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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 29th Jul 2006, 13:04
  #921 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: all over
Posts: 14
How to calculate International Offshore Pilot renumeration ?

Those of us who have worked for a number of different international offshore helicopter operators have frequently discussed how we ( and others) have compared one set of Terms & Conditions with another.

The prevailing school of thought has been that we calculate the total ( basic, flying hour, per diem etc ) pay ( not including such difficult variables such as insurances and pensions( for those lucky enough to get them) and divide it by the number of days in the year we are rostered ( 28 :28, 42:42 , 2 months:1 month 7 weeks : 5 weeks etc.

Thus we arrive at a " daily rate" , invariably converted back to USD as this would seem to be the currency of choice of many employers ( if not your own home currency in these days of fluctuations !)

Another variable of course is the amount paid for working outside the roster ( workover, overtime etc) Many employers appear to just keep paying the same daily rate even though they have avoided another international airfare plus downtime,recuitment costs, accomodation ,local CAA costs etc.

Others give some recognition of that fact we have actually saved them some significant costs ( and kept the roster filled so the punters can still be sent to and fro from their workplaces) and thus pay a premium for the days worked beyond the set roster.

Given the emerging ( but still so tentative trend) for international helicopter pilots to finally concede that a collective voice may actually give them some better say in how they are treated and provide a conduit for both safety and operational matters it seems to me that we as a "professional" set of people ( look up the meaning in Google for those who would like clarification of the definition) should finally step up to the plate and support whoever is prepared to give their time and soul in setting up a professional forum. Its time we started to think the same way as employers do !!!!

My thread is designed to provoke those in different work places into providing their " calculated daily rate in USD" with some indication as to the extra benefits such as insurances and pensions would be converted to a daily rate as well. Local Income taxes deductions would also be helpful as many of us come from home countries and personal cirumstances that vary considerably.

Let us compare apples with apples( and not get into such details such as the local price and availability of alcohol, night fighters, food etc!) or the relative value of crew accommodation, transport, security,sports facilities!!) These can be left till later after we can see just who pays what!!

What say thee??
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Old 29th Jul 2006, 15:22
  #922 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
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X,

I quite agree with you. It never ceased to amaze me when the operator would remind you the pay was "tax free" as if that was a part of the Terms and Conditions and should be considered a benefit given by the company. My response was the "tax free" business (meaning no tax at domicile for overseas earnings) was my benefit which I earned by being willing to work away from home.

It also filled me with warm loving feelings when travel plans never considered the impact upon the one traveling and only looked to established methods of ticket buying that benefited some thieving manager. So many times I showed a method of buying cheaper tickets and using shorter travel times to be told that was impossible. I delighted in flying to Dallas from the East Coast to start my journey to Lagos....I guess British knowledge of geography equals that of the average American.

A global association of pilots would be interesting....if for no other reason being able to keep up on current hiring needs and such.
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Old 30th Jul 2006, 13:40
  #923 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Norway
Posts: 61
A global helicopter association?

The International Airline Pilots Association (IFALPA) was established more than 50 years ago. Consequently, a tool for the purpose of exchanging information should be available for many of us.
Status Europe:

The vast majority of pilots flying in the North Sea as well as SAR in Ireland are members of their respective national pilots associations. The membership percentage for line pilots is at or above the 90 % mark.

Bond offshore, which seems to be less than friendly towards pilot unions might possibly have a lower percentage og BALPA members.

All 5 pilot unions in companies owned by CHC are members of CHC Pilots Association - CHCPA. This includes
* CHC Denmark
* CHC Ireland
* CHC Netherlands
* CHC Helikopter Service AS
* CHC Scotia.

Status US: The pilots of AirLog, PHI, LSSI at Fort Rucker, Air Methods are members of a national labour organization named Office and Professional Employees International union - OPEIU, as well as the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association - PHPA.
PHPA also accepts as members individual pilots, worldwide. Check out their web site: http://www.autorotate.org.
Pilot representatives from all countries communicate informally to stay updated. We cooperate on a formal level through the IFALPA Helicopter Committee.

Information regarding terms and conditions has been made available to a certain degree, enabling the pilot unions to create realistic benchmark targets to pursue.

As far as flying in Africa, I'm sure it has it's charm. To most of us it would seem like an exotic theatre of operations. Of course, at the end of the day the bills have to be paid, creature comfort has to be ok, the safety net of pensions and insurance coverage has to be acceptable. The fun factor deteriorates considerabley if the needs of your family is not met.

Here's a few comment related to this:
* Remuneration levels for pilots flying in Africa for Britows and CHC seem to be lower than the European average for flying medium and heavy aircraft in the petroleum industry.
* Pension and insurance coverage seem to be insufficient.
* Travel arrangements as well as rest periods following long haul travel do not seem to adequately focus on the need for a satisfactory and safe work environment.
* Accomodation: The standard seem to vary, with some sub standard alternatives.
* It would not be surprising to find numerous other items to be less than satisfactory, if viewed from a northern European perspective.

In light of the majority of the operators facing a long predicted pilot shortage, all parties seem to have a vested interest in finding common ground as far as terms and conditions are concerned.

Regards from Norway
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Old 30th Jul 2006, 14:23
  #924 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Land Below The Wind
Posts: 32
Originally Posted by Mama Mangrove
It looks as if you guys need a good incentive allowance there - but I don't suppose you get it . More pictures if you have them.
You guess it, we got it but it's not good. Actually, Abidjan is very much safer than Lagos, Port Harcourt, etc from what I've heard. It 's quite safe around town and even at night (certain places). But then, too bad I don't have the pics of the guys hospitalised for malaria AND/OR typhoid recently( disease that will affect your health for the rest of your life, ie., if you made it alive).

We have 2 a/c and total crew of 10( BM,eng.'s, paramedics inclusive) per tour. So far 6 of out of 20 of us had been down either with one or both the disease, which means you have a 30% chance of catching these exotic diseases for being in any part of Africa except in the cities of Afrique du Sud. And not forgeting severe food poisoning , 100%. So I wonder, hhhmmmmmm........ ,may be we should be getting some kind of hazard allowance .





Le Wafou, rooms built like anthills, superb accomodations if you can stand the stench from the lagoon.
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Old 30th Jul 2006, 14:49
  #925 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: THE MANGROVE SWAMPS (RETIRED)
Posts: 201
VFR/IFR
Many thanks for the pictures. The Wafu looks remarkably nice. When I was in Nigeria the rooms were okay, but again, many people had food poisoning; though I hear that may now be better with a new catering company having been brought in by CHC.
A change in my personal circumstances means I may well not be able to view Prune for some considerable time, but I hope this thread will keep going as a lot of people it seems have a lot to say about the lousy deal given to them by employers in West Africa.
chc&p, xny,
Some pilots in CHC in various overseas locations have now started a Global Helicopter Pilot's Association. I don't know if enough people will join to get it up and running, because the biggest obstacle to expat pilots getting a good deal is their own apathy. The North Sea and Europe show what can be achieved if enough pilots are willing to give their support to those who are willing to give up their time to try and get them a better deal. Time alone will tell if a sleeping lion is indeed on the verge of waking.
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Old 30th Jul 2006, 15:38
  #926 (permalink)  
VTA
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 55
The Global Helicopter Pilots Association needs just 38 new members to make it a reality...For those of us working for CHC Global around the World who haven't yet joined, it's just $5.00 Canadian and you can register at <www.ghpa.ca>.
We are the only aspect of the CHC Empire without representation...Lets change that once and for all....
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Old 30th Jul 2006, 18:45
  #927 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 60
Posts: 377
MM,

Hope you get over your problems soon - hope it's not your health?

Out in Nigeria all is still not well. Bristow have sent out their training boss from OLOG in USA. Who can say what for as they don't have any pilots to train, they don't even have enough to fly all their helicopters every day! Rumors that another 2 or 3 have just jumped, or about to jump to CHC. Paul Weddick is making one of his rare appearances, but he's totally out of touch with what's needed to get enough people and is starting to sound like a black sardine . The pilots flying EC155 for Shell, have a good life, but those flying S76 for Shell seem to just get screwed to compensate for that. When will the company in USA realise the treasure they have in their deputy MD in Lagos and harness his talents?

CHC management in Nigeria and Canada still seem paralyzed and many pilots in PHC are not happy with the food provided by an outside caterer and the lack of any progress on the building of their new staff house or getting new cars for recreation. Meanwhile, as stated before, their managers drive around in new SUVs to and from their luxury houses on an estate with every facility on site. They are trying to get the rules changed to get the pilots to work 7/7 which is also causing great hostility. All of these things should mean that the GHPA will have the membership it needs for its creation as a legal entity which the company will then have to negotiate with. Truly they will have woken the sleeping tiger.

The good news is that MEND have not kidnapped any expatriates lately. The bad news is that they have overrun Agip's Ogbainbiri flow station and are holding 16 indigenes and 8 military men, who were dispossessed of their weapons, are being held hostage.
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 12:38
  #928 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: A man of the world
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As someone who is in the queue to join a life of dysentry and other threats to my personal safety how long am I going to have to wait? Any estimates? What would be most useful to know is how top heavy age wise are CHC/Bristows globally. When do significant numbers start retiring?
N Arslow is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2006, 14:47
  #929 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
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Posts: 481
NA,
Both Bristow and CHC are already short of people in Nigeria (Bristow more than CHC at present) so irrespective of the numbers due to retire (which is pretty significant in both companies), there are vacancies in Nigeria, provided you have the qualifications which they, and their client oil companies, require.
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 17:07
  #930 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 2
Out of curiosity, what are the requirements?
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 17:54
  #931 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
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Expecting a simple straightforward response to that question will probaby remain fruitless.

The people that "know" are not known for being purveyors of truth and reality.

The focus has been on taking care of their own and hiring cheap help for other positions.
SASless is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2006, 20:08
  #932 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 220
Lamwila,
My best advise to you or anybody else vis-ŗ-vis the requirements is to get in touch with Bristow or CHC international because of the current pilot shortage the goalposts keep moving.
There used to be a time where you only could get into Nigeria with at least 3500 hrs, an ATPL, twin experience and IR. Now word on the street is they are taking in expatriate co-pilots and give them a type rating as well, so get in touch and see what they requiring right now.
On the other hand also do your homework and find out what working in Nigeria really entails, donít believe all you will read here but where there is smoke Ö.
All the best with your endeavours
Finalchecksplease
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 20:27
  #933 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: here and there
Posts: 69
FCP,
Well spoken. That's about the best advice I've seen here re.: Jobs in Nigeria.
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 22:12
  #934 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ban Don Ling
Posts: 244
Lamwila - Licencing

You are probably aware that you need a current CAA / FAA / JAA / ICAO licence which will be validated by the African authority in order to allow you to fly in that country. Operators used to pay for this annual licencing requirement.

CHC may require you to sit a Canadian licence sometime after joining as this can easily be renewed by their training staff during annual checkrides - and obviates the need for them to compensate you for renewing your original licence. A logical and understandable system which also pleases the beanstealers.

It is not unreasonable to suspect that you might need / want to return to whence you came at some stage later, for whatever reason. This may mean you would to have maintain your original licence therefore at your own cost if you want the chance to react quickly to take advantage of other offers of employment there.

Not sure if this a further attempt at world domination by converting their pilots - or just an opportunity to influence / impart some welcome Canadian aviation common-sense and pragmatism alongside the well-intentioned but expensive and draining JAA system?!*!

tistisnot is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2006, 08:59
  #935 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info guys........

I have around 1100 hours (heli)JAA and FAA CPL and IR but no offshore experience. A friend of mine who works there told me not to even bother unless you have a minimum of 2000 hours of which 500 are turbine.

Have read the stories about Nigeria, but unfortunatley, when your an in-experienced pilot, you can't really pick and choose where you want to work.
Another problem is trying to convert my IR to JAA. I hold fixed wing IR and have about 150 hours SPIFR (IMC) but yet to convert to JAA, the cheapest price I have been quoted is 20,000 sterling (twin type rating). Pure madness!!!!!

Anyhow, any links contacts or ideas are greatly appreciated.

Lamwila.
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Old 3rd Aug 2006, 10:56
  #936 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 60
Posts: 377
LAMWILA,
Unfortunately, the hours, offshore etc., requirements are dictated by the oil companies and there is also the requirement by the Nigerian aviation authorities for an expatriate who works here to hold, or get within a short time of arriving here, an ATPL(H). It's understandable because, naturally they want companies like Bristow and CHC to pay to train more Nigerian pilots. Even in UK some years back, when there was a shortage, not only did Bristow have an ab-initio training scheme, but the Air Transport and travel Industries Training Board subsidised the training costs for a number of helicopter pilots for all the Noth Sea companies, though Bristow did most of the training. In Nigeria now, both companies are paying to send Nigerian pilots for helicopter training overseas.
You'll probably find that when you've got about the hours you mention (2,000 hours TT, 500 turbine) and an ATPL(H), you'll be able to get out to Nigeria. You can probably get away with less than this with Bristow if you can get taken on to fly for their Pan African subsidiary in Nigeria, as they operate mostly Bell 206 and 407s. CHC also sometimes hire on pilots and then then send them to fly for Helijet in Vancouver for 9 months or a year to build up experience and S76 time, but not sure if they do this for pilots who are not either Canadian or American.
Don't give up, as it looks as if you're getting closer to your goals. Good luck.
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Old 3rd Aug 2006, 17:34
  #937 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Gulf of Mexico
Posts: 1
Gomer going to Africa ???

Hello,

i have the requirements stated above, ATP, 206, 407, some 412.

Reading the above posts, looks like Bristow would be the company to talk to.

I'm currently flying in the GOM, about 1000h Offshore.

What would be a realistic $$$-number for me to expect(6w/6w)?

What are they flying (besides 206,407)?

Single Pilot Twins?

Thanks for serious reply's, Pete
412_DRIVER is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2006, 09:55
  #938 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: A man of the world
Posts: 128
Thanks all for the recent posts. Some useful info there.
N Arslow is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2006, 12:58
  #939 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: In the Haven of Peace
Age: 75
Posts: 599
412,
Bristow operate 412's from Qua Ibo Terminal for Exxon/Mobil. These are 2 crew. They also operate a couple of 412s from Port Harcourt and Escravos for other customers. They also operate EC155s for Shell and a couple of 332Ls. The normal Bristow roster is 7/5, not 6/6. Pan African, which is also the same company operate Bell 412, Bell 206 and Bell 407 from Escravos. The 206 and 407s are flown single crew and I think they still do 4/4 touring roster, but get paid less (NEO can probably tell you this). Pay will depend on your experience and what seniority they give you when you join - expect somewhere around $80 - 100,000 a year, though you'd only know for sure if they make you an offer. Again NEO should be able to tell you more.
CHC operate 6/6 and have a fleet of S76C+ and SA365 helicopters with AW139 expected soon. They are based in Port Harcourt. With the types you have Bristow would be a better bet if you want to come to Nigeria, but CHC operate 212s and 412s in other countries
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 01:25
  #940 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Alaska
Posts: 56
For what it is worth, I have about 15,000 hours with loads of 212/412 experience. I was recently offered 81K for a 7/5 schedule. I declined...

We can't be taking these positions for wages that are not adequate for the location, living conditions and risks. The conditions in Nigeria are definitely 3rd world. Safety of the individual is a definite concern, both from a physical risk from the local population as well as your general health from disease. The ex-pat pilot/mechanic needs to be compensated for the time away from his family and the risks. 80K is not a bad salary for an experienced twin pilot. Now start adding the hazard pay, location allowance and modify the touring cycle. Put me up around 100K on a 6/6 with paid travel and I will look at Nigeria again, until then they can keep advertising.
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