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 Post subject: Maintenance Engineers
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:15 am 
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Hey folks. I'm the chief pilot of Wilderness North Air. We operate a C185, a DHC2, 3 DHC3T and soon to be other equipment and a fleet of Air Tractor 802 aircraft including both the Fuel Boss and Fire Boss. If a put out a job opening on AvCanada for a pilot I will get dozens of qualified responces due to the downturn in the economy. However, if I place a job opening for an AME on AvCanada, there is no responce at all!

Is there that few AME's out there looking for work? Or is is that few engineers follow AvCanada?

Thanks

wrench safely!



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:50 am 
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Hi, I can't speak for everyone out there but I think that you probably have it half right. I personally don't think that there are a lot of AME's out their looking for work. Most of the guys that I know that are qualified and experienced and were out of work when the economy went down, started driving truck or selling life insurance. Same money, less responsibility. Personally I ducked into one of the major Canadian carriers to ride out the storm. I don't remember seeing your ad and I normally do peruse them just to keep on top of what is going on out there. Something that I have noticed with a lot of ads that are put out by pilots though is that they are often written as though the company is advertising for a pilot and they give a lot of information that is not relevant to an AME. Like I said, I don't remember yours but perhaps re-visit it and try re-writing it from the point of view of an AME.
Good Luck



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:40 am 
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Thanks. Actually is was our DOM that posted it (AvCanada) and he got no responce. Well he actually got one resume from a pilot/engineer who would rather fly then wrench (personally can't blame him - hey Matt, give me a call). What we really need is a dedicated full time engineer who would like to grow with our team. Whats the correct name for a tin basher? Tin smith?

Anyways thanks for your input.... well in the time it took to follow here, up a young apprentice has called and walked in for an interview. Amazing technology!



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Its a catch 22. Personally I would like to see the wage and whatever other benefits offered for all to see. If it peaks my interest, then I may look into it further. The unfortunate flip side to this is the immediate anonymous bashing that follows if anyone thinks the wage to be insulting. As an employer I probably woudn't want to expose myself to the potential of that type of attack. As for "tin basher" ( I am one as well), when I look for a posting im looking for a title of structures somewhere in the ad. You need some temporary structures contract work done? I know of a few guys who may be interested.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:18 pm 
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What we really need is a dedicated full time engineer who would like to grow with our team.


I've heard this sort of pitch many times, and I'm sure many out there would like to know exactly what this means, especially the " Dedicated" and "Growth" bits.

From past experiences, Im confident I could describe 90% what is expected by the employer....but I'd like to hear it directly.

Im not sure how long ago the ad was posted, but I think it is an indication of things to come.
I personally know of many experienced engineers who regularly view the board, but generally never apply, myself included.
Most experienced AME's have no interest in moving away for what is standard fare for compensation for AME's. I can do as well, or better doing almost anything else non aviation, and stay in my area.
Many others, as has been mentioned are doing the same.
You see, the problem most companies are going to see more and more, is that most experienced AME's no longer give a shit if they work on airplanes. They want proper compensation/lifestyle for what they are doing, and are looking for payback for all the years they've put in, as none want the future to look like the past/present.
Many always talk about leaving, but a recession forces their hand, and I'd be surprised to see many come back after they've had a taste of the other side. A good example of this was air canada having huge problems last spring with call backs(from layoffs). More than half of their call backs turned down the recall to work. I've never heard of this before, as I've personally seen 3 year layoff guys go back, just a few years ago.
I used to think there will always be some greenhorns, who are horny to be around anything aviation, but even that is dwindling. I know personally of class intakes going empty ,and a school shutting down for lack of interest. This in a recession, where most schools are doing a brisk business retraining people.
The downfalls of this business have started to become well known on the maintenance side, and most employers will be in for a very tough time finding experienced/reliable people, when things pick up. Most, like you mention, cannot attract guys now, in a recession. Another factor on top of all this is the retirements starting to kick in.

Some ideas about money - if a guy is experienced/reliable, and references check out, you need to offer $40-$50 if they are ACA'd. You will not get much interest if you're below $40 a/hr. If you decide you need contractors, skip the agencies, and pay the $45 a/hr directly to the AME. The agencies pay a standard $35 a/hr, and the quality is slipping because of that. Keep in mind for contractors that the standard is the company picking up transportation to/from job site, accommodation, and daily meal perdiums.

If that seems high, I charge $40 an hour to do general repairs on cars in my driveway. Business is brisk, I work as much as I want, and people think $40 a/hr is a steal to have a AME working on their vehicle. Jokes on them :D, and like I mentioned before, I don't care what i work on, as long as it pays. Never got laid saying I wrench on airplanes on the night shift/weekends/and holidays.

Just a personal comparison for you.


Good luck


edit - just noticed the aircraft types...Have to say, M1 piston stuff never has been highly desirable area for any AME. Not passing judgement( I do personally detest M1 piston, though), it is what it is. For me working on that stuff is below maintaining used farm equipment, just because the tractor stuff would offer better pay/responsibility ratio.



An apprentice showed up, huh?

Quote:
Job Description:
We are currently looking for an experienced AME (no apprentices please) to join are team. Air Tractor experience would be an asset as well as sheet metal experience. We are located on Lake Superior in Thunder Bay and operate the aircraft from northen locations. We specialize in hauling fuel with our modified AT-802s to remote communities and some travel may be required. You must be able to work well with others as well as independantly.


I thought you were looking for an AME

A term the industry should familiarize itself with " YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR."


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Last edited by Pat Richard on Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:06 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 pm 
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You never got one reply you say?

I agree with what Pat said about experienced guys getting fewer and fewer and more newly licenced guys getting out of the trade after their 2nd or 3rd lay off. I was in a larger shop a while back and 90% were apprentices with the remainder being 3% having a licence for 3 to 10 yrs and only 2% being older more experienced.
Not that I'm in a position to move to T.Bay but like Pat said it would have to be in the $40 plus per hr range.

One AMO owner I contracted to recently told me the school he hired from had only a few students for the next class intake as all the young bucks were going into the oil patch. Maybe that has changed with the slow down and Manpower may be filling the slots with the unemployed.
But after a job as an unppreciated apprentice and for the salary they can expact I'd say the other trades would look good the next up cycle.



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Pat, very well said. I wish I had the time to write effectively as yourself in explaining this.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:42 pm 
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wildernessnorthair wrote:
Hey folks. I'm the chief pilot of Wilderness North Air. We operate a C185, a DHC2, 3 DHC3T and soon to be other equipment and a fleet of Air Tractor 802 aircraft including both the Fuel Boss and Fire Boss. If a put out a job opening on AvCanada for a pilot I will get dozens of qualified responces due to the downturn in the economy. However, if I place a job opening for an AME on AvCanada, there is no responce at all!

Is there that few AME's out there looking for work? Or is is that few engineers follow AvCanada?

Thanks

wrench safely!


M1/M2 A320/757/767 endorsed licenced for over 10 years. I no longer earn my living as a AME. I am not the only one. The pay is the shits.
Sorry



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Quote:
The pay is the shits.


So what do you consider adequate pay? Peter?

And was the salary the only thing that drove you to something else?



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:28 am 
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I have seen that ad by Wilderness Air. And I too, didn't bother applying. for background purposes, i have an M1, M2 and centuries experience as a B licensesed (now Strucures licensed) engineer. Endorsed and licensed on Transport category fixed wing and helicopters and years of experience working on everything down to a Cessna 140 and more years stuck inside a hopper of a Ag cat and Air tractors then can be imagined!

AND, like the multiude of other engineers, I too walked away from aviation. There were / are several reasons behind my leaving as is the case in the majority of the other engineers I know that have left.

While the wages are a very major part of the reasoning in my leaving there are other factors as well. One of the major factors for me was the hours. I was ALWAYS expected to work a "normal" 12 hour shift, be on call 24 hours a day, pack up and fly all over hell's half acre to fix aircraft, out doors in weather a driver wouldn't walk in, spend $20,000.00 out of my own pocket in tools to fix somebody else's equipment so THEY could earn money, I was expected to miss my kids birthdays, my anniversary, I was expected to "make do"with what I was given to meet the company's commitment to whatever, whenever money was tight, because everybody knew that maintenance really didn't need áll that money"anyway and flight ops is more important then maintenance! Every feckin time the company's owner decided that "things were tight"the maintenance department and the AMEs were nailed - always the maintenance dept, yet the flight ops were always well looked after, and coddled.

After years of being treated like crap and being told that I should be happy to have a job, I walked away from it all. I got into vehicle Fleet management. I'm NOT expected to be at work 24 hours a day; the company that I used to work for paid for my phone, my gas, gave me a truck, an expense account, a credit card, computer and something I rarely got in the aviation business - respect! When they asked my opinion, they wanted to hear it, listened to it and respected it! I got paid 12 for 8, meaning I worked 8 hours and got paid for 12. If I disagreed with the Bosses decisions, I wasn"t labelled as a trouble maker, rather my input was solicited and i was encouraged to express my feelings and opnions.

Engineers being treated like crap isn't restricted to small operators either. My favorite expression I've ever heard - "You don't have the correct Worst Jet attitude do you! LOL

At this stage, I no longer actively seek aviation work. I take consulting jobs ocassionally, but most I couldn't be bothered. I have recently recieved a contract off from three contracting agencies. One for Structures work and one for an M1/M2 contratc. BOTH contractys were for $35.00 an hour, 60 hours a week, and $45.00 a day per deium. Three months out - no break and no return trip home until the contract was finished.

Personally, When I get as much time to myself as a pimpled face 300 hour driver, get paid AT LEAST $50.00 an hour to start, and am not expected to finance a company with my time for nothing, and I am given the respect that is granted to drivers, I'll sit here at home, spend my time writting manuals and consulting servives, and pick up the cheques from the post office when i feel like going out to pick them up.

Essentially, no experienced AME is going to put up with the crap that have been accepted as the 'NORM"in the aviation businesss in the last 30 years, past.

Having said that, have at her, there's always a snot nosed apprentice taht will screw up your aircraft for shit money. the drawbacks though, it that you will evetually have to pay an experienced person to fix it correctly!! Either directly or indirectly..

Now there's something for operators to think about. is it cheaper to pay a zit faced apprentice to maintain your aircraft and send it out to a contract agency ocassionally to have it correctly fixed, OR is it chaeper to hire an experienced AME, pay him a respectful wage and normal working hours to fix it faster, correctly the first time?

For those driver's that have difficulty comprehending the premise of this question, I apologize for over loading your though process!! :lol:



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:03 am 
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well said Pat and Bullet Remington


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:59 am 
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:supz: Yup what they said. When one of the most "admired corporate cultures" is having a hard time finding AME's you know something is up...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:17 pm 
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I must apologize for my ‘tin basher’ slang; when what I meant to say was B licensed (now Structures licensed) engineer.

Thanks for your comments and I couldn’t agree with you guy’s more. I’ve always noticed an injustice in this industry. Why I mechanic at Cdn Tire can make more than an engineer fixing airplanes has always bothered me.

As a pilot, in the late 1970’s I left a $70,000 a year non-flying job on the west coast to fly a C-180 on floats in Manitoba for $600 a month. A $100 a month bonus was paid if the floats weren’t dented. There was an outhouse at their float base and the pilots had to buy their own toilet paper; if you can believe that! (The company exists to this day and perhaps that’s why)! These were sacrifices that I was willing to pay for because of my love for ‘the flying craft,’ but I could never figure out why the guys on the ground fixing and making ’her’ safe for flight should pay for my love of flying them.

I saw the guys on Ice Pilots turning wrenches on an old radial engine (C46) in - 40 weather with little or no lights in the dark, no hanger or shelter, and the winds were blowing 10-15kts. At the end of the show the engineer stated he did it ‘because of his love for aviation.’ Really? Wow! That’s dedication!

I think the reason most companies don’t list their rate of pay is because it is only the largest of airlines that can make a ‘salary fit all’ pay scale that works, whereas most of the aviation industry in Canada is based on smaller operators who cannot afford a ‘’one salary fit all’ pay scale that also works.

We pay our apprentices a wage of $30,000 + and licensed engineers start at anywhere from $40 - $60 thousand a year depending on experience. For a highly experienced and qualified engineer, it is all negotiable and I’m sure we pay the industry standard (or higher) for qualified individuals who can be part of the team.

As to what ‘team’ means is having a common vision of growth and direction on multiple fronts and enjoying the rewards of success. As to the benefits, if you like the outdoors and hunting and/or fishing there are many fringe benefits. We operate in the heartland of the Boreal Forests with sixteen outpost camps and seven lodges. We are the largest (I believe) fly-in tourist outfitter in Canada. The Air Tractors and other developments are at the cutting edge of aviation technologies that could place our expertise around the world.

As to the comments “you get what you pay for,” we did not hire the young apprentice (although we took the time to interview him for future possibilities), specifically because at this time we are looking for an experienced engineer to join our team.

Best of the New Year; and thanks for helping to keep aviation safe.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:09 pm 
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wildernessnorthair wrote:
I saw the guys on Ice Pilots turning wrenches on an old radial engine (C46) in - 40 weather with little or no lights in the dark, no hanger or shelter, and the winds were blowing 10-15kts. At the end of the show the engineer stated he did it ‘because of his love for aviation.’ Really? Wow! That’s dedication!


Im thinking more along the lines, " I'm comfortable, I'm scared of change and to save face I will continually put up with this shit till I finally get enough courage and money to move on" But non the less I am impressed the conditions those guys tolerate. They have thicker skin then me.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:18 pm 
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SeptRepair wrote:
wildernessnorthair wrote:
I saw the guys on Ice Pilots turning wrenches on an old radial engine (C46) in - 40 weather with little or no lights in the dark, no hanger or shelter, and the winds were blowing 10-15kts. At the end of the show the engineer stated he did it ‘because of his love for aviation.’ Really? Wow! That’s dedication!


Im thinking more along the lines, " I'm comfortable, I'm scared of change and to save face I will continually put up with this shit till I finally get enough courage and money to move on" But non the less I am impressed the conditions those guys tolerate. They have thicker skin then me.


+1 for Sept

I've worked in the same conditions years ago, for one tour, and to be blunt, anyone who says they do it "for the love of aviation", is an dedicated idiot. Fullstop.
These types are usually suffering from the "hero" mentality, and are in denial about how shitty their working conditions/career choice are/were.
Fortunately, there seems to be fewer and fewer of these pathetic mouthfoamers around these days. Hopefully the expectations these loser's generate with their stupidity, will soon be a thing of the past.
I'm not surprised someone in management would see this sort of ga ga mentality as "dedication", but we have been our own worst enemies in that regard, and times, they are a changin. Makes for romantic tv programming, though :D

The comment "you get what you pay for" was not directly leveled at you, but like I said, the Industry as a whole. Having said that, most places do hire, as a majority, greenhorns, and have one ame babysitting them.
Latest trend has been leaning more to the blind, leading the blind, as I've seen several places promote nearly/fresh licensed AME's to crewchief.
Usually this is a disaster, from what I've witnessed personally, due to inexperience, arrogance, and immaturity. There is always the rare exception, but it is very rare.

You might get lucky finding someone experienced/reliable/competent+ willing to relocate for $60G to start, but I don't think you will be. Good on you though, for providing some numbers.

Canadian North is a good example of offering good money, and being stunned at the responses they got from qualified people, last spring. They offered close to six figures and more, to experienced AME's, and pretty much had their pick of the litter.

There ARE experienced guys out there, its just time for the industry to buck up to keep them.

If it does'nt, well, you get what you......... :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:41 pm 
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dashx wrote:
Quote:
The pay is the shits.


So what do you consider adequate pay? Peter?

And was the salary the only thing that drove you to something else?



80K Minimun for any licenced AME.

And NO it was all the crap that comes with aviation. The biggest being lack of employer respect.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:37 pm 
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These discussions are both interesting and at the same time depressing to read.

I lived a dual personality type of life having worked both wrenching and flying and am appalled that the industry has never improved over the decades.

For what ever it is worth I admire most of the people who fix aircraft and have very little admiration for a lot of the people who fly them.

It is encouraging to see so many people leaving the fixing part of aviation, maybe just maybe the time is coming where the fixers get paid at least equal to the flyers and are put on a higher level of appreciation compared to the flyers.

Just imagine a world where there no airplanes for the flyers to break because they are all broken and there is no one to fix them. :smt040


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Quote:
Just imagine a world where there no airplanes for the flyers to break because they are all broken and there is no one to fix them.


I've actually saw something like this happen. A place I was at over the summer had to extend extensions for scheduled inspections. They could not keep up with the daily line stuff, so the scheduled stuff was always pushed back.

There was not any real experience with guys on the floor, or the crewchiefs and a lot of times they were chasing there tails. In the end one aircraft sat for almost 2 weeks because extensions ran out. The higher ups mostly just seemed to shrug there shoulders. Almost a helpless sort of thing.



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:49 am 
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wildernessnorthair wrote:
I must apologize for my ‘tin basher’ slang; when what I meant to say was B licensed (now Structures licensed) engineer.

Personally, I don't take offense from anybody calling me a tin basher, metal masher or whatever. If I did I wouldn't be calling drivers drivers!!LOl Can't speak for other though!

Thanks for your comments and I couldn’t agree with you guy’s more. I’ve always noticed an injustice in this industry. Why I mechanic at Cdn Tire can make more than an engineer fixing airplanes has always bothered me.

So, the question is, if you still have these concerns, do you as a manager/ director within the company, take these concerns to the boss man / Boss lady? Or do you do as most in this business, shrugg your shoulders, express your dismay and write it off as the "norm"and go on your merry way???

As a pilot, in the late 1970’s I left a $70,000 a year non-flying job on the west coast to fly a C-180 on floats in Manitoba for $600 a month. A $100 a month bonus was paid if the floats weren’t dented. There was an outhouse at their float base and the pilots had to buy their own toilet paper; if you can believe that! (The company exists to this day and perhaps that’s why

I PROBABLY know that company, and if i recall the out house is still there, despite there being building with functioning washromms not 20 feeet away! I just might have done a cylinder change for them on the dock. AND, I never got paid for that either!!!

I saw the guys on Ice Pilots turning wrenches on an old radial engine (C46) in - 40 weather with little or no lights in the dark, no hanger or shelter, and the winds were blowing 10-15kts. At the end of the show the engineer stated he did it ‘because of his love for aviation.’ Really? Wow! That’s dedication!

Well, let's see. the DOM is the Bosses son, the General manager is the Bosses son, and the Boss is a feckin tryrant!! What else ya gonna say?? Ya hate the job? The family is a moody nut case family that ya don't want to work for BUT they don't pay enough for you to pack up and send ya family and stuff back down South?? Not a chance, I know a couple of the guys working there! And despite what some of them say on the TV, a couple of them are just chafing at the shorts to get outa there!!


I think the reason most companies don’t list their rate of pay is because it is only the largest of airlines that can make a ‘salary fit all’ pay scale that works, whereas most of the aviation industry in Canada is based on smaller operators who cannot afford a ‘’one salary fit all’ pay scale that also works.

We pay our apprentices a wage of $30,000 + and licensed engineers start at anywhere from $40 - $60 thousand a year depending on experience. For a highly experienced and qualified engineer, it is all negotiable and I’m sure we pay the industry standard (or higher) for qualified individuals who can be part of the team.

So, based upon 2000 hours a year you pay the apprentices $15.00 an hour?? Where do they go from there or is that the peak of the incremental pay raises? or is there no pay raises? And, you pay your licensed engineers $20 to $30 bucks an hour?? And you pay INDUSTRY STANDARDS or higher for highly experienced AMEs?? So, you want to tell us what you consider is industry standards? Oh, lets say for a crusty Old bastard with 30 years in the business, m1, M2, S, helicopter, big iron endorsements, and was one of the guys who used to kick Billy Bishops ass when he left the Master on?? So how much you go start him at??

As to what ‘team’ means is having a common vision of growth and direction on multiple fronts and enjoying the rewards of success. As to the benefits, if you like the outdoors and hunting and/or fishing there are many fringe benefits. We operate in the heartland of the Boreal Forests with sixteen outpost camps and seven lodges. We are the largest (I believe) fly-in tourist outfitter in Canada. The Air Tractors and other developments are at the cutting edge of aviation technologies that could place our expertise around the world.


Wow!! I am impressed, And I mean that sincerely!! Your definition of team work is worthy of a political party nomination for a candidate anywhere!! You spent a complete paragraph spouting shit!! lookit, This is what gets Engineers pissed off. people try and candy coat the facts. look at your ad, it states that there is going to be wonky monkey motion crap going on IE trips to Fishing camps, and up on some butt f**k lake and it is expected that the engineer be ready willing and able to pack up and move at a moments notice!! YEt, you're going to pay his Industry standard or better! WEhat the feck is industry standard?? Ya wan t tp kow what theat means to an engineer? here's how it transplats" team [player = Work for as little as we can get away with paying you 9 also refer to industry standard!) AND expect to conform to what we tell you , when we tell. Your salary includes the right to work as much as we want you to, when we want you too!!AND, if you comform and obey, we MIGHt let you take a few minutes to fish AFTER you get the machine repaired....but don't count on it!! Oh and using Air tractors and Ag cats to transport fuel and other junk is not a new endeavour! Its been done for eons!!

As to the comments “you get what you pay for,” we did not hire the young apprentice (although we took the time to interview him for future possibilities), specifically because at this time we are looking for an experienced engineer to join our team.

Lookit, i'm not trying to warp your view of your company, But you should understand, an ame in 5 years in theis business has been lied to and screwed over so many times that a truck coild be driven up his ass and he wouldn't notice it! Hence, AME don't give a shit abot "corporate culture"the dreams and ambitions of the owners nor the chief driver! What we care about is being able to feed and provide for our families without have to work our asses off and being short money at the end of the first week after pay day. We want operators and pilots to understand that when we say we aren't signing it out, it because we would rather see a drivers ugly mug around the hangar and give him shit, then to have to go out and put what remains we can find in a body bag. if we tellyou it needs to be fixed now, it doesn't mean next week, after this next flight OR whenever the Boss feels like getting the parts!! you want to see just how important this TEAM shit is, go in and talk to the engineers on the b line at Worst jet or out on the line at midnight when the temp is -25 and the windchill drives the temp down to -40. Tell me how many buy the team crap!! Oh and just to clarify, the MAJOR airlines don'thave a one salary fits all either. The Engineers in maintenance planning , and in Charts and Graphs, Airworthiness, Quality Assurance, Quailty Control, on the B check line and on the flight line DON't all get paid the same! hell, it ain't even industry standard!! then again, after 30 years in this racket, i still have NO feckin idea what operators consider industry standards!! if you do, feel free to let me know!

Best of the New Year; and thanks for helping to keep aviation safe.


Best of the new year to you as well!! keep the dirty side down!!



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Wow, ‘Bullet Remington’ you sound sound kinda pissed

Can’t really blame you though. I’ve been knocked down a few times by in the industry. But as you probably know, ya gotta keep getting up or the world will consume ya!

As to my aviation business concerns; the reality is that industry can only pay what the industry can bear. There is always an operator out there that will undercut rates just to survive, so unless there was a common union of operators to stop this practice, the industry is forced to live within its means under competitive markets. That being said, I have always tried to improve working conditions for all employees, despite the markets.
So I don’t just shrug it off as the "norm" but once I have done what I can do to improve the situation I probably do “go my merry way" after I do my best. Sooner or later a person must take the high road in life and look toward the positive things, otherwise, life is just way too depressing.

“So, you want to tell us what you consider is industry standards?”

For a top of the line engineer I would say $80 - $90 K. If he/she was exceptional and could help move the company forward to new levels, I’m guessing $120 K + (but I am speaking out of turn).

As to the team work and fringe benefits, I see it and believe it. That’s why I’m here.

In regards the Air Tractor, never been done legally until now (2006) (certification is/was for ‘ferry fuel’ only). We have emergency dump certification and way too many other expensive goodies to give away here. Best part of it from a pilot’s point of view, they are fun to fly. Easy to wrench, no paying passengers, no big airports, no ineffective security, no terrorists …. but I’m sure I’m boring you by now.

Cheers



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:59 pm 
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WNA;

Thanks for your reply, appreciated! Nope, I'm no longer pissed. I'n vindictive though!! :roll:

The industry statndard you quoted is what I would consider the "normal"starting salary for a licensed and highly experienced engineer, topping out around 120K. And I do believe that the starting salary is still lower then what most drivers makes!

As for the reality of what the industry can bear, I am fully aware of the industry / most company's financial stiuation. AND, most company's that have been in business and operating with a profit goal, is in the black. having said that, when these companys bring in a new driver and an experienced, licensed engineer in the same month, and pay the new driver 150.00 bucks more to ramp and dead head aircraft, then they pay a licensed engineer to maintain and relesase that maintenance on an aircraft, then my acceptance of that statement is severely shaken. And I have seen that in 90% of the companies I have conducted audits at!! There are good companies out there, that value their maintenance guys and the pay and benefits show their concern! and reflect the value that the company places on their maintenance employees.

If Wilderness North does indeed pay reasonable, and I don't think they do considering what has been posted here, from the head Driver, then good on them.

As for Air tractors fun to drive, so were Ag Cats, UNTIL a crankshaft sheared over the only hill in the middle of a potato field in PEI. But even after that, running back and forth over a field and/or fire gets redundent after a while!

Fuel and water in a hopper is nothing! I was down in the Southland years ago, and a whole gaggle of Ag cats and tractors came into a field to work tobacco crops, out of the hopper crawels two A & P guys!! the next three machines carrried their tool boxes! The forth machine was full of beer. Now the beer I could live with, the first three machines scared the Bejesus outa me!!

Having said that, I knew one operator down there that ahad a seat system manufactured so he could carry people in the hopper!!! I have no feckin idea how any body could sit in there, it stunk so badly from the chemicals!!

But I digress!! Good Luck with your search!

BR



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:08 pm 
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wildernessnorthair wrote:

As to my aviation business concerns; the reality is that industry can only pay what the industry can bear. There is always an operator out there that will undercut rates just to survive, so unless there was a common union of operators to stop this practice, the industry is forced to live within its means under competitive markets. That being said, I have always tried to improve working conditions for all employees, despite the markets.
So I don’t just shrug it off as the "norm" but once I have done what I can do to improve the situation I probably do “go my merry way" after I do my best. Sooner or later a person must take the high road in life and look toward the positive things, otherwise, life is just way too depressing.

“So, you want to tell us what you consider is industry standards?”

For a top of the line engineer I would say $80 - $90 K. If he/she was exceptional and could help move the company forward to new levels, I’m guessing $120 K + (but I am speaking out of turn).


Simple supply and demand.

You have a need for an AME, in a remote location and no AME is presently interested in what you have to offer. Many things come to mind.

1. Maybe you aren't communicating what you have to offer very well.
2. Maybe you are communicating well and no one is interested in what you have to offer.
3. Maybe your ad isn't getting the proper visibility
4. Maybe your company has a bad reputation and no one is interested
5. Maybe the pool of AMEs is being reduced at a faster rate then what we have seen in the past (with the babyboomers retiring) and qualified replacements are not in the pipeline due to the years of hardship we AMEs have had to endure.
6. Maybe an AME would need a better idea of what is required/desired in order to get the 80K-120K offered by your company. I have seen similar offers before but they generally involved 3000 hrs/annum with an electronic leash year round.(again the point about communication)

Personally, I love aviation and airplanes but I am growing tired of the shifts, pay cuts and the lack of respect we get in this industry. I am now a bit more then halfway through a bachelors degree and hope to find something better for myself when I get my degree. I now understand why my brethren leave this industry. You can make better money fixing heavy equipment and get day shift while you are at it. Why bother with the headaches.

As for your statement on "the industry is forced to live within its means under competitive markets." well the industry is now coming to terms with a shortage of AMEs. The nickel and diming of AMEs, the ridiculous work conditions are not attracting replacement candidates. The "industry" will be forced to adapt if it wants to keep operating.

Good luck with your AME hunt. Try employment Canada, maybe you will have some luck. Air Canada is also going to be laying off workers shortly, maybe you can find a good candidate in there?

Lupin



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Great thread! :partyman:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:32 pm 
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ourkid2000 wrote:
Great thread! :partyman:


x2

Some excellent posts, and I give props to WNA to responding to what has been posted here. I quite honestly did not expect him to reply to the responses, as constructive conversation rarely happens in real life, between maintenance and management.

Having said that, I find Bullet's responses/writing to be 100% comparable to what I've encountered and think about the current state of affairs in this industry.
Other's make some very good points in support also, and I have to admit surprise at just how common the issues are among the experienced/longer time AMEs, and how many no longer care to put up with it.

I guess we will have to wait and see the final outcome, but I'm not holding my breath.
I believe there is enough ingrained arrogance, at the management level in general, that most companies will expend much greater efforts in exploring any alternative, instead of treating their AME's better. I don't expect to see any significant change in the future, regardless of how much of shortage there is. I do expect to see efforts(by industry) increased in the area of importing foreign(ala Cascade) "engineers"(I use that term VERY loosely in this regard) to try and fill the shortfall.
Best of luck with this, as I've witnessed this several times to be an extremely poor alternative, and you will be generally disappointed, no matter how good the resumes look.

Happy New Decade, Canadian Aviation. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:05 am 
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I'm not sure that the discrepancy between pilots and engineers will ever be equalized.

When the drivers are doing their job, the aircraft are flying and making money for the owner. They're the heroes. When the mechanics are doing their jobs, the aircraft are sitting in the hangar while the owner pays out money. You can see why maintenance is regarded as a necessary evil.

It's a very rare company owner that sees value in its maintenance staff, and this is wrong. What would a bad accident cost a company in the end?


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