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Who are the good operators?


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I remember finding this forum years ago when flight school was still just an idea in the back of my head. I'm beyond grateful to the many posts people have written and those who have reached out to message over the years with advice that's helped guide me to where I am now in my career. I'm especially appreciative of people being able to speak up (within their means) about operators to avoid for various reasons. Life is too short and this job too dangerous to waste it working for someone who doesn't value your life and the risks this unique profession entails. I know there have been a couple of posts over the years about companies that are good fit for low timers, but I feel like stand up operators for 1000 plus hour pilots haven't been discussed near as much. I'm hoping some people can shine a light on the gems in this industry (great training, management, job variety etc).

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As a generalization i look at what clients the company serves.  If you their being used by major oil/gas, mining, public utility there probably decent enough.  If on the other hand they service junior just about anything, venture exchange type business they're probably not great and the normalization of deviance can be high.  Flying over weight, crap weather, marginal maintenance.   ****** clients find ****** heli companies.   All the #### ends up on forestry, i don't think James Cameron is able to find how low the bar is for being hired on fires. 

Doesn't mean those good operators pay the highest, but there might just be a reason the #### places have to high wages.  I call it the #### owners tax. 

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5 minutes ago, robottxt said:

the #### places have to high wages.  I call it the #### owners tax.

That’s why anyone with any decent experience only works for contract for any operator in Canada (deemed good or bad).  The work just isn’t there anymore and what is left is slim pickings.  If you’re a skilled pilot or engineer, have the customer sign your solicitors contract and charge them appropriately.  That’s the only way to ensure you will be treated properly.  As for crap customers and maintenance, pretty easy to spot just on an initial orientation.  Look at the machines and assess the other staff, listen to your sixth sense.  There is no list of good operators anymore, even the heritage legacy company’s that “don’t pay as much” aren’t great.

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The list of good companies is short.

The lost if the companies that will screw you ( or your wife) is way longer now.

The maintenance is pretty low in the bad companies as they took lessons from the owners of Northern Mountain. 

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14 hours ago, OPI said:

Life is too short and this job too dangerous to waste it working for someone who doesn't value your life and the risks this unique profession entails

Then don’t work in Canada, none of them care.

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21 hours ago, Tundra said:

 

I look back at my time at Alpine very fondly

 

That place had a mass exodus of very high time and talented guys about 10-12 years ago and has been a revolving door ever since.  

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18 hours ago, robottxt said:

As a generalization i look at what clients the company serves.  If you their being used by major oil/gas, mining, public utility there probably decent enough.  If on the other hand they service junior just about anything, venture exchange type business they're probably not great and the normalization of deviance can be high.  Flying over weight, crap weather, marginal maintenance.   ****** clients find ****** heli companies.   All the #### ends up on forestry, i don't think James Cameron is able to find how low the bar is for being hired on fires. 

Doesn't mean those good operators pay the highest, but there might just be a reason the #### places have to high wages.  I call it the #### owners tax. 

Well put lol and I used to use the same metric when choosing customers in Canada.  
Oil and gas/mining (exploration) has almost completely dried up from what it was 20 years ago.  

Public utility is saturated and not many seats at that table.  Forestry can kick rocks lol it’s is god awful now with the averaged mins etc.  the only time I do work (in the field) is this, emergency services, because it’s the right thing to do.  
I do have a conscience and will help certain customers when they’re short handed during a busy fire season.  Canada is after all my domestic soil after all.

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