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From The Desk of The Editor Are Helo Pilots Flying


to Greener Pastures? Earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about factors that may impact the pilot supply in 2017-2018. Those factors were: (1) policies of the incoming U.S. president, (2) oil prices, (3) retirements, and (4) the airlines. I went on to ask if the pilot shortage that we have been talking            seems that the four factors mentioned have had shifting dynamics, which are having an impact on the industry. Whether that’s good or bad is yet to be determined.


One example on the political front revolves around the        the U.S. - Mexico border. U.S. Customs and Border  and is plucking pilots from the civilian and departing military ranks.


In the energy sector, oil prices have risen and regulations governing exploration are being lifted in hopes of having  while, I see that oil and gas support companies like PHI are advertising in search of helicopter pilots.


There’s also increasing competition for helicopter pilots coming from non-traditional places. As you may have seen, American Airlines’ subsidiary, Envoy Air, advertises in Rotorcraft Pro seeking to hire and         focused on hiring only helicopter pilots transitioning out of the military. I understood why, but personally felt   Heli-Expo 2017 in March, I shared my perspective with several AA recruiters. I think they may have heard the same sentiment from many other sources as it seems they may be expanding their hiring focus.


The most recent evidence I witnessed was when a pilot recruiter from one of the large HAA (helicopter air ambulance) operators reached out to me with a question. She asked if I had heard from other helicopter  were impacting recruiting and/or retention. I told her that I was unsure and asked if it was impacting her         organization had lost several pilots to the airlines.


I also have seen many of my colleagues who are well established, career helicopter pilots working hard to


4 July/Aug 2017


 that she had just completed jet training and was leaving a major HAA to take a corporate jet gig as a SIC (second-in-command). My presumption is that she 


We’ve had a logjam in the pilot ranks for the last six to eight years. It seems market forces are busting it up and creating new opportunities for pilots in many sectors. The question becomes: Who’s it good for? What may be good for pilots may not be good for helicopter operators’ businesses. Only time and Mr. Market will tell.


  share your experience.


Lyn Burks, Editor-In-Chief


Publisher Brig Bearden


brig@rotorcraftpro.com Editor-In-Chief


Lyn Burks


lyn.burks@rotorcraftpro.com Assistant Editor


Pam Landis


pam.landis@rotorcraftpro.com Account Executive


Teri Rivas


teri.rivas@rotorcraftpro.com Layout Design


Bryan Matuskey Boris Grauden


production@rotorcraftpro.com Online Accounts Manager


Lynnette Burks


lynnette.burks@rotorcraftpro.com Copy Editor


Rick Weatherford


rick@rotorcraftpro.com Social Media Guru Laura Lentz


Subscription / Circulation Manager Pam Fulmer


Contributing Writers


James Careless Sharon Desfor


Rick Weatherford Eric Lian


Matt Johnson


Randy Mains Brad McNally Tim Pruitt


Randy Rowles Scott Skola


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