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Choker Chaser


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If a "high' time IFR pilot with an average history of VFR work, but without mountain or much longline time wanted to become a longline logging guru (...as he once dreamed before reality and the need to eat drove him to IFR...) in the mountains of BC; how would you suggest he do it?


Desire is to fly heavy lifting metal but appreciate that you must crawl before walking. I also need to find someone that is not suspicious or derogatory about having an ex-IFR driver on the team. I just need to learn.


I want to fly shake blocks or chockers (?) and be able to be sufficiently rewarded for working hard and good production work. Is this the correct path or is there another?


Currently I'm on a good wage but life is to short to live in regret or to spend it teaching cojoes how to land on rigs.


I have oodles of twin time for what good it is.


I really drool at the photos 407 posts of BC. Do you need any help out there??


Thanks in advance for your replies.

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It sounds like you have time on big Sikorskys, an ATPL etc.....so now all you need is to be able to fly a long-line without taking all day to deliver the hook or load.


Flying chokers with a 206 for a heli-logging company is a great place to learn this skill, to experience camp life, to learn about logging, and to see if you really want to pull wood etc. etc.

The company will also get to know you and decide if you have what it takes to move up.

Contact the biggies on the West Coast that operate their own choker ships, probably VIH Logging, Hayes, Helifor.


Flying cedar shakes with a 500, or flying seismic bags in Alberta are other great places to learn how to move a load quickly on 150' of line. These jobs are rare lately.


Some companies don't fly chokers with the small ship, you just move crews, so you won't get much long-line time like that.

Some companies hire a support ship from a seperate contractor as necessary, so you won't get the same chance to 'move up'.

Working as a co-jo on a 214 in the interior of BC probably won't get you much time on the long-line.

However, consider all offers that come along,

You've got quite a task ahead of you, and you'll find you are just one of many with the desire to fly heli-logging.

Good luck.


P.S. Choker 'chasers' are the kids that take the chokers off the logs, coil them, then hook these bundles onto the choker pilot's long-line. They hope to be 'riggers' one day, they are the guys that put the chokers onto the logs, and then hook them onto the logging ship.

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