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let it go man......take a deep breath......count to 10....let the so called "ski dudes" hang 10 all day on the mountain.

 

it'll all be ok

 

you need a hug :D

 

 

Im touched! Thanks! :)

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Mike,   When the new style forum came out Ms Head's name was on the masthead. From this I concluded she was in charge of the program. If this is incorrect, I sincerely apologize.   My remarks, how

And there goes another "good guy" that has contributed much back to the industry......!

Before I even think of entertaining your request about my experience, let me pick your brain on this comment.   Everyone, and I mean everyone, will agree that landing in deep powder (which is what i

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Yes agreed lots of landings! New challenges every day, Keeping customers happy. Whoopi thats what I have to do on any job. What about bucketing on a fires thats X amount of loads and doing snowmen there are I would say an equal amount if not more collective movements.

 

Every job has unique challenges granted. But when some Heliski guy tells me that this work in particular is so different from mountain winter ops that there requires a whole bunch of new training and that a guy with 1000hrs in the mountains on a 205 wont cut it I say you are full of crap.

 

The job I do now, over water night NVG ops has its little tricks, but it doesn't take a god like pilot to do the job, just to know what to look for to keep it safe. Do guys get trained to do this "highly specialized work" sure all the time.

 

Seems to me that as soon as you say the word "heliski" all of a sudden its some kind of special top secret operation that is really hard to get into.... Why???? Sounds like a bunch of secret society elitist crap to me!!!

:rolleyes:

 

Nuf said!

 

P5

 

 

Little suspicious of hugs all around what with all the talk about goats and such. But hey if goats are your thing you will see a few cute ones out heliskiing.

 

Thought I'd post on this topic since I have a perspective most of you here do not. Just over the 1000 hour hump and summer employed but my winter work is still heliski guiding. First to the OP yes I think the 130 will make a good heliski machine. The number of seats versus power/performance should make it better than the 407 and B2. Heliski companies usually don't want to pay for the B3 because you don't get another bum just more performance and cost. The customers will like the view, but it comes down to how much fuel can you put in and how many lifts does that give with typical heliski weights. If it is equal or better than the 407 with no more cost then it will work. Sahtu Helicopters had a 130 at the base my rookie year and the base manager who flew it most in the McKenzie's thought it would be a good ski machine.

 

I've been a heliski guide for 12 years, and ski patrol before that for 11. Guessing around 2000 hours as a customer with dozens of operators and scores of pilots. So to P5 I have likely flown with way more pilots than you. I think you are making a really big deal about little to do with the OP. All the pilots I have flown with have been very experienced and very skilled. Not all of them have made it as ski pilots. Some just don't like it, or don't adapt to the particular aspects of the job. It is a very specialized job which requires some skills that some excellent pilots I've flown with are not interested in developing. As a high time guy do you want to do 75 landings in super low visibility near the performance limits of the machine all for under 3 hours hobbs? The amount of logistics and communication, fuel stress, early starts, weather stress, talking with clients, talking with guides, talking with company management, etc... is just not what some guys want to do. The stress per hour flown ratio is ridiculous. Having said that on the glory days when the weather cooperates most pilots say it's the most satisfying flying of their career.

 

So P5 from the perspective of a guide you don't have to be some godlike pilot, but I can tell you it shows when a guy is new to it. As a guide I would way rather work with an experienced ski pilot than someone learning the ropes though you're right a 10K guy should pick it up pretty fast but it still shows. I can see why ROO would prefer to hire experienced ski pilots because it's a known thing. Kind of like no one wants to hire me this summer to move drills with an AS350 even though I just got endorsed on it. Oh well, will just keep paying my dues trying to keep well rounded.

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Some thoughts....

1). It IS different.

Then again, all types of flying are. Ski pilots don't have to be 'godly' or wear 'Columbia' jackets, but heli-skiing requires some extra training and subsequent skills.

Mountain and/or winter experience are great assets to look for in a potential ski pilot, but the candidate will still need extra training.....especially on the Pilot Decision Making process.

 

2). Please don't ask about "super low vis".....(chuckle).

Of course it is 1/2 mile, but every pilot's personal 1/2 mile is a different length.....and that will look like about one mile to a guide!! (Just teasing, guides).

Seriously, every pilot's view will be different, depending on their comfort level.

But they MUST have a point where they say NO, and be very comfortable with saying it.

Not having a 'baseline' will lead to a lot of confusion, pressure and eventually big trouble.

 

3). Heliskiguide, good attitude for a 1000 hour guy, (or any hours, actually).

Being able to look around (especially at yourself) and keeping your mind open is essential in this business. It's a pity one guy here can't do that.

 

4). WTF....your comments about the number of wrecks and fatalities is way out of line.

When we consider how many helicopters are skiing each winter, and how many challenging take-offs and landings (the most critical stage of flight) they all do, the accident rate is very low.

That doesn't mean it is acceptable....no accident rate above zero is acceptable.

 

Ski pilots and management should be proud of this record, and continue to constantly strive for an accident-free season. One part of doing that is by hiring the right pilot for the job, and ensuring he gets the training and support he needs to do such different (difficult?) work

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Please define super low vis??

 

 

Ya define super low vis.....???

 

How about 200ft over the indian ocean at night on NVG with no coast guard to come save your arse, and zero reference to the horizon at times, add to it some really radical Somali dude with a RPG7 just waiting for you to show up and try to ruin his day.

 

There must be some kind of aptitude test for heli ski pilot tryouts?? I'd like a copy of that exam! For sure voicing an opinion or heaven forbid disagreeing would seemingly detail a an automatic fail!! :lol: or any variance in compliance according to the asch program.

 

I know what about heli snow boarding?? christ that must be a whole new set of winter flying criteria, considering the winter work i did involved crews with snow shoes, and we know that skiis make a huge difference, or maybe because they are closer to the shape of snowshoes its not applicable after all. :wacko:

 

Yes please define low vis........

 

p5

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Ya define super low vis.....???

 

 

 

p5

 

 

Well here is what I meant and experienced just a few days ago. Flying into a landing with about a mile visibility, but overcast and lots of clouds moving around making landings come in and out of possibility. The light on short final is so flat it becomes Alice in Wonderland as you get close and then add blowing snow. Tricky winds on top of it all. You lose the flag on short final and it reappears just as you land. There is sometimes a commitment phase where your approach better take you to a perfect no hover spot landing cause you can't see anything in the "super low vis". I'm not ready for this kind of flying yet, but at least I know what it is so I can avoid.

 

Super low visibility is not a horizontal measurement, it's a function of the conditions when everything is white and gray and there is very little contrast and no definite horizon. Sometimes I get out of the helicopter and get vertigo while trying to ski down. My clients have my track to follow for reference but all I have is memory of the terrain in this flat light condition. I've trained my inner ear balance for these conditions by riding my unicycle with my eyes closed, but this doesn't help flying the helicopter because the forces of flight fool the inner ear.

 

The whole point here P5 is that any specialized flying takes training. It helps to be a good stick with heaps of hours. I'm nowhere ready to contemplate what you're talking about at night over water with guys shooting either. I would like to get my IR just to be a better pilot but my path is northern bush and mountains for now.

 

I see adds all the time for specialized flying. Production longline, precision drill moves, night IFR, heliskiing... you name it. Not every high time guy walks into these jobs without some background or experience because the client doesn't want to pay for you to learn the job on his dime. It sounds like you have done a lot and are pretty well rounded as a pilot P5 so you could transition into heliskiing. I don't think it's elitist and the ski pilots I've worked with have generally been less egoist than the industry average in my opinion. It's hard for me to know if I will be a really good sling pilot because I have less than 50 hours doing it. Go ahead and try heliskiing you might like it and be a natural, or you might not but it will take some training.

 

Oh yeah back to the OP. The BM at Sahtu liked the 130 as a sling machine because you fly left side and have a great view with the door off. It was a good fire machine he liked bucketing with it and the crews love the view. So you can work it both seasons.

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Well here is what I meant and experienced just a few days ago. Flying into a landing with about a mile visibility, but overcast and lots of clouds moving around making landings come in and out of possibility. The light on short final is so flat it becomes Alice in Wonderland as you get close and then add blowing snow. Tricky winds on top of it all. You lose the flag on short final and it reappears just as you land. There is sometimes a commitment phase where your approach better take you to a perfect no hover spot landing cause you can't see anything in the "super low vis". I'm not ready for this kind of flying yet, but at least I know what it is so I can avoid.

 

Super low visibility is not a horizontal measurement, it's a function of the conditions when everything is white and gray and there is very little contrast and no definite horizon. Sometimes I get out of the helicopter and get vertigo while trying to ski down. My clients have my track to follow for reference but all I have is memory of the terrain in this flat light condition. I've trained my inner ear balance for these conditions by riding my unicycle with my eyes closed, but this doesn't help flying the helicopter because the forces of flight fool the inner ear.

 

The whole point here P5 is that any specialized flying takes training. It helps to be a good stick with heaps of hours. I'm nowhere ready to contemplate what you're talking about at night over water with guys shooting either. I would like to get my IR just to be a better pilot but my path is northern bush and mountains for now.

 

I see adds all the time for specialized flying. Production longline, precision drill moves, night IFR, heliskiing... you name it. Not every high time guy walks into these jobs without some background or experience because the client doesn't want to pay for you to learn the job on his dime. It sounds like you have done a lot and are pretty well rounded as a pilot P5 so you could transition into heliskiing. I don't think it's elitist and the ski pilots I've worked with have generally been less egoist than the industry average in my opinion. It's hard for me to know if I will be a really good sling pilot because I have less than 50 hours doing it. Go ahead and try heliskiing you might like it and be a natural, or you might not but it will take some training.

 

Oh yeah back to the OP. The BM at Sahtu liked the 130 as a sling machine because you fly left side and have a great view with the door off. It was a good fire machine he liked bucketing with it and the crews love the view. So you can work it both seasons.

 

 

Couple of things, with your weather discription, maybe you should be back at the lodge a little more often?? An old timer once told me when the weather is getting bad and you don't like it, look around the machine to smiling faces who have no clue the stress you are going thru and if they did would gladly go back to a warm lodge. If the weather is so bad you can't ski without getting into vertigo, do you think maybe the pilot is a machine, ps the weather sucked,,,go home. Have had guides say the wind is too strong go home please. It is ok to live another day man. Yes ski pilots are to be respected but is kind of like getting your 4 x 4 stuck,,,if you push it too far and get stuck, you are really stuck. This has been proven in certain ski areas over and over.

 

You bowel movement? or do you mean your base manager? So the base manager likes to fly doors off,,,,does he like rain and snow too. What a ridiculous aircraft that still after how many years no one has put a door on it to sling with. Until such time it will be some large overwieght summer fun machine, unless someone is silly enough to get for skiing only. The very first ship went west to be used skiing, it was too heavy and the gentleman has used a B3 since. Maybe the new ones are light enough to make work but if you would buy one based upon empty weight numbers from a website then well,,,there is one born every day. The aircraft does have a place in the industry but is kind of like certain people here, a very small place.

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I can’t resist but to add my two cents. Having worked with a great many pilots over the years from hundred hour wonders that have scared the #### out of me blindly flying into fog to IFR pilots that have scared the #### out of me by confidently flying into fog. Pilots like people from all walks of life have vastly different personalities and by their nature are better suited for different operations. I have never had anything to do with heliski operations but can conclude that the customer is what makes the difference. Generally we transport passengers who are not actually the paying customer whether it is line cutters, drillers, riggers, medics, geologists, hydro crews etc. These are people who are going to work and are not there for the holiday type experience. For these jobs the pilot’s personality is really not terribly important, that is to say he/she need only be civil with the client. For a heliski trip a pilot is carrying multiple paying customers who may be there for a once in a life time experience. Ideally the client should feel that they have had a wonderful, safe experience and the pilot was great guy/girl and all this being done in what I can only imagine to be sometimes difficult conditions. Helisking is part of the huge West Coast tourist industry and the pilot may make difference between a Fawlty Towers and Hilton (not Paris) experience. Before hiring a pilot, find out what they did before becoming a pilot, how many accident free hours they have, go out to dinner with them and if they hit on the waitress, don’t offer to pick up the tab then what you got is a Medivac pilot. Sorry it’s just a joke.

 

Cheers,

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