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Subject: Heli-One Colorado and Omniflight revisited
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toddspuriscalUser is Offline
JH Member
JH Member
Posts:11

12/08/2011 11:41 AM  
By way of background info, I was a lead mechanic at H1 from the start to finish of the Omniflight contract.(fiasco) Without getting into finger pointing about condition of aircraft on induction VS release to service, quality of maintenance on either side etc,here are  some observations.

Certain people at Omni apparently wanted this contract to fail from the beginning, namely Jim Fisher, Mark Breton and Mike ??? (forget his name, SW regional MM).

I suppose the reason for them wanting the contract to fail was due to the layoff of a large number of their mechanics, so the motive was revenge.

The contract was vague and poorly defined from the beginning. H1 was not in a position to fulfill their end and Omni did not adhere to the requirements of their own AAIP. Omni kept changing the requirements and our own (H1) management just knuckled under each time they did. Tim Shannon, the DOM at H1 and a fine person, lost his job because he kept telling management we (H1) couldn't deliver under the terms of the contract. We had insufficient trained and qualified personnel, insufficient time and we had constant problems with H1 management in Canada and more.

Canada kept a constant stream of middle management (experts?!) flowing through H1 Colorado. Problem solvers and efficiency experts they were supposed to be. None of them would listen to what the lead mechanics had to say. Nothing improved.

The concept of the contract was interesting, it was called power by the hour. We from H1 have never fully understood how that was defined - there were a lot of problems and confusion in logistics, who paid for what, etc etc.
This contract was doomed to fail from the start. I believe Omni's management knew that and were buying time so that they could either get back on their feet again or at least get a decent price in event of a sale or merger. It was common knowledge that Omni was in trouble at the time the contract was signed. Omni got 21 million from H1 for their inventory and some tools. That was enough to keep them operating for awhile.

Now Air Methods owns Omni so I guess things are probably a lot better for the ex-Omni employees. The one thing that amazes me is that AM kept Jim Fisher around.

This was a bad experience for a lot of people who were caught up in a really screwed up situation that they could do nothing about. To the Omni wrenches that lost their jobs: I hope things have turned around for you by now.

You may or may not know that when the contract was finally terminated H1 shut down base maintenance and all the mechanics and leads were laid off except for a very few who went to the engine shop. (at a lower rate of pay)
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