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Working in the GOM


r8z^
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When you become a pilot in the GOM.. do you fly to the oil rigs and live there.. or do you drop the guys off and fly back to homeland.. then go back out and pick them up?

 

And how long does it take to fly out to the rigs from land?

Edited by r8z^
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Most pilots live ashore while working. Their are daily flights to many platforms but not to all of them, many platforms and offshore structures are unmanned most of the time. Time in transit can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours depending on where you are going, where you are based, and how many stops you have to make along the way.

 

This has been covered in multiple strings try a search.

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There are still a lot of pilots staying offshore. Not nearly as many as there used to be, but consolidation and automation have become the norm. Many places still keep a helicopter offshore for early and late flights, and to save the flight time to and from the beach. I spent about 7 years doing that back in the early to mid 80s. It can range from not too bad to intolerable, depending on the platform and the personnel. Distances range from a mile or so off the beach to a couple of hundred, and trips can include 'swingbys' that involve multiple stops taking all day. There is no typical job, they're all different.

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There are still a lot of pilots staying offshore. Not nearly as many as there used to be, but consolidation and automation have become the norm. Many places still keep a helicopter offshore for early and late flights, and to save the flight time to and from the beach. I spent about 7 years doing that back in the early to mid 80s. It can range from not too bad to intolerable, depending on the platform and the personnel. Distances range from a mile or so off the beach to a couple of hundred, and trips can include 'swingbys' that involve multiple stops taking all day. There is no typical job, they're all different.

 

Do you work out of one air base or many others? And do you have to live on the airbase for 7 days or can you live at your house if it's close to the base?

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It depends. You'll likely start off in the pilot pool, meaning you go wherever they tell you that week, or that day. I've gone entire hitches without sleeping in the same bed twice, moving all the way across the Gulf in a week, barely getting back to my car after dark on break day. Sometimes you'll stay on one job all week. Eventually you will probably get a full-time job, staying at the same base all the time, until it folds and you get dumped back into the pool. Nothing is permanent. You can stay anywhere you want, as long as you show up on time ready to fly every day.

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It depends. You'll likely start off in the pilot pool, meaning you go wherever they tell you that week, or that day. I've gone entire hitches without sleeping in the same bed twice, moving all the way across the Gulf in a week, barely getting back to my car after dark on break day. Sometimes you'll stay on one job all week. Eventually you will probably get a full-time job, staying at the same base all the time, until it folds and you get dumped back into the pool. Nothing is permanent. You can stay anywhere you want, as long as you show up on time ready to fly every day.

As a follow up to the question you just answered, where are some of the better places to live out there if you're commuting anyway? I've heard Mobile, AL a few times, Pensacola once (but that seems far to me). I've got wife and kids and don't want them living in a dump while I'm out for a week at a time.

 

What have you heard in terms of places fairly close? I've looked at Lafayette...any rumors on that location?

 

Thanks again!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Crusty,

 

I have been trying to research homes for rent in the New Iberia/Lafayette area and have come up with NOTHING. I havn't looked into any apartments because I don't want to live in one, and I have a rottweiler which are really hard to find places that will allow them due to insurance reasons (breed restrictions). Anyway, if you find something or hear about anything, let me know because I too am very curious about this subject.

 

Thanks.

 

--CM

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Crusty,

 

I have been trying to research homes for rent in the New Iberia/Lafayette area and have come up with NOTHING. I havn't looked into any apartments because I don't want to live in one, and I have a rottweiler which are really hard to find places that will allow them due to insurance reasons (breed restrictions). Anyway, if you find something or hear about anything, let me know because I too am very curious about this subject.

 

Thanks.

 

--CM

I would think that some of these GOM companies would be smart enough to figure out a way to prolly keep the pilots around longer even after they had enough hrs to leave for another job, would be to get together and build a community of some sorts of condo's or duplex style homes that they could rent to families, kinda like the military does so that wives and families could be there to help each other when the spouse is gone for a couple days if he can't get home every night. If they can keep the family together more and provide a decent place for the pilot to rent from them, the more likely a pilot might stick around longer, thus reduce turn over and training new guy costs. They could even get together with community officials and such and explain to the local gov. guys that if they can get land cheap, get good construction contracts, they would bring in $ to the local economy, the families would need shopping, so then stores would start to spring up and the local township would start to get tax $ and if presented correctly, say a few companies get coordinated with one another and have a liaison from each work together, they could negotiate some pretty good deals for the construction of the communities they want to build, if they do it right any good thinking local mayor, town council, etc would pull whatever strings to help them keep costs low and it would be win win for all. They could even hire some locals to drive the bus/shuttle van from the base to the local housing area, again providing a tax paying job to the local economy. That is how SSH is able to spring up so many schools, like Joe or not, he goes to the local Gov. peeps and shows them a great bus. plan and how his school will help the local economy. That is also the way to get the Gov. to give you a grant. The GOM companies to present the benefits to the grant people and even get the Gov. to pay to build the housing development.

Any GOM companies reading this? :)

Edited by captkirkyota
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Most GOM pilots live near one of 3 places - Houston, Lafayette, or Pensacola. There are certainly hundreds of other places, but those are the major concentrations. None of them are ideal. You either have to accept a long drive or poor living conditions. Lafayette isn't terrible, but it's crowded with terrible traffic congestion, probably worse than Houston. I chose not to live there.

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I would think that some of these GOM companies would be smart enough to figure out a way to prolly keep the pilots around longer even after they had enough hrs to leave for another job, would be to get together and build a community of some sorts of condo's or duplex style homes that they could rent to families, kinda like the military does so that wives and families could be there to help each other when the spouse is gone for a couple days if he can't get home every night. If they can keep the family together more and provide a decent place for the pilot to rent from them, the more likely a pilot might stick around longer, thus reduce turn over and training new guy costs. They could even get together with community officials and such and explain to the local gov. guys that if they can get land cheap, get good construction contracts, they would bring in $ to the local economy, the families would need shopping, so then stores would start to spring up and the local township would start to get tax $ and if presented correctly, say a few companies get coordinated with one another and have a liaison from each work together, they could negotiate some pretty good deals for the construction of the communities they want to build, if they do it right any good thinking local mayor, town council, etc would pull whatever strings to help them keep costs low and it would be win win for all. They could even hire some locals to drive the bus/shuttle van from the base to the local housing area, again providing a tax paying job to the local economy. That is how SSH is able to spring up so many schools, like Joe or not, he goes to the local Gov. peeps and shows them a great bus. plan and how his school will help the local economy. That is also the way to get the Gov. to give you a grant. The GOM companies to present the benefits to the grant people and even get the Gov. to pay to build the housing development.

Any GOM companies reading this? :)

 

The very, very last place I'd want my family to live would be operator provided "housing".

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The very, very last place I'd want my family to live would be operator provided "housing".

Well I did not say a slum, I mean real housing built by a home builder, that the companies negotiate a good price for so they can rent/lease them out. I mean after all most helo-pilots have all been hatched under the same rock, so we would take care of the places. I don't know it may/may not work. You think that a couple of them would at least select a couple different towns to call a "hub" of sorts so there could be some sort of incentive to stay with them and one could bring down there family, rather than driving/flying for a day, so that what really ends up happening is that you are not 14 on 14 off but rather you are 16 on 12 off with all the travel time.

Do the GOM companies usually pay for your travel? If so, having a "hub" town and then providing a shuttle van driver to the "park and ride" spot would be cheaper than paying for airline tickets and such.

But what do I know, I'm only 26 hrs flight time into getting my new career training.

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That's still company housing, and I wouldn't touch it. I doubt anyone else would, either. Ain't gonna happen in any case.

 

Nobody I know of pays for travel, other than moves between bases while on schedule. Commuting between work and home is on your dime.

Oh, learned something new, don't know where or how I came under the impression that there was some type of courtesy rates that the airlines gave to GOM companies for their workers to get flown down there from there home state, like if one lived in Michigan, the company would cover their cost to get them down every 14 days. I don't know how it happened that I thought that.

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