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UK Helicopter pilot outlook

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UK Helicopter pilot outlook

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Old 10th Aug 2018, 11:09
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UK Helicopter pilot outlook

For people with their finger on the pulse and in the 'know'... what's the outlook within the UK looking like (medium to long-term) for people getting into the industry with a CPL(H), IR, FI, ATPL(H)? Are there too many pilots for the amount of work or too few? What are the expected pilot number supply/demand issues over the next 3 - 10 years? Thanks
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 13:12
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Actually it's looking good! Don't be fooled by the various companies management telling you about the "stacks" of C.V.'s they have ...Most of them are useless, and unemployable. There is an upcoming shortage that we are starting to see the beginnings of. The companies are holding back to save profits and wanting more out of the work forces. In regards to Type rated pilots, (on the types still flying and needed) they are basically all dried up. Lot's have chosen different career paths, (fixed wing is booming and paying well and making it easier for the transition from rotary to fixed wing) other pilots have chosen other rotary operations and settled into other lives, and some have chosen different career path's or taken early retirement etc...
The harshest oil and gas cull happened 2 years back (Bristow's alone cut one third of it's pilots world wide) but this time round a large percentage of guys and girls have gone elsewhere and are not coming back. (I know any layoff is not good, but the offshore companies management must of had a training course in how to treat employees in the most disgraceful way imaginable, yet still expect them to fly, and then preach the safety card every chance they get?? (hence the reluctance to return)!

Onshore the wages are a joke. All of the onshore HEMS operators are short, but still expect Pilots to get paid day vfr wages when now they require NVIS and I.R.s, Multi crew CRM experience etc etc. The guy's and girls leaving the military has slowed and we are starting to see the impact of government legislation which changed the pension rules, 2006 onwards, so that the ex mil now leaving will not have an immediate pension to to up the poor wages offered onshore.

So all in all, companies, in the short and long term , whether they like it or not, will be forced to offer type ratings, better pay , rosters etc or the result is simply going to be losing contracts to those in a position and ready to take them on.
From just one year ago to today, check out all of the companies looking for pilots, onshore, offshore, oversea's etc, see the date of the advertisements and you will often see the same one again six months later...because of the trouble filling in the positions...and this is only the beginning........The only people telling you there is no shortage or is likely to be is from management??
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 13:31
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The only people telling you there is no shortage or is likely to be is from management??
And the jobless type rated experienced pilots sitting at home waiting for a job......!!
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 15:56
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A quick look at the Babcock site shows 11 positions available at the moment, with quite a few more advertised in the last few months.

https://www.babcockinternational.com...ies/Job-Search
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 16:25
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A quick look at the Babcock site shows 11 positions available at the moment, with quite a few more advertised in the last few months.
yes, and the majority of them require 500 PIC Multi and HEMS/Hoisting experience
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 18:07
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I am sorry to disappoint you hargeaves99, but what you state is NOT a new thing. When I got into aviation decades ago, it was the same...you needed experience to get that first job but very few opportunities existed to someone without experience!! It' crap, but that's unfortunately how it is (the same applies to most careers)?! Hopefully things will change, (a short time ago Babcock held the first ab-initio interviews in Aberdeen).
I wish the best for all those aspiring pilots...but honestly if I had my time again, I would not go rotary.
Just my 2 cents..
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 18:19
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Careful with the term 'ab-initio' in this instance
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 20:46
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Things have definitely progressed in the Northern N Sea offshore market, which usually has a domino effect on the rest of the industry. Babcock over the last 6 months have moved from short term contract positions for type rated pilots, to full time positions for type rated pilots, now looking for non-type rated CPL-IR pilots with no additional experience at all.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 04:54
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The next 5 - 10 years is going to be interesting to watch, there is a whole band of pilots aged 55+ that are going to start disappearing soon and no one to replace them, some of which hold senior positions.

it's good to see some new blood being brought in
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 12:13
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I have heard that for the last twenty years but it never seems to happen. The older folk get replaced by younger ones rising through the ranks together with mil pilots continually leaving. Hopefully I will be wrong but I don't foresee the industry having a major recruitment drive anytime soon.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 14:13
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I hope and wish Brutal is correct. But my experience to date applying for jobs back in Europe is quite the opposite. Even with an Easa cpl Ir multiengine ( all of which I keep current at my expense when Iím on leave) 2000+ hours pic but with out the right type rating, which seems to be 139 or 145, I donít seem to attract any interest from eu or Uk operators.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 15:08
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Originally Posted by haihio View Post
I hope and wish Brutal is correct. But my experience to date applying for jobs back in Europe is quite the opposite. Even with an Easa cpl Ir multiengine ( all of which I keep current at my expense when Iím on leave) 2000+ hours pic but with out the right type rating, which seems to be 139 or 145, I donít seem to attract any interest from eu or Uk operators.
Some positions require you to have been a UK resident for the last 5 years.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 17:14
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I hope and wish Brutal is correct. But my experience to date applying for jobs back in Europe is quite the opposite. Even with an Easa cpl Ir multiengine ( all of which I keep current at my expense when I’m on leave) 2000+ hours pic but with out the right type rating, which seems to be 139 or 145, I don’t seem to attract any interest from eu or Uk operators.
I agree. The UK job market is still dire. If you have a AW139, EC175 or S92 rating and relevant experience, you can probably get work. If you are ex-mil you can probably get a HEMS/Police job pretty easily. If you don't fit into either of those categories, it's hard to get anything. Companies are not paying for type ratings, and lots of adverts say "XX hours on type", so self-funding a £35-£50,000 type rating is a massive risk for anyone.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 20:57
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Companies are not paying for type ratings
Babcock certainly are.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 22:21
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Is there a possibility one particular redundant helicopter pilot might have a chance at inheriting a most senior management position in the next few years?
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 07:13
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SAS are advertising for various UK based touring & fixed base captain roles, and FO roles too.

They are type rating suitable pilots on the AW169.

Command 169 roles requiring >2000hrs with IR(H), NVG and ATPL(H) for specific contracts. Previous complex type experience highly desirable.

FO roles looking for 1000hrs, IR(H) and 50hrs night.
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Old 19th Aug 2018, 09:24
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Thanks everyone for the knowledge.
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