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John I have noticed you like to take a shot at Helijet every now and then. Just because you didn't quite make the grade don't try to blame it on everyone else. If you took the time to listen, learn, and do as you were told maybe you could have earned a little respect at Helijet. Whilst I do believe time in the industry is an asset when converting to the IFR world, LL skills are irrelevent when simple tasks like answering radio calls, maintaining level flight in cloud, or operating the loran can't be completed correctly and professionally.



He might have earned a little respect...........................but he wouldn't have earned very much money.


Thats not a shot its just the way it is. You get to go home every night in Vancouver and if you have another source of income ( like a pension or a working partner) you can actually afford to live there.

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I once asked our ops manager if it would be advantagious to get my IFR ticket. He replied that I would be far better off getting a Q ticket on my drivers licence and then told me to get the **** out of his office. We were operating 29 machines at that time, but an IFR ticket meant absolutley nothing and had no value in getting a job with us. I've come to believe that it is an over-rated endorsment, and IFR flying must boring as ****. Scary as **** if you screw it up, but boring when your doing it.

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Canook Pilot, as one said already, your only old as you think you are, I say go for it, what have you got to loose, if you have twin time, it will not take long to get into captains seat, if no time in a twin, it will take a minimum 500 hours, depends where you work, quite possiblie more maybe required. CHL needs pilots all the time, they all leave to go work international after one year or more, so if thats where you want to go to, then go to CHL, get some time there and then head overseas. getting a n IFR will only make you even more employable. As some say about captains where ever you go, you will meet one that will try to treat you like dirt, and there are those will give you the respect we all deserve. As we all know as VFR pilots, you can tell someone to "intercourse" off with a smile and get away with it, well it works in the IFR too.


Look at it as an investment not a mopney loss, it will only be a money loss if you do not take a job IFR.


Good luck and just read everything you learn ten times and you will have no trouble with IFR. Read the RAC section of the AIM, 6.0 to 11.0 all is IFR goodies and there is more in the other sections but usually in bits and peices and read the entire met section over and over, those stupid exams is whats gonna get you and get your self an Instrument procedures manual, lotsa goodies in there, and they are getting big on GPS. :punk:


oh and by the sounds of it, don;t go work at heli jet, I have no idea what goes on in there, but seems like a conclusion has been given, hahaha, jokes :rolleyes:

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I converted over to IFR at age 37, and I never looked back.

I was lucky, in that I had 1500 twin time when I converted, and I went to Abu Dhabi Aviation, and was made captain right away, and on Captains pay.

The travel, on and off work alone makes it worth the while, 6 weeks off is alot of time to ramble around this old world, and most companies will let you convert your ticket to anywhere you want, not just home.

Yes, there are a few jerks out there, but for the most part, the guys are very experienced and willing to help you out. You do have to check your ego at the door though, as you are now a rookie again, and it,s time to look and listen, not talk.

It is a very different world, almost like starting all over again, and it is not for everyone, but, if you don,t try, you,ll always be wondering what if.

Personaly I loved it, but I,m also a little bent.

My .02 worth

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I was at HJ from 98-01, 76 and 61 there. It was rarely boring, I flew with some outstanding Captains and co pilots with experience from all areas of the business and it gave me a lot of real IFR time. There was a great team spirit, some great nights in the pub and I made friends for life, it's a shame if it has indeed changed as much as Mr Ralph thinks it has.


One point I would make for people considering the switch, after talking to numerous people who have done both, you will get a lot more real IFR experience on the sched at HJ than any ambulance job. I have no doubt that a night VFR scene call into a tricky spot can be as hard is it gets, but if you want procedural IFR skills in a busy environment go to HJ and fly the sched. It would be interesting to see how many people go from VFR to IFR and then go back........


I may be wrong, but I don't think it's too many.


You're never too old to learn a new skill

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As said above, your never too old. I was 41 when I did mine back in 2000. After spending about twelve years flying and LIVING in the bush (Red Earth) just thought I'd through that one in, I knew that when I was 55 and older I didn't want to be doing the bush thing. Never looked back. Did CHC EMS for two years and then moved on. Currently working over seas doing six and six.


As far as the Heli-Jet boys go, yes I have worked with a few of them and yes some of them have never done anything else but HJ when the try to convert to off-shore. They should know their IFR stuff but as far as having good airmanship or common sense as I call it, sometimes they lack this that alot of the former bush drivers gone IFR have. Its from the background that you come from. IMHO learning your trade in the bush and then moving up to the Dark Side as Ryan puts it gives you the skills to make the transition easier. Right JB ha ha



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I did five years in the bush then bit the bullet and ate Kraft dinner for a year or two, best thing I ever did for family life, but sure miss real flying as offshore is mindnumbingly boring.

Yes, you'll fly with Captains you may not like but as long as you know the SOP's ( standard operating procedures ) you don't have to talk about personal issues and the cockpit will run just fine because both crew know there jobs.

Your not to old, but two crew and IFR is different (and a lot less fun) I can't stress enough knowing the SOP's and you'll do fine.

I worked at HJ from 2000-02 and it was the best company I've ever worked for in regards to management, HR, sched and fellow employees. I made captain in less then a year and a half and moved on for better money. The experience there is fantastic, you will learn to fly IFR.

Good luck,


PS. I like getting converted VFR pilots beside me because they are always thinking ahead of the aircraft and have good hands. Just develop that scan and keep it going.

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I'm 39 and just got my group 4 in October.


Learning something new is never a bad idea, if noting else the experience will make you understand that we live in exactly half the helicopter world (as VFR pilots).


I may never go on the dials again, but the experience was well worth it.

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