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1 hour ago, cbox chip said:

But somehow operators can afford to pay ever increasing wages for pilots due to a labour shortage. Are there really that many more Engineers out there than pilots?

No, there’s only a few hundred AME’s (actively still in it) that work on helicopters specifically in Canada (definitely less than 1000).   Having said that, there’s always first and second year AME’s with wet ink on a type course. It’s a mucky situation again the industry has moulded for years.  Why pay a 20 year veteran his rate when you can get the same certification from a green AME that they can keep in the field all summer with no pushback.  Some operators are finding drivers from outside Canadas labour market, and more recently, AME’s for the same reason, $$$. There is no shortage of either, there is a shortage of willing candidates (domestically) under the current wages and working conditions.

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/13/2022 at 11:38 PM, CM119 said:

No, there’s only a few hundred AME’s (actively still in it) that work on helicopters specifically in Canada (definitely less than 1000).   Having said that, there’s always first and second year AME’s with wet ink on a type course. It’s a mucky situation again the industry has moulded for years.  Why pay a 20 year veteran his rate when you can get the same certification from a green AME that they can keep in the field all summer with no pushback.  Some operators are finding drivers from outside Canadas labour market, and more recently, AME’s for the same reason, $$$. There is no shortage of either, there is a shortage of willing candidates (domestically) under the current wages and working conditions.

Green Engineers can cost operators a lot of money too. They might not be out there breaking helicopters like green pilots but lack of experience can lead to some costly parts changes and downtime. Let alone actual maintenance error that may cause an accident.

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On 1/1/2024 at 1:00 AM, cbox chip said:

Green Engineers can cost operators a lot of money too. They might not be out there breaking helicopters like green pilots but lack of experience can lead to some costly parts changes and downtime. Let alone actual maintenance error that may cause an accident.

That is true, but also something one or two experienced ames (in management) can navigate remotely.  That is the majority of what I’m seeing in Canada. 

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On 1/4/2024 at 8:06 AM, CM119 said:

That is true, but also something one or two experienced ames (in management) can navigate remotely.  That is the majority of what I’m seeing in Canada. 

I think we're arguing the same side here. I don't think relying on a couple experienced guys at head office to male all the decisions is doing anyone much good. Almost as bad as having the apprentice do the whole 100 hour and the licensed Engineer show up to sign it off.

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6 hours ago, cbox chip said:

I think we're arguing the same side here. I don't think relying on a couple experienced guys at head office to male all the decisions is doing anyone much good. Almost as bad as having the apprentice do the whole 100 hour and the licensed Engineer show up to sign it off.

Agreed, I’m saying this is more and more common from what I’m seeing.  One or two experienced guys at head office quarterbacking most if not all field level maintenance through the use of remote green fresh typed ames.  It’s done for several reasons

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I agree with CM119 100%.

I’m many decades into this industry, and this has become the norm and more prevalent for sure. The days of starting off on a light single to gain the foundation of basic field maintenance over several years before gradually progressing to more complex medium twins or heavies is also a very real issue. Operational requirements are forcing companies to rush junior AME’s though the system by handing out local type courses like Halloween candy, to suit their requirements. And yes, I now observe a lot of newer AME’s on equipment they have limited knowledge on, coached through the season by head office CE’s and DOM’s.

Sadly, I’m afraid the days of factory courses and 4-5 years on type prior to moving on up to the mediums or heavies are long gone……….

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On 1/13/2024 at 7:13 AM, Seniorwrench said:

I agree with CM119 100%.

I’m many decades into this industry, and this has become the norm and more prevalent for sure. The days of starting off on a light single to gain the foundation of basic field maintenance over several years before gradually progressing to more complex medium twins or heavies is also a very real issue. Operational requirements are forcing companies to rush junior AME’s though the system by handing out local type courses like Halloween candy, to suit their requirements. And yes, I now observe a lot of newer AME’s on equipment they have limited knowledge on, coached through the season by head office CE’s and DOM’s.

Sadly, I’m afraid the days of factory courses and 4-5 years on type prior to moving on up to the mediums or heavies are long gone……….

It well and truly is gone.  This started about 15 years ago and has gotten unpredictably worse ever since.  Some operators are even pulling licensed outside of Canada “talent” to fill a void in their maintenance departments (I first witnessed this roughly five years ago).  The future isn’t looking healthy for new and current Canadian AME’s.  
There is a vast generational divide in work/life interests/expectations with millennials and most especially generation z and their predecessors which are largely owners and management. Canadas helicopter industry has always had much more demanding expectations compared to comparable career paths (which has always been extreme regardless of generation).  
Operators are finding out the hard way of this coming trend.  Trades have been slowly dying off in general the past thirty years and other industries were much more proactive in staving off the problems now being faced by Canadas helicopter industry.  
Remuneration, training, professional development, benefits, stipends and retirement contributions have all increased drastically in other industries to encourage new licenses and employee retention.  
Now I’m seeing first year licensed ames with…. a type course of some kind on, and certifying mediums and even heavy’s as their first or second endorsement.  It’s a very interesting situation indeed.  I think we’re past the point of recovery with a signing bonus or guaranteed type training unfortunately. 

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