muppet wrote:Now this really is rather an interesting thread. And with some valid points on both sides of the debate. I share some of havick's concerns though... Certainly this issue looks set to become more of an issue as I suspect over the next few years there will be increased demand for 2 pilot ops (rub your hands together you low time guys looking for a start). Not just cos all the Vets are retiring, but also due to the change in operational flying. ie More IFR twins and more two pilot ops (which are way safer than single pilot IFR in my view - I think single pilot EMS especially is a poor option).
And I would be interested to hear comment on just who should be offering these 'internships'. IF CHC are offering them, then the young padewan will be trained in the ways of safety and doing it properly. You don't cut corners when working for an oil company. But when young co-pilots are given a 'chance' with an EMS operator (read 'they buy a year's experience) it would be good to know that the operator meets some kind of standard. Of course they are supposed to - that is the regulator's job - but there are some EMS operators around who do cut all kinds of corners and that can be a dangerous thing for impressionable young minds. I agree that such things offers a great first step, I just hope these guys don't get taken for a ride or taught bad habits. The answer? I don't know. Industry and regulator pressure to fly safe and obey the rules would be nice....
Interesting thread alright,
As Muppet and others alluded to it is a well proven and safe path for a low hour’d pilot to break into this growing industry. The structured approach taken with various large operators should instil some lifesaving and hopefully long term core values into what is essentially a very ‘mouldable’ stage of young careers.
My concern is that now that we see these ‘cadetships’ popping up offering in the case of HFT at Ardmore NZ for a course fee of $60K+ they may offer you (if successful) a 12 month position as a Co-pilot with one of the EMS operators.
In the case of one participating northern NZ EMS operator this is all well and good but from what I understand, the job will be shared with ‘several’ other existing Co-Pilots. Somebody with more knowledge may care to comment… I have to wonder where the flying hours and duty time will suddenly come from unless an existing pilot leaves or is willing to job share. You may be lucky to fly even if you are on duty and begin to wonder if the position is in name only. It would be a little bit more reassuring if the operators guarantee a trainee a certain amount of hours and experience.
I said previously this could be a great opportunity but also should be weighed up with the cost/rewards associated with it. If you spend $60K for essentially a 12 month contract only to be told ‘thanks, but move along, we have to make way for the next intern$’……
You may have a shiny new IR to your name but only end up with an extra 100-150 hours, Will this make you that much more employable? Maybe so.
All the best to those who are willing to put in the hard yards, it is a great qualification to achieve that has served me well over many years.