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International Touring Pilot Lifestyle

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International Touring Pilot Lifestyle

Old 9th Sep 2012, 17:35
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Playing in the sand
Posts: 123
Sas,

Very well said, you make some excellent points. I've only been doing it for 2 years, but like you said, it is very much a love hate relationship.

I love the fact that my job affords me the money and time off to travel and see the world. Who else gets 24 weeks of holiday per year? And company paid airfare? And as you said, the characters in this business are as diverse as the countries that they come from. I have found quite often that one night in the pub, you can have the most interesting and random conversations and immediately have a mate for life. Plus, since the people come from all over, a great way to travel is to visit your coworkers in you time off, saves on accommodation and you get to see their country from a local's perspective.

But as you said, I also find offshore flying to be quite dull; normal T/O, straight and level, steep approach, all day every day. And dealing with the locals takes a bit of time to get used to, you just have to accept the fact that western logic does not apply in most of these places. Lots of company politics, hassle with traveling at all hours of the night and often on short notice are all the downsides of the business.

Right now, for me, the upside far outweighs the down. But I am 28 and single, and have seen and done more in the last 2 years than most people experience in a lifetime. I'm sure at some point I will get sick of it and go back to a "normal" job.

Cheers,
Mike
mikelimapapa is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2012, 04:12
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: ...in view of the 'Southern Cross' ...
Posts: 1,378
Mmmmm ...


Mike .... you are fast becoming one of 'those characters' ... watch out !


Hahahahahah ....





(from 'You know who' )
spinwing is offline  
Old 10th Sep 2012, 13:19
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Playing in the sand
Posts: 123
Hey Spin,

I guess you are right, stories of my escapades often make it back to work before I even return! Life isn't worth living, if you are not having fun!

Cheers,
Mike
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 21:29
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SWE/DE
Age: 41
Posts: 20
Just wondering:

- how much experience required: do FO/SFO apply or is this a captains game?
- how many years in business expected/recommended?
- any women doing this?
DoobyDoo is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2013, 22:40
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 220
There's a few gals out there touring international, but definitely in the minority. I've only flown with one female in fifteen years of offshore. There should be more.

Some general requirements; bird less than 5700 kg, 2000 hours total and 1000 command, over 5700 kg; 3000 hours total and 1500 command for a Captain, and for an FO it's 500 multi and 100 command. It varies with customer/country/contract but these are good average requirements.

Many contracts/countries require the use of national FOs so it's a far easier market to break if you have Captain quals. Note above is minimums.

Last edited by Bladestrike; 4th Sep 2013 at 22:42.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 05:43
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: ...in view of the 'Southern Cross' ...
Posts: 1,378
Mmmmm .....


...... any women doing this? ....


I know of 2 women presently flying as Captains (Offshore) on B212 & A139 in the 'sandpit' .... both with the same company
spinwing is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2013, 07:38
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SWE/DE
Age: 41
Posts: 20
Just asking - jobs in 3rd world / emerging countries can be tough. Know a civil engineer who tried troubleshooting for a drilling company in East Africa, Caucasus and "sandpit" as you call it, and she couldnt stand it. Loved her job, but found life too annoying in the non-working hours there.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 15:31
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: ...in view of the 'Southern Cross' ...
Posts: 1,378
Mmmmm ...

Yup .... Equal opportunity can be tough
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 17:14
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SWE/DE
Age: 41
Posts: 20
Stupid comment really. Are many women not up to a competitive job? Probably. Do we sometimes have to put up with additional BS that men don't, especially in certain countries/cultures? Probably.

It's not about the equal part. But I guess some people like phantasizing their own favourite topics into whoever just happens to be around.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 18:07
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 778
You said it yourself, it's not about the job, competitive or not.
It's about the life style. In third world countries there is not much of a life.

Had a friend once in Goose bay who used to say:"There is only fishing and fu..ing. In winter-there is no fishing.

Pretty much the same here. No social life, no clubs, bars, restaurants. No proper food, no educated people to talk to, no hobbies...
We're here for the cash, and happy when the airliner outbound goes "Gear up!"
Nothing else.
GoodGrief is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2013, 19:04
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 220
I don't know if I agree, depending on where you are. I quite enjoy mountain biking and snorkelling almost daily in East Africa, and culturally there's much to learn....go out fishing with locals on an ancient dhow, go to local festivals, etc. etc.. I seem to find things to do wherever I go.

https://picasaweb.google.com/116188736389762953183







Bladestrike is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2013, 20:22
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
Age: 48
Posts: 215
BS! They put you on a 139? But you're not a new hire!!

Long time no see buddy!

DoobyDoo, your friend's issues may or may not be gender related. Many of the same things that I, and friends like Bladestrike, love about this work are horrors to some of our coworkers.

I am learning the local language right now, as I try to do in each country I work. Most coworkers can't understand why I would bother.

Many guys (or gals, you choose) won't go to a base unless they can be attached to facebook, facetime, skype, etc. My best times were on bases where I felt truly away from that world. Of course, depends on how old the kids are.

I relish the chance to explore new cuisine, and some guys won't eat breakfast if it isn't bangers and mash!

You won't know until you try, but take an honest look in the mirror and decide if you really want to know!
pilot and apprentice is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2013, 01:03
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 10
CHC

Considering taking a touring position with CHC. I am sure I will be asked to do a tour or two to Africa. Anyone have any recent experience there? Need to know how safe the bases actually are. No way the wife is going to go for it without some info.

Thanks
helitime1 is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2013, 07:04
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: East of Africa
Age: 43
Posts: 831
If you take a look at google earth, you will discover that "Africa" is quiet a big country....so maybe you can be a bit more detailed about which country you are going to work in?

There is a huge difference working in Somalia or SA, or working in Egypt or Mali...
hueyracer is online now  
Old 20th Oct 2013, 10:00
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Here and there...
Age: 53
Posts: 854
helitime1,
I have spent most of my 23 years in aviation in Africa, and all I can say is that your happiness in the job/locale is entirely up to you. If you leave home expecting to struggle then chances are good that you will struggle. As said earlier, leave your politics/religious issues/prejudices and baggage at home, there will be lots for you where you are going. In most places, the Nationals will resent your presence because it either shows them up as inadequate or they will resent the often present salary differential.

I have worked in places where you can wander off to the shops or stop in at a pub for a beer and I have been in places where you need a police escort to and from work and are locked into a compound/camp/hotel because it's really unsafe for a foreigner to be out alone. I have heard bullets fly over the hangar and a machine has come back with holes in it. Colleagues have been kidnapped in one place.
Some can handle it, others leave or transfer out elsewhere.

I have garnered a working knowledge of Portuguese, Spanish and French as a result of my travels and I have seen places and things that have had me accused of being a liar when I talk about some of them.

Do I enjoy it?
I really don't enjoy being away from home for so long and missing the milestones in my kids' growth and developement, nor do I like having to leave it all for my wife to carry the load for so long by herself.
I really like the 5+ months off after travel which is on my time and the tax benefit makes it worthwhile, financially. When I am home, I do the morning school run and the fetching and carrying to give Madame a break and try to fit in to their lives without disrupting their balance too badly, because one thing that lots of folks don't realise is that your coming home IS special, but the world hasn't been stationary while you were away and there are things that happen day to day which you just need to accept and adapt to without rocking the boat too badly.

All in all, I really enjoy what I do and I do think you should give it a try, you may like it too.
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Old 20th Oct 2013, 13:07
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 10
Thanks for the info.
hueyracer I am aware of how big Africa is. What I don't know is how many places CHC operates there. I have done 6 week tours before in third world countries so I sort of know what I am getting in too. The wife read on a forum about pilots getting kidnapped there, so I am hoping to calm her down a bit. Or possibly say no to going to "that base" I will be flying the 139 if that helps narrow things a bit.
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Old 20th Oct 2013, 14:05
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: No longer in the sand box
Posts: 76
I will be flying the 139 if that helps narrow things a bit.
Of course you are.
heloguy412 is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2013, 17:59
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 220
PM sent, presently two years in East Africa with CHC. I like it, most don't. Depends on what you expect.
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