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Contracts


TimW68
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Just a PPL here but anticipating my start in the GOM within a couple of years. My question is what is meant by the term "contract". Is this the type of job's you get, amount of time on certain rigs, different base locations, or does it mean you can be out of a job every year? Appreciate any clarification.

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A contract is just the job you are flying. They come and go as the customer's needs change. You still have a job when the contract expires or changes. They (PHI, AIR LOG, RLC, etc.) just assign you to another contract. Some contracts are around for years, while others are month to month. You can get "pulled' or fired from a contract by a customer and replaced by another pilot and/or a bigger/smaller ship. Just depends on what the customer needs.

 

Basically in the GOM, you work as a "spare," "pool," or contract pilot. A spare/pool does all of the "specials" (jobs that don't require a full time monthly contract. May also be a walk-up flight), and maintenance flights.

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So are there any determining factors in which contracts you get or just kind of picking out of a hat (excluding IFR, or far out rigs). Also if you get a longer term contract and you get along well with the people on the rig are you able to stay with that contract or will they just move you around based on what they(PHI, Airlog., etc..)need or want you to do?

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It's hit or miss. In general, the contracts with better conditions tend to be flown by pilots with more seniority, and the jobs with poor working conditions tend to be flown by new guys. If you've been around for years, you don't want to fly for an oil company that treats you badly, or that requires lots of flight time or time away from the base. Cushy jobs tend to get homesteaded, and turnover can be almost nil. Bad jobs have lots of turnover, so there is often an opening. Jobs tend to be offered by seniority. Notice I said 'tend to be', 'often', etc. It's not always the case. But horse races tend to be won by the fastest horse.

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