day will anything change

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