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Which Oil Company?

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Which Oil Company?

Old 9th Jun 2017, 06:53
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Which Oil Company?

Just out of interest, if there was discussion it passed me by.

CHIRP Critical of an Oil Company's Commercial Practices - Aerossurance
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 07:23
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Sounds like Shell in the SNS. Bristow to Dancopter to CHC.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 08:28
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Having lived through the Shell treatment of operators in the 1990's I'm only surprised that this hasn't been focused on more over the years. Shell's behaviour bordered on mental cruelty. I found myself on unpaid leave, then redundant, then re-hired, then threatened with redundancy again.

Back then I was flying S61 and AS332 both SNS and NNS through a five year period of doubt. Eventually a bright BALPA rep stepped in with management to get some alleviation of the problem. I was concerned every day at work that the distraction caused by the worries in the cockpit and in engineering were going to lead to a major incident.

In the end Shell went, there was a short, nasty period of pain. Some good people lost their jobs, the company pulled back and suddenly we were as busy as ever, because Shell were no longer the cancer inside calling the shots.

Shell spout safety at every available opportunity, in my experience they put hundreds of people at risk because of their shoddy treatment of critical contractors, and the games they played with those contracting companies.

Just one instance: after the Cormorant A crash Shell banned deck landings in winds over 50kt. A few weeks later I was called out for a freighter to the basin. The winds were 75kt gusting 85kt over the deck. When we queried the pressure to fly we were informed that the 50kt limit only applied when humans were on board the aircraft, a check revealed that pilots were not "human" according to Shell rules because they were third party contractors ("Oh and don't forget we're in contract review now" came from the Shell rep). In the end the 50kt limit was ignored as soon as the Autumn storms swept in and people were trapped off-shore for days at a time. Even then the real reason appeared to be that most of the workers were contractors, charging extra for not getting back on time.

Shell blithely forget that in aviation you can have financial economy or safety, the two don't go hand in hand. Safety costs, either at the front end by providing every level of safety needed to operate, or at the back end when there are dead and injured passengers, but I suppose Shell work on the theory that they pay insurance premiums so let the insurance companies pick up the claims for death and injury.

Just my experience, doubtless others have better and worse, and no doubt Shell Management will be along shortly to tell you all that I'm wrong and it couldn't have happened. 500 staff in one company know it did.

SND
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 12:59
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SND, I agree with you 100 % , what other industry does the customer get to dictate to the operator how you will fly and maintain your aircraft.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 13:18
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Twisted Wrench;

I suspect you and I were together in a company where our one time owner was a poor swimmer?

SND
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 13:48
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SND, I agree with you 100 % , what other industry does the customer get to dictate to the operator how you will fly and maintain your aircraft.
And the problem with making sure the aircraft are flown within OMB limits and maintained to the OEM schedule is precisely what?
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 14:27
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that's the job of the Authorities where the aircraft is operating not the oil companies.


You probably fly on airlines all the time , who other then the Authorities tell them how to fly and maintain there aircraft. Seems to work out pretty good.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 16:21
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Originally Posted by Sir Niall Dementia View Post
Twisted Wrench;

I suspect you and I were together in a company where our one time owner was a poor swimmer?

SND
I was in that company at the same time.
I remember having to do a 'Shell' line check before I could fly P1 for them🙄
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 21:39
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that's the job of the Authorities where the aircraft is operating not the oil companies.
Ah, no need to worry then. Helicopter operators always operate and maintain exactly in accordance with the OEM requirements, no history of any problems there. Thanks very much for the explanation.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 21:46
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Originally Posted by twisted wrench View Post
that's the job of the Authorities where the aircraft is operating not the oil companies.


You probably fly on airlines all the time , who other then the Authorities tell them how to fly and maintain there aircraft. Seems to work out pretty good.
The difference is that the Civil Aviation Authorities understand airplanes and airports.

They do not understand oil rigs, or to a large extent helicopters, particularly utility helicopter operations.

Don't get me wrong. The oil companies should not be dictating minutia or proclaiming themselves the experts, but I have no problems with them drafting some guidelines of how to safely integrate helicopters into their environment provided they do it correctly and work with the operators not against them.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 22:15
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At a meeting one time one of our fellows, a senior and very, very good engineer, lost his temper, looked at the "oil company expert", Who was a true idiot (the statements he was making were just stupid) and said :"We do not tell you guys how to drill holes in the ocean bottom so don't tell us how to fly and maintain helicopters!" The engineer was voted off the island by the oil company the next day.
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 03:10
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Of course it was Shell but.......

As one of the contributors to the Chirp article and the SNS FSO for the operator concerned I can confirm it was Shell - but I think we all knew that - which was partly the idea.
News of the sacking came from the passengers, not the management.
Then followed months of speculation and uncertainty.
Much store was held with there being no 'Class 1' HOMP incidents (who do you think sets the criteria?) - it was a blessing that the EC155 told you when your gear was still up. It doesn't tell you when you are flying in the opposite direction or if you join circuit of an 'international' airport on the wrong frequency, or if you can't remember what had just happened during the previous 10nm.
Pilots did 'ground' themselves but many continued out of insecurity and fear.
But ......... the biggest concern was the unwillingness of both employers to follow current employment practice/assurances and to take responsibility of the employees whom had committed to the contract.
TUPE proved to be absolutely toothless.
However, Parliament thinks it works as my MP told me that whenever the cleaning contract changes in Westminster, the cleaners simply change uniform and might have to use a different brush.......
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 15:58
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I also had a "line check" with a Shell Flight Ops Inspector whilst flying the S61N. Strange thing was that he and I had worked together for the same Company before he left to join Shell. It was a tick in the box.

After a totally mundane and compliant flight, he felt he had to comment on something. Can't remember what it was now but it was obvious he just wasn't allowed to say it was all OK
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 17:51
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TUPE proved to be absolutely toothless.
And so it has proven to be many, many times. You weren't the first and won't be the last. Unless the contract change is totally clear cut (e.g. SAR, with same base and aircraft type) then the lawyers will always find a way out.
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 19:39
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Had an "aviation expert" from an oil company just freak out when he found we were flying 2 different types on the same day. His big fear was that we would confuse procedures in the event of emergency.
We told him that if we didn't know the difference betwixt a 212 with 3B engines and a 76A++ then there were some bigger problems.
It also became soon apparent that he had no experience nor even a rating in either type.
Fun daze!
The engineers wanted to kill him and bury him at sea.
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Old 22nd Jun 2017, 11:11
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Don't worry albatross there wont be to meany certified engineers left if the airlines have their way ............... ...................( just sign here & here thanks)
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 03:28
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Originally Posted by albatross View Post
Had an "aviation expert" from an oil company just freak out when he found we were flying 2 different types on the same day. His big fear was that we would confuse procedures in the event of emergency.
We told him that if we didn't know the difference betwixt a 212 with 3B engines and a 76A++ then there were some bigger problems.
It also became soon apparent that he had no experience nor even a rating in either type.
Fun daze!
The engineers wanted to kill him and bury him at sea.
40 years later, ... nothing ever changes.

I was called on the carpet for flying 212, 76 and 61 the same day.
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 04:16
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Nigeria, Shell, 1969 - Shell, as usual, not happy, thought it would be a good idea to implement a system whereby they had Bristow and Aero Contractors on site adjacent to each other, Shell would send down a flight requirement to both operators, first one in the air got the job! Bristow told them exactly what they could do with their 'new idea' and threatened to pull their entire operation out of that site, 'new idea' dropped.
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 13:11
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Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
Nigeria, Shell, 1969 - Shell, as usual, not happy, thought it would be a good idea to implement a system whereby they had Bristow and Aero Contractors on site adjacent to each other, Shell would send down a flight requirement to both operators, first one in the air got the job! Bristow told them exactly what they could do with their 'new idea' and threatened to pull their entire operation out of that site, 'new idea' dropped.
So how was that intended to work in practice? i.e. How were the passengers supposed to know where to go?
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 22:16
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You may well ask 212man, as it was never going to happen I don't think anyone got so far as to work out 'how'. One scenario we laughed about was the pax in the waiting room, aircraft on adjacent pads, pax sent to first a/c ready to fly. It was a lunatic idea that only Shell employees could come up with, but it does illustrate that in nearly fifty years nothing has changed!
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