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Heroic Abbotsford Helicopter Pilot Honoured

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Heroic Abbotsford helicopter pilot honoured



Abbotsford helicopter pilot Gene Drader received a standing ovation as he was presented with a certificate of appreciation scroll by Mission Mayor Abe Neufeld Monday night. Drader had helped put out a brush fire on Gunn Avenue in April.


Neufeld thanked Drader and said Mission will pay for costs incurred when Drader made an estimated 25 water drops to extinguish the fire.


The fire burned two hectares of land, but council believed it would have been much worse if it wasn't for Drader's heroic action.


Abbotsford News

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It is nice to see recognition for the actions taken by a fellow pilot. The general public should be more informed as to types of work and public services we provide.


Was wondering about the word heroic. Forgive me but what did Mr Drader do that we would deem heroic. Not wanting to take anything away from his award but just don't know the whole story.



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It's good to be lucky and lucky to be good.....I know the feeling, in the mid 70's the AME I was working with, well we with did free drops of several 75lb fire hose bags in our strait 206L (G-QIX) with flames lapping up on both sides of the helicopter in Kirkland Lake Ont. We could not long line it in, flames were to intense so we dropped the hose on an EFF's hard hat as a target in an area 1/2 km away. It help control the fire getting closer to the inital attack crews.....some of which did have to hit the drink.


Then in 1980 pulled 5 hunters out of the woods in a 500D (G-KHR) after 3 days of being missing, one found his way into our camp......he was a mess. We took the doors off and dropped into a hole no bigger than a button. Took all 5 out with a little green on the blades....no selt belts for the passengers, just did our deed.


Yup, good to be lucky and lucky to be good.....


The above is a true story......but it is nice to see some get the credit owing.



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Every helicopter pilot flying fires is somewhat of a "Hero" as far as I'm concerned or an idiot, which ever comes first. did you ever calculate where you would go with an engine failure. What part of the barbecue you would become????


Oh, by the way my flying carreer came to a halt in 87 on the way from Manitouage to Dryden to fight a fire.


Burnt the float on a Bell 47G4A out of Kenora landing in a fire zone.


And the story goes on and on and on and onnnnnnnnn.


Cheers Don


PS: Almost as bad as flying power line patrol between 735kv lines between Quebec City and Les Outrades in a Bell 47G2A, before it was outlawed.

Pucker factor was awsome, man.


Autrotation doing power line patrol, you do not lower the collective as it only increases your rate od descent.

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