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I think we can all agree it has been a busy year for all operators. More hours flown = more bent metal. It sure isn't nice to hear though. Maybe a lack of experience plays a part. Hope we can work towards lower numbers next year. Fly safe all.


I am not sure if agree with you Heliben. How can you start to point the finger at a "less experienced" pilot? Look back at some of the accidents this year and tell me what you know of the pilot and his/her experience. I know for a fact that 3 machines that have been written off and behind the controls of each of them were high time pilots with LOTS of experience. Can you find any reports that differ? say a low timer flying? or a less experienced pilot?

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"poking bees nest with a stick" as I ponder the reality that accidents add to the experience level, but not in the way you want.

My take on the accidents is that we always refer to the "rate" and it's clear, more flying = more risk = more liklihood of accidents, and although experience level does play a part, more than likely the culprit is the situation around you at the time....and even then, the past experience, just isn't enough......

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I disagree with any statement that puts down the implementation of the SMS program because I think it's yet another step in the right direction. People seem to forget that there is a shortage of high time pilots in the industry. That being said the high time guys and gals have a much bigger work load, weather it's taking on more of the difficult jobs more frequently or supervising the lower time pilots to keep them safe. Not to mention the shortage of engineers in the industry as well. I'm sure all operators this year have been scrambling to keep the wrenches on machines.


I am not trying to imply that there is sub standard work being preformed on the behalf of the maintenance or operations divison of any particular company. I am simply saying that based on the large spectrum of accident senarios this season it would be hard to pinpoint one specific cause. We can only be gratefull that a lage percentage of the accidents were injury free and we can strive to increase our safety record in the future.


Be safe out there



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Hmmmmmm.....as Someguy said, shortage of engineers.....


Just curious how any type of machenery can be kept in a high state of repair when there are too few people to keep them that way? I'm not trying to imply that 'this' company or 'that' company is not doing all it can, but common sense dictates that something has to 'give'. I heard a few stories this summer where an operator had machines parked because of a lack of pilots. I wonder if there is any companies out there that parked a machine because of a lack of engineers....or they just work the ones they have that much harder?


There is no free lunch. Pilots log the hours.. Machines need the TLC. You can push the limits of any machine to the extent that the M.E.L will allow, but is it really as safe as it could be?


Having had a really busy summer with operator"A", who had enough pilots and enough engineers to get the job done, and with little or no down-time, I know full well it was more by fluke than good planning. Good companies will always have machines that have un-expected mechanical problems and the associated down-time. Companies running a skeleton maintenance staff are, just by statistical fact, going to have a harder time of it. If company "B" is running their engineers to death, they are gonna have fatigue-related errors, and the accident stats are going to reflect it. Even really good engineers make mistakes if they are shy on rest and resources. Pilots are just as likely to make fatigue-related errors too. With all of this season's flying hours, I think there were probably a few crashes due to the crews not being 100% due to being stretched to the max. We are all just human, after-all.

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I am not saying that all these accidents and the falling safety record of the rotory wing side of things is due to the introduction of SMS. It is interesting to note though that the safety record in the past year has fallen and there have been alot of accidents. As someone said, it has been the worst year TSB has seen!

If you have been following along with the media in the past year you will note how well the SMS system has been working in the railway industry. CN Rail has been cutting corners in many ways and it caught up to them, unfortunately people there trying to make a living have also been killed.

It is all to common in the aviation industry espically helicopters where companies cut corners because times are tough and there is no money or there isn't enough time to do the job correct the first time around. We have all seen it! Yes there are companies out there who spare no expense and do whatever it takes, but they don't compare to the number that cut corner after corner. Component shops that have one qualified person supervising half a dozen or more fresh apprentices out of school is wrong and I bet no one disagrees with that one. It's the industry's own fault for being so short when it comes to qualified pilot/engineers. Companies refused to hire apprentices for years because of the simple fact it usually take 5 or 6 before you find one that worth keeping and investing the time and money into. For any person who does the research before getting involved will discover rather quickly that it's not a very appealing industry. How many of you would suggest to your son or daughter that they should become an AME or a pilot? Every person I have ever asked that question to has said f--k No, what does that say about it. Once you finish your pilot training at 60,000 sum odd dollars you can go sweep the floor at a hanger for years. Then for the next 30 years you can live in forestry/siesmic camps with a bunch of men and watch the playboy channel in the rec room everynight. It just not a very appealing industry to alot of people and now people are complaining that they have no qualified staff.

SMS in my view is not going to make the system any safer, there is going to be alot more corner cutting. Some shops out there it seems have never had to worry about following regulations so it won't be of any difference to the them. Just another example of who you know and because of it we have friends who are put in danger and possibly killed because of it.


Good luck out there, it seem to becoming all to common to hear that another wirlybird and has come down the wrong way.

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Finally someone hit the nail on the head, thekingshead says it right. Everybody thinks we should just go out there and accept the way it is and "if you don't like it, get out"as some on these forums have said in the past. Great attitude. We put up with crappy locations, terrible shifts, long tours away from home, and operators cutting corners and get paid like Wal-mart workers. That affects attitude, which eventually affects safety. SMS or not, if the operators don't start treating the people working for them like the skilled individuals they are, and reward them for the working conditions that they tolerate( because they love to do what they do), the attitude starts to suffer and in the end, safety.

Many good people have been lost because there is no reward for what they do, so they drop out of the industry, especially on the maintenance side.

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The impression that I got (again through the grapevine), was that although it has been a really bad year, it seems to simply be one of those statistical anomolies. Society isn't imploding, it's not inexperienced pilots, it isn't engineering human factors, it's not a failure of SMS, etc. I don't think there's any overall trends in the incidents this year, just plain bad luck. In comparison, last year seemed to be a great year. The worst we had to deal with last year, was a couple minor over-torques. This year, the fleet has unfourtunately become a bit smaller :( . A bad luck year, nothing more, nothing less.

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