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Bears Vs. Helicopters

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How about TRAINED BEARS? Sorry -couldn't resist!


Here is a bear/helicopter urban legend.


In the late 70's


Anyhoo many years ago somewhere west of Baker Lake:

2 fellows in a 500 chase a Barren Land Grizzly (ignoring the "One Pass Haul *** Rule") in order to get great photos.

They then fly off over the horizon to camp leaving one tired, pissed off bear. Bear takes a bearing on the departing helo and sets off.


Our heroes land back at camp tell all the great story of daring do - off to bed.

Early in the morning there is a considerable disturbance at the helipad where there are 3 identically painted 500's parked.


Everybody runs to scene where they see one grizzly departing over the hill and one 500 considerably worse for wear. Strangely enough it is the one that chased the bear.


Lesson learned - Barren Land Grizzly can read registrations.


Parts required - Helicopter assembly complete.

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I do remember a time not long ago just North of High Level (not my favorite place) a good bear story begins.


So there I was supporting a treeplanting camp with the AS350 and my Apprenti AME (a young, keen Apprentice, but the big farm boy type) So it was grocery run day, not unusual for a camp of 50 persons. We prepared the machine at the fuel cache located about 300 meters from the main camp in a smaller cutblock. The plan was to for me to fly roadside for the grocery's and the Apprenti would walk back to camp and help unload the net and recover it again for the next load of supplies. All went well until I returned back to the cutblock where our fuel was. There was the Apprentice on top of the fuel drums waving a large stick around. I saw him there and was frustrated and confused at him for not being able to follow our simple plan for unloading the groceries! Minutes later, after dropping the grocery's off I returned back to the fuel cache to have a 'talk' with him. Out of some small bushes, I saw the problem, a bear. I landed shut down, and never saw someone so happy to see me, or get into a helicopter any faster. Apparently the Apprentice was walking happly back to camp with good intentions of helping out when a mother bear with 2 cubs decided he was in her way! She treed the 2 cubs and then pursued the threat of the Apprentice where he took refuge to the top of the fuel drums grabbing a stick on thw way up, for what, I don't know but he thought it was a good idea, mearly trying to defend himself.


He told me the mother bear paced back and forth around the drums until the sound and sight of the returning helicopter chased her off. I don't think I laughed so hard ever! Anyways from that day forward he always packed the handheld radio, and always had the shotgun nearby, I think he even slept with it under his pillow.


Good Times!

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Flew a staker dude a while back, his claim to fame, well not a claim but a true story, was that he killed a black bear with one swing of his axe, after the bear had grabbed him by the balls. Think IIRC he ended up on Oprah or some such show, but was politely stopped from dropping his pants to show off said wound.......You out there Mookie. :lol:

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Once had a bear try to eat an ELT. The bear peeled open the chin bubble window (removable type) from a Jetranger, and took a swat at the ELT, enough to remove part of the metallic sticker and leave three nice claw marks on the ELT. The ELT didn't go off, and the chin bubble window was perfectly re-useable. The window rubber seal had a small tear in it, so I decided to change the rubber. Other than that there was no damage. When the pilot phoned me up and and was trying to explain to me how a bear had tried to eat his ELT, I decided I had had enough of pilot stories and 'mysterious problems' so I called BS on him. I never would've believed it had I not gone out to the site to put the bubble window back in and inspect the ELT.


Another time I was replacing a gauge in the instrument panel of a Jetranger with the pilot chit-chatting beside me. He hopped out to untie the blades for a ground run, and promptly hopped back in cursing and swearing, having found a bear sniffing at the stinger. It was a hot day, and I had my leg dangling out to prop the door open for a breeze. Given a few more minutes, the bear might've been sniffing at my leg. Apparently the bear was just as scared of the pilot as the pilot was of it, and the bear turned around and ran off.

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I recall a very shapely female pilot telling me that as she was doing her post-flight paperwork on a 204, she happened to look up and out the LH sling-bubble to see a Black bear scratch the window... sure'nough there were 4 deep scratches in the plastic when I looked the next day. I didn't know where the bear went or how is hung around, but she wasn't too spooked.. she had the starter button under finger the whole time...lol

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Polar bears love to wreck choppers...go to the hudson bay coast and park for awhile...Midwest changed lots of windows up in churchill..bears would climb on the front windows and go right through...don,t leave yesterdays lunch in the machine overnight :lol: finally had to park in the rocket range hangar :P

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