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Why Do We Spend So Many Days Away?

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I've been reconsidering my 28 and 14 schedule lately (i know it could be worse) and found myslef wondering why must we spend so much time away ??? ..... Is it financial reasons from our bean counters ?? Is it costumer influenced , ie: We want this person start to finish on the job??? Where does this dissproportionate work/home time come from?


Can it be changed?

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28 and 14....I wish!


I currently work 24 and 4. It's also uncommon that I rotate back to the world after 24. The simple reality in the oilpatch is that my skills are in high demand, and finding a replacement for me at the end of 24 days is not easy at all. In lieu of 24 and 4, I work an equivalent extended schedule. I spend 30 or so days in the field, and then get 6 or 7 or 8 days off. In my company, if you're working less than 300 days a year, there's something wrong.


Take a hard look at the normal 9-5 guy's schedule. During a period where he works 30 days, he gets 12 off. Why would anyone in their right mind whine about 28 and 14? I personally would be willing to do all sorts of unholy things to get a 28 and 14 schedule. If you have the balls and intestinal fortitude to deal with the minor inconvenience of working 28 days straight, you get two weeks off. Most people are lucky if they get that once a year.


The entire oil and gas drilling industry operates on a 14 and 7 rotation. Sounds good, but realize that the travel time (up to 36 hours per rotation) happens on the "time off" that these roughnecks receive. That means that they often work a de facto 16 and 5 rotation. You've got it good.


To answer your question about bean counters, the simple fact is that getting someone with valuable skills to a remote location is expensive. When you increase the duration of that person's rotation in the remote location, you increase the net financial efficiency of the operation that sees him working there.


28 days is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to spend in the boonies. At or about 1 month in, most people begin to suffer from the effects of being "bushed". I am in an excellent postion to comment on this, having worked in jobs where I have spent as long as 6 consecutive months in the field (minimum 12 hours a day). I've seen first hand the effects of long rotations, and have spent four consecutive years observing the effects of various rotation lengths and shift work on my system and mental wellbeing.


If you can't hack it, then step aside for a low timer that has a more realistic perspective on the real world.

Edited by w squared
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The difference with the average working stiff who does the mon-fri 9-5 gig is that at the end of the day he gets to see his wife and kids and sleeps in his bed. When I explain the life of a typical bush pilot, people often tell me "Two weeks off after four weeks in the bush ? Wow ! That's so great"... :huh: Now if I could find a woman who feels that way... :up:

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Elvis....I'm with ya.


Skidz...What kinda value do you REALLY place on the 2 hours of true family time that the average guy/girl gets before he has to shut down to get sleep before his commute?


How many hours does a corporate management type TRULY put in to get that 40 hour a week salary? 65-70 hours is not uncommon to see a monetary result that gives a comfortable standard of living.


Let's take a hard look at the time and money that a helicopter pilot invests and compare it with a BA in Business Admin. Let's look at financial reward. Let's look at overall time invested. Let's look at the QUALITY of the time spent with family. Who comes out ahead?


All of this is above and beyond love for the job. VERY few corporate types can say that they LOVE the view from the their office. VERY few can say that they're doing something that they have dreamed about since they were 14. VERY few can say that they are "living the dream". How lucky is someone that gets to pilot an Astar to make comfortable living?


All of this is without considering the benefits of working in a field position. Nobody cares if you say "F*CK"...Nobody cares if your flight suit isn't pressed. What they care about is can you FLY! You get to see and experience terrain that many people would pay large money to tour.


In terms of finding a woman that can deal with 28 and 14, it's a matter of quality over quantity. An independent, intelligent, open-minded woman will place value on the time that you commit to her, and will be willing to accept the time that you must spend in the field in order to do that. If she's unwilling to understand the trade-off, then she's not worth being with. I for one can attest that the women worth being with will understand the value of being with a man that LOVES what he does. The effect on the overall quality of life for the couple is worth the investment on the part of both parties. If you go to work eagerly anticipating doing something that you LOVE, it makes you a better person to be around.


When you get back to the world, the quality of "re-acquainting" yourself with your significant other compensates for the quantity that was missed. If the two of you are TRULY into each other, it means that you have a "honeymoon" period once every six weeks. It means that you as a pilot are making an adjustment, not a sacrifice.


The two weeks that you get off are YOURS! You do what you want, when you want. How many people can say that?

Edited by w squared
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My first job was 3 & 2

That was 3 months in and 2 weeks off

If all of us would stand together more often as a group and demand a maximum 30 on and 14 off from our employers, eventually to customers would get the message, more of us would be working, more marriages would be saved and everybody would be a lot happier.

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Years ago I asked a friend of mune working at Quasar Helicoopters what their rotation was.

He said 4 and 4.

4 weeks in and 4 weeks out I asks?

Nope. 4 weeks in and then another 4 weeks in till the summers over.

Thank God those days are over.


I now work 6 and 6. And while 6 weeks here is a long time 6 weeks off sure is nice.

Come to think of it I haven't worked anything but equal time tours since the 80's. It's the Intrument rating I guess.

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After seventeen years in the business, what I look for in a season is a maximun of eight, thirty day on and forteen day off tours, that pays 80K+. Being away any more than this really hurts me and my family. Three of my four kids are not teenangers yet and you realize how long and how much you missed every time you walk in the door after thirty days

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