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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:48 pm 
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The scheduled flight operator on North Vancouver Island still pays by the mile...

Your statement about guys getting sick of sitting around & needing to get out & make some money is very true..



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:35 pm 
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phillyfan wrote:

I think you'll find many who are involved in aircraft accidents have significant facial and head injuries.


Bingo! Bash your face into the dash or seatback as the airplane rapidly decelerates and rolls over into the water.. Now you're unconcious and upside down in the drink. THATS one of the main reasons people drown in seaplane accidents.

I'm all for 4 point harnesses being mandatory in the front two seats (of all floaters) and some form of shoulder strap for the pax on the bench in the beav.

Take it from the guy with a bunch of fake teeth and a couples plates and screws in his face.



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:11 am 
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As recently as 2005 I was paid by the mile to fly for a major scheduled float carrier based in Coal Harbour. If you found Active Pass or Nanaimo Harbour fogged out and you turned back, no pay for you. Also no pay to ferry planes between bases, and certainly no pay if you decided not to go at all. I believe this particular carrier has upgraded their pay system. I hope so. Performance-based pay certainly encourages risk-taking in poor weather. Particularly the part where you don't get paid if you turn back. I found that part particularly mean-spirited. I have trouble thinking of any justification for it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:40 am 
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I agree whole heartedly that paying by the mile encourages dangerous decision making and should be banished.

Me thinks you guys are all talking about the same operation, and perhaps a little persuasion from the group, society, (whatever they end up calling themselves) might be needed to bring this last "Friend" around. (If he hasn't come around already?)

Four or five point belts are a great idea too. We have them in the Caravan. The shoulder harnesses are retractable, they are super comfy, and they probably should be mandatory up front.

Regardless of East Coast, West Coast, North Coast, Bay Coast, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, float flying is float flying. (I don't think there was any us-them inference to take issue with Phillyfan.) It just so happens that most, (if not all) of Canada's year-round float operators are based on the West Coast, and unfortunately the West Coast is where most of the high profile, (read multiple fatalities) accidents have happened as of late. If this group of operators on the West Coast can get the ball rolling in the right direction, then hopefully some of these new safety initiatives might become the norm across the entire country. Drowning while being stuck in a floatplane sucks just as bad in SK as it does in BC.

While I don't see helmets and mouth guards in our near future, it could be realistic within a decade to see pop-out windows, Viking's new Beaver door handles, Mustang style floater vests of some kind, five-point belts up front, real-time GPS tracking, ELT's that work, remuneration by the duty hour, and maybe even 12 hour duty days become industry standard?

And that would be for the benefit of all...



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:01 am 
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The problem with shoulder harnesses in old aircraft is you just move the point of injury from the head/forehead to the neck. You would also have to add a head restraint/head rest to the seat.

Maybe its time for Viking to re-engineer the Beav and the Otter and retire the fossils?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:23 am 
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180 wrote:
I agree whole heartedly that paying by the mile encourages dangerous decision making and should be banished.

Me thinks you guys are all talking about the same operation, and perhaps a little persuasion from the group, society, (whatever they end up calling themselves) might be needed to bring this last "Friend" around. (If he hasn't come around already?)



The operator I worked for was not on Vancouver Island. So as recently as a few years ago there were at least 2 companies clinging to this archaic method of pay.



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:56 am 
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Rowdy wrote:
Bingo! Bash your face into the dash or seatback as the airplane rapidly decelerates and rolls over into the water.. Now you're unconcious and upside down in the drink. THATS one of the main reasons people drown in seaplane accidents.


Injured or not, I think you'll find the statistics show that drowning due to panic and being unable to egress the aircraft (or drowning due to lack of life jacket once outside the wreck) is the leading cause of death in float planes. One of the many interesting points in Brian's course is that the handles in Cessna aircraft are often found broken off after being twisted in the WRONG direction. Certainly a lack of a passenger briefing or inattention on the part of the person being briefed could be a major contributing factor.

As much as I love flying the Beaver, the standard flush handles, particularly on the rear doors, create a deathtrap for unwitting passengers. Definitely worth the money for an STC! And I'd hate to be a front seat passenger in a C-206 on floats, or a passenger on any aircraft without easy access to a door.

Not too long ago I was mentioning the owner of an air taxi company, that after properly briefing my sole passenger I was picking up from an operator's hunting camp, the passenger, who had been listening intently, thanked me for my thorough briefing. Turns out, my grungy hunter was the head safety guy for a very large company. Years ago he had given up a very well paying job to take on this thankless role because the industry he was working in had a huge fatality rate due to lack of safety standards. I hadn't done anything out of the ordinary, but the passenger mentioned that he had not received a briefing on the way in. To my surprise, the air taxi owner was clearly disgusted - passengers never listen anyway and why freak them out by startling them with a safety briefing?!

Practices I think should be abolished:
Performance based pay - nothing wrong with a bonus system to reward diligent workers, but don't pay pilots as a reward for "making it in" and punish the pilot by not paying him/her when they don't make it. Salary or duty pay ensures the pilot is properly paid for ALL aspects of being a pilot - ie good decision making, ferry flights, paperwork, cleanliness of the machine etc. etc. - all the stuff that benefits all concerned.
Standard passenger weights - in a small aircraft, even with the new weights, averaging rarely works in the favor of aircraft limitations. On the flip side, using actual weights sometimes allows you to carry more!
Not weighing the load! - estimating the weights on pick-up in the bush, particularly when the ingoing load weights are known, is often unavoidable, and not a big deal - but not weighing loads out of the main base? C'mon now. Two of the main design/airworthiness limitations of any aircraft are weight (landing, gross, zero-fuel weight etc.) and c of g. So how can you know if your load is safely within limits if you don't weigh it? Even from a $$ perspective this makes no sense - you can't ship a letter, a parcel or a load of any kind of freight without your item being measured and weighed, then your wallet drained accordingly! Yet some operators will regularly stuff an aircraft with passengers and freight until the machine is full, or "it looks like a load" - yet nothing has passed over a scale.
IFR flight on VFR fuel - there's contingency fuel required for marginal VFR conditions, and IFR fuel required for IFR conditions - both adversely affect payload. Passengers need to know this, and operators need to support good decision making. If payload is critical - there's always other options that can be explored to get the job done safely.

Feel free to add...

Cheers,
Kirsten B.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:02 pm 
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The problem with pilots making poor decisions when being paid by the mile is that the rate of pay per mile at the companies that have accidents is too low. There is a desperate feeling you need to fly your ass off to make any money.

Pay well and pilots take pride in doing a good job and stick around.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:42 am 
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Good points.

Also, a minimum mileage per day is a must if this system is to be employed. VFR flying in the winter, in particular, could have you waiting around to fly for days... It's not just compelling pilots to fly in bad weather, but also comes into the decision making process regarding snags.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:59 am 
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All the reputable year-round float operators on the S.W. Coast have been doing this for years.

Harbour Air for example has been paying their pilots a 160 hour monthly minimum in the winter for years.

And yes, for those that have to ask, that's duty hours...

The pilots might have to hang around the base and read a book, watch TV or surf the net in case the weather opens, but they are getting paid regardless of whether they turn a prop or not.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:17 am 
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Very few seaplane companies pay by the mile these days. Any I know now pay an hourly rate per duty hour. The federal labour law states time and a half must be paid after 40 hours per week. that is why we do four 10 hour days per week with overtime after 10 hour and /or 40 hours per week. In the summertime our OT can equal the straight time.
Bob



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46 am 
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180 has it right. The operators around YVR have pretty much consolodated now into Harbour Air who has been a great example of looking after it's people for the last few years. Of course the rest of the operators will have to match it or loose the best of their employees. It only makes it better for all of us!!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:31 pm 
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I agree with Twotter, HA has a pretty fair way of paying, but it would be nice to see the averaging system be done away with. Better than most companies that pay a day rate and no overtime though.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Quote:
Float plane operator quits interim board of new association, citing influence of big operators
Safety issues are not being addressed quickly enough, Air Cab owner says

By Larry Pynn, Vancouver SunApril 13, 2011

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Air Cab owner Joel Eilertsen, at his Port Hardy operation in April, explains why he doesn't like the life vest that would usually be worn during a float-plane crash. Eilertsen is a safety leader in the coastal float-plane industry.
Photograph by: Ian Smith, PNG


VANCOUVER - B.C.’s fledgling Floatplane Operators Association hit turbulence Tuesday.

As commercial operators gathered for the association’s inaugural general meeting, one member of the interim board of directors announced he is quitting.

Joel Eilertsen, owner of Air Cab at Coal Harbour on northern Vancouver Island, said he feels the association is moving too slowly on safety issues and that larger Vancouver-based operators such as Harbour Air are exerting too much control.

“I’ve quit,” said the owner of five commercial float planes. “I wasn’t happy. I’m not going to participate in a Harbour Air club.”

The association’s interim spokesman, Lyle Soetaert, operations manager for West Coast Air (owned by Harbour Air), said he appreciated Eilertsen’s forthright opinion and remains hopeful he’ll return in the coming months once he sees the group making real progress.

Operators adopted bylaws at the meeting and elected a nine-member board of directors, which will meet in about two weeks to set an agenda for the coming year and develop a committee structure.

“This is a real thing, not just a dream and a hope,” Soetaert said. “It’s happening and we’re moving forward.”

The association did not discuss the controversial issue of mandatory wearing of life-vests by float plane passengers.

But Soetaert said he hopes the association, working with Transport Canada, will be able to resolve the issue by the end of the year.

“There is a real push to get this resolved,” he said.

On March 17, the federal transportation safety board — an independent body that makes recommendations to Transport Canada — issued its final report into the Nov. 29, 2009 crash of a Seair Seaplanes Beaver plane off Saturna Island in which six passengers died. The pilot and another passenger got out of the plane before it sank in Lyall Harbour.

The board recommended passengers on all commercial float planes in Canada should be required to wear life-jackets, and that the planes should be fitted with easily opened emergency exits such as pop-out windows that allow passengers to escape quickly after a crash in water.

Soetaert, who was waiting with a professional communications consultant in the hallway outside the board’s March 17 news conference, immediately expressed his concern to reporters about the mandatory use of life-vests.

He said none had been okayed by Transport Canada for such use and there were fears that passengers might panic and inflate them inside the aircraft.

Now, Transport Canada-approved life-vests are typically kept in a pouch under the seat, where, the safety board asserts, passengers in a crash cannot reasonably be expected to find them in the seconds before a seaplane sinks.

Eilertsen said that for several months he has successfully provided passengers with coast guard certified Mustang life-vests in addition to the Transport Canada vests. The Mustang vests are worn during flight and can be inflated by passengers outside the aircraft.

He complained that Soetaert made no attempt to tell reporters there is a split in thinking among float plane operators or that the Mustang vests are certified.

“That wasn’t right,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, he basically represented Harbour Air as the float plane association.”

Soetaert said in response Tuesday: “The association’s position is that we want to look at all operators, all avenues, all options. The reality is, I believe there’s going to be different options.”

The B.C. coroner’s service investigated the 2009 helicopter crash into the Fraser River near Lytton in which pilot Robert Woodhead escaped the wreckage only to drown downstream.

The Ontario pilot had been on firefighting duty. The coroner’s report recommended mandatory use of life-vests during low-level work over water — something much of the industry has already implemented on a voluntary basis.

The coroner’s service investigating the deaths of five men in an MJM Air Beaver crash off Quadra Island in 2005 also recommended passengers wear life-jackets equipped with personal-locator aids. None of the five grabbed the plane’s life-vests before escaping the wreckage.

The safety board has been recommending the use of life-vests in flights since 1994.

Full article here...



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:26 pm 
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Quote:
Eilertsen is a safety leader in the coastal float-plane industry

Maybe Pynn should have done his homework before making the above statement.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:58 am 
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Don’t dis Joey. He spends a lot of time working, mostly behind the scenes, to make our industry safer.

How many other pilots made well presented, well documented submissions to the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans regarding the de-staffing of our lighthouses? The Standing Committee Report has led to the cancellation of government plans to de-staff the lighthouses. Thanks Joey.

He is the one who has put pressure on TCCA to accept the Mustang life jackets, some of which are already FAA approved.

We know we have a problem. We have too many people drowning because they survived the crash but can’t survive the swim. You try getting your lifejacket out of those inaccessible underseat pouches when the plane is upside down and sinking. Keep that slippery plastic pouch in your hands as you feel your way out of the wreck while holding your breath. One thing for sure, few if any people have drowned because someone’s lifejacket inflated in the cabin. Personally I’d rather have a lifejacket on, and if some idiot happens to inflate theirs in the cabin, well, I’m still better off than if I didn’t have one.


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