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Reddog I appreciate the vote of confidence but I would never assume that I immediately qualify for big iron when most drivers work many years to earn it.


I appreciate my "on the dials" time is pretty high but I have no problem getting out there and "earning my wings" in the bush. What we do in the military is tons different to what most civvy drivers do and I am constantly humbled when I look at the skills of pilots flying smaller machines but doing that longlining thing or aerial spraying or mountain flying.


My skill set includes flying at 15 feet in formation with 20 other 212s, shooting an approach just by eye into the hills north of Val D''Or at night to rescue someone, hoisting guys out of a canoe during a storm on the great lakes and landing a Sea King on the pitching deck of a frigate in the North Atlantic, great stuff and I''ve loved it but it does not make me anywhere near qualified to do what you guys do so well and make look so easy.


If CHC Int''l finds my background interesting then that would be terrific but like I said I''ve never assumed I am qualified nor deserve to "jump ahead" of anyone else in line for bigger machines just because I flew in the Air Force.


Bottom line is I just love flying helicopters and I''ll be happy if I get a 25 year old Jet Ranger to move big and smelly prospectors around or a chance at a bigger machine. Whatever, so long as my bum is off the ground, I''m ready to learn tons of new stuff.

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Don''t sell yourself short. They take young guys fresh out of school and send them out, look at what you are bringing to the table! As far as stepping on toes, you''ve more than paid your dues.


There was a post on another forum quite some time ago regarding ex-mil guys moving into the offshore market and driving down salaries. I know from experience that this is definitely not the case. The ex-mil guys are the ones that seem to put up with much less crap than the rest of us will, and all the improvements and wage increases I''ve seen over the years are a direct results of this attitude. Most of us with bush backgrounds are so used to "taking it" we just shrug our shoulders and take whats handed us. We don''t know any better.


While some ex-mil guys don''t make it on civie street due to a very different work enviroment, most excel and some even make it a better place.

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CORAX; Bladestrike was right. Go back in the history of the helicopter industry in Canada and you will find that most of the old timers originate from prior to the seventies. Most of the oldtimers originated from the military HU-21, HS-50 and 108 squadron in Canada and the US Army from Korean and Vietnam war. This includes AME''s.


Some people never get rid of there military attitude and they are the ones that suffer the most in bush ops.


It is a different approach, once on contract you make all your own rules in accordance with the requirements. Adaptation is not hard, use what you were taught as far as flying is concerned and adapt it using common sence and you will not have any problems. If your graunch has been around for awhile, use him as a sounding board. Remember you know how to fly, commercial ops is just another mode.



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Well Heli Ops I will start by telling you that I started my REAL Helicopter Career Back in 1964 in the USMC and then in a small country call Vietnam and then back to Hawaii then to Colorado and then I met my wife and we lived in the US for another few years with me AG spraying with a 47G2 and Flying in the US National Guard and then to Kelowna and then to Alaska and back to Kelowna Home. I worked for Alpine Helicopter for many years and now I fly contract for Delta Helicopters and am having the ball of my life flying the OLD 204B. That is about it for me. About flying time you could say 10,000 plus hours after 5,000 it really doesn''t matter any more.

I hope that we can get together down under in Dec.

Cheers Ken Wilde

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T-Rex and DGP, I don''t know how aged or decrepit you guys are, or the wrenches you''ve worked with, but my last several years on the 204 often involved loading the flyaway gear in half an hour. We take more time if we have it, but not when in a rush, and the exercise makes up for the beer consumed with the time saved. Ya gotta love it!

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I too started my helicopter flying in 212''s in the weeds and from your career description you have all the skills you''ll ever need. All you need after leaving the service is an open mind and a realization that there is more than one right way to do anything. As far as light or mediums, you''ll probably be more use to your employer flying mediums.


And about jumping the line don''t worry, 99% of the employers base 99% of their decisions on need, their need, not ours. If you have the qualifications that they need for the next contract then you will get that job, upgrade, checkout, whatever.

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Guest Bullet Remington



As stated earlier, there are great and some not so great ex-mil drivers in the Civie side. The transition from the mil to civie side is not that great as long as you remember a few things.


Us prime examples of why abortion should be retroactive (Engineers) are not really impressed with the pilot end of things. So, it would be best to forget that " I''m the Captain, Com - non-com thingy".


Another thing, before you pull the plug, get one of the mil A.T.s to show you how to pre-flight the machine and how to refuel it.


Get familiar with the basics of maintenance - there is a 99% chance you are going to be called upon to do an independent check. Now we''d rather have somebody that actually knows what they are looking at do it, but at 02:00, we''ll tolerate a driver doing it, just to make sure we haven''t missed something.


Always realize that the wrench bender is indifferent to anything you do or say, unless of course it is one of those rare ocassions when the driver actually says something relevant concerning the machines serviceablility.



Don''t whine about the seat being uncomfortable, or the cabin being dirty - we don''t care!! It''s your office you keep it clean!


Don''t mark your lifts on the side window - that can get you in a world of hurt!



Never go to Tim Horton''s without bring back a coffee and two of those Old Fashioned Plain Low Fat doughnuts for the wrench bender.


Oh, and make sure you get hold of, read and heed a copy of that article " How to Operate a Helicopter Mechanic"! Everything in it is true!


Me?? Spent over 20 years in the mil. The better part of it wrenching, when not seconded to a "Special Unit." 7 Years on Sea Pigs!


The last thing to remember, Take nothing personal, it''s just a job and if ya ain''t having fun while yer makin money, there''s always another job!


I stongly doubt you''ll have any problems with the transition. Good Luck to you, whatever road you chose.



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Guest Bullet Remington



If you are drivin for Delta outa St. Alberts, say hello to the Chief Wrench Bender for me would ya? Old CW and I used to work togather at the Cool Pool years ago!


If you''re gonna be home between the 28th of this month and the 10th of the next, and wanna get together and tip a couple, I''ll be at KFC during that time. You can get hold of me at hmvrep@yahoo.com and I''ll give you a telephone number in Kelowna you can contact me at.





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Thanks for tips boys I really appreciate it. You don''t have to worry about me and the rank conscious thing, I usually get in trouble for being too human with the NCMs if you know what I mean. As for going to Timmy''s and not bringing back enough for all, that''s getting along 101 isn''t it? Any guy/gal who bends wrenches on my ride has my respect unless they prove otherwise as far as I''m concerned. We''re on the same team, I can''t fly if they don''t fix, they got nothing to fix if I don''t fly.


Life to short to be an a**hole. I''m just looking forward to flying for many more years.

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