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Sorry folks, but this has all happened before. It is NOT the first time in Canada that the largest R/W firm has purchased all or the controlling interest in the 2nd largest. It also is not the first time that I've read, heard or witnessed rampant speculation about all the wild changes that were coming as a result and that the sky might even fall.

 

These are the major changes within R/W aviation during my career to date.........AND the read is very short:

 

1) The population of Canadian firms working off-shore has increased greatly. Rightly so because at least there they can match or exceed the rates that they should receive for their a/c and earn a better return on their investment.

 

2) Few jobs require you to go outside at all temperatures to use "the Privy". For decades the majority did and if you didn't like that, then find another profession young 'feller.

 

3) The wide use and acceptance of GPS for navigation and a host of other uses for it by the customers.

 

There is also one other item that has been with me during the decades of my career and I heard of it well before I entered the industry..............the IMPENDING pilot shortage. I must've been on vacation or in the bathroom at some point because I missed the whole **** thing and so did a whole mess of my peers.

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Where do I expect to see the industry in 10 yrs.? in my rear view mirror.

 

To the antagonist suggesting that once us ol' fellar's are gone the industry will finally progress, maybe, but don't forget there's a lot of ol' fellar's out there who took on a ton of risk and liability to be in a position to offer a young fella a start (I've yet to meet a 100hr. pilot thats had any concerns over flying a 35 yr. old machine)...and unless you plan on getting younger with time, well, damnation I forgot what I wanted to say next!

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Nothing against old machines as long as the money is spent on them - we've got several 212s here that look like classic cars!

 

Altering the thread slightly, any tips the ol' farts can pass on to the young whippersnappers before they go? :)

 

One is - if you ever end up running a company, make sure you spend money properly when it's required. It costs a certain amount of money to do any job, and if you try and do it cheaper than that, it will cost you twice as much in other ways. I learnt that one from Disney project managers.

 

Phil

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Skids Up ---------Move UP!!! **** man, I've been on jobs where the guy cleaning toilets and pushing a mop was making substantially more than I was and that wasn't yesterday either........it was the mid to late 70's.....James Bay Project. :wacko:

 

I'm still flying registrations nowadays that I flew when they were new in 1967. Your company also had one until recently that was flying for Air America in SE Asia in 1964. In fact, if it wasn't for the Vietnam War and the R/W it produced as a result, I don't know where Canadian R/W aviation would be today. Aircraft older than the pilots who fly them? I'm sorry, but that is now a "dated" statement in many cases because many of those aircraft are older than the fathers of those flying them. I flew two last year that dated from the mid '60's, so do the math. It's basically very simple.....you buy what you can afford, what will do the job and what you can get a decent return on for the money spent to acquire.

 

Here's an example of where our industry needs an enema and has needed one for a long time now:

 

(1) I will pay as much to charter a Bell 47G4 in Tokyo, Japan today as I will in my locale to charter a Bell 206B today. Their rate for that a/c matched and/or already started to exceed our average Canadian rates for a Bell 206B as early as the late '70's.........and people wonder why Canadian R/W and F/W are gravitating more and more to off-shore contracts?

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Large companies do save money in the areas John Moore described but the flip side to that coin is that they loose money due to high employee turn over and employee apathy towards the equipment and customers. Pretty hard to be a company man when the general manager doesn't even know your name and the owner is hundreds of different non aviation shareholders.

Large scale operators are not able to keep close tabs on the pulse of their work force and their customers like a small operator can.

Small operators have direct contact with their employees and customers and are better positioned to customize their service and fill specific needs that each employee may have.

It is because of the large operators inability to stay in touch with the details that make the difference that we small operators exist.

The bigger the large operators get, the more small operators will emerge as some of their disollusioned risk taking employees quit to start their own company.

Pilot shortage? 90% of the pilots we hire are 100 hr wonders so we don't have trouble finding them but maintenance personel is a different story!! I think a severe shortage of wrenches will be a big issue in the next 10 years.

Also, I think we're going to see more new equipment show up to replace the old stuff, as long as our dollar remains strong.

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Large companies do save money in the areas John Moore described but the flip side to that coin is that they loose money due to high employee turn over and employee apathy towards the equipment and customers.

 

The flip side of that again, is that the ownership becomes apathetic about employee apathy because as long as a profit is being turned, the ownership will generally not care about their employees or clients. Why would the owners care about employee turn-over, if the company still generates profit?

 

Small operators have direct contact with their employees and customers and are better positioned to customize their service and fill specific needs that each employee may have.
It seems that more and more (at least in my part of the country), clients are specifically requesting pilots with "extensive local knowledge", something that the bigger operators with large reserves of pool guys can't always provide.

 

The bigger the large operators get, the more small operators will emerge as some of their disollusioned risk taking employees quit to start their own company.

 

I'm hoping the smaller ones can stick it out, because I just made the move from a large operation, to one with a handfull of machines.

 

Pilot shortage? 90% of the pilots we hire are 100 hr wonders so we don't have trouble finding them but maintenance personel is a different story!! I think a severe shortage of wrenches will be a big issue in the next 10 years.

 

I'm hearing that fewer and fewer apprentices want to go the helicopter route, and certainly not outside major urban areas. It's either twin-engine IFR, or the airlines. Good for us though, as wages increase. People ***** about pay, but if you want to go north or do tours, it seems 100k + is not unreasonable. There's some medium-to-large operators out there now, with expensive machinery idle because of lack of engineering staff. I think operators need to be more progressive in enticing young apprentices into the industry.

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