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Canadian Helicopter Pilots Association

Would you join an association to represent your interests with the regulatory bodies and set safety and employment standards to be adhered to by the companies you are employed with. By-laws would be established, a corporate structure set up.  

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ok..........time to draw a line here......






if someone promises cold refreshments then........................



oh, and ribs................



i'd vote yes for an ASSOCIATION but still NO to a union.



412driver :shock:

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Let me point out one thing - Association and Union are not synonymous.


Because we start an Association of Canadian helicopter pilots it does not follow that this association is a union. In fact, it is not and never will be a union.

If there are to be unions formed in the Canadian helicopter industry (and I can think of several companies where they may be needed) then it must be done on a individual company basis and decided on by the crew working for that company at the time. There is always going to be a place in the industry in Canada for the smaller operators - I do not see these operators ever being forced into a union regardless of what happens to some of the larger companies.


Guys, please do not be afraid of an Association. The people who want to bring you an association are not trying to hoodwink you into a union. An association will benefit ALL Canadian helicopter pilots - both high and low time.


By following the threads posted on this forum it is easy to see the many and varied issues and questions that face the industry today. I especially note the recent points made about following the rules regarding seatbelts. Obviously the rule is poorly written and fails to take into account the many varied aspects of our industry. This is a perfect example of where the Association could step in and clarify this situation before the rule becames law.

As far as those people not following the rules, have any of you ever stopped to think that a lot of this is due to peer and company pressure. Companies don't care about the ruling on seatbelts as it is not their licence on the line in the event of an accident or prosecutiion. This is another area where an association could have positive input.


I see another post where someone is worried about the effect of an Association on low-time pilots. I believe that the Association can only have a positive effect in this area. If we can tidy up the whole issue of hiring low-time crew ( I like some of Blackmac's ideas here) then all low-timers will benefit. One thing I would like to see come to an end is the idea that low-time pilots wanting to get into the industry should work for appallingly low wages - or even nothing. I have seen this for years and have always detested the practice. If a pilot is worht hiring then he is worth paying properly.


Let's face it, right now companies manipulate wages because it is about the only thing left that they can alter. When it comes to the other costs of the business like fuel, insurance and spares, then they accept the going rate and build it into their costs. The same thing should go for wages.


While I am on this rant, I may as well state that I am also tired of poorly managed companies expecting the crews to pay the price for this bad management. Too often, I seen managers' come to the crews asking for concessions, and telling the crews that 'We have a problem'. As if this problem is of the crews making. To this I say it is the company that has the problem, because in most cases the pilots and engineers can put on a different hat when the next comany comes in and takes over.


Enough on all that.


Guys, please support this Association as it is the best chance we have for the future, both to improve this industry and to be recognised as a group of professionals. :up:

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I'm all for an Association as described above - where do I sign? :)


With regard to CARs, most of it is poorly written - to use an English legal phrase, you could drive a coach and horses through a lot of it. We should certainly have input there. Personally, I don't care whether passengers wear seat belts or not - I expect them to have the sense to realise ithat an instrument panel in the face tends to ruin the whole day, but as long as my neck's on the block, then they will wear them - end of story. Don't forget that as soon as you instruct a passenger, it becomes law as well.



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I know you guys have been pushing the pilots assn but why not cover all forms of the industry. Remember you might have some engineers, ground crew, even interested parties wanting to support it. If you modified the ideas behind this you could get the support of not just the pilots, but a greater cross section of the industry, including those who are just ardent supporters and this would give you even more clout behind you when trying to deal with people.


Those that I have spoken to have said that the Heli Assn of Canada is not really effective and they would rather see an assn run by those working in it everyday. This is just some feedback from your fellow industry people.


Why not have it as the Canadian Helicopter Crews Assn or Canadian Helicopter Industry Assn this way it doesnt alienate those that dont fit into the pilot catergory. Just some suggestions to give you more teeth.


Heli Ops

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I have been listening and watching for sometime now in regards to an association, up until now I have not viewed my opinion. The main reason is because I didn’t think the Canadian industry was ready. I mean ready by having the organization to guide us through the necessary steps to do this right.

We may only have one crack at the cat sort of speak and it is my opinion that if we are going to go through the process of having an association. It must be done right.

I am also not a big fan of what we understand as a Union. This isn’t about a mill worker who is trying to get triple time for a stat holiday with a dozen “floaters” in 6 months!

This to me is about respect, respect as a profession. Look around at any other profession. Lawyers, Nurses, Medics, Dental, Airline………….. You name it; they all belong to an association of some kind. And they are treated with the respect their profession demands!


I also have been a member of PHPA for the better part of a year now, I have watch, listened and even called Butch along with a couple of colleagues to ask him some tuff questions on what they are all about and how they can help us.


One of my concerns about belonging to an association is how it will affect the company in a negative way, as a lot of you out there, I have a vested interest in the company I work for and have a lot to loose if they were to suffer from such an organization.

So one of the questions that I had for Butch was “will an association put the company out of business?” We are already more expensive than most of our competitors and as much as I would like to see an association, it does us no good if we have no work or contract!


His reply was along the lines of this………. “One of the biggest misconceptions… just look at what we did for PHI and Air Logistics. They received a 28% pay raise and they retained all of their contracts, the customer came to depend on their high level of service and safety and were willing to pay more, just like someone else mentioned “it just gets passed along”

He also mentioned that this does not create a work place for the lazy and unmotivated. What it dose create is a set of rules. An employee now knows what is expected of him & a manager now has a “rule book” on how to manage people. It makes everyone’s jobs easier. Long gone are the days of a manager “bulling” an employee into submission and an employee cutting his own “secret deals” Everyone knows their position.

He even went on to say that once the process was over, the companies fear was eliminated and things actually ran smoother. He did mention that “tensions” rose a bit every 3 years during negotiations but other than that…………… everyone went to work happier, both sides of the fence!

This was a big issue for me, yes, more money would be nice BUT the big one for me is to be able to go to work and not be reprimanded by voicing my opinion or concerns………. “There are bases were we send guys to that speak up”!!


Well without going on for ever here, my suggestion to all is sign up with the association, cost 50 bucks & you do not have to be an organized member! See what they have to say & give Butch a call. He is anxiously waiting to hear from you and will gladly answer your questions.


And keep in mind, this is NOT an American program, they represent a dozen countries around the world, except Canada!! They have the knowledge and the finances to help us along.


Your thoughts!

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I have decided to "uncloak" and add my real voice and real name to this debate. I am all for an Association of Professional Helicopter Aviators: Pilots, Engineers, Managers, Owners. I realize that the owners have their own gig (the HAC) and various groups of engineers have their turf staked out (ie Atlantic Association of AME). So, let's make it happen for the pilots. Let's be inclusive, not exclusive. Let's be transparent and open. Let's make it about championing the Canadian Industry. Let's make it about Safety, Fairness, Professional behaviour, Obeying the law (CARs, Labour code, OH&s, etc.). Let's do it NOW. Let's put the work into it, and let's make it work. Count me in.


Walter Heneghan


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It is very pleasing to see the momentum building on this issue.

It is equally refreshing to see the number of new faces appearing in regard to the forming of an Association. Although these people have never posted anything on this forum before, they obviously feel strongly enough to sign on and make their views public.

Keep it up guys. Any comments, both for and against, are welcome, and you can be sure those who are trying to make this happen appreciate your words and will take these comments into consideration.

It does appear that the vast majority are in favour of some form of organisation.

Thanks to Saturnman, Bubbleboy and those others of you who are putting in the hard work that is required to make this thing happen. Let us all make sure that once it is up and running we all support it and make their hard work worthwhile. :up:

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associations WORK :up: ... just ask any flatfoot in this great country of ours!!


where's the meet on the 24th?? i'll be there with my cheque in hand.


i'm looking forward to meeting you characters...



dan mulligan

opp heli unit

orillia, ont


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