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Subject: CDL requirements revisited
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toddspuriscalUser is Offline
JH Member
JH Member

02/11/2013 3:07 PM  
It's been a while since I wrote the original post on this subject, but some new thoughts on the subject have made decide to do an update of sorts.
        I have departed the utility helicopter field and now work in EMS so no longer need worry about the CDL issue - THANK GOD. EMS pays less but the working conditions and hours are better for an old fart like me. The young guys can go out to the field and work long hours for little pay, be a truck driver, A&P, fuel manager and logistics expert; and be treated like a disposable shop rag by their employers.I'm done with that.

       I remember when our chief truck mechanic was explaining to me the intricacies of filling out the Driver's Log. He basically said that if I wasn't driving to put down "off duty" even when I was working 12 to 14 hours a day. I never asked who paid if we got caught in the lies we were expected to tell.

A&Ps are supposed to be professional mechanics, NOT truck drivers. Resist, resist, resist when asked to be one.

         I was once asked who would take care of the fueling chores if the mechs didn't. A fair questiion. My answer is: Let the customer provide the fuel! The USFS,  seismic and oil companies are already making all the rules for the helicopter operators and telling us how to run our own show - so let 'em provide the fuel! Their trucks, their drivers, their hazmat, their fuel, their problem! It could be done easily.

Kick it around.
NightAlUser is Offline
JH Member
JH Member

06/05/2013 2:18 PM  
A guy can get away with bogusing his driver's log until an accident happens. When an accident does happen and it comes to light that the driver/mechanic was putting down that he was off duty when he wasn't, he is not only subject to civil liability but criminal prosecution, as well.
Doesn't even have to be an injury to be prosecuted. An accident involving HAZMAT is enough for an ambitious prosecutor or liability attorney to ruin a brother's life.

I came close to putting a fuel truck in a ditch because my exhausted azz was on my umpteenth 18 hour day. Now, I'm like the man who had three sons named Larry, Curly and Jack, 'cause there aint gonna be no Mo.

In the same vein, it is long overdue for a mechanic duty time in 135 , (be nice to have one in 133, too. Taint likely).
When I was with Blue and White Alaska, we had a 16 hour duty limit, regardless of the job. I was working an oil field gig. We didn't start flying before 0900 and shut down between 2100 and 2200. The customer didn't want the pilot at their 0500 BS safety meeting due to duty time, but required me there. I showed them my duty limits in our Ops manual and told them to vanquish any notions that they may have about a split shift. When I start my duty day, the clock's running.
Suddenly, it wasn't so important for me to be at the A.M. circle jerk.

A lot of people did a heap of suffering and dying for Americans to have the protections and standards in the workplace that most Americans enjoy. The days of A&P standing for "All Purpose" and mechanics working under conditions straight out of an Upton Sinclair novel belong in the past.
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Forums > JH Alternate Forum > Helicopter Mechanics Forum > CDL requirements revisited

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