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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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I'll keep this short; I am very satisfied with the situation that I am fortunate enough to be a part of. I get paid a comfortable wage to fly for an operator who treats me and my family with respect. The aircraft I fly are maintained by a group of dedicated and responsible engineers. Safety and training are as important to the owner and management as they are to all of the drivers and wrenches.


Those who find themselves in a situation that is less than ideal should take a hard look at what causes their discomfort. Is it real abuse by the employer, or is it just a genaral dislike of the industry? I agree that things can always be improved, but lets be careful not to handcuff ourselves. Associate for representation on issues such as safety and operational concerns? Yes. Unionise? No.

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Hey Goldmember,

You raise a very valid point. One that I would have agreed with until recently. The recent goings on in Western Canada with regards to take overs and buy outs has shown me that usaully the employees are the last to be considered in the day to day runnings of the business. ( see siesmic for sale ) Its time to protect our own intrests and work together. Tell me where to send the cheque.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I for one can't hardly wait for this association to get going, being a born and raised westerner and working for a company that merged or to me was taken over by it's eastern division which just happens to be in Qubec, I've seen a lot of major BS since, just for an example and maybe I'm being overly sensitive but as everyone probably knows Alberta Forestry pays 4.0 hour daily minimums not averaged, well the fine management team within the company decided that they would average all minimums accross the board so when the flight crew was on Alberta Forestry Fire 001 for a week flying 8.0 hours a day and then sent to Edra fire base on manup and didn't turn a blade for a week the company will be paid for 84 hours and the flight crew will only be paid for 56 hours you don't need an accounting degree to figure out who's getting screwed on this deal, by the way the question was asked why the crews weren't being paid the same hours as the helicopter and the answer was that the extra money they were stealing from their crews was to make up for some clients who didn't pay their bills. I truly hope this association can help put a stop to this kind of crap.

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Rotor Head, what you're describing is likely illegal if you were manning the ship and your name was on the no-fly flight report. Check it out with a labour lawyer.


That's just wrong on so many levels.


There is room for an organization that tries to raise the bar of professionalism in the Canadian helicopter industry (not collective bargaining!!). Such a group could work with the HAC, insurance underwriters, end users, and TC to represent the interests of the pilot community, which is largely ignored these days. For that to be effective, two fundamental things have to happen.


- There would have to be strong discipline within the pilot community to uphold high standards of professionalism. We all know that there are some awesome examples of this in Canada, but we also have our share of, well, you know. This could not be tolerated. The organization would have to come out strongly against unprofessional behaviour by pilots, and not be there to protect the weak.


- All, or most, pilots would have to participate, including financially.


I wonder how much interest there really is. This topic still hasn't yet managed to attract the level of interest of my stupid motorcycle trip, despite that thread being dormant for the past month.


A salary, travel, office expenses, and a cell phone, will easily bring you into the $150,000 to $200,000 / year range to float this thing. With 2500 CPL/H and ATPL/H in force, of whom maybe less than half are flying commercially in Canada, that adds up to at least $120/yr per active pilot. When it comes to paying for this 'association', I wonder how many will actually come to the plate.


If an organization, as described above, ever does come into being, don't let the efforts of the guys who are trying to get this going be wasted. All commercially active pilots need to support it.



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Hello everybody! I've been flying in that part of the country where internet service is very poor or non-existant. My apologies to those who have contacted me since my last post. I will follow up once I get home and have a belly full of donair meat.


I have approached several drivers on the job and have had some interesting discussions and input from all. Not one has voiced opposition to an association! Typical of helicopter pilots though; most are very cautious and want to ensure that this is not a union drive in an associations clothing. Let's all say it again - THIS IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE A UNION. I have even approached an owner/operator who agrees that it is about time that pilots agree on some basic principles via an association. It will be good for the industry!


I hope to be home in the next couple of days and will be contacting those who have volunteered to complete the paper work to get the basic association structure up and running.


It is also great to see additional voices supporting this worthy cause. CTD, thanks for offering support and trying to encourage everybody to become involved. As usual you have put forth observations in a clear and concise way. The sign of an experienced scribe. Please keep them coming!


Cheers! Everybody have a great weekend! :up:

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