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What Is Wrong

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The ammunition is so plentiful that it is not possible to fire it all. The targets are so numerous that it is difficult to know where first to aim.


Transport Canada continues to be the vassals of the aviation establishment. Some tiny advance was made when they increased the standard weights but as far as most helicopters are concerned this does not work. Using the standard weights for light helicopters and likely even some mediums does not work because the sample size is too small. One would think that the wizards at TC would have some knowledge of elementary statistics, but apparently they do not. The only way that a pilot can know what his machine weighs to actuallyweigh the passengers and cargo that he puts in it. Until this happens, helicopters will continue to crash because they are overloaded. One can only question the commitment to safety of those who complain that accurately computing gross weight is overly time consuming.

TC is in the process of implementing Safety Management Systems. This is laughable. What are all the regulations intended to be if not a Safey Management System? If rules need to be made to ensure the safety of the flying public, TC should just make them.


TC also formed the Canadian Aviation Executives Safety Network. It seems as though there is some effort to improve safety through a top down approach when what is really needed is a bottom up approach. Greater results would be achieved if pilots had some recourse if and when they are intimidated because they hesitate to fly in bad weather, when they are overloaded or when they are tired. It was perhaps Blackmac who said that airplanes crash because pilots exceed either their own abilities or those of the aircraft. There is no apparent mechanism within TC for pilots to protest intimidation. Pilots have the ultimate responsibility for safety but not the authority to provide it. What is needed is an Engineers and Pilots Safety Network.


Some operators themselves have shown that not only are they rabid capitalists but also clumsy capitalists by literally giving their machinery away at ridiculous rates. There are too many operators and too few hours to go around. Reregulation and tarriffs would solve this problem.


Pilots themselves are often their own worst enemy. They refuse to associate due to some whimsical notion that their freedom or individuality will somehow be compromised in spite of the fact that a very large portion of the entire working population is either involved in an association or unionized. Thankfully, this appears to be about to change as some pilots of Canadian appear to be on the verge of unionizing. One can only vigourously cheer these women and men on. If this latest burst of union energy fails to succeed, after all of the previous efforts, at least one of which dates back to the late 1970’s, then union busting on the part the operators is highly likely.


Young pilots have got a rotten deal. They spend a small fortune on training and when they emerge from it they have only the rudimentary skills necesarry to take off and land again. Training needs to include serious longlining and mountain flying. If one hundred and fifty hours of instruction are required to do this, so be it. The government should give a $50,000.00 grant for longline and mountain trainng to all low time pilots so that they can be more useful in the field. This would compensate for TC’s failure to implement training standards that are practical.


The regulation that defines the duty to day to be 14 hours and the tour of duty to be 42 days does not ameliorate fatigue, it promotes it.


Things have not changed much in aviation in Canada in 50 years while rest of the world has evolved at a frightful rate. Like the mechanism that produces earthquakes, in which the seismic strain increases until it is released with awful energy, the accumulation of worker frustration and operator and government ineptitude has created the potential for a cataclysm.

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I don't think the daily duty hours are necessarily too long - if I'm away from home I want to work - and anyone who's been in the miltary or on standby for anything else knows it's more tiring to be sitting around. And let's face it, Canada's industry is seasonal, unlike Europe which is way more steady and demands different regulation


What I woud rigidly enforce is days off, and none of this "a day not flying is a day off" crap, except in extraordinary circumstances and with permission granted to individual companies. Part of the benefit of a day off is knowing you're going to get one, and helps you through the rough days just before. This business of sending someone off on tour and leaving them there should be outlawed.


Certainly 42 days is too long - after 21 days all I want to do is go home. And why is it suddenly safer to do 60 days when there's a fire on?



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Pilots have no way of reporting illegal acts or being pressured to any government regulatory agency? Excuse me, but I guess I have some investigation to do because someone, somewhere has taken away a privilege of mine. I have documents and a brochure right in front of me that I was told was issued freely to every Canadian person holding a valid license to fly. That document states phone numbers and addresses to contact and to do so without giving a name, address or any personal particulars whatsoever and without impunity. I'll have to find out when that ability was taken away and why I wasn't notified. So somewhere here, someone doesn't know what they are talking about and I will find out "toute suite" just who that is because perhaps my information is "dated"..


Depending on the type of flying I'm doing, I may be tired and need a rest after as little as 14 days or as much as 60 days. It's a question of how much I have to focus on what I am doing during my workday and that workday can make me tired also after 3hrs or as much as 10hrs. If I don't have to focus each and every minute, can sit back and relax a fair amount and am not doing constant landings and T/O's, then it'll take longer for me to get tired. I'm the same way driving a car and find moving in heavy traffic for a long period of time more tiring than a leisurely drive down a highway that is not congested. So is everybody tired and unsafe putting-in that 14hr "Duty day" or is the 42 Day tour too long..........for some "Yes" and for others "No"...depends on what their job entails. Personally, give me excellent accomondations, great food and don't "fly my *** off" and you can stretch-me-out safely for quite some extended period of time. If the provisions are available, having my wife come to spend some time with me will also add to that time.......and not decrease my safety one little bit, but might even increase it. The other factor that enters into this equation is also a very personal one and relates to what one person considers "a long time away from home" and what another person defines that as. Many will consider 2 weeks to be their limit, while others have no problem with 6 weeks or even 2 months. One group cannot point fingers at the other because we all have different endurances and for a wide range of personal reasons. I've also met some in aviation who love the business and realize what it requires in that regard, but would love the job totally if they could go home every night. So don't make the rules the same for EVERY type of flying because that's patently unfair to all and borderline ridiculous to others. Towing a "bird" on EM work is NOT the same as logging or powerline patrol and they all require different degrees of focus and for different lengths of time, so how can they all be termed "unsafe" or "tired" after working the same length of time per day/week/year?


I also hear Albert Ross and those that feel like him, but they also realize or should realize that not ALL think as they do and their tolerances are not all the same as mentioned beforehand here. So make the rules whichever way the majority want them to be, but remember this at all times.......by and large the helicopter industry "makes its' year" during the summer months, no matter what they charge and there's nobody on/off this website is going to change that particular fact. THAT particular FACT does not come into the equation for the SCHEDULED runs of the "off-shore" crowd where winter is just another season with more inclement weather to deal with. Their customers operate year 'round, whereas the vast majority of the rest of the industry doesn't have a clientele like that.....and even if they do......their clentele's operations are greatly curtailed.

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" One would think that the wizards at TC "


O.K. I guess I have been out of Canada for to long.


When did TC hire wizzards to run their show?


Or better yet do they now have intelligent, productive, rational, and most important morally decent people in charge?


Jeesses one never knows when things will change. So if TC now have top notch productive management in place all you Canadians are finally getting a break in that area.



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""The government should give a $50,000.00 grant for longline and mountain trainng to all low time pilots so that they can be more useful in the field."


Sisyphus are you for real? This isn't a communist state man, besides I pay enough taxes as it is. Using your logic we'd go broke training every pilot for every possible useful skill he/she may require.


As for your beef with TC, if you believe you have better solutions why not write a paper on possible fixes and submit it to other operators for their input and submit it to TC. Or go ahead and join TC and implement change from within. You may find that regulations, bureaucracy and government isn't as simple to change as it seems.


There are folks out there that bring about change, just reviewing the history of aviation in Canada proves that. Bringing a machine such as those big Kamov helos is but one example. Having single pilot IFR approved in aircraft in Canada is another but it takes people willing to help and affect those changes. You bring forth some valid concerns worthy of discussion so offer to put forth some solutions the operators and TC could use.


As for wizards, I've met boneheads working for every possible outfit you can imagine and there are lots of great folks working in those same outfits. One brush does not paint all.

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Albert Ross ----- Understood 'ol bean....and agreed. Want to cure a lot of "ills" of this industry and the cause of much argument, grief and accidents?.........remove Flight Pay. Our duties, responsibilities, rules, regulations and grief we can cause is far greater than any Used Car salesman......therefore don't pay us like one. If there is some member of this industry with experience, who is not worth commanding a $75,000 - $120,000 SALARY (depending on the type of operation), then he/she is not "the norm". I do not wish to have my T4 determined by the number of cars I sell OR the number of hours I fly. If I don't sell enough cars or fly enough hours I'm outta work anyway, so don't anyone use that as an excuse as to why "salaries" won't "fly". I place the "root cause" for not all, but many of the "ills" of this industry at the feet of Flight Pay. Oddly enough, the car salesmen of my town are now going to salaries in order to retain and attract present and future members of that profession......and it's working "big time". Take the "monetary gain" away as the reason and one will find that the reasons to "extend a tour", "push" weather, etc., etc. will be eliminated because the "monetary benefits" have been removed. Will it still exist in some cases?....of course it will because some will do it and money never was their reason.


That's my humble $ .02 worth that happens to be mine alone because I've found few that agree with me without using the word "BUT".

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