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Why Do We Spend So Many Days Away?

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First off we are lucky to be able to do a job we love, I can't imagine sitting at a desk 9 to 5. I never look at my watch and say aggggg, still 3 more hours till I get to sit in traffic and commute home for another 45 min. If I wasn’t flying I would be hard pressed to think of another career that I would rather do.


However......in the grand scheme of things it’s still just a job, a way to provide for the family and to hopefully retire one day. When we are young bucks the job comes first, and as we get older our personal life comes first no matter how much we love to fly.


Driving a helicopter does have some risks to be sure, and requires a lot of time away from home. To me fair compensation for an experienced hand in the current market is in the range of 90 to 120 g per year working 2 on and 2 off. I think that an experienced driver should be making at LEAST 130 G a year. But of course the market will not sustain it. ****, where I live lots of tradesmen make 80-90 G a year, they are home every night, they have benefits, retirement package and the risk is nil.


I can see the argument where operators can’t sustain that tour length for those dollars, especially the ones that have to lowball to get a share of the work. Seems that there are just too many helicopters in Canada for the amount of work there is in the average year. Bottom line is that the rates are too dam low.


I have been doing 2 and 2 going on 6 years now, for crew changes this year the average flight seems to be in the range of $250-350, throw in a rental car, hotel, prediem, paid travel day and you’re looking at about $750.00 ish per driver. This is rotations within Canada.


It's true some do live to work, owners, new pilots....but the reality is that for most of us after a while its work to live and this is a tough industry to do it in long term. Since I started flying "most" drivers seem to be in their 30's and mid 40s'. Where are all the guys that are going into their 50's? Could it be that the long term working conditions are driving them to seek alternatives?



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Were are the crews that are headed for 50 and beyond, the ones that have been fortunate enough to dodge the Silver BB, or to quote a certian old heli-ski driver from Blue River,( They haven't had to scrape me off the side of the mt with the pearl handled gold plated spatula yet so it is a good day) we are still out there watching the games.



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Prior to 1987 there was a government organization called the Canadain Transportion Commission that regulated the stiff and rotary wing aircraft.


When de-regulation came into effect it was mainly focused on the stiff wing, but it sounded so good that every one in the rotary wing jumped at the chance to be de-regulated also, and for your further info this was done by the owners, not the engineers and pilots.


Under CTC everything being required on the contract was FOB your main base of operations, this included crew changes.


Nowadays everything is included in your hourly rate and minimums.


The owners had protection at one time but they gave it away. The greed got to them and YOU are suffering the consequences.


It's called take it or leave it.


Enjoy, because it won't change in your lifetime the way things are set up now.


Cheers, Don

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Wow do I feel stupid! Took me a while to figure out what the SHADAP comment was. Thanks for your support, I guess?


Fly safe dude





I got your six. B)


We're going two and two for the winter, and that's just fine with me. :up:

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If you choose to think that wanting a better quality of life is whining then that is your choice...


Believe me, when I discuss better money or a better shift with my employer, I am NOT whining.


I just know what other guys in my experience range are doing and I know what I want. 2 weeks on 2 weeks off and still good money.


One way or another, I will have what I want. The only reason I bother bringing it up with the employer is because of a small thing called company loyalty, I know they are hard-up for experienced pilots and I want to give them every chance in the world to know how to keep me around.


If I see that they won't work with me to get the shift that I know is available elsewhere, then I will just go elsewhere.


Why is it that when some people post, I feel like reaching through the screen and smacking them? Probably because I am on week 2 and know I have 2-1/2 more to go, my wife is missing me, and my 7 year old daughter counts the days untill I get home...

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