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100hr Wonders


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around these parts, I believe the company has a legal right to make you work a max of 8 hours OT per work. Above that you can refuse......

 

Imagine 100 wonders forming a union....WTF would we do then.....LOL! Paid breaks, 1 hour each every hour, 2 hour lunches, OT after 6 hours and daily massages, with a daily min of 3 hours flying......it would never end. :punk: :punk:

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I think the problem is obvious, most flight schools are run by people who have little or no commercial experience. When you have 10,000 hours ( almost all instructing ) but have never rolled a drum in the mud how could you prepare your students for the real world. I've said it before on this forum, flight school should be about preparing for you for your first day at work and that means a ground job. If the chief flight instructor didn't go through the process of paying their dues how could they possible prepare a student for this. I opened Premier Helicopter Training because I was embarrassed at the quality of students attached to my name. I believe flight training should take 8 months or more, the school should have a program built to give the student hands on work experience. And I don't mean stripping paint from a machine so the school can save money on a paint job.

 

A while back there was a thread about "PUPPY MILLS". Well, the definition of a puppy mill, when you get your license in 4 months, don't know how to use ground wheels, never greased a machine, have never slung solo, never set up a staging area,etc. The standard of 100 hr pilots will improve when the industry starts to recognize and reward the students who are smart enough not to attend a school that will say anything to get the $50,000. More is learned on the ground than will ever be learned in the air, and that takes time. The job of CFI should not be to get you a license, it's about making a PILOT, and we all know flying is the easy part. If our industry is ever going to become the professional career choice I hear so much about on this forum then our industry must stop giving PUPPY mills the ability to say they have a 95% hiring rate. When your instructor shows up in shorts and the one on the ramp beside you has on a pair of white pants its obvious when they woke up they had no intention of getting you ready for " THE REAL WORLD "!

 

The CFI's ultimate job is not to sell their school to the prospective student, but to sell their students to our industry. As long as our industry keeps buying a sub par product, these Puppy Mills will keep turning them out.

 

Not all schools are like this, but the biggest ones are. I had a student who is 80% finished his training come to me a little down in the mouth ( not complaining just a little down ) because the work program I set up for him was requiring 12 hour days. ( getting an A-Stars over haul finished) And that left no time to fly in the last 2 weeks. My response was, " I worked 12 hour days for 2 years before I got my chance to fly, so you won't get any sympathy from me" ! He's not a complainer, actually he's perfectly suited for this job, but some times the new guys need a lesson in reality, It's the CFI's job to make sure they get just that.

 

 

 

Just my thoughts

 

Rob

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Rob,

 

 

You make some very valid points, and I'm in total agreement about introducing the prospective pilot to the ENTIRE job, not just the flying part. Unfortunately, until as you say, industry starts to reward schools/students for spending the time to learn these lessons, little will change. I'm also of pretty strong opinion that that actual flight standard/course content needs a major overhaul in conjunction with your thoughts. But that's another thread entirely...

 

Take heart however, in the fact that this problem is not limited to the helicopter industry. I'm in a big drill camp right now, flying big hours, in some pretty spectacular country, and I'm having a hard time motivating any of the Geo Students to help out, learn some things, or even take an interest in the country around here - makes you shake your head. Their ONE job right now associated with the helicopter is to receive core at morning shift change. This morning they couldn't even get out of bed to turn a radio on, didn't get it when I put the core at the shack and hovered there for two minutes, so I put the load right outside the door of their tent in the middle of camp.... Even that didn't bring them out! :blink: Just not interested in anything other than being Head Geo Type - and that, is many years of work away.

 

The sooner people get the stars out of their eyes and realize that flying ANYTHING is work, and it's called "work" for a reason, we'll be better off all around. That applies to wages, working conditions, equipment, Low-timer attitudes, the lot.

 

As I said earlier, I think it's a generational/geographical thing.

 

AR

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I got my licence at the "puppy mill" your refering to in june of 2005. I took me 4 months. I did a season on the ground where i learned most of which you are refering to, I've got over 900hr's now and 800 on a jetranger, so the puppy mills aren't all bad. Though it would be good for the student to get some of this from the school, there's nothing like real world experience to teach you this stuff. I don't think that alot of it can really be taught at a school, in any way other than theory. Maybe I'm wrong, but even your school Rob I don't think gives practical experience with say 4 machines coming into a staging area for fuel and load hook ups and what not. I do believe that there is alot more workforce preperation that could and should be done a these "puppy mills", but there is only so much that can be passed on in a school setting. I am by no means a seasoned vet, but the little experience I have was learned in the field for the most part and I really can't invision it being taught to me at a school the way it was in the bush. 100hr guys suck it up, grin and bear it and you'll come out flying in the end.

 

just my 3 cents.

 

keep it in the green

 

Rayzor

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Also part of the training should be customer relations,FM radios,handheld radios and the multitudes of GPS's that have to be programmed,before you go out on a job

Rob,

You make some very valid points, and I'm in total agreement about introducing the prospective pilot to the ENTIRE job, not just the flying part. Unfortunately, until as you say, industry starts to reward schools/students for spending the time to learn these lessons, little will change. I'm also of pretty strong opinion that that actual flight standard/course content needs a major overhaul in conjunction with your thoughts. But that's another thread entirely...

 

Take heart however, in the fact that this problem is not limited to the helicopter industry. I'm in a big drill camp right now, flying big hours, in some pretty spectacular country, and I'm having a hard time motivating any of the Geo Students to help out, learn some things, or even take an interest in the country around here - makes you shake your head. Their ONE job right now associated with the helicopter is to receive core at morning shift change. This morning they couldn't even get out of bed to turn a radio on, didn't get it when I put the core at the shack and hovered there for two minutes, so I put the load right outside the door of their tent in the middle of camp.... Even that didn't bring them out! :blink: Just not interested in anything other than being Head Geo Type - and that, is many years of work away.

 

The sooner people get the stars out of their eyes and realize that flying ANYTHING is work, and it's called "work" for a reason, we'll be better off all around. That applies to wages, working conditions, equipment, Low-timer attitudes, the lot.

 

As I said earlier, I think it's a generational/geographical thing.

 

AR

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Rayzor,

 

The point I make is simple. A FTU's product is its students. If the school does not prepare them for the reality then what are they really there for. Not every one should be a pilot, thats a fact. Just like I shouldn't be a doctor. If the schools take 50,00 from some one who can't do the job, is that not wrong. I know of a guy who did "500" hours of training, all paid for by WBC and 3 years after graduation still can't even find a ground job! What does that say!

 

Things have worked out for you and congratulations! I mean that sincerely, but for every success story there are many who never touch a helicopter again. Or end up working for a company that will never let them fly, because they don't have 100hr pilot jobs. Things would be a lot different if a FTU had students who could walk in a hanger and be useful. Why do so many low timers have to wash toilets, because thats all they can be trusted to do. And that because they were not shown more.

 

And yes, with some extra effort, you can simulate the real world, especially when you have a machine capable of the real world. There is no point in taking 5 student out to the bush and setting up a staging area, as I do @ Premier, when the helicopter used can't lift a sling load.

 

Of course we can't simulate a campaign fire, or a multi machine seismic job. but certainly more can be done. At the end of the day, is the instructor happy with what he taught today, or is he happy with the number of revenue hours he flew.

 

 

Rob

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As a low timer (170 hrs) grad from a puppy mill, I've got to agree with Rob.

 

My school told me I could look forward to mopping floors and washing aircrafts, but no mention of the kind of work I'd be doing on the ground in the bush. The school was concerned with training students to fly safely, and they did that well, but it would be wise of a large operator with a flight school to train their students (read: potential employees) to be useful labourers as well.

 

That said, FTU's can't be expected to mold ideal crew from raw clay! A lot depends on the 100 hr wonder's work ethic, willingness to learn and their experience. Some of these kids might be right out of high school and having never worked before being dumped in the bush. I'm not trying to sympathize with them; but I'm not surprised if some are disillusioned by a job that doesn't fit a 9 to 5, two day weekend description. It's harsh getting your reality check after having spent so much money!

 

I got my first ground crew job days after graduating and I really enjoyed it; partly for the experience and partly for the novelty. The pay was very fair, $100/day + food and a roof (and AC and ExpressVue :lol: ) the long days/weeks didn't bother me, but then I'm the kind of guy that likes being busy when at work. I need another job like that; I'm looking forward to getting out of my cushy office job.

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As a low timer (170 hrs) grad from a puppy mill, I've got to agree with Rob.

 

My school told me I could look forward to mopping floors and washing aircrafts, but no mention of the kind of work I'd be doing on the ground in the bush. The school was concerned with training students to fly safely, and they did that well, but it would be wise of a large operator with a flight school to train their students (read: potential employees) to be useful labourers as well.

 

That said, FTU's can't be expected to mold ideal crew from raw clay! A lot depends on the 100 hr wonder's work ethic, willingness to learn and their experience. Some of these kids might be right out of high school and having never worked before being dumped in the bush. I'm not trying to sympathize with them; but I'm not surprised if some are disillusioned by a job that doesn't fit a 9 to 5, two day weekend description. It's harsh getting your reality check after having spent so much money!

 

I got my first ground crew job days after graduating and I really enjoyed it; partly for the experience and partly for the novelty. The pay was very fair, $100/day + food and a roof (and AC and ExpressVue :lol: ) the long days/weeks didn't bother me, but then I'm the kind of guy that likes being busy when at work. I need another job like that; I'm looking forward to getting out of my cushy office job.

 

 

There are definitely some valid points being made with regards to this subject, and I agree that some adjustments have to be made at the flight school level in order for the industry to see some changes. I attended a “puppy mill” and by all accounts it was quite a reputable school in the mid 90’s when I attended (still is today I guess), but I certainly did not have a realistic view of what was to be expected of me in the industry. I learned that as I spent no less than 4 and a half years on the “ground” doing all the dirty work before someone gave me a chance to receive some further training and commercially fly an aircraft on their dime. I guess that I am somewhat biased when it comes to low-timers, while I don’t agree with the many situations of abuse of low-timers, I am a firm believer that with the current level of “real-world” training provided by many flight schools, the only way to become valuable to an operator is to spend at least some time on the ground learning the ropes. I know there are defiantly a few 100hr guys out there cursing me for perpetuating this theory, but I have seen both sides of this argument first hand and I believe that some time spent on the ground will make you a better operational pilot in the air.

 

Boomer

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There is also another way to break in as well if you have the smarts and don't mind waiting a few years and dirty hands don't bother you...get yourself an engineers ticket...as i did...then not only are your in demand but you will know a whole lot more about the aircraft you are flying...now being a p/e has its good points and its bad points....not going to ellaborate on this site about that...as the s#& would start flying...but with the wrench licence you will have a lot more leverage...trust me.... :wacko:

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It's up to the potential student to search out a school that's right for them. You could walk into a "puppy mill" and get good training depending on your instructor!!

 

You can see in a heartbeat if you look close enough. If it is warm out look for the instructor that is still wearing boots and jeans and throws a jacket into the baggage area before they go train in the mountains or the local training field for that matter.

 

It is not the school that teaches you, it's the instructor. Find one with a good reputation and don't hesitate to ask him if his students are working. The better instructors I am sure would be proud to hand out that information. I know mine did and still does ;)

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