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Issues Affecting Canadian Industry?

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Agree that tariff rates are probably the biggest issue. $$ or more precisely lack of revenue due to low tariffs and for those companies that try to keep the rates at a reasonable level, lack of work because those with low tariffs are getting it, both result in the employees' suffering.


An indepth article on tariffs - sure will be controversial with a lot of companies - see what customers (government & private) look for when they decide who to fly with - is it always only the rates. Case in point is the contract Mustang was awarded for the 350B2 for three years in Wood Buffalo Nat Park at a tariff of about $1000/hr AND when the contract was awarded the Minister responsible for National Parks - I think it was Anne McLellan PRAISED Mustang for giving such a low bid - that sure doesn't help keep the rates up at a reasonable level.


Another issue is the minimum hours placed by various companies (such as oil & gas) for various types of flying. When you look at minimums for some of these companies, they are a duplicate of the next one - most being advised of what they should ask for by a "consultant" - most companies in the NE of BC know the story behind the minimums and the "consultant". Obviously a lot of aerial work requires various degrees of experience, but a lot can be performed safely by low timers. Where can companies find 1,500 to 2,500 hr pilots to fly well site to well site over the muskeg in an R22 at slave wages? I know a lot of operators come up with agreements with the workers at these companies to have pilots with less than the required hours fly and some I have no doubt some skate around the issue of hours, pressuring the pilot to bullshit the customer, or else not fly. What sort of liability will result when an accident happens and it comes out the company deceived the customer......it wouldn't be pretty. An offer for a bid a few years ago for a wildlife capture job required minimum 12,000 hours, several thousand on type and with several hundred hours doing capture and with a 500 odd hr PIC time in the previous year. That was a government job, and the "pilot" I think they were looking for and presumably had the job written for, couldn't even do it due to recency.


Over the past 3-4 years, these minimums have jumped due to the emergence of these consultants, policy and other factors and I am sure it has affected the job prospects of the new pilots.


There, Mike, some ammunition for you!

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What appalls me is the libertine and brazen audacity of modern helicopter journals in search of stories.

They simply attempt to use the impersonal and anonymous internet to look for new topics.


I remember when the real perspicacious journalists would come to the hangar at 4:25 pm and offer to buy beers for thirsty pilots at the local watering-hole in exchange for exciting stories of glory and daring-do!!!!!


Then after a little inebriative lubrication the most determined of the gazeteers would offer to buy a capacious plate of ribs and baked potatoes at an establishment of fine comestibility in order to disinter the real low-down, hands-on scuttlebutt of our industry.


Of course to really tap into the heart of where the gladiatorious pilots thought the future of our business would lay, a serious chronicler would invite the inteprid flying warriors out for several after-dinner beverages at an evening spot, typified by comfortable furniture, scantilly-clad serving wenches, and nubile dancing nymphs that become even more scantilly clad as the evening progressed.


This all resulted in an evening of great erudition, culture, and enlightenment for the munificent and plenteous gentleman-of-the-press.

I feel this remains as really the only way to gather stories that feature the courageous valiance, intestinal fortitude, affability, companionship, and veracious authenticity that is part of our everyday lives.


Aaaah.........the good old days...........

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Cyclic Monkey - I have to disagree with your post, both from myself and also on behalf of Mike at Vertical. The successes of both our magazines are because we get out into the field and report from the "front lines" so to speak, and we try to look after those that help us. I will admit that in the past I have been slack on doing this but over the past couple of years made a concerted effort to give thanks where it is due.


A couple of days ago we did a set up photo shoot of a dummy accident scene with a BK117 in Kiwiland and I shouted everyone lunch that helped make it happen, fire crews, ambulance, helicopter crews and the police guys. Cost $150 Kiwi dollars so it was a decent feed.


Following day it was out at dawn with an AS350 doing topdressing in the countryside and today I am in Melbourne, Australia on my way to Dubai and Oman for some stories. I know Mike has just got back from some trips throughout the US and Canada so I hope you comments are directed at other magazines. :rolleyes:


Besides in my opinion thats one of the best things about this industry, being able to get out there and shoot helicopters doing what they do best. Go and have a look at some of the images on the Rotorheads forum in Pprune and you will see what I mean.


The day Mike and I start doing stories from home is the day I think you will find that we sell off our magazines.


Anyway just my two cents worth.


Heli Ops

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I don't think the cyclic simian was pointing any fingers. We all know that quality products are not produced through shoddy practices, and as we have posted many times in the past there are two high quality mags on the market now and a some of mediocre ones to round out the magazine rack.


I'm finding the experience requirements to be my stumbling block in finding a job. I brought hours out of the military, but not the experience employers want. Only thing that anyone has found interesting so far is my night hours, and I don't really want to be a day-sleeper for the rest of my long and prosperous life. Oh well, I guess I'll sell my soul back to the devil. At least he pays well.

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