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Is there a helicopter pilot shortage?

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Is there a helicopter pilot shortage?

Old 26th Feb 2012, 06:52
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Is there a helicopter pilot shortage?

So, chatting to a colleague the other night, there seems to be a lot of activity in the offshore global market, lots of talk of jobs, but when you look into it, is there really a shortage of helicopter pilots, suitably qualified?

Take someone with the following experience, 2500-3000 hours TT helicopters, 2000+ multi, 500-1000 P1 or proper P1/us on a multi engine type, IR, clean record, why cant they get a job anywhere? Is it a type rating issue.?

I heard that the OGP have recently changed their experience requirements for offshore pilots flying for them. Any truth in this?
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 08:26
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As I understand it the offshore chaps want freshmen with next to no time/experience - that way they'll be hungry to work, won't complain as much, don't need to be paid as much and are less likely to move on because they're not progressing anywhere. 3000hr bods have aspirations of captaincy sooner or later and ideas of how things should be done.
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 09:46
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Shortage

I am not aware that there have been any changes to the OGP requirements recently. Certainly up here in the north I am aware that operators are getting lots of applications when they recruit (hundreds), but the pile of applicants is not yielding more than a few suitable candidates. Not sure if there is a common reason though.

Not sure about the "freshmen" thing either - hours are accumulated so quickly flying offshore that even if you decided to take in the lowest of the low timers, they would progress in 4-5 years anyway, so you'd have to keep tuning them over and i don't see that happening at any of the operators.
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 11:49
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There is quite a shortage of offshore pilots where I am in South East Asia right now. At the moment most people here just want to be white shirted systems administrators in the airlines and nobody really wants to fly choppers. Unless theres a huge exodus frm the Air Force here the shortage should continue for te near future.

However the government is pretty careful abt letting foreigners in so low hour slots will mainly go to local nationals.
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 11:53
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There is always going to be a type rating issue as long as the Operators refuse to pay for Type Conversions....hoping their new hires will spend their Dime on the conversion in the hopes of finding that new dream job.

Likewise....not moving Coey's up to Command status just as a way of holding down costs....works against schedule flexibility as well. If you work for an Operator that ever has to cancel a flight because a Captain has called in sick and there are too few Captains available to fill the slot....you are seeing some bad management in action.

Training is expensive....as is Safety....and we all know how they are on the lowest priority compared to other expenditures....coming well after management bonuses, perks, and office buildings.

That is a simple fact of life in the Helicopter Industry.
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 12:00
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My understanding is that there is now a minimum for OGP in terms of experience. I believe 500 hours multi is the figure. However, based on the hours/experience you mention, I expect it has more to do with various outfits wishing to run a tight ship and where possible do what they can with the bare minimum in terms of crewing.
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 12:02
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Shortage of pilots?...maybe....but....WHERE?....i can see many adds...and i'm applying to ALL of them but so far no answers...(I've got 2000 hrs...jaa ATPL theory, cpl-ir and 412 type rating)...so must be something that i'm missing....i just hope that the lack of positive answers is due my availability (which is in september).....i still dont get how far in advance you should start looking for jobs before your actual availability....or to put it in another way....how long before the actual need, the companies start the recruiting process....

ps anybody knows about bristow's selections for copilots that started at the end of October?...still havent got an answer (and i believe that the ad is still on)....
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 06:33
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Pilot Shortage?

Discussion moved from the Jobs thread, as Huey was right, that isn't the place to discuss.

I would say there certainly seems a shortage with all North Sea operators requiring pilots... none offering type ratings though.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 06:55
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...Best joke of the year indeed
Every 6 months or year, people announce " a dramatically pilot shortage .
Take look at the "jobs advert"...
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 07:04
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I would say actually there are quite a few adverts, and some HEMS and police positions have been advertised for quite some time. North Sea operators struggling to get the numbers they need, but wont type rate.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 07:08
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The pilot shortage isn't one of personnel, it's one of personnel willing to accept low wages, subpar working conditions or pay for their own S92 rating.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 07:16
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I agree totally with that, even if type ratings were being offered I'm sure they would be inundated with cv's

Any new starter with any sense will go fixed wing at the moment which means we will have a real shortage in the future
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 08:00
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Agree on that 100%
Know in person one of them, frozen ATPL A/IR/MCC and approx 330 h on fix wing.
FO job, in decent EU member flag carrier within 2 weeks, on second application.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 08:52
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Originally Posted by 9Aplus View Post
Agree on that 100%
Know in person one of them, frozen ATPL A/IR/MCC and approx 330 h on fix wing.
FO job, in decent EU member flag carrier within 2 weeks, on second application.
There is not only a problem in recruiting the new pilots, but also in retaining them. A good friend of mine decided to switch to FW in order to gain more career perspective. He has been a SFO for a while with a respective North Sea operator, but there is no perspective of becoming an offshore captain because they all stay put.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 09:34
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Originally Posted by breakdip View Post
There is not only a problem in recruiting the new pilots, but also in retaining them. A good friend of mine decided to switch to FW in order to gain more career perspective. He has been a SFO for a while with a respective North Sea operator, but there is no perspective of becoming an offshore captain because they all stay put.
I think you have highlighted another problem too, there are a number of pilots in that 60+ bracket, an era that don't have long left, some are jumping early, but there are certainly a few to lose in the coming years and we aren't seeing the new juniors joining to replace them.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 11:43
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There aren't any positions offshore in the North Sea for qualified pilots unless they hold the required type rating. The companies won't invest in staff. I just hope it ends up biting them on the ass one day.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 11:47
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With all 3 operators needing S92 pilots, there just aren't enough qualified S92 pilots out there, they will have to type rate very soon or default on contract requirements
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 16:14
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I'm 5'11" and my head's only about a quarter inch below the roof of the 22.

Pilot shortage my ass!
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 18:59
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That is also very true.
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Old 16th Mar 2019, 01:27
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Does the helicopter industry have a people problem

IMO interesting read about the industry:
https://www.verticalmag.com/features...eople-problem/

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