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Old 11th Jan 2017, 17:31   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Freelance work on AOC

Especially directed to the legal eagles amongst us--How can an AOC-holder use a pilot that has not been through a company intro and a OPC for a freelance trip? Is there a way of writing the OM so that all other AOC holderīs OPC are acceptable, or what?

We have run in to canceling flights, if there is illness or a missing visa. With a background in private flying, I just said "letīs get a freelancer." The head office said we cannot use freelancers unless they have an OPC.

But i know companies that do, so trying to figure out the how...

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Old 11th Jan 2017, 19:11   #2 (permalink)
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I think you may find it's difficult to cross credit an OPC as it's company specific. Your ops manual and ours will vary wrt how the ac is flown.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 19:29   #3 (permalink)
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I think you'll find other companies that use freelancers OPC them.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 20:19   #4 (permalink)
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Back in the days of CAP648 I worked for two companies who accepted each other's paperwork and ground training but we still did separate base checks for each company. Throughout 20-odd subsequent years of freelancing, just about all of which was AOC whether under 648, JAR or EASA, I've always done the intro and OPCs for each company I worked for; in some cases the separate OPCs for two companies were conducted by the same examiner, who was nominated in both operators' Ops Manual Part Ds. Same applied for line training at a new operator - even though I was a Line Training Captain at other companies (admittedly, this was somewhat truncated). Companies have accepted ground training from other operators where the training provider was the same but as time has gone on this has happened less and less.

As has been noted above, the OPC is an operator-specific check and it's difficult to see how two AOCs might share an OPC unless their Ops Manuals, paperwork, procedures, limitations and training requirements are identical.

Last edited by Sepp; 11th Jan 2017 at 20:22. Reason: Must remember to check for spelling errors!
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 10:38   #5 (permalink)
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Ive never understood the point of an OPC. Why on earth do companies develop company specific SOPs and not simply train people the way the manufacturer suggests. If all the companies that did that there wouldn't be a problem would there? If you don't like what the manufacturer suggests then feed it back to them for them to review and change - that way you get the feedback of lots of companies and better procedures.

Which SOP do you have in your company that is an improvement on what the manufacturer does?
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 11:39   #6 (permalink)
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Hey Tom,

You're spoilt flying a nice modern aircraft; older aircraft there are often few if any manufacturer SOPs so the operator has to write them. So a lot of it is historic. Unfortunately many years of experience has shown that feeding things back to the manufacturer disappears into the abyss - they are not interested in revising things for previous aircraft, they are concentrating on the next one.
Additionally, there is the issue that sometimes the "factory training centre" doesn't actually teach what is in the manufacturer's manual, so if an operator wants to follow the AFM they have to have "company specific" SOPs - go figure!
But the other point of an OPC is nothing to do with SOPs, it is about standards. The LPC is the standard required of a new F/O straight off the type rating course. Any sensible company is looking for a higher standard for their line pilots, especially Captains.
To answer your question of a specific improvement, moving a lot of items to the "after start" area rather than having the PM distracted by reading a great long "Taxi" checklist when he is better employed navigating round an unfamiliar complicated airport is a frequent one.

But to answer the original point, there are regularly moves to try and get common OPCs among operators for exactly this reason, but they usually end up under the "too difficult" file due to the ridiculous amounts of paperwork required to demonstrate it to NAAs. We even struggle to get OPC cross credited within the same company using identical manuals and procedures!

Cheers, BJJ
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 17:35   #7 (permalink)
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I agree entirely with what BizJetJock has said.

The older iron I spent a lot of time flying had really awful manufacturer's checklists that weere not designed using ergonomics, rather they were compiled as the test pilots discovered they'd forgotten something. RVSM? It wasn't even a gleam in the manufacturer's eye when such aircraft were born and I've seen at least ten different ways of satisfying the requirements - none of which are sponsored by the manufacturer. One operator I flew for was still using QFE for approach (and I believe still does, but it's been a while since I saw a copy of their OM); every other operator I worked for changed to QNH many years earlier.

OPCs also include use of company paperwork, such as the flight log/OFP/plog - call it what you will - and load sheets; the only identical ones I've seen between two companies were ours, and a copy of ours nicked when one of our bods went to head up a new outfit. He even copied the (deliberate) spelling mistakes in the Ops Manual, which when read in order spell B*stards. Bit of a give a way, that, but I digress...

Last edited by Sepp; 12th Jan 2017 at 17:46.
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Old 15th Jan 2017, 13:16   #8 (permalink)
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Me too! Thats the problem. By not forcing the manufacturers to produce commercially acceptable checklists you allow companies to produce these useless procedures. I don't think any manufacturer wants to create poor checklists and QRHs but there is currently no pressure in the business jet sector to clean this stuff up. I completely agree that older aircraft are more of a challenge and there is no commercial reason for the manufacturer to put any effort in but for the newer aircraft it should be possible. You end up raising the general standard if you provide everyone with good structure.
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Old 15th Jan 2017, 17:54   #9 (permalink)
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For what it's worth in the early '90s (I know, ancient history maybe) the UK CAA accepted OPCs (then Base Checks) by certain examiners as being acceptable for several London-based Helicopter charter companies as far as freelancers were concerned. This saved the stupidity and inflexibility of doing two or three identical checks just so they could be assigned to different AOCs - clearly a daft practice.

There is a precedent of sorts.
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