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Road To Ruin

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Do you guys remember what it was that first got you interested in helicopters - other than chicks and big watches. :rolleyes:


For me, it was one summer when I was an EFF (emergency fire fighter). It was 1979, apparently a very bad year for fires - some of you were probably out working some of those fires.


During a stay at a fire camp I got talking to a pilot who offered to take me for a very short ride when he had to re-position his machine accross a small stream. I will never forget the feeling of going vertical and slowly flying over the trees, and then gently touching down on the other side. I was freaking hooked, and remain an addict to this day. I wish I could remember who that wiley veteran was so I could kick his arse. :D


Cheers :up:


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For me it was 1979 as well. I was working summers (between drinking coffee at university) as a forest technician, and we flew every day. I did that for three summers, quit university, and went flying.


Next week will be the end, I'll fly my last hour to renew my IFR and PPC before hanging up the helmet. It's been a hoot.

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No sh!!? Man, that is going to be a tough one. Do you think you will be able to completely stay away, as I assume you have many flying years left in you, or will end up pulling a Michael Jordan, and come out of retirement for a lucrative offer?


Congrats on having a long and diverse career, and one in which you get to go home to momma bear at the end of the day with all your fingers and toes!!!


Bottoms up!! :D




p.s: I guess I could spring for donairs. :up:

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CTD, why renew those 2 rides if you're gonna quit ??? Can't you quit if you're not current?


I started this game in 74-75 in grade 12 with a PPL, then got a CPL-FW in YPK when I was at Maintenance school, worked for OK as an apprentice.

Keith "Squeaky" Bennett was the first pilot I worked with, he took me flying in a 206 that summer in the famous "Budworm" camp in the Fraser Canyon. The camp was half University Girls !

Got my CPL-H in 78, but had to wrench one final year before 'ol Vic Corrie ran me around the patch in Penticton in 79.


Some of the guys around Penticton back then were...


Bud Tillotson - retired legend !!

Freddy Baird- retired legend

Ed Brown - Maintenance

Jan Kadzalawa (sp?) (Rustad) skinny young instructor

Vic Corrie - Instructor

Randy Klohn - Instructor

Wayne Grover -looked the same then as he does today

Ev Cameron-instructor and storyteller extraordinare


Our very own JBC- skinny young student with lots of brown hair !!

Baxter Slade- student

Kenny Steele - student

Bob Hawthorne - student

Tom Arduini - student

Will Thompson - student -Now a Yukon Legend

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I should clarify my time line. I did not empty my piggy bank untill 1990. I did grow up around the industry and got to meet some of the guys who are now veterans.


I watched Bruce Risteau perform one of the biggest hairy a$$ flares I ever saw while training at Al Engst's flight school. Later that year Al burned up his beautifully over-hauled 58 in a grass fire started by it's exhaust.


Hung around with Fred Kueber's kids and was allowed to get close to Buffalo's Allouette II's and gazelle. Fred Funk, Charlie Smith, Dave Reid, Doug Bryerly (sp?)


Met an engineer by the name of Paul ? with Nahanni who was trying to single-handedly vanquish all the women in my small home-town. It's where I first heard the phrase "coyote f---" :D


It's all good!! :up:

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"what started it", sheesh.......come on by's fezz up, same thing that got me started.



Flunked outa school,


Worked for a couple of years do nothing,


Found out I could not even do nothing well,


Lied to get into Pile it school:


And now look at me :blink::blink: :up: :up:


and dats da trut! :up:



Love it though ;)

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My first ride was in a Kenting or OK 206 in the late 70's, I was satisfied that I knew what I wanted to do, Just had to wait until I was old enough (and rich enough) Never got rich enough, just went on a KD diet!


Learned to fly with Keith Veroni in Whitecourt in the early 90's and still in Alberta!

Where are all the chicks and Glory?


Learned alot about the eating habits of mosquitoes, black flies and horse flies.... :o

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Having grown up with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Wabigoon Heliport behind my house Helicopters were a natural progression. I remember watching 206's and 204's take off while I would play in my sand box. And I always wondered why the blades took so long to stop after landing. I believe it was 87 or 88 when Ontario had some big fires. I remember seeing all the helicopters and sneaking in to take a look at them one evening. I remember I was chased away many times but kept returning to peer into the cockpits. All those switches and instruments! Years later my father began flying with Black Bart doing Bell work and his stories and pictures were amazing. Close to my high school graduation I hoped in the car and traveled to North Bay where I met up with Sully and Jeff at Gateway Helicopters. Sully took me up for a half hour and I couldn't hover ....it made me even more determined to fly. A year later I had my license. I have no regrets. Just wish that I could get things going. But with plans on returning to school for aircraft maintenance things are looking up!

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