500 hr minimum...please explain?

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Morty81
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500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Tue Jul 9 2019, 04:15

G’day all. I wanted to throw a question out there for experienced heads in the industry...why do so many companies have a 500 hr minimum total flight time? Is it an insurance requirement? Is it personal preference? Is it because that’s always the way it’s been done?

I’m a new CPL(H) holder, getting my licence last November. All my training was done in an R44. Unfortunately, due to a death in the family, I missed the annual recruitment drive by those companies taking on new low hours pilots. I’m now tacking together hours where I can, mostly paying for the privilege myself, but sometimes getting my friends up or the occasional commercial gig on a casual basis with the company here. I’m 47 years old, having come to flying late in life. I was lucky enough to have built up sufficient funds to not come out of my licence training with a debt. I would guess that younger pilots for whom this is their first or second career, are not as fortunate.

So why the 500 hr minimum? New pilots straight out of their assessment are probably as current on emergency procedures as you can get. Is that an incorrect statement? Yet the industry penalises these guys by drip-feeding them flight time, or not getting any hours at all, all the while their skills are atrophying.

I’m very interested to hear views. Call this the bored ramblings of an excited new pilot struggling to break into his third career, if you will, but I am genuinely interested.

Cheers
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RePLCPLH
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby RePLCPLH » Tue Jul 9 2019, 04:41

Morty81 wrote:G’day all. I wanted to throw a question out there for experienced heads in the industry...why do so many companies have a 500 hr minimum total flight time? Is it an insurance requirement? Is it personal preference? Is it because that’s always the way it’s been done?
Cheers


Second-hand info from when I was flying in January/February and on track to finish at the end of March/beginning of April in time for the silly season. One operator took the time to simply say: "When you get to around 500 hours, you'll understand why that's our minimum hiring requirement." Like a lot of tourism operators, that one was flying both 44s and turbines and spending a lot of time over the water so they were only interested in pilots that could jump in any of their machines.

At any of the operators that hired entry-level pilots (CPLH and minimum 20hrs on 44s) to fly their 44s, many of them were also running EC120s/130s where the cost per seat/minute is substantially more profitable when you have a busload of Chinese tourists turn up. The 44 pilots without turbine time that did manage to get a job in those operations only got to fly with the occasional couple that were prepared to pay extra so they weren't getting many hours in a year. Many of them also had a 3-month minimum stint doing passenger briefings, weight & balance, ticket sales etc on the ground before they were allowed behind the controls.

The 44 operators where you can get 300-500 hours in a year as an entry-level pilot are rare- but they are out there. Shoot me a DM and I'll give you the details of a few.
Last edited by RePLCPLH on Tue Jul 9 2019, 04:59, edited 1 time in total.
zzodr
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby zzodr » Tue Jul 9 2019, 04:54

Hi Morty,

There is an entry in the CAR 1988 about this definition, which apply to mustering.
There may be other reasons.

From Instrument number CASA 341/12, CAR1988:

entry level pilot means a pilot who holds, or is undergoing training for, a mustering approval and has less than 500 hours flying time in mustering operations as pilot in command or acting as pilot in command under supervision.

experienced pilot means the holder of a mustering approval who has a minimum of 500 hours flying time in helicopter mustering operations as pilot in command or acting as pilot in command under supervision.

Flight time limitations

(1) An operator engaged in helicopter mustering operations must not knowingly roster a pilot to fly if the pilot’s total flight time as a flight crew member will, as a result, exceed:

(a) in the case of an experienced pilot:

(i) 100 hours in any 16 consecutive days; or

(ii) subject to subparagraph (iii) — 1 200 hours in any 365 consecutive days; or

(iii) if the pilot has had a period of 42 consecutive days free of piloting or other aviation‑related duty during that period — 1 400 hours in any period of 365 consecutive days; or

(b) in the case of an entry level pilot:

(i) 10 hours in any 24 consecutive hours; or

(ii) 120 hours in any 30 consecutive days; or

(iii) 1 200 hours in any 365 consecutive days.
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Niko » Tue Jul 9 2019, 06:33

Morty81 wrote:G’day all. I wanted to throw a question out there for experienced heads in the industry...why do so many companies have a 500 hr minimum total flight time? Is it an insurance requirement? Is it personal preference? Is it because that’s always the way it’s been done?

I’m a new CPL(H) holder, getting my licence last November. All my training was done in an R44. Unfortunately, due to a death in the family, I missed the annual recruitment drive by those companies taking on new low hours pilots. I’m now tacking together hours where I can, mostly paying for the privilege myself, but sometimes getting my friends up or the occasional commercial gig on a casual basis with the company here. I’m 47 years old, having come to flying late in life. I was lucky enough to have built up sufficient funds to not come out of my licence training with a debt. I would guess that younger pilots for whom this is their first or second career, are not as fortunate.

So why the 500 hr minimum? New pilots straight out of their assessment are probably as current on emergency procedures as you can get. Is that an incorrect statement? Yet the industry penalises these guys by drip-feeding them flight time, or not getting any hours at all, all the while their skills are atrophying.

I’m very interested to hear views. Call this the bored ramblings of an excited new pilot struggling to break into his third career, if you will, but I am genuinely interested.

Cheers


I'll bite. First of all congratulations on your achievement of becoming a commercial pilot. Well done.

TLDR, Let me be blunt. The angle at which you approach your dilemma is not helpful, you are asking the wrong questions and offering the wrong solutions. Your assumptions on the most part are wrong

You see Morty, all helicopter companies with any number of R44's have a pile of resumes from fresh pilots who have walked through their doors. The number of those fresh pilots is largely over-stated; however there are plenty of them. Our file has about 30 resumes from this year alone. As a rule, those roles are filled without the need of advertisement. Fresh pilots who travel to operators and respectfully submit their resumes in person, show willingness to learn, and a way to help the business are the ones that land these entry "positions" -

Your emphasis on emergency procedures is flawed. This is expected - in the same way to speaking english, breathing or hovering a helicopter is expected. This is a bare minimum to just be considered; so obvious it is not mentioned. Your ability to deal with day-to-day tasks and *to help the business* is far more important. To help business could mean using your marketing degree to create a larger customer base. Using IT degree to help with website and the computers. Using your experience as a builder to help with the construction of the new hangar. It could be help load aircraft. It could be an initial job as a receptionist.

For the most part, unless employed as loaders, receptionists etc... fresh pilots add to the workload, they do not reduce it and it takes time before the scales begin to dip the other way

Most pilots who come with an attitude to "build hours" - people reading this know the type. Do not get far

There is no 'industry' when it comes to this topic. There are companies, which operate helicopters, in a very competitive, fickle environment where an AD can ground your entire fleet without a moments notice. Some are trying to turn a profit, most are trying to stay afloat. They do not owe anything to freshly qualified pilots; this includes any flight hours that they may "drip-feed" your way
Last edited by Niko on Tue Jul 9 2019, 07:49, edited 1 time in total.
Ben Geaney
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Ben Geaney » Tue Jul 9 2019, 07:15

From my point of view - as bad as it sounds - if a new pilot has reached 500 hours without crashing, they are much less of a risk to an operator. This is basically the reason.
Morty81
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Tue Jul 9 2019, 08:10

Niko wrote:They do not owe anything to freshly qualified pilots; this includes any flight hours that they may "drip-feed" your way


I’m really sorry if I’ve caused offence. In no way do I mean to suggest that I, or any new pilot, am owed anything. Nor am I trying to suggest solutions.

I understand all that you’ve said, and believe me I’m not just trying to ‘build hours’. As a newbie I have a lot to learn in all aspects of the business. I also have a lot to offer given my previous career experience. However, building hours in the beginning is the only way to get the work. It seems to be a catch 22.

Thank you though. I appreciate the forthright feedback.
Morty81
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Tue Jul 9 2019, 08:15

Ben Geaney wrote:From my point of view - as bad as it sounds - if a new pilot has reached 500 hours without crashing, they are much less of a risk to an operator. This is basically the reason.


Fair point, makes sense. Thanks
Morty81
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Tue Jul 9 2019, 08:25

RePLCPLH wrote: The 44 operators where you can get 300-500 hours in a year as an entry-level pilot are rare- but they are out there. Shoot me a DM and I'll give you the details of a few.


Thanks mate, some useful info. Also, I can’t DM you, not allowing me.
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby FerrariFlyer » Tue Jul 9 2019, 08:39

Morty81 wrote:
RePLCPLH wrote: The 44 operators where you can get 300-500 hours in a year as an entry-level pilot are rare- but they are out there. Shoot me a DM and I'll give you the details of a few.


Thanks mate, some useful info. Also, I can’t DM you, not allowing me.


It's a long story however after 3 posts your PMs or personal messages are unlocked.

Happy slapping and job hunting. Remember that EVERY helicopter you see being flown has someone flying it who once had zero experience. 8)
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Twistgrip » Tue Jul 9 2019, 12:31

I’m really sorry if I’ve caused offence. In no way do I mean to suggest that I, or any new pilot, am owed anything. Nor am I trying to suggest solutions.

I understand all that you’ve said, and believe me I’m not just trying to ‘build hours’. As a newbie I have a lot to learn in all aspects of the business. I also have a lot to offer given my previous career experience. However, building hours in the beginning is the only way to get the work. It seems to be a catch 22.

Thank you though. I appreciate the forthright feedback.


What a refreshing post Morty. As others have suggested the magic number in your case 500 could be due to a myriad of things namely insurance and contract requirements.

There are always hours and qualification hurdles / challenges in your career (depending on how far you wish to go ) as you go forth it never stops, just be persistent if you want it and do the study.

Good luck with your endeavours it seems you have a great outlook and I’m sure you’ll find a job soon enough. A lot of guys could certainly benefit from your humble approach.
"You can watch things happen, you can make things happen or you can wonder what happened"
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby agusta » Wed Jul 10 2019, 06:39

When you've done a few more hours, you'll look back and think wow, I was pretty unqualified back then.
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Eric Hunt
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Eric Hunt » Wed Jul 10 2019, 07:14

I've forgotten the original story, but an approximation is this:

"A pilot goes through three stages:
At 300 hours, a pilot has been around for about a year, and thinks he is pretty hot stuff, but doesn't understand how little he understands.
At 700 hours, if he is still alive, he thinks he knows everything. This pilot is truly dangerous.

But around 1000 hours, a curious thing happens. When the pilot forms a conscious thought to do something, it just happens - the inputs are automatic. If a surgeon was asked to separate the pilot from the machine, it would be very hard to decide where to start the cut."
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rotors99
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby rotors99 » Wed Jul 10 2019, 09:44

& yet most overseas companies want a Pilot to have 2,000hrs in command, with 200 on type to get a look in :shock:
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Bront » Thu Jul 11 2019, 01:18

A lot of it has to do with your company, or their clients, safety programs. My company has BARS, which says min of 100 on type but one of our clients has a 300 hours on type requirement.

A goal posts just keep getting further and further away, no matter how experienced you are.
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Thu Jul 11 2019, 01:30

Bront wrote:A lot of it has to do with your company, or their clients, safety programs.


Thanks Bront, a good explanation suggesting that it's a case by case situation. Cheers
Morty81
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Thu Jul 11 2019, 01:31

agusta wrote:When you've done a few more hours, you'll look back and think wow, I was pretty unqualified back then.


No doubt Agusta! :-)
Morty81
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Morty81 » Thu Jul 11 2019, 01:34

Eric Hunt wrote:I've forgotten the original story, but an approximation is this:

"A pilot goes through three stages:
At 300 hours, a pilot has been around for about a year, and thinks he is pretty hot stuff, but doesn't understand how little he understands.
At 700 hours, if he is still alive, he thinks he knows everything. This pilot is truly dangerous.

But around 1000 hours, a curious thing happens. When the pilot forms a conscious thought to do something, it just happens - the inputs are automatic. If a surgeon was asked to separate the pilot from the machine, it would be very hard to decide where to start the cut."


That's a great analogy Eric, thanks.

I completely understand, having done repetition after repetition of training in other careers where it becomes instinctive despite the inherent danger that would make someone else run away. What's the old adage? You're not truly an expert until you've done something 10000 times?
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby helomad » Wed Jul 24 2019, 06:32

Hi RePLCPLH,

wondering how I get in touch, as I can't seem to DM you?

thanks
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Eric Hunt
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby Eric Hunt » Wed Jul 24 2019, 07:49

He took a bit of a caning recently, perhaps he took his ball and went home?
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Re: 500 hr minimum...please explain?

Postby ChicoCheco » Wed Jul 24 2019, 10:04

More like banned/deleted as user, by the looks of it.

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