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Heli-Tour Ripoff?

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The originator of that post is obviously disgruntled and only has partial knowledge of not much...in my opinion, a dangerous individual.


Old machines, leased machines...well, that's the norm for a lot of operators. You can't beat a good old Jetranger for what she does. Relatively easy to maintain, great to train on, will fly to it's limits predictably, and still one of the safest reputations as far as helicopter types.

They recently added a couple of AS350's, so not exactly tired old machines there. Anyone who's been in this industry for any amount of real time knows the age of the machine does not reflect anything other that good maintenance along the way, regardless of owners; and yes, some don't maintain them as well as others.


As far as this operation, I know for certain the machines are maintained very well, no problems with parts and required maintenance. Qualifications and ability of the current and past maintenance crews...very good to excellent.


As far as using weigh scales, very smart, Pilots ensuring loads are within limitations for the elements...very smart, Pilots actually studying the flight manual to verify that they can actually take off and land with the load for the conditions...very smart, great training. If a Pilot feels the winds or other conditions exceed his capabilities at that time and brings that up, that was respected and another Pilot would be assigned the flight...no disrespect, rather a remark of good decision making was given.


As far as low time Pilots, everyone starts somewhere, and they don't carry passengers for hire until they meet very strict requirements proving they can handle the aircraft in the winds, temperatures, weights, etc. Starting with two-packs, no intentional off site landings, growing and developing in a very challenging environment. What excellent opportunity to learn how to fly!!


Hard guy to work for...yes, until you prove yourself and then it's firm and more fair. He's not interested in accidents, pushing Pilots to fly when unsafe, or providing anything but a great flight experience for the paying customers. It is a very challenging evironment for low time Pilots; both flying and working very hard (hard work is a good thing to see in this somewhat indulged time...weeds out the primmadonnas) in addition to flying; I don't envy them, many don't like it, but it takes all types to make it work and it's my opinion that Pilots flying and working for more than two seasons there, have the mettle to make it work "out in the field", and I would work with any of them anytime!

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Interesting read,


-40 year old iron...in Canada that would be situation normal to the exception of the drive train, transmission, engion, blades etc, etc.


-Anyone that has a flown a 206 and NOT have the doors open in flight is a rare breed in my opinion.


-I would be very, very concerned if I flew with a company that WAS NOT watching the bottom line.


-Flying with a stopwatch...whoda thunk


As for Icefields hiring practices well... I have to be honest; If Chopperman didn't hire me IceFields was my next stop ( I did pay for my 206 endorsement and PPC BTW). It's a tough buisiness, for pilot's and owner's alike. Should anybody disagree that strongly then I would suggest you "grow a pair", buy your own machine and then hire a 100 hr wonder for 60 000 a year and fly him for only 3 months a year.


Fly Safe



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did you know you have to pay 25K for the 25hrs of training you need from him before you get a PPC


What I got in so many words from him was that hed rather take mommy and daddys money from so many of these people (not all).


unfortunately it is getting harder for lowtimers to get there start at Icefield. Although if you show up with 25hrs turbine then you do not need to pay for the 25hr mountain course.


As you mentioned he will be blunt and in your face and may tell you things you don't want to hear but he will give anyone a chance to prove themselves. A rather large pilot showed up a couple years ago and was told he was a little on the heavy side to be a pilot and that if he where to work at Icefield then he would not fly as much as the other pilots due to the max gross weight issue.


As for taking mommy and daddy's money I don't believe a single current employee has been given the money by their parents. Those types usually never work out or last too long and in my opinion are a waste of everyone's time if hired.

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This forum topic is one that makes me laugh every year! Yeah its sad how an operator will gladly take 25k off you for a summers worth of hard work and possibly in return you may get to fly 50 hrs or so and make a couple bucks.

The real question is why are there people working there? Yes i understand how low-timers have the dream of flying, but to pay for a job??? Guys/Gals give your head a shake! if no one works for this operator under those conditions just maybe he would have to change the way he runs his business??


Now yeah in reality there always seems to be that guy who will do it and gladly take it, and thats what the industry deals with all the time, I saw a guy begging for his job back one spring after he was laid off in the fall. He walked into the ops managers office discussing wages and every time he had come back the wages had dropped. Eventually the guy got his job back and was working there for next to nothing!


I would say its a bit unfair to just blame the operators that do this sort of BS, what about the people that work for them in these situations?


Now wheres HEPAC when you need them?

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Well Kilomike I believe the Presidents position for HEPAC is open....why don't you take it and get all these "low timers" some jobs. Add to the solution instead of b1tching about the problem!


Ooops, sorry to all in advance if i happen to offend anyone with my previous post.

I am in no way mocking HEPAC as i supported it when i started, too bad it never lasted. I also dont believe by being president of hepac would give me power to hand low timers jobs lol . And in case you were wondering my posting was about a solution to the problem- low timers dont work for these sorts of places for sub standard wages and maybe the operators hiring "scheme" would have to change for the better.

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