Wages - Operators have your say

What's a job in helicopters pay? Does it pay? Why do you get paid more than me?
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jetty
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby jetty » Thu Feb 26 2009, 00:53

CYHeli love your work

I started my working life as an apprentice earning $100 per week. This was an agreement I entered into with my employer for a 4 year period in which I expected a certain level of competance when completed. I knew what the training was going to be and what was included, wage steps were going to be over this period, what an estimate of wage was going to be at the end and what skills I would have to offer an employer as a fully qualified tradesperson. Everything was all put to me up front before signing on.
Does the industry need a general agreement or employer specific agreement in place for when a newly qualified pilot enters the first job as a "pilot", not a toilet cleaner, so everyone knows in advance what the steps to being a useful member of the team is going to be. This includes pay rates and rises when certain levels of competance has been achieved. This will then give the employer and employee both a clear path that will be taken into the future together.

If you treat people like S:?t then expect S:?t in return. If you treat people how you like to be treated then this cause less problems in the future. High turnover of staff costs business a lot of money.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby The Kiwi » Thu Feb 26 2009, 05:24

Ray your right, most do bring in other skills from previous careers. If it's a skill that can be used in/around the hangar, then this should come up when bartering wages. I can do more for you, you can afford to pay me more...


Wheels wrote:100% Kiwi
But will they understand ????.....


Wheels, if they don't understand that, I'll soon realise and move on. Also Wheels, its important that people don't base their opinions of the whole industry upon what they read on here and the dark side etc. I would say that most/98% of the operators aren't out there trying to exploit new pilots. But I will also say that most have been burnt by new pilots, IE grabbing endorsements, switching jobs without notice, being lazy s#!t.... at the end of the day, people seem to like reading/talking/hearing about negative crap. But thats a whole other thread...

HIP- I also think I'd rather be out flying than stuck in the office with a HA pilot... do you a deal, you keep the BT in there and stick me the 'copter :D

So back to the main topic of this thread, what do people think is a fair point to start for wages for a new pilot? And I'm talking in $$$ figure. I'll stick my neck out and say if your bringing nothing other than a fresh CPL to the table, $400ish a week? Remember, this is until your proficient, according HIP this is about 6months. So after that the pay scale can go up more....
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby CYHeli » Thu Feb 26 2009, 06:10

Just to introduce a bit of thread creep, my question was about wages, not duties.
I'm a policeman in my other (non-aviation) life, but policing is about more than just catching crooks or helping little old ladies across the road. There are a lot of jobs within the police force that you would not instantly think of coppers doing, including emptying the bin. (We often take out the garbage...) As a pilot, I have re-tiled a shower in a hangar and I have replaced washers in a toilet. These are both pilot jobs to keep a company ticking along.
Pilots can and should do more than just fly. I have never been opposed to pilots doing other duties, but it's the attitude that it's alright to employ or be employed to be a hangar rat that I object to. Especially when Only pilots can apply. All pilots (and I have seen chief pilots do this list as well) should be able to clean toilets, sweep floors, vacuum, clean windows, etc. The office/hangar is a representation of the work place; the image and the professionalism of the company. This will instill confidence in a prospective customer. They look good, so they just might be good and safe.

As has been said in earlier posts, most companies are not going to employ a secretary to work the office, take bookings, do quotes, etc. That is part of a pilot's job. Helicopter tourism companies do not employ hostesses or professional ground staff. They employ pilots who do bookings, take money and do pax briefings. We don't employ hanger's on. We employ pilots who work a number of job. Forget all the crap about hangar rat/slave and realise that helicopter companies only employ pilots. And pilots realise that there is more to working for the boss than just flying. When bosses know an applicant can do all the other stuff, the pilot should get a job as a pilot not as a hangar rat. The issue here is how much that pilot gets paid to do all those jobs?
I know a lot of you would fly for free. There are days I would too. But it doesn't make it right. And unfortunately the nice man at Safeway is not going to give me food for free. We would not fly a tourist for free and we would not fly a photographer for free. So why make our staff work for nothing?
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Ray McCooney » Thu Feb 26 2009, 06:49

Kiwi,
A fair wage for a new pilot is the AWARD.

I lived on that $400 per week for a while when I got my first job 5 years ago. I could not live on that now.

Try this $110 per week rent, about $100 on food, the Outback is expensive! $20 or so Mobile phone, oh you need one, how else will the boss get you.
$40 on fuel, Not much accomodation at the airport, I had to get to work. Then if you have any existing debit you can see there is very very little left over.
I don't know where this extra six months training is coming from. The mob I started with had you out flying scenics after about two area famils and therefore making money for the company.

It was all worth it in the end, I now have a good job but I really do think a new pilot who can fit in and do a bit of graft is worth the $42,000.
Now if only I could win the lottery........

Great post Cyheli.
Last edited by Ray McCooney on Thu Feb 26 2009, 08:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Islandheli » Thu Feb 26 2009, 07:18

Het CY, that shower is now leaking!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby CYHeli » Thu Feb 26 2009, 08:18

Islandheli wrote:Het CY, that shower is now leaking!

Maybe you should get wheels to fix it! :lol:
He's a plumber and he'll work for you cheaply while you teach him how to be a pilot.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Thu Feb 26 2009, 08:54

Well come on guys what is the award?
What if the operator is offering flying hours only, say for weekends only??
Is there an hourly rate for this?

At Geelong there I spoke to the pilot of a joy filght opp, on the forshore, didn't ask how much he was being paid but he was being paid for billable hours.
About 6 on sat and same on the sunday only!!
then he had his week day job!! Plate chucker or somthing in the hospitality ind.

he had about 125 hours and had Mustering work or Cirt to get once he had enough hours, can't remember was a couple of years ago.
His boss knew he was moving on to work with the bosses brother or cousin!!!

What should someone like this be paid?

I am interested on a dollar value of should not necessarily get paid, but should?
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Ray McCooney » Thu Feb 26 2009, 09:26

Wheels,

Then the pilot is a casual. The machine would be making about $1000 per hour. I don't know how much they charge for scenics down there.

I don't fly robbies anymore, but let's say $1000 per hour if you have two Pax. $1440 per hour for three pax. This is based on a ten minute time scenic at $80 per seat, so six of these per hour.. End of the day $6,000 if you only ever have two Pax or $8640 if you have three pax on every flight. The real figure will be somewhere in between.

Look at the Robinson webpage for operating costs, add on another ten percent to bring them up to the real world.


Check out the Award at http://www.afap.org.au


Regards
Ray
Last edited by Ray McCooney on Thu Feb 26 2009, 09:40, edited 1 time in total.
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CYHeli
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby CYHeli » Thu Feb 26 2009, 09:32

Wheels I used to work at Phillip Island and only earnt $20 per day. I didn't like it and grumbled a lot (didn't I island heli?) They have their reasons for paying what they do. You can search for Ian Batton (Chief Pilot) who posts on here and he has listed his thoughts on wages and what pilots are worth. To give him credit, he goes out of his way to help low hour pilots, like island heli and I.

There is a casual wage under the award.
para 13.2 Casual employment
13.2.1 A casual pilot will be paid per flying hour at the rate of 1/800 of the annual salary
at the third year increment prescribed for the class of work performed (including
additions to salary).(Which the table in part 10 says is $45,836)
13.2.2 A casual pilot will be paid in addition to the amount in 13.2.1 an amount of 25 per
cent for each hour.

That works out $57.295 per day and $14.32 per hour or part flown. Sorry to argue with your maths, Ray.

I now fly casually and earn more than that per day, but I would rather have full time work.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Ray McCooney » Thu Feb 26 2009, 09:43

My post has been edited, due to my maths being wrong. Glad I became a pilot and not a Maths teacher!! Imagine scores of students using the McCooney system, the economy would have been really buggered!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Thu Feb 26 2009, 09:49

It also says in the same Doc that casual same as Plumbing that the rate for casual is 25% on top of base rate. I also read into if I am right that this is flying time only!!
so all this works out to be about, in dollars for a casual, $71.62 per hour of flying time.
Who pays this?
Wheels
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Thu Feb 26 2009, 09:57

How many hours can you legally fly in a day?
and how many days can you work in a row?
How many days do you have to take for a break while doing these hours?
and you only work 48 weeks a year am i right?
I am just trying to do the math thats all!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Ray McCooney » Thu Feb 26 2009, 10:45

Wheels,
There are loads of different working routines. CAO48, Fatigue risk management systems and Aerial work exemptions.
Ball park is 8 hours flying per day
900 Hours per year
Up to 6 days on 1 off.

some get 6 weeks leave per year. So 46 Weeks work.
Wheels, the best thing you could do is go to your local Helicopter flying school and speak with the instructors there, they will give you good information. Write a list of questions and sit down with them and have a good old chat. Take a carton on a friday afternoon and you'll be a legend!

OH! and unless you're American its MATHS not Math.

Cheers
Ray
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Thu Feb 26 2009, 11:27

Long one again but persist with me
Ray
Us spell check has had me typing Math for the past 8 years

This is not taking into account Hanger ect

R44 RavenII
Insurance, servicing, ect Operating cost per hour $208.67 USD per hour

convert that into AU and add 15 percent that is $320.95 au approx per hour operating hour

Only a Plumber working this out so

On a busy day fully booked you will do 3 X 15 flights per hour
$240.71 operating cost per hour

3 people on board @ $80:00 (as an example) $240:00 X 3 $720:00 per hour

$720:00 per hour Gross
$240:00 per hour cost
$480:00 per hour left over

we do this for about 6 hours total

total flying hours 4.5 hours @ $480:00 is $2160:00

How I work out my labour costs 2/5 of labour charged is the plumber wage the rest goes to tools and expanding the business training ect. (this is the first five years of employment with me)


The award as a casual I worked it out as a pilot on "$42,000au" then 1/800 then myltiply this by 1.25 to get 25% casual loading rate.
$71.62 per hour @ 4.5 hours this is about $322.30au a day on the week end

So at the end of the day without hanger cost one helicopter costs $2160:00 per day
and the low time Pilot paid for his or her 4.5 hours of flight @ $322.30 per day

This pilot costs (working on Building Industry rates) 2/5 ratio $805.75 au for the day

Profit to the company of $1354.25 au for the day.

Now the hanger insurance, dearer insurance for the 105, Oh sorry, 110 to 200 hr pilot, airport costs if opperating from there, and all the other costs whatever they are say and extra $250:00 a day
So per chopper $1104.25 au per day profit (now I have worked out this on a flat out tour opp with full day booking both days)
after Pilot this is looking more like proper profitable business!!

And Working it on this I could really look after more than one Heli in a busy spot.
But where?
I'll have to look into that once I have been in the industy for 5 to 10 or find a boss willing to give a spot a go!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Thu Feb 26 2009, 11:34

One spot is Wonnangatta between Dargo and Licola in Victoria
Did the Valley with a fixed wing ag pilot Mate in winter. Orsum!! snow, water falls, deers ect
would have loved it to be in a chopper. could have gone so much slower!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Skywork » Thu Feb 26 2009, 12:01

KIwi.
$400.00 a week, you got the typical NZ attitude, you are more passoniate about flying than you are with your woman, I stopped flying over there for that reason, They all live to fly instead of fly to live,
A dentist goes to uni for 4 years and comes out after only playing with teeth on a dummy and starts on 65k and the employer furthers his experience and training, that dentist could fill that room with a experienced guy and put through a extra 6 mouths a day at a average of $200.00 each ($1200.00a day extra) so should that dentist work for $400.00 dollars a week until he can equal the experienced guy before he gets his start pay of $65k :D
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Ray McCooney » Thu Feb 26 2009, 12:18

Wheels,
You figures are a bit out.
A 15minute flight would cost around $110 per seat. I would do that 15 min flight in 14 mins.(Remember you are flying a set route so as long as the punters see the stuff you said they would times may vary) That is .2 M/R time so you can get 5 of those in for 1 hour of maintainence time. Don't think of 1 hour as in between 1200 and 1300 hours, it's not like that. Your running costs are based on your maintainence release times which are collective up to collective down again.
Up to 8 mins is .1
9-14 mins is .2
14-20 mins is .3 and so on.
So do your figures based on M/R Time. 5 flights per M/R hour at $110 per seat =$1650 per hour, a bit of a difference.
There are lots of other things that come into play aswell like commissions to tour guides, operating from a resort. Normally about 20% of the seat price charged.
These figures a great if you are in a busy spot and getting lots of punters flying. The problem is all the good spots seem to be taken or I would have bought a machine and set up business a year or so ago.

Anyway that's the limit of my knowledge on the subject. I will leave anymore to others more experienced than me.

Good luck with it all
Cheers
Ray
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Thu Feb 26 2009, 13:28

Ray
the answer to me is to pull my finger out and get the plumbing set up so I can leave them to do the job on there own, and get my CPL and about 5 years of experence, then poke and prod an operator until either they let me help them expand or I give it a go on my own!!
any takers!!
Then start the cycle of getting the newbie and teaching them to so the same!!
Man, Oh pardon me, Captain "sounds like a plan"
there has got to be tour operators that would come on board.
there is more than one rock to look at here!!
And Island helicopters and Phillip Island
there is more than one Island around Australia!!
Only new to WA but I am sure there is more in WA than the few operators have here!
Another thing
I love Vintage and when I went up in the tiger moth at Torquay "VH-DHK", Tigermoth World, The Pilot looked about 16 (sorry Steve you do in your gear) and you know the whole time up there I'm not sure where we flew but is was along the Beach towards Bells Beach 550ft off the water, If I go and look at the maps I could give you exact locations but the whole time it was the Tiger / Steve and I, I could not give a rats if I was over the desert beach or city. Just me.

Down at LV a mate who is now with an airline, I would buy a Pen for $80:00 and he would take me up for a ride for 15 to 30 min doing circuits or whatever he had to practice in a fixed wing Cessna 150 or 172, Just flying a fixed wing did not do it for me!!

Anyway
More Research I think Ray
I have about 3 to 7 years to find the spot.
and the Carton I will do this definitly.
I have so many question everything from Helmet or headset to How much to hire a Chopper once I have the shiny ticket?
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Freewheel » Thu Feb 26 2009, 23:16

Wheels,

The only figure I could see that was right was the casual hourly rate.

Sadly, most operators choose not to know about that one.

I once posted a conversation I had with a pilot that was struggling to make ends meet flying 700+hrs a year. I mentioned that I knew his predecessor and he had real trouble feeding his family of $50 an hour. The poor guy went pale and mumbled that he was only getting $35. All I could do was give him a couple of numbers and suggest he move on. The operator still exists and I've chosen not to get to know his pilots, it'll only make them and me sad.

In simple terms Wheels, could you live on a potential maximum income of $25,500 a year? Given that the MINIMUM full time adult wage is $28276.56 a year, you are by definition, in poverty.

As mentioned before, by myself and others, all a brand new pilot can expect is the minimum they are entitled to. Any less is going to make lawyers rich sooner or later - and who wants to do that?


edited to sound less like a politician - ergh!
Never forget that some people exist purely as a warning to others.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby CYHeli » Thu Feb 26 2009, 23:25

Wheels wrote:the answer to me is to pull my finger out?
Definately, but you have started. You have a dream.

get my CPL and about 5 years of experence, then poke and prod an operator until either they let me help them expand or I give it a go on my own!!

If you are a good worker at the location where you get your first job (experience) and you get on with the boss, he's the one who will help you to succeed. Just remember that you are doing business with him, either as a worker or eventually as a partner. You have to have a lot on offer for him to trust you with his AOC. When you go visiting a local school ask them about the importance of an AOC and it's impact on a business.

there is more than one Island around Australia!!

There are plenty, but there is a hell of a lot more to setting up an aviation tourism business than just picking the right location. I know because I was with a company that closed down. I could see ways to improve it, but the powers that be refused to listen until too late. By then I had resigned.

Finally to the operators out there that lament a pilot moving on. Find out if the only reason the pilot came to town is for the flying. I know operators that would love for a pilot to settle down in their new town and make it a home for quite a few years. The boss loves living there and set up the business in their own home town, so why shouldn't the staff enjoy it too? Try to inspire the newby to fall in love with where he is working (location, location) and he/she might just stay a bit longer, raise the family, etc. But to do that he/she will need real money. If the pilot loves the location, then they will do the best job possible to build the business and ensure his own job security. Aviation tourism (where most under paying occurs) doesn't have to be a stepping stone to 'the next best thing'.
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

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