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Hi to all,

hope to get some infos about the offshore branch in europe like De kooy in the netherland and norway. By now i am 30 years old, from Germany and with CHPL JAR. TT is about 1600h with over 1000h Turbine.

Further more than 500h on Agusta A109 ME. I do not have the IR helicopter so i think thats the problem. What ever i am searching for a possibiltity to become a member of the branch in europe in the north sea.

I think Bristow and CHC are the best companys for that?


Is it really hard to fly offshore?

Is that branch save for the future?

There are many plans to built up wind parks in the northsea so that will be good for the companys i think.

Is it thinkable that these companys financed the IR Rating for me?

Consideration would be a bond of about 5 Years to the company?

What will be the best way to do the IR Training and in what shool?

Do i need the JAR IR-H for CHC or Bristow?

Is it possible to start a job in De Koooy?

What about the payment? Are there big Differents from company to company?

Working times?10days on 10days off? One week on-weekend free-one week on?


Sorry when the questions are really bad but i have no experience in offshore flying.

Hope to get some more informations of you.

Perhaps there is anybody who is flying in De Kooy for Bristow or CHC?


Thanx for all answers



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We had an interesting presentation from CHC the other day. I took a couple of notes, let me share them here. All of it is based on CHCs information so be careful with it. It my be a slightly distorted view since they just lost 2 contracts to Bond in GB. Maybe you shouldn't transfer this 1:1 to the rest of this industry but I'm sure it looks more or less the same everywhere right now. Here we go:



Their presentation started with "Gentlemen, this presentation is going to dissappoint you." So go figure how the rest of this went on... ;)


It looks like right now the only growing markets (for them!) are in Australia, Brazil and Norway. Their demand for pilots for the next period till 2012 shows some openings in Norway, none in DK, none in the UK (layoffs), perhaps some in Ireland and 0-4 pilots anually for their Den Helder base to keep their amount of staff stable until 2012. Currently there is an 11 month waiting list with no ad-hoc positions available and - actual quote - it's "Looking bad".



For their Den Helder base they currently support 7 oil companies / 2 contracts. Flights are 12-28 minute average flight times between landings. No equal time roster in NL, 9 working days, 5 days off (with at least a consecutive 2-day off period). 4 week schedules, 1 month in advance. Operating times 7:00-22:00 in 3 different 9hr shifts around the day.



Their experience requirements are dictated by their customers (Oil and Gas Producer Recommendations for Pilots).

- Captain: 3000hr, 1500 PIC, 100hr on Type

- Co-Pilot: 1000hr, 500hr Turbine, 100hr PIC, 50hrs on Type (anybody else wondering about 100hr PIC? :huh: )


However, CHC can get waivers for Co-Pilot positions to start with ~250hrs TT if they give you extensive line training and make constant progress reports to their customers. That means you could start at around +-200hrs TT and due to the training etc. you'll have 250hrs by the time you start working.


The Minimum requirements before you are even eligble to knock on their venerable doors are:

- ATPL(H) frozen

- CPL practical done

- JAA IR done

- JAA 1st class medical

- the more hours the better (obviously a 3000hr pilot is prefered over a 220hr applicant...)



Their Interview is done in 3 phases:

1. Interview

2. Psychometric testing

3. Grading


The Interview is about your ability to work in a team and is done with their human ressource and crew training managers. Fail this and the doors are closed.


The Psychometric testing consists of intellectual tests, sensomotoric tests, personality tests and the obligatory interview with their shrink ;)

It's aiming to test your manual ability, multitasking, hand/eye/feet coordination and stress tolerance. Pretty much like the DLR test (--> Hesse / Schrader "Der Pilotentest" might help, the demand seems very similar to me)


Lastly the grading is basically simulator flying. This is done in an FNPT simulator in NL or any other simulator that CHC can use. This is done to judge your level of IFR flying skills, multicrew ability, workload and learning ability and multitasking again.


Should you screw #2 and #3 the doors are closed for 5 years (after that time they assume you might have advanced in your personality and / or skill...)


The current pass rates for the phases:









IF you should get a job, then you get two 1 year contracts and when you're doing fine a fixed contract. This includes the type rating + training for CHC. You are on a 5 year bond, if you leave early you have to pay back the T/R and training.

You have to relocate within 60km around Den Helder (for reserve duty you have to be there within 15 minutes call time)



To put it in a nutshell: the prospects look grim right now.


What they recommend to get hired in the future is:

- Do your SE IR (that's enough for them, afaik Bond & Bristow want a ME IR)

- Shop around for your Instrument Rating and keep flying somewhere (ha.ha.)


...to be ready, when THEY hire again ;) Remember: They only give you 2hrs for grading with no 2nd chance. Well, it might be true: If there is a sudden demand you are definitely in a superior position if you already have the IR in your pocket.

But, and this is just my personal 2cents, on the other hand it is a somewhat crooked logic: you spend $90.000 for your IR and facing the industry right now you probably end up siting and waiting for perhaps the next 2 years hoping to find a job where you can fly IR (WHERE in EU if not off shore?). By the time you apply they expect you to be still current, up to date, proficient and knowledgeable in IFR flying for your interview because you only have one chance to pull off a decent IFR flight in their simulator. I'm not sure if I could do that after such a long time without IFR experience / training.


Honestly: If you have a decent job in your A109 stick with it and enjoy a hopefully safe job for the next couple of years until the situation gets better. By then you should be able to jump right into IFR flying and get a job with +3k hours without a problem.

If you don't care about the nice office view and IFR flying in particular I would try operators like ADAC, DRF, Air Rescue Luxemburg, etc. Not many, but some of them fly IFR for transfer flights. That should be much easier and safer with 1600h TT + 500hr ME.



Schönen Gruß! ;)

Edited by Hawkeye0001
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  • 1 month later...

Sorry, I'm a bit late into this thread.


The North Sea companies are having difficulties at the moment, but new contracts are appearing. Theres a new gas field been found and exploration is planned.


Don't give up on gthe North Sea if thats where you want to be. It took me 2 years to get there after I finished at Bristows Academy (formerly HAI) and I passed all 3 phases with just the bare minimum and no IR. My company laid people off last year and now by their own admission "cut pilot numbers by too many" and now find themselves short for upcoming contract requirements. When they need pilots, they need them ASAP and then struggle to find the requirements listed. Keep in touch with the Flight Crew Manager and if possible go meet them......that worked for me!

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