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Entering my 33rd season of flying...thought I had seen it all...


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27 years in and ready to move on. The absolute worst thing about being a helicopter pilot is the lack of home life (like being home every night). 

Don't get me wrong, the experience from High Arctic to Sunny Tropics has been amazing. 
 

But then we get old and possibly lonely and I even wonder if it was worth it. 
 

Would never do it again if I could start over.

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27 years in and ready to move on. The absolute worst thing about being a helicopter pilot is the lack of home life (like being home every night).  Don't get me wrong, the experience from High Arc

I remember when I started out..."shortage of pilots" they all said. That seems to be the meme of the industry as I've heard it for years. They never correct it by inserting the word "experienced". But

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22 minutes ago, Iceman said:

27 years in and ready to move on. The absolute worst thing about being a helicopter pilot is the lack of home life (like being home every night). 

Don't get me wrong, the experience from High Arctic to Sunny Tropics has been amazing. 
 

But then we get old and possibly lonely and I even wonder if it was worth it. 
 

Would never do it again if I could start over.

Yup! The nicest view in the machine with the lowest pay.

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8 hours ago, Iceman said:

27 years in and ready to move on. The absolute worst thing about being a helicopter pilot is the lack of home life (like being home every night). 

Don't get me wrong, the experience from High Arctic to Sunny Tropics has been amazing. 
 

But then we get old and possibly lonely and I even wonder if it was worth it. 
 

Would never do it again if I could start over.

You’re speaking for the majority I think.  Canada puts up with the worst of pay / schedule / lifestyle of any other country.  It’s not worth it here anymore

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On 3/3/2022 at 8:58 AM, Saifan Pilot said:

Check out also the statistics of the number of commercial helicopter pilots in Canada: https://tc.canada.ca/en/aviation/licensing-pilots-personnel/aviation-personnel-licensing-statistics#toc2

TC hasn't release the numbers for 2021 yet, the number of commercialy licensed helicopter pilots seems to be declining especially since 2015.

 

1905791558_ScreenShot2022-03-03at09_55_02.thumb.jpg.8b8cc66546699dcff980108ebcb3a164.jpg

That’s because there’s no more work, seems to have dried up around the time the presiding government took office.  That’s about the time I started working outside Canada for way more money for way less work.  Helicopters in Canada have always thrived on disaster support, namely wildfires and floods.  The other large work has been exploration / mining which is all but completely gone in Canada since 2015 (realistically never recovered from economic downturn of 2008).  All of the larger players that were publicly owned have since re-privatized or have outright defunct.  More companies than I have ever seen in Canada are throwing in the towel, four major ones I can think of off the top of my head in the last two years.  
There is more road access to most of Canada where helicopters used to be required as well as drones taking over for much of the wildlife and pipeline surveillance work for less than a fraction of the cost.  
Coast guard and EMS operators are full within the last five years likely due to people seeing work drying up.  Other than that there’s a little pocket of hydro work here and there and very VERY few corporate positions.  As for agriculture work (spraying and seeding) that seems to be dying off slowly in Canada too.  I can’t imagine the attrition will right itself for working pilots any time soon if ever.  This is now a hobby career IMO.

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1 hour ago, CM119 said:

That’s because there’s no more work, seems to have dried up around the time the presiding government took office.  That’s about the time I started working outside Canada for way more money for way less work.  Helicopters in Canada have always thrived on disaster support, namely wildfires and floods.  The other large work has been exploration / mining which is all but completely gone in Canada since 2015 (realistically never recovered from economic downturn of 2008).  All of the larger players that were publicly owned have since re-privatized or have outright defunct.  More companies than I have ever seen in Canada are throwing in the towel, four major ones I can think of off the top of my head in the last two years.  
There is more road access to most of Canada where helicopters used to be required as well as drones taking over for much of the wildlife and pipeline surveillance work for less than a fraction of the cost.  
Coast guard and EMS operators are full within the last five years likely due to people seeing work drying up.  Other than that there’s a little pocket of hydro work here and there and very VERY few corporate positions.  As for agriculture work (spraying and seeding) that seems to be dying off slowly in Canada too.  I can’t imagine the attrition will right itself for working pilots any time soon if ever.  This is now a hobby career IMO.

Where do you work may I ask? Grass sounds very green?! 

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On 3/14/2022 at 3:09 AM, Bee3 said:

Where do you work may I ask? Grass sounds very green?! 

🇺🇸….. I haven’t seen green grass in Canada in years.  Look at the pay scale down there compared to here for just an A&P, and they get paid hourly and they are for the most part HOME EVERY NIGHT.  You talk day rates down there they look at you like you have a third arm.  

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7 hours ago, CM119 said:

That’s because there’s no more work, seems to have dried up around the time the presiding government took office.  That’s about the time I started working outside Canada for way more money for way less work.  Helicopters in Canada have always thrived on disaster support, namely wildfires and floods.  The other large work has been exploration / mining which is all but completely gone in Canada since 2015 (realistically never recovered from economic downturn of 2008).  All of the larger players that were publicly owned have since re-privatized or have outright defunct.  More companies than I have ever seen in Canada are throwing in the towel, four major ones I can think of off the top of my head in the last two years.  
There is more road access to most of Canada where helicopters used to be required as well as drones taking over for much of the wildlife and pipeline surveillance work for less than a fraction of the cost.  
Coast guard and EMS operators are full within the last five years likely due to people seeing work drying up.  Other than that there’s a little pocket of hydro work here and there and very VERY few corporate positions.  As for agriculture work (spraying and seeding) that seems to be dying off slowly in Canada too.  I can’t imagine the attrition will right itself for working pilots any time soon if ever.  This is now a hobby career IMO.

It is unfortunate, but I agree. I switched to US work a couple of years ago. I was reading just last night that Heli-ski is on the cusp of dying out too, most of Europe has since killed all Heliski work due to Carbon emissions. Thanks Greta! But then again, with the crisis in Ukraine, work in the oil patch may increase, as CM119 said, thriving on Disaster. 

There was a time the Canadian Helo licence was a world-wide ticket. Those days are gone. Now even Africa postings requires EASA. 

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30 minutes ago, BJP said:

It is unfortunate, but I agree. I switched to US work a couple of years ago. I was reading just last night that Heli-ski is on the cusp of dying out too, most of Europe has since killed all Heliski work due to Carbon emissions. Thanks Greta! But then again, with the crisis in Ukraine, work in the oil patch may increase, as CM119 said, thriving on Disaster. 

There was a time the Canadian Helo licence was a world-wide ticket. Those days are gone. Now even Africa postings requires EASA. 

Africa is one of the harder nuts to crack these days, they’re protecting what little they have.

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