[EOI] Contract H125/AS350 Ag Pilot – British Overseas Territories

Expression of Interest for an Island Eradication Pilot

We are seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified pilots to assist our company in an island eradication project scheduled to take place in the Southern Hemisphere Winter of 2021. Assisting in this project will help prevent the deaths of more than 900,000 seabirds each year while restoring this remote island to its natural state.

The eradication of the non-native mice will be achieved using helicopters spreading cereal bait in baiting buckets designed and built in New Zealand. The operation will require 4 x Airbus H125/AS350B3 aircraft piloted by 4 suitably qualified pilots. The project was scheduled to take place in the Winter of 2020 but due to the unknown challenges with Covid-19 the decision was made to reschedule for 2021, because of this change we now have ONE pilot position available.

Required Experience

• New Zealand Grade 1 Agricultural Rating (or equivalent)
• Minimum Pilot in Command time 3,000 hours. Including sufficient flight experience to be comfortable flying the aircraft safely with external factors such as birds, wind, turbulence etc
• Minimum GPS time of 1,000 hours
• Minimum baiting time of 500 hours (or a combination of baiting, fertiliser application and seeding) using GPS for accuracy
• Minimum of 200 hours longline experience
• Experience troubleshooting issues with spreading equipment, switching gear, GPS systems and other aircraft systems
• Vessel landing experience
• H125/AS350 experience a must

About You

• Must be able to get on with other people and work for extended periods of time in close contact with others •Team player
• Don’t mind assisting with camp tasks i.e cooking, cleaning, moving bait, assisting the engineers, setting up camp, packing/unpacking the aircraft, working as a ground crew
• Experience working in small teams
• Passionate about projects like this
• Practical thinker
• Very flexible – able to work with ever changing plans (due to factors outside our control).

Some things to keep in mind…….

This project was originally planned to be completed over around 90 days however due to the ever changing Covid-19 pandemic you could spend up to 6 months away from home (this of course is the worst case, but takes into account isolation periods required at the moment and unknown factors).

• The ideal candidate will either currently work for themselves or have a flexible employer
• You need to have some interest in the type of operation we are completing, while you will be getting okay remuneration, we want someone passionate about the operation
• The anticipated flying hours are around 60-100 per pilot
• There will be a lot of sitting around, days on end with no flying and you will be stuck around a small camp with little internet (basically none)
• This is not a touring position, once you are on-site there is no chance to get back to the mainland

A bit more about the project…..

About 2,600 km South West of Cape Town is a small island 6,000ha in size called Gough Island. Part of the UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island is home to more than eight million birds from at least 23 different species, including the northern rockhopper penguin and the Critically Endangered Tristan albatross. This iconic bird, one of the world’s greatest wanderers, is in need of an eleventh-hour intervention.

The RSPB and Tristan da Cunha Island Council have developed an ambitious programme to save the Tristan albatross and other threatened species on Gough, such as the Gough bunting and Atlantic petrel. Successfully restoring the island to its natural state will prevent the deaths of more than 900,000 seabirds each year.By becoming part of our team, you will be required to travel to South Africa to complete a licence validation and law exam around 5 weeks away with current NZ/SA isolation requirements.

Then prior to the operation (Late April/Early May) you will once again travel to South Africa to assist in the ferry flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town before assisting the team disassemble the helicopters and pack them onto the ship. After 6 days at sea you will arrive at Gough Island, unpack the helicopters, unload around 400 tonnes of bait, fuel, food and other supplies off the ship. Once unpacking of the ship has been completed the ship will depart. Over the next 60-90 days we will hopefully cover the island with brodifacoum 3 times (applications around 2 weeks apart).

The ship will then return (early September at the latest) to take us all home!

To express your interest in this operation or to request a little more information please email us with your basic experience and why this project interests you.

Email – goughpilots@gmail.com

Source: Island Eradication Pilot Expression of Interest (NZ) – Bladeslapper

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