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Old 16th Aug 2003, 15:43   #61 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: USA
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Helo flying in Africa?

Hi all,

I want to find out what the helicopter job market is like in sub saharan Africa. My wife and I have worked in Africa before as volunteers and it is in our plans to move back to this magnificent continent. At the moment I'm still training as helo pilot in the US and I know I'm still a long way off from flying professionally, but I would like some answers to a few questions;

1. What kind of license will I need to fly? FAA, JAA, ect....
2. What are the experience requirements?
3. What kind of helo jobs are there? I am very interested in flying for humanitarian aid.
4. Where can it get more info about helo flying in Africa?

Thanks for your help in advance.

I've posted a link in the African section.

Last edited by Heliport; 17th Aug 2003 at 17:49.
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Old 17th Aug 2003, 17:54   #62 (permalink)
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Lightbulb WFP

Thanks Heliport !

I will spend more time here in the future - tx for the mails !

kickback, as your name says the area that I work in is purely saturated by Russian / Eastern block pilots.

The WFP / ICI / UN .. all these guys make JUST use of Russian helicopters and crews from Russia / East . "our" WFP guys here are Bulgarians right now.

Even the UN is all the same.

So on that side I have bad news .. sorry.

Sorry was compelled to answer ..

Normal work / like oil rigs .. apparently they STILL need EXPERIENCED guys on the rigs in Nigeria !

Cheers and good luck !

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Old 18th Aug 2003, 02:11   #63 (permalink)
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thanks for the low down on helo flying for humanitarian missions, too bad they only use east bloc pilots and material.

What about smaller NGO's? Are there any smaller charitable organizations that operate helo's?

thanx in advance for reply.
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 03:54   #64 (permalink)
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I came across some times ago in Cameroun, an AS 350 operated by an organization called "Heli-Mission"....
They were involved in some humanitarian tasks, but I couldn't get more infos about them. Probably google knows something about.
Another aviation humanitarian linked to "medecins sans frontičres" is called "Aviation sans frontičres" but they operate fixed wings only in Africa as far as I know.

Good luck anyway.
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Old 20th Aug 2003, 07:12   #65 (permalink)
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Try Helimission based in Switzerland. A bloke called Tanner used to run it - 00-4171 3437171. They use low time pilots of a religious nature and I know the organisation is funded by US religious bodies. They have been known to do some pretty despicable stuff culturally but on balance do provide a service in areas which otherwise would have nothing.

I've come across them in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
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Old 20th Aug 2003, 08:28   #66 (permalink)
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I checked out Helimission around 1990, They didn´t seem to want to pay anything, wanted volunteers and feelt like some religious fanatics to me, never talked to them again.

It may be different now, at the time they were even operating some 212´s.

But do not work for organizations like these for free or even low pay, believe me everybody else there in the management of the organisation is not there for free!
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Old 20th Aug 2003, 11:26   #67 (permalink)
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The Heli Mission Website:
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Old 21st Aug 2003, 09:45   #68 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

thanx to everyone for giving me the info.

Maybe we can keep this thread alive by posting what kind of helo jobs you guys have in Africa as sort of inspiration to new helo pilots wanting to work in Africa.
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Old 21st Aug 2003, 09:48   #69 (permalink)
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Flying in Africa

There are a few South African Companies that do a bit of work in Africa aswell.
Try Titan Helicopters or NAC Helicopters.
I've done a bit of work for one of the above in Africa flying for the WWF.
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Old 24th Jan 2004, 22:54   #70 (permalink)
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Any rotorheads familiar with the Gambia?


Sorry it's not a real Rotorheads subject, but are any of you guys/girls familiar with holidays in the Gambia. I'm shoving the wife and mother in law away for a few days and the Gambia is a possibility, Beirut was fully booked!

Any first hand knowledge/advice on hotels, areas to stay/avoid would be greatly appreciated. Two hotel currently under consideration are the Hotel Atlantic and the Palm Grove, both at Banjul.

Many Thanks

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Old 25th Jan 2004, 07:57   #71 (permalink)
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No personal knowledge, but a few UK microlight schools I believe do flying training out there. A quick web search might come up with a contact who might be helpful.

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Old 25th Jan 2004, 08:56   #72 (permalink)
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The Kariba. Highly reccommended. Used as crew hotel for UK airlines, and probably this best hotel in BJL
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Old 25th Jan 2004, 17:49   #73 (permalink)
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Personally I like the Senegambia. I was last there a few months ago. The rooms are passable, the staff friendly, the food good, the gardens beautiful and the swimming pools nice.
Any of the good quality hotels in the resort areas are reasonable, and better than staying in Banjul itself.
One thing to watch out for if you're sending unescorted ladies there is that there are quite a few European women who visit the Gambia to meet the local chaps, many of whom are waiting to meet them in the local bars.
The weather at this time of the year is good and it's a nice place to spend a week away, even if scenically a bit unexciting. Most of the hotels can arrange visits to local villages, canoe trips, hippo viewing etc. Prices are not tgo high and the local beer (Julbrew) is passable. Hope the ladies have a good time
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Old 26th Jan 2004, 21:39   #74 (permalink)
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Thanks for that guys.


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Old 11th Feb 2004, 03:42   #75 (permalink)
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John Bassi Helicopters

OK it's me again........

Yup im still researching all options for getting my CPL(H), and have now been directed to South Africa.

Believe me when I say I am getting giddy with the schools, options, visas, currency conversion, and the reputation of the schools supplying the CPL.

Every time I think I have cracked it, hey presto, another option pops up, but being prudent I will explore all avenues.

So getting back to SA, I have just posted in African Aviation the following: -

"Any insights to John Bassi Helicopters would be greatly received, or any indication of a good school to get my CPL (H) within SA".

So yet again I am putting it out to tender and any assistance would be greatly received
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Old 11th Feb 2004, 13:44   #76 (permalink)
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As far as I know, most SA Schools only issue SA licences, so on return home, a conversion to JAA Licence would be needed.
Also money for flights, accomodation, food etc. You may end up paying very similar to what you would back in the UK.

I looked at all the options, and reverted back to the UK, due to start the commercials in the next month or so distance (cannot afford to quit work).

Everyone is to their own, but if it doesn't feel right, walk away - you are taking a big enough risk already
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Old 12th Feb 2004, 06:11   #77 (permalink)
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Don't have any experience with the Bassi programme driectly, but when I was going through the same process I got the brochures and spoke to the SA school who administer it.

In the end I calculated the 'loaded' hourly rate for each school (i.e. including ground time required, extra hours, sim time etc).

On that basis, the SA schools even with the weak Rand were v. expensive - almost as much as home. The main reason is that the SA (and many other) schools don't include ground school, sim time, exam costs etc etc - all the things that will be necessary for a good chance at a commercial license.

The one thing that looked good about the Bassi programme was that you got some good mustering experience - but even so, Ranch's seem to prefer cattle men trained in heli flying rather than pilots with no direct Cattle experience.

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Old 29th Mar 2004, 16:44   #78 (permalink)
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Low timer jobs in South Africa?


I'm trying to figure out the situation in South Africa.
I didn't find much helpful information on the south-africa forum, so I try to start something here.
Does anyone have information about:

-visa for europeans
-typical low timer jobs (about 200 hours R-22 & Schweizer 300)
-requirements for a flight instructor license
-companys to contact
-things 'ya need to know'
-situation for helicopter pilots in Cape Town
-salaries and living costs

That's a whole bunch of questions, but every bit of usefull information is highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 7th Apr 2004, 12:05   #79 (permalink)
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8 & 4 in Africa

Sounds as if the change to 8 & 4 is going ahead for BHL. I think it will have a lot of people looking elsewhere as though the money is good, quality of life is worth a damn sight more IMHO. Never mind - doubtless the company will fill the void with cheaper more desperate individuals. Its safe to say a lot of people are already putting feelers out and I can't blame them. Two months in that place at a time is a lot to withstand, regardless of the few stalwarts who seem to follow the notion that it's all part of life's rich experience. BULLS**T !! Its nothing to do with that at all. People work there for the time off and the money and if anyone says otherwise then I would doubt they are sound of mind. There are a million and one better places to work (granted for less dosh) but you have to decide what is most important to you. Best I start looking around for alternatives
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Old 7th Apr 2004, 13:25   #80 (permalink)

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999driver do you have a contract for employment there? Does it give BHL the right to change your roster without your agreement? If not, consider getting legal advice. A change enforced on you may be worth a challenge. Good luck!
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