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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 26th Aug 2013, 00:03
  #4741 (permalink)  
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Well as Nigeria's only AS332 operator, Bristow is in incipient headless chicken mode now. After one S92 being taken off contract caused lots of people to be moved back on to other types, all training cancelled, the sudden grounding of the Super Pumas has caused so much knee jerking that it seems the management has gone into 'Mexican jumping bean mode'.
Can you just imagine all the managers in Houston now all trying to preserve their jobs and/or expand their sphere of influence:
I jerked my knee against the table and Aetna has been useless - lets see who we can blame for that and find another medical insurer
Well obviously this will mean we need more S92s and we need to get rid of the Super Pumas for the next 6 weeks until it all changes again so we must expand business development to look for more contracts.
Well we have far too many Soopah Pooma pilots now so we need to cut pilot numbers urgently. Check the hours and make anybody with less than 70 hours last month redundant. The spreadsheets show that we have far, far too many pilots. All pilots must fly 2 types or be cut, cut, cut.
But that means we'll need more HR associates, so we need to get Foamy to hire lots more HR associates to deal with sacking pilots soonest.
This means lots of work for accountants with all the new spreadsheets we'll need working out EBITDAHs and ooh-la-la-lays so we must take on more accounts staff immediately.
Well with all these new staff we'll have to create a new VP position and make sure there are adequate support staff for that post.
We also need to hire more client liaison officers to explain what allthese changes mean in terms of Bristow value add and to shield management from any awkward questions about the future use of the Super whatever-it-is
Well this is obviously a safety issue so we must hire more Q&S and HSE staff immediately.
Great, that's all sorted then. Pilot numbers down, all others up, so where shall we have our conference dinner this evening?
Keke Napep is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2013, 01:12
  #4742 (permalink)  
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There was a time the Black Sardine and a handful of office wallahs ran the whole show....I do wonder how they got by.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 10:11
  #4743 (permalink)  
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It's not you who should be ashamed of your salary but your employer. Good luck and keep looking for something better. You don't owe them anything.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 10:29
  #4744 (permalink)  
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Well said Keke

Most corporations when they start a small expansion seem to employ a lot more bean-counters, blanket stackers, and human remains 'associates'.

Bean counters can only count beans, they have no idea what it takes to make a helicopter fly safely and the fact that a pilot who is on night standby is not generating revenue. Bean counters generate no revenue at all

Blanket stackers are only useful for getting the necessary spare parts to the ginger beers. Since they became supply chain operatives and not store men there seem to be a lot of broken links

Human remains 'associates' are mostly a waste of baby gravy and only seem capable of getting contracts of employment wrong, gross mis-spelling and having no real clue as to how many staff a company actually has, where they're based or what they do.

When company offices are expanded it's usually to employ more bean counters or human remainers - and let's not forget the new must-have; business development staff. We used to call them salesmen and they knew something about helicopters. Nowadays they're mostly lawyers and no absolutely nothing about helicopters

Bristow is following the classic route of many behemoths before it. Trying to cut front line staff (who actually generate revenue) whilst increasing the number of non-essential hangers on. Senior managers in jobs like blanket stacking and bean counting employ a lot more staff so when there are cuts to be made they can sacrifice people they never needed in the first place

As the only operator presently able to get large and medium helicopters to fill the gaps, Bristow is sure to survive, but I foresee more work going to the likes of CHC, Caverton and Aero in the next few years
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 11:23
  #4745 (permalink)  
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With the recent sad accident in the North Sea, I wonder how many of the pilots working in Nigeria are aware of the SINTEF report mentioned in another forum on this site and how much of it may be relevant to them.
Helicopter safety Study
Nigeria may not have some of the extremes of weather experienced in the North Sea, but many parts of the report are still relevant to Nigeria.
It's nearly a year since I left now, but I still hear a lot about what's going on there and I wonder if the unions will kill the Super Puma series in Europe they way they did the Chinook, and if so, whether Nigeria will also be affected.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 13:35
  #4746 (permalink)  
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PW....we have differed on many topics in the past....but you last two posts I fully and completely agree with.

Change is not always good....big is not always better....and when Engineers and Pilots cease running Helicopter Companies....that is not a good thing.

HR should not screen Resumes or Applications....that is the job for the Engineer and Pilot who is responsible for Hiring.....then the HR staff do the Admin work to bring the new employees on line.

Staff advise, counsel, suggest, even beg....but the GM, Chief Pilot, Chief Engineer MAKE the decisions.

Unless and Until the Company removes the Employees from the "Asset" list and returns them to their rightful place....the folks who make the money for the company.....large corporations are doomed to be "just another place to work" as immediately upon the loss of a contract....Large Corporations cut unnecessary expenses....in other words...."assets". Sadly, HR types do not see themselves as "assets"....they see themselves as being absolutely necessary....and thus never cut their own ranks.

An old friend who used to work for Weyerheauser, that small Lumber company that owns half of the American Northwest....once told me that any company which began a Company News Paper and changed the name of Personnel to Human Resources was one to run away from as nothing good was going to come from it.

He was right!
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Old 23rd Sep 2013, 11:52
  #4747 (permalink)  
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Before becoming totally overwhelmed with the tragic events now being played out in Kenya, it should be remembered that various branches of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have committed many atrocities in mamny of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kenyan atrocity being given the full spotlight of media attention is more newsworthy because it is being directed at Christians and a number of non-Africans have been victims in Nigeria, the military try to play down what is happening particularly in the north of the country, however, hundreds have died both there and in (safe ) Abuja during the last 2 weeks:
Death toll in northeast attack rises to at least 142

The death toll from an attack in northeastern Nigeria that saw insurgents dressed as soldiers set up checkpoints and gun down travellers on a highway has risen to at least 142, an official said today.

“We recovered 55 bodies on Wednesday and 87 on Thursday,” Abdulaziz Kolomi, an official with the environmental protection agency in Borno state where the attack occurred, told AFP. The previous toll from the attack late Tuesday in the Benisheik area was 87.

The insurgents, suspected to be from Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, also burned scores of homes and buildings in the assault and left corpses littering the roadside.

The motivation behind the assault was not immediately clear, but Boko Haram members have repeatedly carried out revenge attacks against residents over the emergence of vigilante groups that have formed to assist the military.

Benisheik was also the scene of deadly clashes on Sept 8 between suspected Boko Haram gunmen and vigilantes.

Residents described a gruesome assault on Tuesday, saying the attackers singled out people from Borno, while letting people from other regions pass through checkpoints.

One security source said in the wake of the attack that “they came in droves, driving about 20 pickup trucks.”

Army General Mohammed Yusuf, who briefed the state governor on the attack, said troops ran out of ammunition while combatting the assault. He said the insurgents were armed with “anti-aircraft guns.”

Northeastern Nigeria has seen an outburst of violence in recent days, leaving scores of people dead and casting doubt over the effectiveness of a military assault seeking to end Boko Haram’s four-year insurgency.

The insurgents say they are fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, but their aims have repeatedly shifted and much of their recent violence has targeted defenceless civilians.

In mid-May, Nigeria declared a state of emergency across the northeast, Boko Haram’s stronghold, and launched a sweeping offensive aimed at crushing the group’s four-year insurgency.

While the military has claimed major successes in the campaign, the attacks may have simply shifted from cities to more remote areas.

The phone network in Borno has been switched off since the emergency measures were imposed, a move the military said was aimed at blocking the Islamists from coordinating attacks.

Some have suggested that the lack of phone service has prevented civilians from sounding the alarm during attacks. It has also made it difficult to verify information from the region.

The insurgency was estimated earlier this year to have killed at least 3,600 people since 2009, including deaths caused by the security services, but the current toll is likely much higher.

Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and most populous country, roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. — AFP
Controversy over killing of Boko Haram 'suspects' in Abuja

Friday's reported clash between Nigerian security operatives and suspected members of the militant Islamic sect Boko Haram in the capital city of Abuja has triggered a groundswell of controversy in the country, amid allegations that those killed were not terrorists but petty traders, artisans and others.

PANA reports that the State Security Service (SSS) had said security operatives were deployed to an uncompleted building behind the Apo Legislative Quarters housing some federal MPs in the early hours of Friday to exhume weapons buried there by suspected Boko Haram elements

SSS spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said the operatives were dispatched following a tip-off from two Boko Haram suspects, Kamal Abdullahi and Mohammed Adamu, who were arrested earlier.

“They led the security team to the uncompleted building where arms were purported to have been buried underground,” Ogar said.

“No sooner had the team commenced digging for the arms than they came under heavy gunfire attack by other Boko Haram elements within the area.

“As a result, some persons were injured while 12 others were arrested in connection with the incident and are making useful statements,’’ she added.

Though the statement did not say if anyone was killed, the police in Abuja - which said they were not involved in the operation - later said seven people were killed.

On Saturday, the local media quoted eyewitnesses and survivors as saying the uncompleted building in question was occupied by over 100 homeless people, including tricycle operators, artisans and labourers from the northern part of the country, not terrorists as the SSS claimed.

They also said no one engaged the security operatives in a shootout.

“We are no Boko Haram,” the online Premium Times newspaper quoted one the 17 persons who were injured, 20-year-old Ibrahim Danladi as saying. “I sell pure water and none of us are Boko Haram. The soldiers just arrived suddenly and started shooting at us.”

The paper also quoted witnesses as saying the owner of the building must have set them up for the attack, as he had given them a one-week ultimatum to vacate his residence

“He gave us one week, one week to leave his house. He threatened us saying he would bring soldiers to do anything to us if we don’t leave after one week. But just two days later, they came to attack us,” it quoted an unnamed survivor as saying.

PANA reports that the SSS has not commented on reports that the security operatives might have shot innocent people and then labelled them Boko Haram suspects.

Nigerian security agencies are not taking anything to chance over terrorist attacks because of the horror that has been perpetrated by the Boko Haram Islamic sect, which has killed over 3,000 people in gun and bomb attacks since 2009.

Though the sect has operated largely in the predominantly-Muslim northern Nigeria, it has previously struck in Abuja.

The sect claimed responsibility for the 26 August 2011 bombing of the UN Complex in Abuja that killed at least 21 and left 60 injured, as well as the 16 June 2011 bombing of the police headquarters in the capital city.

Attacks in the city have, however, tapered down in recent times, even though the sect has continued to rampage in the north, despite the imposition of a state of emergency on the three states worst hit.
How long will it be before Boko Haram or Ansaru attempt a copy-cat attack in Nigeria. Lagos is a particularly soft target with easy escape routes by water
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 13:35
  #4748 (permalink)  
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MEND has now stepped into the attempts to cover up what look like extra-judicial killings by the SSS, with a press release purporting to come from Jomo Gbomo:

MEND Statement: Apo Killings

Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013
From: MEND
Subject: Apo Killings

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) condemns the recent extrajudicial killings of squatters and injuries to several others in the Apo district of Abuja by a team of unprofessional government security forces whom the spokeswoman for the State Security Service (SSS), Ms Marilyn Ogar, branded as Boko Haram terrorists in her statement filled with lies and fabrication.
The recent revelation from credible security sources of a plot to plant weapons in the uncompleted building as evidence, confirms the same action carried out by the same spokeswoman, Marylyn Ogar after our October 01, 2010 twin car bomb blasts in Abuja, in which she announced that a thorough investigation revealed that the car bombs were detonated by mobile phones. They later contradicted themselves in a South African High Court during Henry Okah’s sham trial when another State Security Service operative testified that the same car bombs were detonated by timing mechanisms supplied by Mr Charles Okah. Other false and misleading statements made by Ms Marylyn Ogar after our October 01, 2010 twin bomb blasts to hoodwink Nigerians and the world was that the perpetrators were captured on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) which the world is yet to see.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) were equally astonished after our October 01, 2010 twin bomb blasts to see that critiques and political opponents of Goodluck Jonathan which included Former Head of State and 2011 Presidential Aspirant, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Raymond Dokpesi Mallam Nasir El Rufai and the Okah brothers were either falsely accused or arrested as accomplices or perpetrators. Following in the footsteps of former despot Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire who branded his opponents as “Communists”, a label guaranteed to make the United Sates government turn a blind eye to his human rights atrocities, the same is happening in Nigeria today where the trending name of “Terrorists” and “Terrorism” is enough for Nigerians not to pay attention to deceit, human rights abuses, setups, wrongful arrests and detention, sham trials and extrajudicial killings.
The rudderless Ship of State is drifting deeper and deeper into an enveloping forge of lies told by government functionaries whose careers would be destroyed by the truth.

Jomo Gbomo

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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:38
  #4749 (permalink)  
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50 Dead in New Attack in Yobe State

An attack by suspected Islamic extremists on an agricultural college in north east Nigeria has left at least 50 students dead. Just 2 weeks ago the state commissioner for education had begged many of the schools and colleges which had closed down because of the violence to reopen, pledging that they would be guarded by the army and police, but there were no security forces protecting the college. So much for Nigerian government claims that it is winning the war on terror in the north of the country

Militants kill students in college attack

Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories and torching classrooms, the school's provost said -- the latest violence in northeastern Nigeria's ongoing Islamic uprising.

The attack, blamed on the Boko Haram extremist group, came despite a 4 ½-month-old state of emergency covering three states and one-sixth of the country. It and other recent violence have led many to doubt assurances from the government and the military that they are winning Nigeria's war on the extremists.

Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture told The Associated Press that there were no security forces protecting the college. Two weeks ago, the state commissioner for education had begged schools and colleges to reopen and promised they would be guarded by soldiers and police.

Idi Mato said as many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba. "They attacked our students while they were sleeping in their hostels. They opened fire at them," he said, adding that most victims were aged between 18 and 22.

Soldiers recovered 42 bodies and transported 18 wounded students to Damaturu Specialist Hospital, 40 kilometers (25) miles north, said a military intelligence official who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Two of the wounded later died, said Adamu Usman, a survivor from Gujba who was helping at the hospital.

President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack in a televised "chat with the media" Sunday night, and questioned the motives of Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic law across Nigeria. He said he wondered whether the victims were Muslim or Christian.

Usman said almost all those killed were Muslims, as is the majority of the college's student body.

Jonathan likened the assault to that on Nairobi's premier shopping mall last week, where Islamic extremists from Somalia's al-Shabab movement killed 67 civilians -- but only after allowing many Muslims to leave. Boko Haram has said some of its fighters trained with al-Shabab in Somalia.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said in video addresses that his group wants to end democracy in Nigeria and allow education only in Islamic schools. Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden."

Its uprising poses the biggest security challenge in years to this country. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer and its most populous nation with more than 160 million people -- almost equal numbers of which are Muslims and Christians.

Boko Haram militants have killed more than 1,700 people since 2010.

"Sometimes you need courage" to confront such challenges, Jonathan said, accusing the extremists of choosing soft targets to embarrass his government.

Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe state, where the killings occurred, indicated that the military crackdown is ineffective.

"Although there is (an) increase in troop movement and military hardware deployment in the northeast, people are yet to see the kind of action on the ground that effectively nips criminal and terrorist activities in the bud," he said in a statement.

The extremists rode into the college in two double-cabin pickup all-terrain vehicles and on motorcycles, some dressed in Nigerian military uniforms, a surviving student, Ibrahim Mohammed, told the AP. He said they appeared to know the layout of the college, attacking the four male hostels but avoiding the one hostel reserved for women.

"We ran into the bush, nobody is left in the school now," Mohammed said.

Wailing relatives gathered outside the hospital morgue, where workers laid out bloody bodies in an orderly row on the lawn for family members to identify loved ones.

One body had its fists clenched to the chest in a protective gesture. Another had hands clasped under the chin, as if in prayer. A third had arms raised in surrender.

Provost Idi Mato confirmed the school's other 1,000 enrolled students have fled the college.

Most schools in the area closed after militants on July 6 killed 29 pupils and a teacher, burning some alive in their hostels, at Mamudo outside Damaturu.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday described Boko Haram as one of the most vicious terrorist organizations in the world, speaking at a meeting with Jonathan at which both reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism.

The Islamic extremists have killed at least 30 other civilians in the past week, including a pastor and his son. And the military said it killed more than 100 militants and lost 16 soldiers in an attack on an extremist stronghold Sept. 21-22.

Human rights groups have accused Nigeria's military of summary killings of civilians in reprisal attacks and no one knows the fate of hundreds of people detained as suspected militants.

Meanwhile, farmers and government officials are fleeing threats of imminent attacks from Boko Haram in the area of the Gwoza Hills, a mountainous region with caves that shelter the militants despite repeated aerial bombardments by the military.

A local government official said there had been a series of attacks in recent weeks. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared for his life, said Gwoza town was deserted when he visited it briefly under heavy security escort on Thursday.

He said militants had chased medical officers from the government hospital in Gwoza, which had been treating some victims of attacks, and torched three public schools.

More than 30,000 people have fled to neighboring Cameroon and Chad and the uprising combined with the military emergency has forced farmers from their fields and vendors from the markets.

The attacks come as Nigeria prepares to celebrate 53 years of independence from Britain on Tuesday and amid political jockeying in the run up to presidential elections next year. Many northern Muslim politicians say they do not want another term for Jonathan, who is from the predominantly Christian south.
Here's another view on the growing threat of al-Qeada-linked islamic groups in Africa, particularly the growing threat from Boko Haram in Nigeria

Nigerian Terrorism: Why Africa Is next Big Battleground Against Islamic Extremism

Last night’s attack on Nigerian students in an agricultural college in the middle of the night is only the latest violence committed by Islamic extremists in the region. With bodies still being recovered, the death toll has risen to over 50 in this newest terrorist attack in Africa. The group responsible, Boko Haram, is a militant group allied with al-Qadea, and has become more active with violent reprisals in the region since the beginning of this year. The spider web of terrorist groups with ties to al-Qadea is growing in Africa, and this is where intelligence organizations believe the next big battleground against Islamic extremists will take place.

Many of the recent terrorist attacks, including the recent mall shooting by al-Shabab, stem from a brand of Islamic extremism established on a global scale by al-Qadea. The increasing violence is often done as a reprisal against the local populations for working with Western powers. Al-Shabab leader, Mukhtaar Abdirahman Abu Zubeyr, sent a message to Kenyans after he perpetrated the carnage at the Westgate shopping center. In it, he explains the terrorist group’s reasons behind the attack. He thanked the shooters for their actions and said that the violence was a reprisal against Kenya for sending troops into Somalia.

Al-Shabab grew out of the Somalian civil war, becoming a full-blown Islamist insurgency in the region by taking control of major bases of operations from the Somali government back in 2008. Both Ethiopia and Kenya sent troops to help rid the region of the hardline Islamist groups who were implementing strict interpretations of shari’a law on the populace of their controlled areas, such as publicly flogging women for wearing “deceptive bras” and whipping men for shaving their beards. Kenya contributed troops to the African Union mission that ousted al-Shabab from the region in 2012. Ethiopia also participated in the mission and should have their guard up for reprisal attacks from al-Shabab in the near future.

Boko Haram has been ordered to step up the violence in their area as well. Back in January this year, a splinter group taking orders directly from al-Qaeda called Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis- Sudan (JAMBS), was called on to increase attacks in the region because Nigeria deployed troops into northern Mali with the mission to flush out al-Qaeda Islamist extremist groups controlling the region. Last night’s attack on defenseless Nigerian students by Boko Haram is another in a long line of violence being committed by terrorist sects in Nigeria. These Islamic extremists’ acts are establishing the grounds for a big upcoming battle against terrorism in Africa.

Behind all of this is the terrorist organization, al-Qaeda. In June, 2012, General Carter Ham, the USAFRICOM commander, addressed a meeting of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies naming al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda in the land of Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Somalia, Nigeria, and Mali area, respectively, as the three major groups posing a growing threat in Africa. ”What really concerns me are the indications that the three organizations are seeking to coordinate and synchronize their efforts, in other words, to establish a cooperative effort amongst the three most violent organizations. And I think that’s a problem for America and for African security in general.”

Why are these hardline Islamist extremist flourishing in Africa? For one, they survive best in areas where government forces are weaker and don’t have a lot of control. These groups can take over regions where villages and settlements are more secluded and scattered, where their victims have little to no police force or local government troops to protect them. By setting up in these remote areas, the terrorists can force their own brand of law and order on the local populations where little existed before, and they can hide better from any military opposition that comes their way.

Given the U.S. establishment of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2007, an organization responsible for U.S. military operations in Africa, the Western world is well aware of the upcoming battleground in Africa against Islamic extremism and terrorism. The only question remaining is, how effective Western and African governments’ responses will be against these emergent threats?

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Old 30th Sep 2013, 14:43
  #4750 (permalink)  
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I wonder what Bristow are now going to do with their S92 BOA in Nigeria. It was taken off contract a while ago and it's an expensive airframe to have sitting around waiting for spot charter. Are Chevron thinking of taking on a third machine anytime soon?

Any truth to the rumour I heard that Heli Malongo are looking for S76 pilots and engineers for Angola and pilot pay is $190K for A 4/4 touring roster? There was something about it on another thread, but not sure if the talk of pilots and engineers leaving is sour grapes or there are some genuine issues there.

The talk is that with the end of the year being targeted for the return of the EC225 into service with Bristow they are looking at going back into Libya. Quite a few 'heavy' drivers in Nigeria seem to be interested
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 16:48
  #4751 (permalink)  
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BP looking for EOI on both S92 & EC 225 for an Oct 2014 start.

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Old 2nd Oct 2013, 14:24
  #4752 (permalink)  
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An interesting article by John Campbell giving his view on the threat posed by Boko Haram to USA and to Nigeria itself. One of his more interesting points is that suicide is anathema to West African culture and had been unknown as a weapon of terror in Nigeria. He also makes no mention of Ansaru in his article.

Should U.S. fear Boko Haram?

John Campbell is a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria (2004-2007). Currently he is the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. He is the author of Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink; a second, updated edition appeared in June. He writes the blog "Africa in Transition" and edits the Nigeria Security Tracker."

Last weekend, suspected Islamic jihadists killed at least 40 students at a Northern Nigerian agricultural college, many while they slept. The Council on Foreign Relations Nigeria Security Tracker shows that jihadist-related attacks in Nigeria are increasing. Most of the victims in this violence are Muslim, but some are Christian.
While no group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's massacre, the Nigerian media assigns responsibility to Boko Haram, and the operation has the hallmarks of the group's previous massacres.
What is Boko Haram? It remains shrouded in mystery. Boko is the Hausa word for "book," and commonly refers to Western education. Haram is the Arabic word for "forbidden." Hostile to democracy, modern science, and Western education as non-Islamic, it is highly diffuse. For some adherents, religious, even apocalyptic, themes appear to be paramount.

They are looking toward the creation of God's kingdom on earth through violence against those they see as Islam's enemies, rather than the achievement of a political program. But, political opportunists and criminals also operate under the label of "Boko Haram."
The movement's umbrella appears to be a shared Islamic vocabulary of protest, a hatred of the secular government in Abuja and of a corrupt Nigerian political economy -- and a disposition toward violence. It is especially murderous toward members of the Islamic establishment that have "sold out" to Abuja.
It does not appear to have an overarching political structure, and Abubakar Shekau, the leader of perhaps its largest element, does not exercise universal command or control over many of its elements.

Does this pose a threat to U.S. or other Western interests? Should ties between the United States and the Abuja government strengthen under the guise of a common "war on terror," American interests -- though limited in Northern Nigeria -- could become a Boko Haram target, not least because "the friend of my enemy is my enemy."
Thus far, Boko Haram has shown little interest in the world outside of Nigeria and the Sahel. But the situation in Nigeria is dynamic, and it is possible that closer ties will develop between al-Qaeda and elements of Boko Haram.

The group was founded by Malam Mohammed Yusuf, a charismatic preacher who was murdered by police in 2009 in a public episode that went viral on the internet. But, even with respect to Yusuf's core disciples, there is remarkably little hard information about their structure and leadership. After Yusuf's murder, leadership fell to his deputy, Abubakar Shekau. He normally communicates through videos, and has not been seen in person since Yusuf's death. His latest video appeared in September 2013.
The revolt's foot soldiers likely are drawn from unemployed youth in Northern Nigeria, a region of profound poverty. Many of them attended Islamic schools where they learned little other than to memorize the Quran. Often they are children of peasants, rootless if not homeless, in a big city. They can bond through a common radical Islamic sensibility, inchoate rage, and the prospect of earning a little money as terrorists.
Up until 2012, Boko Haram attacks appeared to be largely funded by bank robberies. One commentator credibly estimated that there had been several dozen since 2011. Boko Haram has successfully looted weapons from government arsenals. What is new is Boko Haram's use of suicide bombers. Suicide is anathema to West African culture, and had been unknown as a weapon of terror in Nigeria.

West African borders are porous, and travel between Nigeria and areas where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb -- the Salafi-jihadist militant group -- operates is easy. Yet, while there is evidence of communication between different groups in the region, there continues to be little sign that al-Qaeda's influence has been transformative. Instead of the international jihad, Boko Haram continues to be focused primarily on internal Nigerian issues. It shows little interest in southern Nigeria, let alone Europe or the United States.
Still, Nigeria's federal government is addressing Boko Haram as an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist movement. On May 14 President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the three northern states of Yobe, Adamawa, and Borno, where Boko Haram normally concentrates. But the heavy security presence, especially during the state of emergency in these areas, is dysfunctional. There is a downward spiral, with soldiers resorting to brutality on an increasingly hostile population. On the other hand, soldiers and police are primary targets of Boko Haram, and their casualty levels are high.
An endgame is hard to foresee. In the past, millenarian Islamic movements have burned themselves out, often under military pressure. There are few signs this process is under way. And the military appears incapable of controlling it. If Boko Haram is not going away, it is also unlikely to be able to overthrow the Nigerian state.

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Old 6th Oct 2013, 17:29
  #4753 (permalink)  
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Keke Napep,
Any truth to the rumour I heard that Heli Malongo are looking for S76 pilots and engineers for Angola and pilot pay is $190K for A 4/4 touring roster? There was something about it on another thread, but not sure if the talk of pilots and engineers leaving is sour grapes or there are some genuine issues there.
I can't confirm the salary, but they are probably looking for guys. Some left for the grapes, but there do seem to be issues for others.
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Old 31st Oct 2013, 20:16
  #4754 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Milano, Italia
Posts: 2,425
Atlantic Aviation Commences Ops

Atlantic Aviation, a new Nigerian helicopter-services operator, has announced commencement of flight operations for oil and gas organisations in the Niger Delta region.

Atlantic Aviation, is an indigenous company wholly owned by Jagal Group with technical service support given by CHC Helicopter.

According to a statement, it completed its first commercial offshore flight for Total Exploration &Production Nigeria Limited off the Nigerian coast on Thursday.

On its maiden commercial flight, Atlantic Aviation transported ten employees and contractors of Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited from Port Harcourt Nigerian Air Force Base to their FSO Unity offshore installations with a Sikorsky 76C helicopter.

Shaf Syed, Regional Director Atlantic Aviation said: “This is significant for Atlantic Aviation, but represents only the first days of what we expect will be many years of demonstrating how we can help oil and gas operators to go further and do more in Nigeria, one of the world’s fastest growing regions for this industry.
WorldStage News | Firm commences helicopter operation in oil and gas sector

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Old 3rd Nov 2013, 17:03
  #4755 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 73
Posts: 481
With Bristow's new announcement that crews will soon all have to change their crew change days to weekends I wonder if some will desert to Atlantic/CHC. Those with families will effectively lose a couple of weekends with their children (though that may come as a relief to one or two ).

I hear rumours that Aero Contractors may be ready to dispose of their helicopter division . I wonder who would buy it, or indeed, bi in a position to? One rumour has it that Nestoil may be interested as they want to get an AOC. As an indigenous company, that would leave them in a good position to compete with Caverton, especially as Atlantic Aviation also lays claim too being an indigenous company. The loser in all this would be Bristow as the only large helicopter operator which is classed as a Nigeria company (i.e. one with foreign partners), putting it at a disadvantage politically in contract tenders.

Nigeria's offshore industry is rather static at the moment as electioneering 2 years ahead of the 2015 presidential elections means it is unlikely the Petroleum Industry Bill, already years behind schedule, will pass in that time. The focus of the IOCs is shifting to other African countries with more political stability and a better climate for investors.
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Old 21st Nov 2013, 17:23
  #4756 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: heathrow
Posts: 52
Bristow Nigeria $$?

I was hoping that someone currently based in Nigeria with Bristow would be able to help with this.
I'm trying to find out what the daily workover rate is for both engineers and aircrew (captains) and have been given various figures from different people.

Many thanks.
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Old 21st Nov 2013, 18:05
  #4757 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: here
Posts: 7
workover rate

$750 for captains.
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Old 21st Nov 2013, 19:11
  #4758 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Africa
Posts: 4
Around $750 a day for PIC and $500 for SFO. After 6 weeks and 120-140 hrs, might want to enjoy the time off though...(?)
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Old 3rd Dec 2013, 13:08
  #4759 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,601
Nothing to do with helicopters....but for you guys and gals out in Nigeria....this is something you have to see.

Remember the rescue of the Ship's Cook off the Tug Boat that overturned and sank in a Hundred Feet of water back in May?

Here's the Video.....Amazing stuff!

Watch Divers Rescue Frantic Man Trapped Underwater ... Three Days After Boat Sank | Independent Journal Review
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Old 3rd Dec 2013, 15:43
  #4760 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 73
Posts: 481
Question PAAN TO GO?

I've recently heard from a couple of Bristow people that Pan African Airlines, which was sold off to its Nigerian shareholders recently is to be wound up as it no longer fits into the Bristow corporate strategy. It was split off from Bristow Nigeria fairly recently and nobody outside Bristow really understands how it still remains part of the West African business unit. It seems to be just an operation where the aircraft are leased from one part of Bristow and the crews leased from BIAGL and Company 16 or whatever it is they now call the entity which hires pilots from the USA.
Has anybody else heard this rumour? I got it from a usually knowledgeable Bristow source, but what it means for the future of PAAN, I have no clue
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