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Help a rookie in the gom


rotormandan
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Hi all. So I just got on with one of the gom companies and I'm planning on moving with my wife to Lafayette or one of the nearby towns. For those of you that know, what parts of town are good and what parts should be avoided? We live pretty cheaply and are looking to rent a house. We spent last weekend driving around so we're a little familier with the town now. We're not looking to move until mid-late march. Any advice from the locals?

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My advice to you would be to skip La. altogether. There is no reason to move to Lafayette or even Louisiana for that matter. You will do your new hire training and probably won't be back until recurrent comes around. There is nothing really wrong with Lafayette (traffic is a real pain in the posterior, though) , but there sure ain't anything right about it, either. I would commute from where you live (at least at first) then talk to the pilots about where they live. You will find out most do not live in La. There are reasons for this. Pennsacola is only about 4-5 hours from Morgan City, Houma and Venice. And Texas isn't much of a drive from the west side, either (you could even be based in Texas). Then you have to get back to Lafayette! Doh! You will not be able to get home during your hitch anyway, so forget about thinking you will be seeing the wifey if you live in Lafayette. No state tax in Florida or Texas also, which will save you $2500-3500. Lafayette is damn expensive, too! You will be commuting no matter what: drive a little further and you will live in a much better place for less money.

Edited by helonorth
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When I started in the GOM lo those many years ago, I considered moving to Lafayette. The best decision I ever made was to stay in Texas. You won't be based in Lafayette, so there is no good reason to live there. Most pilots live in Texas or Florida. The Florida pilots work the east side and the Texas pilots work the west side, at least most of the time. There is no place in Louisiana that I would ever want to live, period, and certainly not Lafayette.

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Putting aside external reasons to relocate with a new job, I'd suggest you wait a year or so to move lock, stock and barrel. Nothing against Lafayette or Louisiana, I enjoyed living and working there.

 

My experience is that a lot of GoM new-hires leave in the first couple of years. Why move twice? Give it some time and fit the two, job and life, with some consideration and knowledge.

 

You won't be home with any regularity during the hitch, anticipating the possibility adds stress and leads to disappointment, at least for me. I tried to report for the hitch with the idea that where I ended up that night was as good as any other, and the firm goal of never ever anticipating when I'd be finished with the hitch- next Thursday night, Friday morning, Saturday... It's a 'mini-deployment' and I'm a mobile asset. Nothing suckier than having plans and disappointing loved ones.

 

Living in the Lafayette area is central to most ops, so you're generally well placed. On the other hand, being a few hours away worked to my advantage (20 years ago, when my 'bones' were established) in less susceptibility to immediate call in. Eating 4-14 hour commute each way does cost.

 

Opelousas was alright and lived a couple different places on the South side of Lafayette after the divorce.

Edited by Wally
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I'm not under the disillusion that I'll be home during my hitch. I'd like to be close enough to keep it a 14/14 not a 16/12. Eventually I can bid on a job that's based closer to my house than others, which I know I can do anywhere, but I know that there aren't any bases that i can work from home. Right now I have to commute with the airlines. I don't like the idea of having to rely on airlines to get to work and it'll be cheaper to only drive a few hours. Plus I can't stand having to do the airline thing 4 x's a month. My wife and I are pretty mobile. We don't buy houses and we don't have kids to truck around. If it sucks we can move in 6 months. No big deal. We've both visited to figure out where we might be interested so we both know what we're getting into (for the most part) and we have old college friends who recently moved to Carencro. I had the same problem on JH. If anyone wants to answer my question(thanks Wally), that would be great. Please don't try to convince me to make your decision. We're all looking at this with completely different point of views. All I'd really like to know is.... For those of you that do or have lived in Lafayette, where did/do you live? Where would you like to live (in Lafayette)? Most importantly, what part of town should I avoid? Ghetto part, floods a lot, traffic is worse in parts. Answers to those questions would actually help.

Edited by rotormandan
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You can't say nobody told you so...

 

I would ask the IP's during your training. They are about the only ones that live there.

 

That's actually pretty good advice, although lots of guys used to live in Lafayette and I'd be surprised if it were different now. Depends on where you're based, I guess, guys living in Florida tried to stay in the East GoM and guys living in Texas tried to keep in the West.

 

All of South Louisiana floods, but property on bayous does more often.

As far as traffic and drives, it used to be one had to go pretty much through Lafayette to get to anything between Abbeville and Morgan City. Unless you came from the East, then you could go through New Orleans for Venice through Morgan City. The Pierre Part route sucked although it looks shorter. Traffic stinks either way. I lived on the south side of Lafayette to keep from having to drive through town and I could take US 90 to bases east. And the head shed is right there, so if I ended up in LFT...

West on I-10 is a little better, although not a lot. Off the interstate, dinky little towns and crappy roads to get to the middle of freakin' nowhere bases- Cameron, Creole, and still lots of bases to the East which meant... driving through Lafayette again.

Except for the Sabine/Port Arthur area, Texas was homesteaded by guys living in Texas. Fine, but Texas is big and the TX coast is BIG too. You're still gonna commute unless you're senior to the Dear Lord and get based at and live in Galveston.

I'd rather have inflamed boils on my butt and a painful case of hemorrhoids than live in Houston. That's just me and Houston...

Rockport isn't bad, but was tiny and the other side of nowhere if you were sent anywhere else, same for everyplace else that way. I think Austin is effectively closer to the GoM.

 

I hear you on flying commercial. Never worth the headaches to me, airport cars and worries about making the flight to save a couple hours? Lafayette through Houston or NOLA to ATL. Now if I lived in Colorado or more than 12 hours drive, and a surprising amount of pilots did...

 

Me, Southwest Lafayette.

Edited by Wally
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Traffic in Lafayette has always been worse than in Houston, and the traffic was one thing which convinced me to live elsewhere. It sucks no matter what part of town you may be in. The road system was never designed, it just happened. I can't tell you much about Lafayette that's current, I'll just second Helonorth's suggestion to ask the instructors when you get there. Things change, and I haven't bothered to keep up.

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I may be a little biased on this, as I'm from Belle Chasse, but I loved living in south Louisiana...

But then again, I'm from there, and will be moving back at the first opportunity.

 

Honestly. Don't move to Lafayette. If you want to move there for the "cajun culture" (which really barely exist anymore), then go right ahead. Otherwise, there are plenty of towns within driving distance that are much more user friendly. Stay as far away from Baton Rouge as possible as well. When I was in flight school in New Iberia, I used to take hwy 90 to get home on the weekends just to avoid it. My favorite area of south Louisana (again, if you really want to live in LA) is the North shore of the lake. Hammond, Mandeville, Covington, and Slidell.

 

Just my 2 cents. LA isn't horrible, but it does take a certain individual to enjoy it.

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I dont live in Lafayette but have spent quite a bit of time there. I actually really like it there! The west side over by the mall is nice. Or River Ranch if you have the $$. I dont like New Orleans but I'll agree with Mandeville. Mandeville is nice and it doesnt feel anything like New Orleans. Congrats on the new gig.

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I used to work with a guy who commuted from Maine and 1 from California. Other than the hassle of airport cars and making the flight on break day, it's not much worse (for most folks- I hate the "flying bus") than a couple hours commute to the base, to RON before the hitch.

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  • 3 months later...

For those who know those East and West coast commuters, any info on how they are doing it? Just purchasing plane tickets for their time on hitch or any sort of deals to be made in advance to save a few bucks?

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For those who commute from out of state, can you give me an idea of what your "typical" schedule is like? I understand there are the 7/7 or the 14/14, but I'm just looking to get more of an idea how the commuters are doing either of those schedules, pros and cons of each, etc. etc.

 

Really any current information is helpful.

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The commute really all depends on a person's particular preference and schedule.

 

I know guys who drives from Illinois to the gulf every hitch, and another that lives 200 miles away and flies. Some contracts get done early enough where a person could still catch a plane home on go home days, others can't.

 

IMHO, flying on a 7/7 would be too expensive to be worth it (but that's relative I guess). If I lived close (within 2-3 hour drive) I would consider a 7/7 if the contract was right.

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When you start, in my experience, the schedule is assigned as needed by the company. If you have a good reason there is flexability (I know a few people who requested a particular hitch)

 

After that, the contract dictates the schedule

Edited by Pohi
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