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  1. Hi guys, (and gals) 1) I flew 12 years for PHI Helicopters, Gulf of Mexico, Angola, and EMS. Mostly, I enjoyed it. I was proud of the Yellow-and-Black. I met some great people, worked for some really good bosses, and butted heads with the odd personage with whom I failed to establish a rapport. Overwhelmingly, it was a cool twelve years. The mechanics were great. Lots and lots of good. Inevitably, there were 'moments'. The occasional clash with an Area Manager perhaps. I have a story or two bubbling around in what passes for my mind. One day.. I also from the beginning -gladly- paid in to their "loss of license" insurance scheme, via payroll deduction. A lot of money. It was carefully explained to me by my then Area Manager, that this policy would (depending on age) pay out 24 to 36 months worth of payments, calculated at 60% of my final salary. (no mention of any 'deductions') He strongly recommended the policy. I bought in, and faithfully paid my money for 12 years. Well, dream on, Moriarty. Pass the pipe, Alphonse. Twirl the skirt, Lucy. 2) I grounded myself September 18, 2015, feeling really unwell. A good and honest decision, as it turned out. On December 5th, at age 64, I suffered a stroke event, intense pain down my left side, facial paralysis, bottom lip extended like one of those trendy Hottentots who can accommodate a full Pepperoni Pizza on their extended bottom lip, and it was lights and sirens, off to Lufkin Memorial we jolly well go. Four days ICU. Hey-ho. It wasn't that transmission that got me, that mid air, or the British Army. Or even the angry ex husband. Stupid stroke. The delicious irony of it all. 3) So... I got Loss of license insurance, right? 36 months at 60 % of basic final salary works out at $4,212.03 a month. Times 36 months = $156,497.25. That will tide me over. Right? 4) Wrong. When all is said and done, it looks like I'll get less than $10,000. They are about to cut off ALL FURTHER PAYMENTS. 5) How is THAT possible? Easy enough, when you've been at it for decades, like "Reliance Standard Life assurance" have been.They have the art of 'CATCH 22 DEDUCTIONS' down to a truly fine art. All kinds of sneaky little clauses, which get interpreted every time in a manner that Agatha Christie would have been proud to use as a plot. Against you, of course. If anybody is interested, I will explain in detail further how the various "Catch 22" provisions work. (and "Catch 23", "Catch 24", "Catch 25", etc, etc) I don't doubt "Reliance Standard" (reliably double standards) have saved themselves MULTI MILLIONS by perfecting their sleazy art. Over the backs of simple Schmucks like me. 6) And where is PHI Helicopters in this? Cozily wrapped up in bed together, it appears. They know full well there are things going on, but it doesn't bother them in the slightest, it appears. My email to the PHI Benefits Manager setting out in some detail my areas of concern, did not even receive the courtesy of a reply. The impression I get from talking to some other pilots, is that us 'old uns' are past our usefulness date, and matter no more. There is worse than that though. There are some indications that there is a 'financial motive' that does NOT exactly incline PHI Helicopters towards likely action. 7) Wrapped up in this is also the VERP (voluntary early retirement program) which I was told did not affect my Loss of License Insurance. Well, that's a straightforward lie. "Reliance Standard" (reliably double standards) have already told me they will include THAT in the plethora of other "Deductions". Which, all combined, take my "loss of license benefits" down to zero. A big, fat, ZERO. I'll leave it there for now. If anybody is interested, I'll be happy to expand in detail on the various "Catch 22" (and "Catches" 23,24.25,etc) Moral of this story: A) If the name "Reliance Standard Life Assurance" appears anywhere in your contingency planning, well, how about asking me for MY experiences at their hands? Claws? It hasn't been a gentle, caring massage, put it that way. More like an enforced series of copious blood donations. (Oh, about those kidneys...) If you are happily paying into any "loss of license" insurance policy, demand to see the policy. I asked repeatedly, and never got one in twelve years. (finally got one a few weeks ago) Check whose name is on it. If it's "Reliance Standard" you can start laughing. Drily. C) you're a helicopter addict, right? Even if you READ the policy (assuming you can get one, I couldn't) I can tell you it was put together by a sub species of the human race. Commonly referred to as L-A-W-Y-E-R-S. You'll read right over the top of Catch 22, 23, 24, 25, etc. The interpretation these ghouls actually PUT on these innocuous 'fine print' paragraphs is astounding to my simple helicopter mind. It's kind of quite entertaining in its absurdity. D) But BEWARE. These sharks have it down to a fine art. Lots of practise. You quickly get the impression they are reeling off standard letters, tried and tested a million times, fine-tuned and honed on the backs lots and lots of little policy holders like you and me. Just following a plan to break you down, step by step, following a standard play book. If anybody is interested, I will expand. But this is enough for now. Fly Safe, Sincerely, Moggy PS: finished my second novel ("The Tuna Hunter") and it's available on 'Smashwords'. (Francis Meyrick). If you buy a copy, I can maybe eat tomorrow.....
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