Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
xrkyle

Helicopters

Recommended Posts

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a sucker when it comes to the environment. I blame it on being a fisherman and seeing the direct impact we have on fish stocks and their habitats. Plus I was born and raised on the west coast so that automatically makes me 33% tree hugger :) Lately, I've been so caught up with trying to reach my goal of becoming a helicopter pilot that I never really gave much thought as to whether it was the right thing to do from a moral and ethical point of view.

 

I think most would agree a large portion of the work helicopters do directly supports activity that is quite harmful to the environment and in some cases harmful to people's health, their culture and their human rights. Ya I know, what doesn't do all that right?

 

Do any of you ever think about if the work you're doing is right or wrong? If so, has it ever had an impact on your decision as to whether or not you take on a contract, job or whatever?

 

I'm not passing judgement saying people in the industry are all raping and pillaging the Earth, we all are to one extent or another. I really want to know if for example, the guy flying Shell employees into the Niger delta, or the crane pilot single stemming old growth, or the guy moving a diamond drill into an alpine meadow has an issue with what they are doing or are giving it any thought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said "no" to a seat with CHC Int'l because I don't believe in what's going on in West Africa, and after a a bit of work in AB, I'm not heading back to the oil patch anytime soon. Ethics suck when they get in the way.

 

It's a valid question, and one you'll be asking yourself repeatedly in drill camps, logging camps, and any oil industry work. I've drawn a line when it comes to these issues, and try as much as I can to stay on the right side of it, but I've also realized that it's not always possible, and I do have to eat...

 

AR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the examples you have listed, using helicopters probably has less impact on the environment.

 

If it can't be flown to, it will be driven to, therefor more damage to the environment from roading etc.

 

The helicopter operators are only supplying a service. Its the projects they service that are (possibly) doing the damage.

 

Its a bit of a catch 22 situation.

 

 

Just an opinion. :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is always a compromise it seems. I am working toward my PPL and restore gas sucking land rovers as a job. Personally I try to do what I can to take care of the world I live in. At work I create "toys" for the rich that get 12-15 MPG so they can go off roading...

 

What I do dosnt really up hold the standards I set for my self, but I am good at what I do, so I do it. Its not my place to judge, but IS my place to do MY part.

 

I feel that if we all do our part to take care of our own little corner of the globe the rest will fall into place.

 

If I don't build the truck some one else will, if you dont fly the helo, some one else will, but hopefully.... collectively... we can take care of what we have and preserve it for our children.

 

just my 2 cents

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not against heli-logging or logging in general for that matter, BUT... I'd be telling you a bold face lie if I was to say it didn't get me down when I flew fallers into a new block and watched it get more and more ugly by the day.

 

As I said, it's not that I am against logging, its just that British Columbia is my home (born and raised on Vancouver Island) and this is where I want to raise my daughter and I want her to be able to benefit from the forest the way so many generations of British Columbians did before her. There is no way that the industry could sustain itself if logging were to go on the way it did for so many years. That is why I am glad to see that things are beginning to change. I want British Columbians to be able to make a living in the forest for many years to come. And yes, I am very grateful for all the wood products that are in my home! (and I do know exactly how they got there)

 

Back to the bold face lie; anybody that claims that logging today is being done in the best, most environmentally sound way possible is the one telling the lie (or maybe they just have a big stake in the industry and it's not convenient to admit the truth). I prefer to be realistic about the situation. It's not perfect but we all benefit from the forests every day and to think we can simply stop logging is complete nonsense. Our economy would colapse into a ruin. Baby steps. I am convinced that we all have to be realistic about the situation (loggers and tree huggers alike). That doesn't mean stop logging and start tree hugging, it just means be aware that technology and science MAY be able to give us better tools and better methods which will allow us to carry on making a living from the forest for many generations to come. I know lots of fallers who feel the same way I do.

 

At the end of the day, we all want jobs, we all have to eat and pay the bills, we just need to continue to make the right changes so that our future generations can live and enjoy B.C. and Canada the way we all love to.

 

Just my two cents!

 

gc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the helicopter industry thrives on natural disasters and resource exploration, there are many other jobs that are at the positive end of the spectrum. There is all kinds of research work done with helicopters with everything from animal capture and fish studies to climate studies and soil errosion surveys. EMS helicopters save lives around the world everyday and although search and rescue work in Canada is mostly handled by the armed forces, there are places in other countries where civilian contractors do that type of work too. Many companies also have helicopters flying for the UN to provide Aid in places where it is desperately needed.

 

I also agree that helicopters are a tool used by those who need it and if they were not available for exploration the alternative would be much worse. As long as the demand for oil, gas, and minerals is strong enough, nothing will stop companies from getting to them, helicopters or not.

 

Many of these jobs require experience there is no doubt and if you limit the types of jobs you are willing to do at first, you will make a difficult first job even harder to get. That being said there is no reason why you have to abandon your ideals in order to be a helicopter pilot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From the examples you have listed, using helicopters probably has less impact on the environment.

 

You missed my point somewhat. The issue I raised isn't whether the activity of flying the helicopter is detrimental but whether the activity the helicopter is supporting is detrimental, which is the case in all the examples I gave. Yes, given that a helicopter or a truck are going to log the same block, heli-logging is lower impact compared to truck or rail logging because you don't have to cut a road or rail grade in but the activity the helicopters are supporting, namely logging in remote areas that were traditionally inaccessible is the crux of the matter.

 

It's good to know people in the industry are conscientious on the issues and that it's possible, as with people like Auto Relight, to be able to abstain from becoming part of the problem if you so choose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do any of you ever think about if the work you're doing is right or wrong? If so, has it ever had an impact on your decision as to whether or not you take on a contract, job or whatever?

 

 

A very good question and I am glad to hear you ask such a question. In whatever we do we should seek not to compromise in any way, not only with environmental issues but also with moral.I would never work for a company that I knew were gouging the public with its services such as an oil company. Remember we complain about high gas prices, but if we go and work for the company that has needlessly set those prices so high we participate in the stealing. Money is ill gotten gain when it comes from dirty sources. In everything we do we should remember our Creator because we are responsible to Him. I will make sure I keep this in mind when job shopping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree that the pilot is 'part of the problem'. Our consumptive society is the problem. At worst pilots working in resource extraction facilitate that society (and, of course, participate in it!). At best, we can acknowledge that someone will be driving the helicopter, and it's 'better' if that someone can influence those around her/him to think and act in a more sustainable manner. The quiet revolution from within...

 

We need enviromental extremists, 'cuz they help make the message of moderates sound quite reasonable.

 

Good discussion. I'm not always comfortable with my role as a 'facilitator', and sometimes wonder if the argument I've made above is not just a rationalization for continuing my fun job.

 

****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...