Ex Groundcrew

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by shshelicopters, Jan 20, 2006.

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  1. I am looking for ex Groundcrew to share their thoughts on how their experience was recognised by civvy helicopter companies. Did you find that all of your groundy training meant very little because it wasn't recognised and that civvy operators would prefer a peice of paper that documented your experience and qualifications.
    The reason I would like this is so that i can put it on my website as a cover story titled Bridging the Gap, if I use your story I will apply for the sender to get the new city and guilds heli handling qualification free of charge.
    Your help is greatly appreciated.
  2. I know that you can now get an NVQ in "Airport Ramp Services" now days ...because they are trying to promote the fact you now leave with recognised quals.
  3. Aircraft ground handling at my local airport (BIA) is an unqualified job, low paid, mostly agency employees.
  4. When I left I applied for new positions at Manchester airport once the second runway opened as either groundcrew or refueller. I had that document from manning and records detailing my B1 Groundcrew job spec. Apparently this meant jack in the civvie world. I never got the job. I understand the positions are diluted now with agency type workers (as stated by Jinxy above). Refuellers come and go. It's shift work and the real money is on the grave yard shift but who wants to leave and work nights for the rest of their civvie working life for less then a tenner an hour?

    Edit for mistakes.
  5. The helicopter handling qualification can also count towards ramp qualifications, passenger handling qualifications, offshore training amongst many others.
  6. i was actually offered a job as a groundie with the officer training flight at my local raf base. The job was jack of all trades really, drive them about to courses and exercises, refuel the fixed wing. they were happy with my ground handling experience(i knew 7 years as a bowser mong in HQ would not be wasted).

    The only drawback at the time was the pay, talking 1997, top line was £210. I would have had 1/2 hour travel so car and fuel costs would have brought this wage straight down.

    Applied for a job with the helicopter company's up in aberdeen, they were keen to interview but they required that I move to aberdeen as emergency cover when off shift and it was more of a night shift than anything else.

    I dont really think that my b1 groundie job description helped with any of these jobs, the fact that I had worked around cabs and had refuelling experience appeared to be enough for them.
  7. Having worked for a major airline and a support company non required evidance from the MOD of my experience since both provided in house training which you had to complete before taking up the post however the term Ramp Agent in both companies I worked for took this as BAGGAGE HANDLER and FLIGHT/GROUND DISPATCHER to be the person on the gate that did weight, balance and fuel figures or the person in the flight dispatch/crew office.

    There was talk and still is of introducing the US style Dispatcher license but I think it has yet to or will never get off the ground (based on cost to companies and the relative high seasonal turn over of staff) but if anyone is looking for a Dispatcher job you will find most airlines/companies are now look for experience of JAA operations ability to co-ordination all the various activities surrounding arrival and departure of flights, liaising closely with Government Departments (immigration, customs etc) and outside agencies (other company doing baggage, fuel, aircraft cleaning, aircraft maintenance and food company) and lets not forget the X$$%X% passengers in order to achieve a safe and punctual departure.

    So you are aware most airline type companies employ staff on short term contracts from March/April and release staff around October at the end of the summer rush if they have a vacancy at the end of the season they tend to advertise internal and external so its a bit of a free for all, most jobs work on a shift system so expect a few days of early start, late finish even both at times, if the shift happens to cover a bank holiday do not expect time off (okay some companies do but I do know a few that if it happens tuff it's part of the job) if you are on a short contract do not expect to get paid if you take a holiday during the high season.

    Unfortunately there are not that many helicopter companies that have large numbers of ground staff from what I have come across it is the techs that do most of the ground handling (tug drivers need a licence for larger fixed wing aircraft), the refuelling is done by someone that has licence to drive tanker/bowser, ADR most have/are trained in house by the fuel company and yes pilots carry their own bags.

    From my point of view, experience or a qualification in JAA regulation such as JAR-OPS 1 (Commercial Air Transportation Aeroplane) and JAR-OPS 3 (Commercial Air Transportation Helicopter) along with all the others like JAR-11 (JAA Regulatory and Related Procedures) would be of greater value however the military are not required to follow them.

    NVQ's gained in military environments have very little impact/value on a commercial business which has completely different requirement. When I first left the most common question asked was "what commercial experiance do you have?"

    One more thing look at the company and the job you are thinking of going for, visit the company if possible to see what commercial value you can bring to them it pains me to say this but the commercial value of some AAC/RAF groundcrew jobs are some what restricted to a few companies with very few vacancies and in many cases can be done by civpot for a lot less than some of you.

    If you can not bring a commercial value to the company you are an overhead which they do not need BAGGAGE HANDLERS wages are low for example Standsted £6.50 - £9.50 depending on shift E.Midlands £6.20 - £7.45 per hour.

    If you want to impress show you have gone out your way by getting knowledge, experience and/or qualified/licensed in the regulation that relate to the industry and have where possible used it in practice.
  8. Nothing like saying in, a whole chapter what I said in a sentance is there?
  9. I heard that one ex groundy who once wrapped himself in a mattress and crashed his car into a tree to claim on the insurance became has become a 'Tree Surgeon' is this true?
  10. Yep its true Blez now works for himself making lots of money cutting down tree`s in rural Wiltshire...... Just goes to show there is life after 22 years in.

    As for Mil quals helping in civy Street Naaah .... the best thing you can have is a freind on the inside who can help you onto the 1st rung on the ladder
  11. Aah Blesma...yes I knocked him down with my car once. He was strolling across the hockey pitch cum Active Edge assembly area cum skating rink cum 654 / 659 fireworks battle dividing line one day as I was fast approaching Block 57 in my pussy wagon (a lime green Mk 2 Escort). I aimed for him …as you would, but in a moment of public spiritedness and sympathy I avoided him. But he had to go and shout ‘Missed me!’ At the second attempt, I watched him roll over the bonnet and through my now broken wing mirror I saw him fall in a heap onto the tarmac. He had the audacity to try and limp to the RMP block to get me charged for reckless driving. What a bloke! He tried to nick my hairy German girlfriend later on but that’s another story…But to get back onto the thread in question I worked for an Aircraft Engineering company at Belfast International doing fuel sediment checks, starts and pushbacks on Airbus 330's, having got the position based on military groundcrew experience and exaggeration. All the engineers and management were ex-RAF. The pay wasn't so great but the contam fuel kept me in heating oil for years.
  12. Was Blesma wearing a canoeing helmet, a pair of roll mats and a doss bag round his waste a the time? :):)
  13. Going back to the ramp ops NVQ the tosspot at MW is stilll mapping the qualification acroos from the military to civvy. Its only been 2 years since he started. Maybe you can go and have a word with him Flash and kick his arse somewhat
  14. GNVQ's! Hmm, Stick to doing TIME as a groundie, knowing full well that most airports have never heard of Westland Wheels (the devil created them). Experience counts for more than these plastic quals. You will leave on a +30k job as a stripey if u really want to. I may suggest there are better ways to ignite the quality of experience you have gained from all those years of giving the thumbs up to the jockeys.
  15. I tried to get a job at Teeside Airpoet when I left in 1998 but they referred me to all of the Airline Head Offices. I also tried to get a job at Oxford Airport but was told that the companies there tend to double up the techs as groundies. Typical bloody techs. ALWAYS RUIN IT FOR YOU!!!!!!!