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Twin Helix

Safety Companies, Insurers And The Low-Time Pilot

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I've been flying for a few years now and every year it seems that CPs/Ops Managers have to learn a new set of rules that dictate if they can fly new guys, in what capacity and to what end (and what qualifies as low-time). This is on top of waiting to hear what contracts are new, old, changing or disappearing.

 

I've heard varying opinions as to who ultimately makes or breaks a low-timer's entry into (and progressin through) the business (other than, obviously, the low-timer themself). Lately I've been hearing a fair bit of talk about 750 hours for camp jobs that used to be prime for 200 hour guys, 500 not meaning as much as it used to and so on.

 

What's the collective wisdom? Who's REALLY making the rules? Is it a collaboration? Are safety consultants making recommendations or requirements? The role of the insurers seems fairly straight forward.

 

The way things seem to be heading there are eventually gonna be nothing but a bunch of low-time guys trying to inch their way to 1,000 hours by flying nothing but mtce ferries and check rides.

 

How are things? How should they be? How are they gonna be in the future?

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I have found that it's usually a "consultant" advising someone in the customer's company that used to have 50 hours on fast jets in the military. If we found a good guy our workaround was to persuade the customer to go up for a quick flight with him. It's funny how the minimum experience for simple jobs goes up year by year, as you noticed. And to think I was let loose with missiles at 200 hours......

 

It's a very similar position to a heart surgeon being told by some idiot in an insurance company what he can and can't so in an operating theatre. My sympathies.

 

Still, the way I see the job market going (from where I sit), they will have to have a drastic rethink about mentoring or nobody will be flying at all.

 

phil

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I find that today low times don't hear so much anymore about insurance company and time requirement but more from customers who seems to raise minimum time for simple stupid jobs ..

 

This manner(like insurance) is from my opinion as serious has it can be . .

That's where our association should come forward to the bat and strike this good !

 

Just my 2cents.

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2000 hours to fly fat, dumb and happy up and down a pipeline......boggles my mind, such a good job to get a guy/gal going but nooooooo, gotta have 2000!

 

rediculas.

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It is the bane of every low hour guy to come up against that "you don't have enough hours" wall. The most important thing for a new pilot is to get out there and start flying RIGHT AWAY and build on what they learned at school. Not giving low hour guys a chance i have noticed does a few things, one: they loose their skills and second: they lie about how much time they have to get that first job.

 

Any CP worth his/her (if there are even any women CP's?) salt can tell roughly how much time a new guy has. I heard a story (second or third hand...) about a CP that of the last few guys he vetted the first who said he had 1300 hours flew like a 300 hour pilot and the other who said he had 800 flew like a 200 hour guy. But the Ops manager hired them anyway because they "had" the HOURS for the contract, insurance company or what ever the reason was. Not sure what would have happened to the pilot, the CP or the company if there had been an accident? I wonder how deep they would look into the pilot's experience? (I think it's so funny how many guys "loose" their first log book.)

 

From what i have seen the best way to get into a seat here in Canada whether you are a Canadian citizen or Auzzi or Kiwi is to LIE about your time, most people will just look the other way. As long as you bring back the machine in one piece, it doesn't have to look pretty. How many times have i heard how poor a certain "1000" hour pilot's skills are?

 

Totally agree with Sirlandsalot, the most ridiculous "mins" are with the oil and gas sector bar none. Need how many hours to patrol a pipe or land on a lease???? (you have got to be F'in kidding!)

 

We need owners/Ops managers to meet with their customers and broker a deal that lets entry level pilots fly entry level jobs if they are not already doing so.

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No kidding! some clients have ridiculous hours requirements yet they don't mind flying in 40 year old technologies' aircrafts! talk about minimizing risks! I call it HYPOCRISY !

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In the end , let's be honest, it all comes down from the competition.. And it's a sad fact that affected everybody, event the instigator, soon or latter !

 

Propaganda work his way pretty fast in a small industry like ours..

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Whether insurance is an issue depends on what coverage the operator has on their aircraft. Where I work, all of the aircraft carry hull insurance in addition to liability (which is mandatory). Our insurer requires 100 hours on type for entry level pilots (dunno how many hours they consider a pilot to be beyond entry level).

 

Aviation consultants are a real scurge to our industry. HAC has a couple of working group documents that go into some detail about how pilots should be "graded" or "classified". I think if there was a means of evaluating pilots in an objective manner, the industry might be able to sway the aviation consultants.

 

One program that has allowed many relatively low-time pilots to get their start (including myself a few years ago) is the AQTA program in Quebec. This program allows a pilot with 250 hours total time (helicopter and fixed wing, PIC and SIC combined) to undergo a 13 hour training program on type (ie Astar) and then go on to fly on most Hydro-Quebec contracts (power line patrol being excluded for union reasons), most of which are somewhat more demanding than your average oil patch lease to lease flying gigs. The CP of the low-time pilot has to personally vouch for him and remains accountable. In all of the years the program ran, there were very few problems. A couple of these low-timers did have some minor prangs, but they were usually weeded out fairly quickly. I say usually, because there were some f*ck-ups who really should never have gotten a license to start with who managed to stick. Some of them now have close to 3000 hours and still manage to bend machines on a regular basis.

 

That program came about through political pressure. The CQFA, which cranks out about 7 or 8 new pilots yearly at taxpayer's expense, wanted a way for it's graduates to find work strait out of school. So the Ministry of Education put pressure on Hydro-Quebec to play ball.

 

This kind of mentorship program could help get low time pilots going, but the consultants would need to be onboard for that to work...

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From what i have seen the best way to get into a seat here in Canada whether you are a Canadian citizen or Auzzi or Kiwi is to LIE about your time, most people will just look the other way.

 

Totally agree with Sirlandsalot, the most ridiculous "mins" are with the oil and gas sector bar none. Need how many hours to patrol a pipe or land on a lease???? (you have got to be F'in kidding!)

 

We need owners/Ops managers to meet with their customers and broker a deal that lets entry level pilots fly entry level jobs if they are not already doing so.

 

It's a sad commentary on the industry when cheating seems the reasonable option to get experience. I've heard of one guy who was caught lying on his logbook, not sure how he got caught, but he had a a **** of a time getting a look for quite a while afterwards.

 

As Whitestone said, someone needs to be speaking with customers (and maybe the consultants as well)

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