Transport to Oil Rigs
A profession, in flying off-shore helicopters, can be filled with excitement and challenge. Offshore flying refers to flying in support of the oil and gas markets. Offshore helicopter pilots transport equipment and workers to and from drilling rigs from purposefully located shore bases.
Offshore flying is the greatest employer of helicopter pilots around the world and as the need for energy enhances the need for more pilots to support the energy market will also enhance. The significant locations for these helicopter operations in the United States are the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. However, many areas of the world have offshore rigs operating and use helicopters for support. A range of helicopters are used and include the Bell 407s, Sikorsky S-76s, Eurocopter EC-135s, Bell 430s and the new Sikorsky S-92.
Offshore helicopter operators on the United States Gulf Coast usually run under VMC (visual meteorological conditions) while those in Alaska spend a lot of time running under IMC (instrument meteorological conditions). If you wish to do this type of flying as a career you’re entering at a great time. There is presently a lack of pilots that is just going to broaden as many veteran pilots retire. This job benefits the pilots in many ways. Initially, it allows pilots to be more specific when choosing a company to work for. Second it puts upward pressure on incomes, raises, rewards, and benefits in order to attract and retain certified pilots. Third it forces companies to enhance working conditions particularly at shore bases where pilots spend the majority of their time when not flying.
Presently, in the Gulf of Mexico, helicopter operators need new pilots to have roughly 1000hrs of PIC time along with an instrument rating. With the increasing need for pilots, operators are establishing methods to reduce the number of hours needed to get approved for a position.
The work schedules associated with offshore oil support operations vary a lot. You’ll fly around four hours during an 8-hour shift. Some businesses use a one week on one week off rotation. Others make use of two weeks on two weeks off, and still others make use of other variations.
For pay, most U.S. operators pay between $50,000 and $80,000 each year. Volunteering to fly overtime can increase pay.
As the world’s craving for energy increases, the energy companies will certainly respond by tapping new sources of oil. It creates a bright future for anyone who’s interested in flying offshore helicopters.