The Aerial Enterprises that I knew in Derbs ('82 - '85) was a very well run outfit that was a very good training ground for the ab-initio Commercial pilot.
Lots of acft 'hangar' work and lots of good 'exposure'.
The downside appeared to be the looong hours in the day the pilots were expected to 'put in', and it appeared that MAF training seemed to be a pre-requisite (?).
Early in my time there, the pilots would be in at 6am to do their plans for the day, and not finish in the hangar till after 6pm - we invited a couple of the guys home for dinner at times, and they were very tired...
Later in my time there, 'someone' must have 'said something' to the authority of the time, as a morning and afternoon 'shift' became evident.
Immaculately maintained aeroplanes, and 'well washed and polished'.
A piece of ply wood over the whole floor, cut to shape, so that the upholstery / carpet remained as new looking as possible.
206's & Islander were the main workhorses, with a 310 and the owner's 337 as the 'flagships' of the fleet. The main work was out to Cockatoo and Koolan, but as a charter co., they also went wherever.
It would have been a hard gig, for the hours put in, but very rewarding in the experience / knowledge gained - if one was so inclined.
We would sometimes ask Dick for a cloud base on departure in his 337, as it was sometimes 'rather' black and low looking.....
Standard reply...."3 Octas 1,500"...It was just a game between him and 'us', and not to be taken seriously.
We had other means of assessing cloud base heights...
But as far as I can recall, these 'departures' were not for the 'newbies'....
The power of 'Local knowledge' - A Taiwanese fishing trawler disappeared off the coast near Broome, and the search was planned by Canberra.
The teletype was running hot with search patterns, tasking etc for the 6 or so aircraft involved. Dick was tasked in his 337, got his briefing which required him to do a grid search off the coast in 'this' quadrant.
On departure from DBY he flew to a point off Gantheaume Pt which he knew about, as he had on numerous occasions, observed flotsam floating in this particular area - a sort of collection point for tides, currents etc.
And there, in amongst other debris, was a man clinging to a wooden door that had separated from the trawler...and Dick flew straight to him.
Search over - rescue to follow. And it did.
Can't beat that!!