Anyone know of an operator flying offshore in the Persian Gulf....in the Kharg (Khark) Island area? We have seen a helicopter landing at an offshore platform adjacent to the Saudi Aramco Marjan field and are interested in making contact with them in order to coordinate traffic advisories.
I am aware of Gulf Helicopters operating out of Kish (Qeyes) Island in that a dear friend is flying on that operation.
Yes - Gulf Helis (Doha) operates several aircraft (412's & a 212) on contract out of Kish Island working eastwards as far as the South Pars Field due north of Qatar. All traffic working in Iranian airspace is mandated to listen out on 121.5 when not in direct contact with ATC - (also used as a general chat frequency by many of the ex-mil Russian pilots ploughing through the area, - many seemingly at random!) - which is monitored by Iranian Radar units at Kish and at other Radar watch stations along the coast, who provide a very efficient service. HSO (Iranian Company) is still (just about - as the last single engine machines are being withdrawn soon) operating their own offshore support helis along the coastline from bases such as Lana Island and Sirri Island - west to Kharg Island - where they are joined by Heli Union's Dauphins. Shortly CHC are expected to commence operations westbound out of Kish to support the Agip (Italian) contract in the South Pars area (1 x S76 with 212 back-up). South Pars Field frequency is 128.55, Salman Field (South of Kish) which includes Sirr Island freq 129.00. Gulf Helis work the north dome (north of Qatar) on 129.2. Our French cousins from Heli-Union no doubt use their own chat frequency off Kharg. Try calling on 121.5 first, then switch to then one of the others above, depending on where you are. ( Be aware that many older HSO aircraft only have one VHF box, so are likely to not be listening on one or the other freq!)
Ofshore - you are always better off on 121.5 to ensure that neither the USN or Iranian Military use you as a splash target!
Hope this helps!
correction to my last
- it should have read 'Lavan Island' - dexlyxic fingers!
This is the home of Gulf Helicopters (once an offshoot of Gulf Air, but now wholly-owned by Qatar Petroleum - the national oil Company of Qatar). We operate 412's (and a couple of 212's) in Offshore Oil'Gas Field Support Ops (and overseas contracts).
We receive shitloads of c.v's from all and sundry - so why not swell the in-tray even more? Basic rates of pay are poor by local standards: IR Captain daily rate at US$262, usually working 8/4 or 6/6 contracts. Negligible chance of permanent 6/1 contracts right now, and most permanent and temporary slots fill quickly for 8/4 & 6/6. Nice bunch of guys - gentle ops except in the summer months which are a bitch! Doha is the 'Sleepy Hollow' of the Gulf - but ideal for those who live in foreign parts (some of us just dream about those!) and want to bring home regular US$ inputs that the tax man need not know about! No income tax in Qatar. A pleasant but quiet environment. Booze available to permanent residents. The country is opening up at a measured pace - but will never be wild like Dubai! Abu Dhabi Aviation down the road pays slightly more - but offers less job-security!
Gulf Helicopters P.O. Box 811 DOHA QATAR, Arabian Gulf.
I've just been offered a job as a helicopter pilot in UAE. It's on a rotation, but the pay seems quite low compared to other overseas jobs I've heard about and the 8:4 schedule isn't very attractive. I've also heard quite a lot of rumours that there is a very high turnover of pilots out there. Is there anybody out there with recent experience of the place who can tell me if the rumours of pilot turnover are really true, and if so, what's the reason? I'd quite like to go, but I don't want to find myself out of work again in a few months.
Tom, If you want stability steer well clear mate. Last year ADA lost 25 pilots through either resignation or termination (often on some pretty flimsy excuses). Not sure what it is this year but must be pretty much the same as last. Most guys leave because of the money or the fact that they're treated like bottom-dwelling lowlifes. There have been several instances of guys arriving, taking one look at the accommodation and leaving on the next flight! This is not surprising. They'll tell you the accommodation is not too good and they're shortly moving, but this is the same tired story they've been pushing out for years. The truth is that you'll live in a filthy, mould covered plywood shack that's about 25 years old. These so-called 'vans' have dirty, curling carpets on the floor, laden with dust mites, dirty furiture and mostly shared bathrooms. The airconditioners are meant for the desert (because they're cheaper than real air conditioners) and only cool the air, so the humidity means that the walls of the rooms are covered in horrible black mould. You have to do your own shopping for food, but the buses do not really run at a convenient time for most pilots. For your first tour you'll probably be told that you may have to work a couple of weeks extra 'to fit into the roster', but this can easily run to an extra 4, 5 or even 6 weeks extra. If you opt for a 6/6 roster the pay is really lousy and isn't the same every month. This means you'll join the long queue of other pilots going along for the monthly shouting match with the accounts department. This will get you absolutely nowhere as they are all graduates of the Mumbai school of polite obstruction and bureaucracy and all you will leave with is a red face brought on by your high blood pressure. It will not improve no matter how many times you visit them. The same will often be true of your ticket for your flight out on leave and even if you book it yourself (recommended if you want to get out), almost every leave you will have a battle with the bureaucrats. Training - there isn't any! Safety is a joke and if you're unwise enough to put in a hazard report, your words will be twisted and you'll be laying yourself open to 'being allowed to go' when it has quietened down. Hope you're good at basic flying because on your occasional flights in a Bell 212 there's no autopilot and it's all single pilot. The upside is that it is nearly all single pilot, the sun always shines and Abu Dhabi is a modern, safe city with all amenities. There used to be a very good bunch of guys out there from many different different countries, but they really are not well treated, so think long and hard before deciding what to do. Maybe you'll get some replies from guys who have a different view than I do - let's see.
Tombola, if you are who I think you are, then don't be too hasty to leave the North Sea. It ain't that bad, trust me. On the other hand, if you really have had enough then go for it, nothing ventured, nothing gained. A change of scenery and doing something different, no matter how bad it may sound is probably good experience in the long run. Give us a bell if you've still got my number. Ciao!!
Oh, andif it isn't who I think it is, then I'll go and get another beer and shut up.................................................
Yarba, Certainly sounds as if you don't like the place! Are you still there? I'd really like to hear from anyone who's in any of the companies out there now, before I take the big step into the unknown.
PI55F Sorry, haven't worn a rubber bag to work for many a long year! Guess you'll have to have that beer! I need a nice cold one myself as it's very hot here - cheers!
Actually, ADA have only one local copilot and his arrival was not the cause of any jobs being lost. Many pilots have failed to make it to the end of their first tour because they were supposedly not up to the required standard - what a joke. You only have to look at the numbers who have left/been fired during the last 2 years to realize that job security must be amongst the lowest in the industry.
The pay is exactly the same as at Gulf Helis (it's just that they pay a daily rate for time on site, which works out as the same as the monthly rate paid by ADA). Saudi Aramco pay slightly more because they provide free food whilst with ADA and Gulf you have to pay for your own from the salary (though one of the elements of the ADA salary is a monthly food allowance - that however is included in the overall monthly rate they quote to most people they offer to hire). The accommodation with Gulf is very good, but the working conditions for engineers are not quite so good as the hangar is not air conditioned. The good thing about Gulf is that with a daily rate, if you're asked to workover, you know what you'll end up getting - with ADA it's just the excuse for another shouting match! Aerogulf pays less, but at least is in Dubai and has good housing. However, of the international operators both CHC and OLOG/Bristow pay considerably more for touring pilots. CHC is around 20% more for 6/6 or 5/5 (depending in which country you get offered a job) and Bristow is higher again (though you probably have to go to Nigeria for that).
The new regulations came into force in July of this year, but ADA has an exemption from them and rumor is that when they fail to come up with enough pilots by January the exemption will be extended - pretty easy when you're the only operator.
Engineering is pretty good. Well funded and with an impressive stores inventory. They are supposed to be highly thought of by Bell Helicopter and I believe have some kind of award from them. There have been quite a few governor failures over the past couple of years, but that is just a PW problem. Engineering needs to be good though as the aircraft spend numerous nights offshore and because of the performance figures used (HOGE for offshore work), the high number of landings and the number of sling load jobs, all at max gross, those aircraft are very hard worked. Gulf and Aramco, mostly just fly to offshore and back. From what SASless has posted here in the past, he wasn't too impressed with Bristow engineering, but I think that may have been in Nigeria.
Actually, I forgot to mention another good point if you're looking at ADA - there are opportunities for long line (Yemen) and firefighting work (Spain) if you're qualified. These are paid more but you need to think about the number of Al Quieda rumored to be in Yemen if you're offered work there. Rumour has it that quite a few helicopters have been shot at and some of the people there have been held hostage and shot at too!
By all means go and give it a try as the Emirates itself is a nice place to be based, but go with your eyes open to the downside too. There are rumors of a big pay hike to attract more pilots so they may be starting to realize thay can't just keep firing guys like they do, but I wouldn't count on it. Doesn't look as if anyone there is willing to come up and tell you how he finds it now, but if you decide to go, good luck and post your view of the place after you arrive.
Bit difficult to give a dollar figure as the way they work out the salary for 6 on 6 off must have been done on the back of a child's exercise book by a blind bureaucrat with an IQ in single figures! It's not the same every month, but overall, the annual figure is around US$49,000. Out of this you have to buy food, but it's pretty cheap in the Emirates and you get to spend quite a few nights every month offshore, so naturally you get (really good) free food for those nights. But hey, there's a really big pay rise on the way ehhh....!
Please do not take this in the wrong context, as I certainly do not wish to offend you or anyone else but.....
have you worked for them before, wondering if this is first hand knowledge. The reason I ask is that I know of at least a half dozen guys that have given up pretty well paying and comfortable jobs to take some of these positions. I have not talked to them personally but have heard nothing negative through the "grapevine".
Also wondering, (or thought) that Cal was the one that you negotiated your contract with and was told that he was a pretty stand up guy.......write or wrong??
Also curious what type a role the locals play in the whole business, :ie co-pilots. and how are the customers to work for.
I know the grass always looks greener but I would hate to walk on the lawn full of dogsh*t.........
Mikila1A I think the figures speak for themselves. 25 pilots left or were fired in 2001. The figure for this year is getting close to that. Even in a big helicopter company that's a lot of pilots from one base! This is how they work - they rule through fear. The fear that if you speak up, say anything, file an incident report, you'll eventually lose your job. I expect that there are guys there now reading this and frightened to say anything, even in favor of the company, in case it's discovered that they said something in public. Most of the guys they have fired have ended up almost immediately getting jobs with other companies - quite a few of them that I know of, at much higher salaries. Cal is a decent stand-up guy, but his power is strictly limited. There's no negotiation of contracts. Everyone is on the same contract (non-nationals that is) and the Chief Pilot is just the one who offers you the job. A lot of the guys who've been fired over the last few years don't even know the real reason why they were fired or who was really responsible for firing them. There are only a few local pilots and they are on a different contract than the expat pilots. They're nice friendly guys. As a line pilot you have no direct contact with ADMA, the company that operates most of the offshore areas. The day-to-day contact is through a lot of co-ordinators both onshore and offshore, so they take the hassle from the client. Other than that it's done by management and they nearly always do what the client wants. The way the performance figures are worked out offshore means that power margins are almost nil, the wellhead decks have numerous obstructions, but nobody wants to report this as being unsafe in case they lose their jobs. There are a lot of Canadians, Australians and New Zealand pilots there and for them it's probably not a bad deal as the money is better than they'd get back home, though even some of the Canadians are now starting to leave. The work is not too hard and there is a lot of free time as a result of the night standby duties and 'rest days'. Don't expect to be able to see anything of the country though as a 'rest day' is just a 24 hour break between duties. There's talk of complying with the legislation which has now been in force for 4 months, but if they continue firing pilots and having them leave at the rate they have been for the last few years there's no way they'll get the number they need, except by actually starting to offer conversions to pilots not type-rated, or getting in people who do not have the necessary qualifications and training them - difficult given the low number of training captains they have for a company of that size. If you're looking at going there from Europe or the USA, the money is lousy, the accommodation is dirty, unhealthy and a terrible fire hazard (the 'van' which burned down some years ago was destroyed very fast) and the obstructions on and condition of the wellhead decks offshore would never be acceptable to any North American or European regulatory authority or pass an audit by a major western oil company.
Tom, The only way you'll know if it suits you is to go there. You obviously know what the money is like already if you've had an offer. Unless you're giving up a good secure job, what have you got to lose (after all if your present job is that good I guess you wouldn't be looking elsewhere). Just make sure you don't burn any bridges when you leave your present job and then if the new one doesn't work out, you may be able to return. My own experience has been that although the grass always looks greener, it rarely is - it's just the same patch of grass with a different fence around it. It seems as if Yarba is either there at the moment or has been recently and it doesn't sound as if it matches up to his European? standards. You seem to be working in Africa so maybe the conditions there won't seem so different. Sorry, haven't been there (only to a different piece of the Gulf many, many years ago) so this probably doesn't help