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Hiring process and schedule for GOM


Fidelis
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I will have my 1000 hours [commercial, CFI, instrument, (and hopefully by then CFII)] within the next 6 months. While I am just starting to research the GOM companies, I am hoping that someone can provide me with a little information.

 

Q1- What is the hiring process for the GOM operators?

 

Q2- Regarding the 7/7 or 14/14 schedule that is so common, is that the pilot's choice or the company's?

 

Q3- Once assigned a duty station, does that change regularly and at whose discretion?

 

Thanks for any response.

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Q1 - send resume and wait. See the websites for each company to get detailed info on how to apply. It's different for different companies, so you need to check each one you want to work for.

 

Q2 - it can be both. 7/7 is standard, 14/14 usually requires both parties to agree, but it may be different with some companies.

 

Q3 - depends. Some change regularly, some stay for a long time. It's really up to the customer as to what jobs operate where, but the helicopter company can decide to send you elsewhere based on any of several criteria. Or you can ask for a move.

 

In short, there is no one answer to any of your questions. In the GOM, all is in flux at all times.

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Q1 If contacted for an interview, intervew with chief pilot, director of ops and maybe a HR

person. Flight test with chief pilot or IP. PHI has you take a test on the regs, I hear.

To apply e-mail or mail resume. I think Era just does snail mail. You'll get a

confirmation. Wait for phone to ring.

 

Q2 It seems like most operators are going to 14/14 because that what everyone wants. Where

I work, if you can work it out with your opposite, you could practically go 6 months/

6 months. (May have a problem with regs, though).

 

Q3 When you first start, you will probably move around a lot. Changing aircraft almost

always means changing contracts and you will be changing aircraft. As you get more

seniority and if you like your job, you can probably stay put. Where I work if the

customer is happy and the pilot is happy, they leave you alone. I work with a

guy who has been on the same contract for 7 years! Nobody really knows

what he does. He gets the job done, his customer likes him and they keep

paying the bill. Everybodys happy. If you are on a job you don't like, they will

move you. It can sometimes take a while, though. Good luck.

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Thanks to both of you for your quick responses. That is just the information that I was looking for. I was assuming that there would be a written/oral/flight portion to the interview (at least I would hope) so that info will help me prepare. I am not trying to get ahead of myself, but I am driven, so is there any particular area that I should be studying or just "all of it"? I have been reading as much as I can, including what I can find in the FAR/AIM to prepare, but any direction is appreciated.

 

Thanks again.

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If you have been working as a CFI for any length of time, you should have no problem

with the test. I am not positive, but I'm pretty sure it's basic FARs and airspace. That

kind of thing. I have a friend who worked there and he scored 100%. They told

him he was the first one that anyone could remember, though. I don't think

they get into part 135. They will teach you that.

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  • 3 months later...

I have a buddy that works for AirLogistics, I asked him the same question. He told me that they just want to see that you can fly the helicopter and navigate. They will teach you the start up/shut down procedures, systems, etc during training. He said he flew the helicopter to an airport about 5nm away, and another interviewee flew it back.

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They aren't going to spend a lot of time or money on an acceptance ride. They just want to see that you can fly, and exercise some judgment. It doesn't take long to see if you can control the aircraft in straight and level flight, and maybe enter an auto. They're just looking to weed out the terminally stupid before spending money on training. There is a surprisingly large number of terminally stupid pilots with commercial licenses in their pockets. Anyone with enough money and time can get a license.

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My interview flight was a ~30NM outbound cross country crossing D, C, and G airspace. Aside from the engine startup/shutdown and details like best ROC, etc. that I didn't know having never flown the type (BH206L1), I was expected to handle all details of the flight including basic control, navigation, radio, etc. Another interviewee flew the return leg. No emergency procedures were performed. In preparation I "flew" around the general area I knew I would be in using Google Earth at roughly 1000 feet with an eight degree downward slant viewpoint. That was exactly how I thought things would and in fact did appear from the cockpit. Fortunately for me, the visibility was nearly perfect "severe clear blue and twenty two" the day of my interview.

 

ERA is not a union shop to my knowledge and their company contract schedule is 14/14. As of October of 2006, their Chief Pilot was a very nice gentleman named Don Baenen.

 

Bob

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I've got a schedule question to add to the mix. How are things handled around the holidays? Junior pilot get stuck working the later half of December?

Thanks.

 

You work your schedule. Any fixed holiday will fall on (or off) schedule for a while, and then it'll be off (or on) for a while. That's the only bad part of the 14/14- it takes 11 or 12 years for a holiday to move through your schedule, and you can get hammered for most of them if your schedule's really boinked.

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I've got a schedule question to add to the mix. How are things handled around the holidays? Junior pilot get stuck working the later half of December?

Thanks.

 

Excuse the duplicate posting, please, I only hit the button once!

Edited by Wally
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The junior guys generally will get last choice of vacation times, so if you're new and scheduled to work, then you probably will have to work. If you're scheduled to be off, then you're probably off unless you volunteer to work overtime, or are mandated to work overtime, as at least one company does it. Mandatory overtime probably causes more hard feelings than any other single issue.

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Almost all the pilots where I work are 14/14. The one hitch works most of the holidays and the

other has most of them off. If a holiday falls on your hitch, you're working it. We don't have any

manditory overtime. If you want time off, it's easiest to try to work something out with your

opposite.

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  • 3 months later...
They're just looking to weed out the terminally stupid before spending money on training. There is a surprisingly large number of terminally stupid pilots with commercial licenses in their pockets. Anyone with enough money and time can get a license.

 

Make that anyone with good enough credit can get a license. I didn't have a dime! Not that I'm terminally stupid (but I sometimes look at my student loans and think so - EGADS!!!!).

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I spoke with HR @ Air logistics with questions about hours and residence requirements. I know I'm very far away from this point in my career but I was very curious. He stated that they like the pilots to live within an 8 hour drive but some fly in from CA and AZ. Anyone on here that flies the commute from Ca or from any significant distance, can you share your experience. I like the idea of being away from my wife for 7 days at a time, just a joke.

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I have an interview set up with ERA in 2 weeks. Can anyone out there who is maybe working for ERA tell me about a written test I need to take? All I know is that its 25 questions. I don't want to be that ONE guy who fails it and is kicked out! Thanks much yal!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a post in a new "Interview Gouge Forum" on HelicopterSalaries.com. It is a first hand account of an Air Logistics hiring experience.

 

Air Logistics Interview experience...

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Anyone who flies the Gom and commutes from any significant distance, can you share your experience. Thanks

I live in the midwest and commute on a 14/14 schedule. I fly into Lafayette and then have a

45 minute drive to the base. It costs me $400-500 a month. Sounds like a lot (it is), but I

have a part time ENG job that takes care of it and a little more, which helps. I don't want

to live in Louisiana. I usually take an early morning flight in case of delays, which happen,

but have been rare. The only one was when American grounded all their MD-80's the

day before I left. They got me on a Northwest flight that actually got me in earlier. I don't

really go anywhere once I get to the base, so I only spend about $15 on gas in 2 weeks,

which also helps offset the cost of airfare. All in all, it has worked pretty well.

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