Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
donnybrook

Hac Letter Concerning Foreign Workers

Recommended Posts

Here is the first question I get when talking to most new people in the industry. What will be the schedule? ie 2 and 2. This is from low time pilots and engineers who are new to the industry. When I was a low timer trying to get in the question was where am I moving to? Next question which airline will I be flying back and forth with. When I started it was what needs to be done around the base when I am not flying?

 

I live where I work and do not live in lotus land. When I go up town I see my customers at the hockey arena,grocery store or just on the street. I know my customers by their name and I know where they want to go when they get in my machine. Most of the crews that pass through my base comment how much they dislike the work we do. The oil and gas industry is a tough go but it is what it is.

 

The crews in this industry need a wake up. Live where you work.

 

The employers should recognize the workers that live where they work. When they fly workers in it costs for airfare,meals accommodation but you don't see the locals getting paid more for living at their bases.

 

Hour requirements a a huge problem. I started in 1991 with NMH. We got a 50 hour mountain/operational training course. Then we went to work In camps and at bases though out the companies work area. The were a fair amount of jobs that we could work at that we were qualified for. Now with contrail and others in the safety industry they have sold the 1000 or more hour safety program. Most of the work that I do a 200 hour pilot could do with the proper training and supervision. Contrails answer is you companies will find the qualified crews because you always have. The quality of personal is decreasing because any guys that are go getters are leaving because they get tired of starving. We can find crews now but in five years good luck. The cow chasers of the south won't be able to fill the gap anymore. We need a program to train young Local pilots and engineers to strengthen the industry. It should be put on the safety guys to develop this program because they control the regulations.

 

Sorry for the rant off to work I go hi oh hi ho.

Ha Ha thats all fine and dandy then pay us what the oil worker makes! I'd move too for $150,000 a year.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most operaters make between 70 and 90 thousand per year if you have years of experience you will make more. Just like Aviation you work your way up. see high quality empoyees rest my case.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for operaters to step up and develop some young low time pilots and work with customers that are requiring these high minimums. This is not an easy task, and requires dedication and some expense on the part of the operator. Educate them on what true safety is, just because a foreign pilot has the hours does not make him capable, why do you think Canadian pilots are in such demand! They are well trained and well rounded.

Helicopter Companies always take the cheapest solution instead of working with and developing young talent which could lead to a dedicated employee.

I disagree entirely with your statement and do not think it is a fair or accurate description of what "Helicopter Companies" are doing. In an operating environment / region that is very difficult to utilize a lower time pilot due to customer demands, the nature of the highly skilled specialty work and the mountainous terrain and dangerous weather and winds (Yukon is home to some of the most rugged glacial embedded and highest mountains in Canada); we ARE in fact dedicated to "raising our own". As a matter of fact, the local Yukon Operators have only just completed about 18 months of working group meetings and lobbying all the way to the Ministerial level of Gov't, to the end that we have successfully "educated" them enough to have them lower their pilot hourly minimums to 600 hours and 100 hours of mountain flying in order to introduce capable pilots to entry level government work. This has been a long tedious process with dedication and contribution from both sides; and ultimately we were successful. What this meant for us, is that we are now able to use a lower-time Yukon pilot on some of these jobs and get him the additional time he needs to broaden his experience and make him more versatile in our type of operations. The reason he is even approaching the new criteria of 600 hours is because we have been dedicated in utilizing him on every single ferry flight, test flight and job that we were able to over the past 2 and a half years. We have also been very proactive in exposing him to the maintenance side of things as his responsibilities include working closely with the maintenance department when not flying. Included in the flight time he has accumulated (aside from his initial training of 100 hours) we have put just over an additional 21 hours of individual flight training (airtime) into him to prepare him for the flights we have been able to use him on. We have PPC'd him 3 times over the past 3 seasons.....

 

So again, I disagree with your statement that "Helicopter Companies always take the cheapest solution instead of working with and developing young talent which could lead to a dedicated employee.".....

 

Let me ask, what have you done to help get lower-time Canadian pilots working?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha Ha thats all fine and dandy then pay us what the oil worker makes! I'd move too for $150,000 a year.

 

 

If you think the average oil-field worker makes 150 000 a year, you haven't done your homework. I am not saying there aren't a lot of guys making that money but it isn't as common as you think. And when they are making that money, they are usually doing the ever infamous "100 Days of ****". I've been a Heli-logger, Derick Hand, and a Field Operator. I made good money for an un-educated man trying to make up what I was making in the summer as a low time pilot. But I did it in 100 days or less....and I didn't go home!

 

I've worked for the same company since day one, and have had to, at times, wait for those foreigners to go home before I got my shot up through the ranks. The fact is, nobody wanted to fly with me. And those were some good guys too, helped me a lot. Now I make a good living. I've always lived near the base. But I still make most of my money in 3 months; For some reason those geos don't think there is any gold or uranium in my back yard. And apparently the local civil authority would have issues if Veritas came by and started blowing up seismic holes in the local school zone. Not to mention everybody with a helicopter, and their dog probably would be parked in the GP airport if somebody even roasted their marshmellow a little too much, the fire season was that bad. Oh! And for some ungodly reason, somebody has figured out that surveying an endless 12 inch pipeline in a donut just outside the city limits, is just to uneconomical to sustain my own personal desires. The fact is, all the big money I have ever made was away from base, in a strange bed, doing a strange job, with strange people.

 

There is a price to pay one way or the other. Those highly skilled Alpine drivers, that do what they do so well on that awesome 2 and 2?....a lot of those guys gave up chasing much better coin so they could do that job. And in the summer, even if the hours are awesome, the schedule sticks period. I know, I asked. And most of those guys have been around a LONG time. Give and take.

 

Those logging pilots everyone wants to be? They make good money when they are doing it, but they are still away from home when they are doing the job. I also dare you to count how many pilots are actually logging full time right now, or for the last 10 years for that matter. This summer I spent a good deal of time with a Kamov driver, who was sitting on spec in STEEN River on a 205, figuring he was going to have to spend a good deal of his summer away from home trying to find work for his machine! I also know a very well established 214 driver that has been doing long shifts in Labrador this spring, and Manitoba for most of the summer....He lives in Chilliwack.

 

Most of those guys did their time living in the shitholes to get the time and the develop the skill they have today. Something tells me Burns Lake hasn't changed much! Maybe that is what makes us so well rounded. And I don't think the stamp on your passport really makes a difference.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

If you think the average oil-field worker makes 150 000 a year, you haven't done your homework. I am not saying there aren't a lot of guys making that money but it isn't as common as you think. And when they are making that money, they are usually doing the ever infamous "100 Days of ****". I've been a Heli-logger, Derick Hand, and a Field Operator. I made good money for an un-educated man trying to make up what I was making in the summer as a low time pilot. But I did it in 100 days or less....and I didn't go home!

 

I've worked for the same company since day one, and have had to, at times, wait for those foreigners to go home before I got my shot up through the ranks. The fact is, nobody wanted to fly with me. And those were some good guys too, helped me a lot. Now I make a good living. I've always lived near the base. But I still make most of my money in 3 months; For some reason those geos don't think there is any gold or uranium in my back yard. And apparently the local civil authority would have issues if Veritas came by and started blowing up seismic holes in the local school zone. Not to mention everybody with a helicopter, and their dog probably would be parked in the GP airport if somebody even roasted their marshmellow a little too much, the fire season was that bad. Oh! And for some ungodly reason, somebody has figured out that surveying an endless 12 inch pipeline in a donut just outside the city limits, is just to uneconomical to sustain my own personal desires. The fact is, all the big money I have ever made was away from base, in a strange bed, doing a strange job, with strange people.

 

There is a price to pay one way or the other. Those highly skilled Alpine drivers, that do what they do so well on that awesome 2 and 2?....a lot of those guys gave up chasing much better coin so they could do that job. And in the summer, even if the hours are awesome, the schedule sticks period. I know, I asked. And most of those guys have been around a LONG time. Give and take.

 

Those logging pilots everyone wants to be? They make good money when they are doing it, but they are still away from home when they are doing the job. I also dare you to count how many pilots are actually logging full time right now, or for the last 10 years for that matter. This summer I spent a good deal of time with a Kamov driver, who was sitting on spec in STEEN River on a 205, figuring he was going to have to spend a good deal of his summer away from home trying to find work for his machine! I also know a very well established 214 driver that has been doing long shifts in Labrador this spring, and Manitoba for most of the summer....He lives in Chilliwack.

 

Most of those guys did their time living in the shitholes to get the time and the develop the skill they have today. Something tells me Burns Lake hasn't changed much! Maybe that is what makes us so well rounded. And I don't think the stamp on your passport really makes a difference.

 

Words of wisdom. Very well stated Zazu !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a lowtimer who is (finally!) working in the industry, this topic is close to my heart. I work with quite a few folks from overseas, and I don't for one minute feel like they're "stealing my job" - they each have thousands of hours compared to my 230 or so. They're good guys (who have taught me a lot!), they've been in the country for a couple years; and as far as I know everyone is on the same pay scale no matter whether they are Canadian or foreign-born.

 

And that segues nicely into the whole minimum hour requirement discussion - although I'm working on my turbine endorsement and PPC, there will be little flying for me once I'm qualified as I'm still several hundred hours below most of our contract minimums. Those few hours each month that would be suitable for me to fly are divvied up amongst our R44 guys who all just got their turbine training and need to build their hours on type. I like my job and the people I work with, I like the wage and schedule, but - sadly - there's nowhere I can go here as long as the customer requirements stay like they are.

 

I hear (and read) lots about the looming experience gap and the need to develop low timers, but right now I feel that it's just talking points; it's hard to see things changing as long as there are enough qualified butts to fill the seats. Some argue that this is the reason to cut off all the work permits, but I don't think that would help - companies that are already scrambling to find work will also then be scrambling to find qualified pilots, and will be so engrossed in finding and keeping experienced pilots that they will have precious little time and financial wherewithal to devote to a good low timer mentoring program.

 

One can only hope that the shift to a competency-based requirement system does in fact become the norm. Until then, I'm happy to be working and getting the odd flight hour here and there. Could be worse!

 

 

 

Wow, I'm your perfect candidate except for all that experience and skill part... My Mrs and I love the mountains, love the outdoors, and we'd both love to live in Whitehorse. Saaay, if you guys ever wanna develop a lowtimer, then I'm your huckleberry :D

 

 

 

- Darren

Thats fine. My point is again you have every right to write a letter to the minister supporting Mr. Jones letter as well.

 

As for Operators 70 G a year would be entry level wages a far cry from entry level heli pilots. But once again I'm not talking entry level pilots. I'm sorry that you guys have confused what I'm saying here. Most operators I"ve worked with at the field level make between 90 and 150G a year with over time (these are 8 and 6 tours) Most consultants make between $1000 and $1500 a day the $1000 being the low end of the scale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Vortex I'd like to know were that work is......other than a couple companies that put ad's out and them when you talk to them they tell you their just seeing what's out there atm. I got 17 years and I'm looking so I sure would be interested to know were all this work is your talking about.

We have plenty of experienced pilots here in Canada, I've worked for a company that took on foreign workers and believe me it wasn't because they could provide something us Canadian pilots were not able to..........it was all about green backs $$$$

 

Well since Sept 10 2013, Blackcomb, Wood Buffalo, Heli Source and White River have all posted ads in the employment section on this site. AES and Oopick have got ads running on the banner beside the thread. Clint from TNTA sounds like he's hiring. I don't know what else to say... other than maybe they're all just seeing what's out there atm??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In my experience the VAST MAJORITY of low hour pilots would happily relocate, get paid poor wages and put up with the worst conditions to get those hours. At least that has been my experience.

For most low hour pilots it's not about negetiating a 2 and 2, or which new pick up truck they want to drive as a company vheicle, or a stock option/partnership, or which airline will bring them from their home to your base of operations, or the expectation of a $150,000 salary. It's about getting the opportunity to fly and with the trend these days where a 2000 hour pilot doesn't qualify, that is looking less likely all the time.

 

W.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess the conversation has come around to the quality of the low hour pilots, yes DSL i remember well your last comments about guys doing math and not showing up but i can guarantee you that was never me. I have actually run into the problem of having worked TOO hard and alienated myself with the other lazy low hour pilots and then you get into all that back stabbing and passive aggressive and in some cases just plain physically aggressive [email protected] It's amazing the sort of behavior that is tolerated because someone "fit's in" (in most cases that means being a drunk) working hard is almost a detriment. I know there are bad apples out there but they are there for the most part because people who have bad working habits (being polite here...) hire other people who are like them because they will have someone to share their lifestyle with.
The higher the minimums go the more guys will get desperate and feel compelled to lie about how many hours they have and the more companies will look the other way because they can't fill seats. So Big Oil, you think you are safe with that 1500 hour pilot? LOL I talked with a CP a few years ago (he has since quite and moved on) about how he was vetting pilots who said they had 1300 hours that flew like they had 300 hours and guys that said they had 800 flew like they had 200. Funny hey?
Was it Daz who mentioned a skills based assessment? That might be one way to get past this inability for Canadian low timers to get hours. The other option is to fill Canadian helicopters with Aussies, Americans, Kiwis, Brits, Swiss, etc and they can lie about their hours just as well as the home grown version.

W.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...