I am the guy who started the argument about HAA being a BS job, i.e., full manning or staffing is not the end of the world, and as far as the companies are concerned, in many or most cases it is just not a problem with them.
Now you say you disagree, but, your whole post is documenting and agreeing with exactly what I'm saying.
But either you don't see that or I am not being clear.
I will make another effort: The whole issue is about some Squeaker who is apparently upset because some company or other has a lot of "openings!!" and he or she (I guess) thinks this is a national tragedy or maybe some kind of key intelligence indicator of deep trouble with that particular operator.
But it's neither. It just means that companies go along just fine with partial manning of Bases and even with some OOS time, or maybe even a lot, at a Base.
Guys don't understand business at all. That's why they are helicopter pilots. God bless 'em. Somebody has to do it and it takes a lot of stupidity to start with it and stay with it. But an understanding of business is not required.
Here is the juice: It costs a lot more money to hire, train, pay, and give benefits to four guys than it does to pay overtime to keep a base in service. Workover is less than the total cost of getting and keeping another employee. And, whatever "profit" the companies lose by OOS time is made up for by the money they save in pilot hiring, benefits, and other costs of having an employee, in the amount of short staffing.
So here is the takeaway: First, you agree with me because you in effect are describing the reality of what I am describing in principle.
Second, These pilot openings drag on and on and hiring takes forever because the openings are not hurting the companies, in fact they are helping the bottom line. You can be DAMNED SURE that anything that REALLY IMPACTS THE BOTTOM LINE in a corporation will be solved DAMNED QUICK. If you see some problem that limps along and limps along for weeks and months, you can be sure it might be YOUR PROBLEM, but it is NOT THE CORPORATION'S PROBLEM.