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Life on a Tuna Boat?


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#1 eagle5

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:03

http://www.youtube.c...e&v=UwpbSB6yYAM

 

Watching this video makes sleeping in my car and eating ramen three meals a day seem like a luxory vacation!  I've seen cleaner bathrooms in highway gas stations,and the food makes me want to barf just thinking about it!

 

So, to the few of you on here who have done this.  Is life on a tuna boat really this nasty, or is this just the one out of a hundred bad boat?  And what do you do if you can't take it?  Are you just trapped out there at sea?


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#2 iChris

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 15:58

http://www.youtube.c...e&v=UwpbSB6yYAM

 

Watching this video makes sleeping in my car and eating ramen three meals a day seem like a luxory vacation!  I've seen cleaner bathrooms in highway gas stations,and the food makes me want to barf just thinking about it!

 

So, to the few of you on here who have done this.  Is life on a tuna boat really this nasty, or is this just the one out of a hundred bad boat?  And what do you do if you can't take it?  Are you just trapped out there at sea?

The conditions are as good as the company that owns the tuna boat fleet, its captains, and crew. Some are worse than what you see and some are better. In fact, what you see in the video is nowhere near the worse.

 

I did South Pacific tours with Hansen Helicopters. During my time, some of the Taiwanese boats were among the worse. The larger companies like South Korean Dongwon Industries were among the better fleets. Dongwon is one of the world's largest tuna catching companies with a fleet of 36 boats. Dongwon currently owns the brand name Star-Kist Tuna.

 

However, you’re right, many don’t make it pass the first off-load. That first island stop and their gone. To some it will be an abrupt culture shock, you’re now the little American (minority) that needs to adapt to their Taiwanese or Korean culture and food.

 

Tuna fishing off large purse seiners is tough work and these Taiwanese and Korean crews are hard working and tough individuals. You have to earn their respect and if you as a pilot show weakness (crybaby, mama’s boy, wimp, pantywaist, etc.) and can’t man-up to your position as a pilot, your tour won’t be very pleasant.

 

Your helicopter company back at home base can help during your transition with supplies you request, like canned foods, drinks, books, etc. They are sent out from Guam along with your mail on the service ships that fuel and supply each tuna boat.

 

You normally sign on for one full tour, which was normally 11 – 14 months depending on the captain; however, around the sixth - seventh month they may return to Guam for ship repairs and servicing.

 

In any case, if you decide to depart early, you’ll have to pay your own way back home. If you leave without advance notice, they normally withhold all pay and you’re on your own getting back home. Once you’re back home you can try and get some of your unpaid salary.

 

If you can last until the mid point when the boat returns to Guam and you’ve given advance notice and they can find a pilot to replace you, sometimes they’ll pay your way back home, if you were on good terms.

 

​An old Hansen memorandum that went out some 20 years ago:

 

 

M E M O R A N D U M

 

TO: All Pilots

FROM: JON D. WALKER

 

1) Always secure the rotor blades when helicopters is on deck. Right after shutting down engine and strong wind prevails apply forward cyclic and aggressively apply rotor brake upon reaching 150 rotor rpm. All Rotor blades to be tied down when helicopter is secured for the night. Any rotor blade tail boom strikes caused from inadequate blade tie down are responsibility of pilot & mechanic.

 

2) HUGHES engine compressor to be washed daily when flying. (Failure to do so is immediately able to be seen upon inspection.)

 

3) Failure to untie all tie downs before flight normally results in instant death. No remedial action need be taken.

 

4) Contract wages will be paid on the first of the month or the first working day thereafter. Payment will be made to one location only. If wages are to be deposited to a savings or checking account, it is best if they can be deposited into your personal account.

 

5) Orders for helicopter parts will be taken at any time, (This also applies to any emergency need that may arise) personal items may be ordered only every two weeks. Orders may be made fax. Fax no. 00 1-671-6499582.

 

6) Personal conflicts between pilot-mechanic-captains are cause for immediate dismissal. Settle all disagreements yourselves and peacefully.

 

7) Orders for alcoholic beverages will be limited to two (2) bottles of hard liquor or two (2) cases of beers. We are having too many complaints of excessive drinking. Any complaints from captains about excessive drinking are cause for immediate dismissal, and you will be charged for all cost involved for your replacement.

 

8 ) Any complaints about the helicopter and/or supply of parts should be directed to Hansen Helicopters and not the Captain of the boat. Violation of these instructions will be ground for immediate termination.

 

9) Hansen Helicopters has been taken advantage on many times by people needing advances. If you need money in order to make the trip, a personal loan will be arranged. We are not a bank, but if we are going to made to function like one, we will do business in the same manner that they do. Some kind of collateral will be required for any personal loan. Loan will be made at the beginning of the contract. Anything after that, go to the bank.

 

10) There have been four instances in the last 5 years when a new pilot has gone on a boat for the first time, apparently not realizing that he is going to be away from his mommy for the first time. The trouble always starts 7 to 10 days after the boat leaves. The first thing we hear is a radio call that either the person is (sick, has a dire emergency at home, or is afraid that one of the crew members is going to kill him). The person then refuses to work anymore. These forces us to find a replacement, get him to wherever he can meet the boat, and try to humor the captain of the boat, and its owner. If you are not happy with your situation, please have the courtesy to tell us before the boat leaves so that we do not have all of the down time. If you do not, and go on the trip, and then decide to go home, we will definitely take you to court and recover all of our expenses. This will not be good for either party, so please finish what you start.

 

11) A "trip" starts and ends in Guam. A return to Guam for emergency purposes is normally not the end of the trip. The Captain of the boat will tell you when the trip has been completed. We will not replace pilots until the end of the trip or end of contract. There will be no exceptions to this.

 

12) Flight duration not to exceed 2 hours. This is strictly enforced.

 

13) One (1) passenger only.

 

14) No night flying!!! I've received reports that some of you are doing this. I want this stopped.

 

15) Aircraft should be ready to fly when the captain ask (within 5 minutes).

 

16) Don't depend on rain to remove all the salt spray from the helicopter.

 

17) The helicopter can and should be landed on the deck gently. The controlled crash theory is bullsht.

 

18) After a reasonable length of time, a pilot should be able to land on the boat while the boat is travelling full speed.

 

19) Helicopters will easily hover downwind. However, downwind take off's and landings are unacceptable.

 

20) Only one (1) radio beacon to be carried.

 

21) Call the shop by SSB when the ship is headed to port for discharging. (So we can get your mail and beer to you sooner.)

 

22) Don't let the crew paint the helicopter when they paint the boat.

 

23) If the ship runs out of water for helo washing, call HH ASAP.

 

24) Shut down the engine before refueling. No hot refueling.

 

25) No landing on islands or airport without HH permission.

 

26) Do not land on water unless it is an emergency.

 

27) Send weekly trend check/Hobbs time and total flight time for the month.

 

28) Maximum allowable downtime for maintenance. Two days.

 

29) Change engine when TOT reaches 700°C.

 

30) Balance the Tail rotor every 50 hours.

 

31) Use of satellite phone on the boat for personal call will be deducted from your salary except calls to Hansen. Avoid using the phone. It's expensive!

 

 

32) Don't miss the boat.


Edited by iChris, 20 June 2014 - 10:37.

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Regards,

Chris

#3 eagle5

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 18:04

I don't know if this makes me just another whinny little pantiwaist, but every part of my body just keeps crying out, I'm too old for this sh*t!

#4 aeroscout

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 23:49

I don't know if this makes me just another whinny little pantiwaist, but every part of my body just keeps crying out, I'm too old for this sh*t!

If you think you have doubts now, just wait till you get to your boat.

One of the first things I noticed was the smells of aromatic fumes of diesel fuel unburned and burnt.

Gasoline, cleaning fluids, hydraulic fluid etc. It is nasty to smell it and you wonder what extended exposure to it does to your body.

Unless the exhaust stacks are aft you almost can't escape the fumes and soot.

If you have a room mate other than your mechanic, you most likely will have to suffer through their stateroom rules. If they smoke which almost all boat crew including officers do, you have to put up with it in your stateroom, dining room and on just about every deck. The only place you can go to get away from it is the helo deck, but then you have to content with the diesel exhaust which runs constantly dockside or underway.

If you are in a room with other than your mechanic you have to suffer through the temperature level they want in the room. If they want to keep the lights on 24 hours, you better get used to that.

If you want to lose weight, you will be given plenty of opportunity for that. So much of the food is very foreign and very unpalatable to Americans who have never been abroad.

If you don't fly a lot you better have a solid plan to keep boredom from setting in. Books, music, movies, exercise.

The water can be high in sodium or other impurities. Some guys drink only bottled water. The fresh water generated on the ship can be less than pure, and who knows what long term ill effects it might have.

Chances are only one or 2 of your shipmates will speak english well enough to keep you from feeling completely isolated. That type of lonesomeness can weigh heavily on you.

There is a lot of downside, and little upside. You are going to have to want it bad, and you will get it...bad.

But if you can stick it out on a busy flying tuna boat you can get 1,000 or more flight hours in a year's contract. Also if you comply with IRS rules all your salary will be tax free. You may even be able to earn cash on the side from fishing bonuses.

There is a real adventure aspect. You will get to see parts of the world you may never have any other opportunity to see. Don't romanticize that the places you see will be island paradises though.

But apart from that, get ready to tolerate some very miserable conditions.


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#5 Nearly Retired

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:43

Not sure why the young douchebag thought it necessary to wear his baseball cap backwards while lying on a pillow...  Kids these days...always have to be "in style," eh?  Why don't they realize it makes them look like a douche?

 

Secondly, not a fan of the vulgar hip-hop soundtrack.  I mean, really? 

 

Doesn't seem like a guy I'd want to hire.  At least not until he grows up a bit.

 

As for the job - hey, don't go out there expecting the Queen Mary.  Foreign boat, foreign guys, foreign food.  Deal with it.  And if you can't do a confined-area landing, perhaps a different career choice is in order.



#6 eagle5

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 13:34

Queen Marry? Ha!  I'd settle for the SS Minnow...and Ginger as my bunk mate!  Maybe if I could bring along a 6 month supply of ramen, sleep in the helicopter, and hang my ass over the side of the boat to take a crap this would be bearable?  Otherwise so far from my research ths job seems only appealable to the most desperate of the desperate low timers?...and I don't think I'm there yet.



#7 Fred0311

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 16:47

Im the adventurous type who doesn't mind the third world conditions and gave this some thought. But after talking to moggy about the exploding army surplus engines... I think im good.

#8 aeroscout

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 16:59

Queen Marry? Ha!  I'd settle for the SS Minnow...and Ginger as my bunk mate!  Maybe if I could bring along a 6 month supply of ramen, sleep in the helicopter, and hang my ass over the side of the boat to take a crap this would be bearable?  Otherwise so far from my research ths job seems only appealable to the most desperate of the desperate low timers?...and I don't think I'm there yet.

I wouldn't say desperate in all cases. What you hear a lot about in this industry is paying your dues.

You hear about perseverance. You hear about being willing to go anywhere and do anything to advance your career.

This is a big test of how much you want to be in this industry. If you ever want something you know you earned and will appreciate, you have to make some sacrifices to get it.



#9 eagle5

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:04

I guess sleeping in my car while flying for peanuts is as far as I'm willing to sacrifice for this industry?

Thanks for the feedback though guys.

Edited by eagle5, 19 June 2014 - 17:05.


#10 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:17

Boy. :wacko:

 

I would respectfully caution against one-sided sweeping generalizations. Or negative stereotypes.  Sometimes, a pudding is what you make of it.

 

There are many, many good guys working and flying out there, pilots and mechanics. Some of those guys have been out there for many years. Because they enjoy it.  There are many different sides to the Tuna Fields.  Yes, there are some serious problem boats, and problem (exploitative) corporate philosophies, and a love of the mighty buck that trumps safety and even environmental good sense.

Yes, the stripping out of C20B engines, to be replaced with OLD surplus C10 and C18 (old technology) bangers infuriates me. I don't mince my words. The job is dangerous enough (remote areas) without cheap-skating on the tools of the job. That is an unacceptable practice, and every prospective Tuna Flier should ask those pertinent questions. How about the constant, persistent, stubborn refusal by operators to reveal their accident statistics? Yoo-hoo! Hansen? Tropic? Eh? Over the decades, Hansen Helicopters has experienced and totted up somewhere in the order of 100 fatalities/serious injuries of pilots and observers. Confirmed to me some years ago by a member of Hansen Helicopters staff. Try getting information about those accidents, so people like me could study the accident causes, and draw up safety advisories pertinent to reducing these appalling trends. BUT. On the other side, you can credit Hansen with paying their bills on time, and you can credit their maintenance hangar on Guam with some of the most highly experienced Hughes 500 mechanics around.   I have friends who either have worked for Hansen, or still work for them, and these good guys have a great fondness for their employer, and an understandable loyalty to the source of their reliable pay check. Again, in defense, how many of these accidents are NOTHING to do with any employer? Good grief, if after all this time, and the truly massive amount of effort people like me and my buddies have put into exposing the dangers of taking off with one rear tie-down attached (Lordie!)...

 

185032_323901044360799_2051748181_n.jpg

 

...or clowning around, high-speed, low level, over a flat calm, translucent sea (BLUE-OUT)  if you are STILL going to be a total DONKEY, then it is YOU, brother, that's going to be responsible, and it has NOTHING to do with your (frustrated) employer.  How many times have I heard that old swan song: "I had a tail rotor FAIL-YUR". Nothing to do with the tail rotor. That's an excuse. That was YOU, because you didn't know what you were doing, and you couldn't be bothered to study the "Moron's Tunaboat Manual", free online posted by some psycho called Moggy.

I've often had a funny feeling that IF one famous day, Hansen and Tropic and others and myself would actually simply sit down and work together, in the interests of safety, and pool our resources (instead of me being on their no-read sh*t list, it seems) then when it came to "Probable Cause" I think you would see me side with them against the careless, conceited pilot, in the VAST MAJORITY of cases.

I've SEEN 'em crash. Open-mouthed. My jaw dropping around my navel. And if you ever read Moggy's BS, you too can READ about it.

 

So why does it keep going wrong? The million dollar question.

 

In conclusion, I feel myself called on to defend the other side of the story, against what seems very negative one-way trash talk. I spent five years out there, (mostly in my very own, comfortable cabin), I made many friends, and I don't regret it.

 

sunsetonthehelideck.jpg

 

I came away with a whole new outlook on this tiny, pale blue dot, and the funny little (often conceited and difficult) short-lived creatures that run or sail or fly noisily around down there. Probably, I also came away more compassionate. More... what?  People are people. At some level, we are all members of the same human family. If we can't get along... what hope for Spaceship Earth? I got along with the Chinese, the Taiwanese, and the Koreans. We had lots of fun. I scribble about it. We often laughed our socks off...  (Psycho-PUTH...)

 

Voila. MTM is out there. You are free to add, comment, criticize, throw flamers, or maybe even correspond with me. Let me conclude with this little verbal doodle, from some half baked Irishman we shall ignore, because he's just a moron. Fly safe. Be a thinking pilot.

 

:)

 

 

http://www.writersha...ew.php?work=518

 

 

OC30030.jpg


Edited by Francis Meyrick, 20 June 2014 - 09:48.

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"Flying is a Privilege, and not a Right"

 

 

fa9f27a0-98d0-48ed-9687-6953eb7f9fca_zps


#11 eagle5

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:20

Funny, the dangers of the flying part of the job never even crossed my mind. Its just what I hear about life on the boat that turns my meek little stomach.

#12 Spike

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:31

Well said iChris, aeroscout & Moggy.

Even though I would call tuna boat op’s the “wild west” of the helicopter industry, it can be done safely with the right people. And, just as with any other industry, you have to work your way up or, pay your dues, to get on the “better” boats with “better” pay. In short, very few greenhorn pilots land on the best boats that have the best living conditions, food and machinery. Just like any helo job, the best ones are already taken and have been for a long time. If one of the “good” spots comes available, it’s already filled by another tuna boat pilot looking to move up. Greenhorns are last at the trough…. However, some boat operators “lowest” are “lower” than others. To wit, my conditions were way better than the ones depicted on this video but then again, I was on an “American” boat……

Tuna boat ops are not for everyone. You need thick skin, the ability to speak up, a strong ability to work on you own, an understanding everything will not be “perfect” with the machine and thus, -a pair. It’s the epitome of commercial helo ops. You must keep the machine flying and if that means non-standard parts/practices, as long as it doesn’t compromise flight safety, then you do what you gotta do…..

Additionally, some of the coolest helo people I’ve ever met were when I was involved in tune boat op’s. Sadly at least one of them is no longer with us because of the sectors shortcomings as mentioned by Moggy…..

With regards to Hanson, while I didn’t work for them, I did visit them as I hung out with one of their pilots. I must say, one of the nicest/cleanest B47’s I’ve ever seen was one of theirs. And, Mr. Walker was indeed a character.....

Lastly, believe it or not, superstition plays a role in tuna boat ops. If I remember correctly, boats will not leave port on a Friday and it’s unlucky to kill a pilot whale…..

Oh, lastly rev. 2, some people might imagine tropical islands with sandy white beaches and scantily clad Polynesian women are everywhere which is hardly the case. Most of these islands are 3rd world and depending where you transship, you may run into folks who suffer from the ill-effects of the nuclear testing the US did many years ago…….

Edited by Spike, 20 June 2014 - 11:33.

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#13 Francis Meyrick

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:46

 

 

Funny, the dangers of the flying part of the job never even crossed my mind. Its just what I hear about life on the boat that turns my meek little stomach. 

 

Food, food, glorious food...


"Flying is a Privilege, and not a Right"

 

 

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#14 md530f

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 17:39

Ok, I have been watching these sorts of topics on various forums for quite a while now and have refrained from responding. As with any operator / operation, people are going to have differing opinions but I think that people tend to get on their high horse and post without thinking SOMETIMES.

I am currently comming to the end of my contract with Hansen Helicopters (One month to go on the calendar but I'll stick around a little longer) so I feel that I am at least a little bit qualified to comment. I won't talk too much about the actual flying as this has been covered elsewhere.

I came out here with a NZ + AU license and had been flying as an instructor in both countries. I had a little over 1000 hours in the seat with only about 10 hours turbine (hell yes it's hard to get). I put in for the job and talked to Marvin (main man at Hansen's) and Rufus (Chief Pilot and good bugger). When I flew out to Tarawa to meet the boat, I had never seen any photos of it, didn't know what the helicopter was like and didn't know if the mechanic was an incompetant drunk or not. The boat was the Grenada owned by Dong Won who have been mentioned by someone else but more on that later.

As it turned out, the helicopter had been out at sea for a LONG time and while mechanically was very sound, wasn't much to look at although it had no corrosion. The mechanic was ex Phillipino Air Force (as they all are) who kept the machine as best he could with the constant salt spray and he turned out to be a really good friend even though he is almost completely deaf. The boat seemed quite clean and quiet and although it didn't have a double bed was very comfortable. The crew was made up of Koreans (senior staff with NO english) Phillipinos and Indonesians, most of whome spoke pretty good english and as a people are very friendly and sociable. I thought to myself 'This is a pretty good gig'. That was until we sailed.

It turns out that the Koreans get very angry when they aren't catching fish and as the Captain was completely incompetant, this was the norm. That in itself wasn't the problem, the problem was that he blamed EVERYONE but himself. If I flew on a set (described elsewhere) and the fish got out, he immediately yelled at me in Korean (really helpful) and pushed past me every time we met on the boat. It all came to a head one day when we were in the helicopter together and he let the skiff go from the air and then wanted to be back on the boat immediately. I was still in my first month and there was a tail wind on a turning boat. Not ideal. In order to get me to land quicker, he reached across and thumped me in the shoulder. The red mist came down but I put it on the deck safely and went off to plot my revenge. Of course there wasn't a lot I could do so I just got on the email to Marvin and told him what happened but i vowed that if it happened again, I would retaliate.

It never did happen again and after 2 months at sea (definitely on the long side) and only 200t of fish we limped back into port. Despite all of that, the room was comfy and the food was actually pretty good. Lots of rice (of course) and KimChi (spelling?) every meal but I certainly didn't go hungry.

To cut a long story short, Hansen's cancelled the contract for the Dong Won boats and I got to go home for three weeks. The support I recieved from Hansen's was outstanding with prompt replys to emails and plenty of encouragement.

I arrived back on the job with a new helicopter, new mechanic and a new boat. This time the boat was a brand new, Taiwanese, and owned by Fong Kuo. The helicopter was a NH500 that had just been rebuilt and was gleaming. I lucked out and got another really great mechanic. The room is a bit rough in terms of size. The bed is long enough but is only wide enough for a midget. There is also no storage space. The food turned out to be excellent and the crew have been amazing (again, no english) At one stage the Fish Master was delivering so much fruit to our cabin that we couldn't eat it fast enough. Sometimes when we are in port (mostly Majuro) the Fish Master takes all the 'senior staff' out for an amazing dinner complete with scantily clad waitresses! The water has been one downside to this boat. The Taiwanese haven't been able to perfect the art of water purification but with the availablity of pure water on the islands, this isn't really an issue. I have had a whale of a time on this boat and it is something that I will look back on fondly throughout my career. Flying out here changes how you view your life and your priorities. I have made (hopefully) lifelong friends and it has improved my flying ability a lot. I realise that what I have written is not the way every boat is so before you all start telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about, remember that this is MY experience.

I wasn't going to mention flying here but I suppose I should share some thoughts.

The Death Strap: RH Rear strap that gets left on (Moggy has mentioned this). Hansen's are now putting mirrors on their machines so that the pilot can see that the strap has been taken off. On this boat, I can look out the RH door and see the strap on the deck so the mirror is a redundancy for me.

Downwind Operations: Personal preferance. There has never been an occasion in a year of flying where I have NEEDED to ask the boat to turn. It would be mighty difficult anyway with nobody speaking english. I have NEVER run out of pedal, I have NEVER got LTE and I have only had to conduct a 'go around' about 10 times. This is not bragging, this is just fact.

Old Gear: It has to be said that most of the machines out here are old. It is probably the last refuge for the iconic but aging C model 500. Having said that, neither of the machines that I have had have been 'worn out' and although the engine on the first machine (C10D) was getting a bit hard up on power, I have always had complete confidence that it would deliver when I needed it. I heard that two pilots turned up to take over on my first boat before me and turned away when they saw the machine. This I think is just a case of HTFU (Harden the Fu** UP) It never let me down. The machine I am flying now has a C18 and it has bucket loads of power.

 

If I keep typing now I will start ranting so I'll stop and leave the story telling to guys like Moggy. Basically, it comes down to this. If you don't mind roughing it for a while to get up some turbine time, some great experience and meet some really good people, then this might be for you. If you cant live without fast food, mummy and a highly polished and carpeted helicopter, stay at home and fly tourists.

 


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#15 DoubleAIm

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 18:27

Are all the heli operators Amercian with N aircraft?

 

What are the chances of them hiring Canadians?



#16 Francis Meyrick

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    For my aviation scribbles see www.chopperstories.com.... enjoy!

Posted 20 June 2014 - 22:54

 

Are all the heli operators Amercian with N aircraft?

 

What are the chances of them hiring Canadians?

1)  No. Not by a long shot. For instance, a whole bunch of boats in South America.

 

2)  No chance. Nada. Zip.  The way you guys get all mad and sticks tangled up simply playing ice hockey... beating the Bejayzus out of each other... nobody's gonna let you loose in a valuable helicopter.   Imagine if you were flying along, an' you got mad at another choppy...  :huh: ....scary thought.

 

:blink:


Edited by Francis Meyrick, 21 June 2014 - 09:59.

"Flying is a Privilege, and not a Right"

 

 

fa9f27a0-98d0-48ed-9687-6953eb7f9fca_zps


#17 Fling Wing

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:11

Old C18 detonating at 1000 feet in the middle of the pacific with the departing N2 section blowing off the clam shells and putting holes in the floats resulting in the helicopter rolling over backwards after the landing.....yep,
Dodgy out of time parts being put on the machine as if new.....yep,
Bondo on the leading edge of the blades.....yep, (avoid rain)
Mechanic with little to no idea.....yep
Toilet without a one way valve resulting in your own shyte tring to re enter where it came from....yep,
Bed bugs...yep,

Character building fun times and some great friendships.....you betchya!

Not a job for someone with a family though.
Being single with an open mind and self discipline is an advantage.
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#18 eagle5

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 13:17

Here's a thought.  You're on a foreign boat.  Would you be able to charge up an ipod, laptop, razor, etc..., or does any electronic device you bring need to use batteries?

 

...and do they eat bread/rice, or is it all just gross fish guts and veggies?



#19 iChris

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 18:11

Here's a thought.  You're on a foreign boat.  Would you be able to charge up an ipod, laptop, razor, etc..., or does any electronic device you bring need to use batteries?

 

...and do they eat bread/rice, or is it all just gross fish guts and veggies?

 

Again, the conditions are as good as the company that owns the tuna boat fleet, its captains, and crew. The better companies hire and retain better captains, crew, and especially better cooks. Some boats end up with a general crewmember turned cook on short notice. Moreover, the best captains, the ones that catch the most fish, rate the best crews. That’s the boat you what to be on, however, as stated in Spike’s post above, as a greenhorn, you’re not likely to get that on your first tour.

 

On the food end, people are people all around the world, they like some of the same things you like. In addition to the standard rice and fish, we also had fried chicken, beef short ribs, hamburger, french fries, and sliced bread for toasting and sandwiches.

 

As far as your electronic devices, most boats have standard U.S. power and sockets; however, at that time, some did require an adapter for plug-in. 

 

Most people don’t know that the U.S. once dominated the tuna industry. Lots of those tuna boats (seiners fishing boats) are U.S. built. The U.S. also led in the building of large super seiners. 

 

Eventually due to over regulation, rising costs, environmental pressure and a host of other problems all of the big U.S. corporations decided to close the canneries on the west coast sell the fleets to foreign interests and move on.

 

From the early thirties and up until the late seventies San Diego was known as the Tuna Capital of the World.

 

During the two decades following 1959, the tuna fishermen of other major tuna fishing countries of the world, such as Japan, Spain, France, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Ecuador, and Venezuela, adopted the vessel design and gear technology developed for and by American tuna seiner fishermen.

 

From 1990 to 2000, the average annual tuna catch was about 3.4 million metric tons, a massive increase from previous decades. The California tuna industry and, in particular, the San Diego tuna fishermen, were instrumental in developing the fishing gear and tactics for this new class of commercial fishing vessels.

 

By 2003, over 500 “super” tuna seiners operated in tropical seas all over the world, solidifying the claim that the Southern California tuna industry was responsible for developing tuna fishing into an international venture.

 

The Rise & Fall of the Tuna Industry In San Diego

 

The Origins of California’s High-Seas Tuna Fleet

 

Here you have the cook cutting fresh tuna for dinner. Sometimes you'll even get a small school of Mahi-Mahi (Dorado) in the net along with the tuna.

 

Scan-1_zps503b5a22.jpg


Edited by iChris, 21 June 2014 - 18:56.

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Regards,

Chris

#20 eagle5

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 21:00

Eventually due to over regulation, rising costs, environmental pressure...

 

 

Yep that's California for ya!






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