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External Loads-what Have You Dropped?


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I do know the name of the said pilot that had his head stuck in the window...it was -40 out and he had to fly back to camp which was guite a distance and he almost died from frost bite...and that was the last time we every saw him wear a helmet...was a good laugh back at the hangar though after a few pints...hey rickie...

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A long timer I worked with years ago was telling his war stories about some of the interesting things he's done with helicopters. One time he convinced this salmon farm company that moving fish with a helicopter would be a fast and economical alternative to boats. They didn't have any special tanks like they do now - they used a bambi bucket! Load 'em up at one end with a bit of water to keep the fish alive and just dump the load right into the pen at the other end. So they do this this all summer, flew thousands of salmon. Worked real good too.

 

Couple of years later he's flying this insurance guy off to a claim out in the bush somewhere and in friendly conversation he's talking about some of his more unusual claims - like the time this woman calls and says she's driving down the highway, minding her own business, when this 30 pound salmon slams into the hood of her car ........

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DGP

 

Ah yes I do recall that fiasco.To use ol' Jungle George's saying...I laughted so hard I thought my pants would never dry. I've always wondered' if your brain freezes would you be normal after it thaws out.......But what if you were'nt normal before the Big Freeze.....

 

Ray G. wants me to go buy a jug and join him when we go tovisit the Hose Bag and the Porker at their workplace.Would probably be good for a few laughs. Come and join us.....Otooley

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While on the final turn of slinging batteries off a repeater site into the back of a 1 ton, everything all lined up with the remaining space on the truck and BANG 2" too low...story of my life.

 

Fortunately nothing bent.

 

Departing the hanger one morning and I hear a clunk unlike any clunk I've heard before. Looking around the aircraft everything looks OK. I slow it down open the door to see if something is banging around in or on the basket and watch my cel phone on its way to the last call its ever gonna make.

 

Plus a few other misses, but so far nothing dropped off the hook unless driptorches count.

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i punch 2 caribou on day on a hunting trip just south of the ungava bay ...my buddy accidently past the sling over the skid...okok should of seeing it he is the strory is i was on a r-44 ..and that day we just made the stuff too fast......he was told already how to work with the sling.....the old story is take your time ..do it right.!!!!

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A long timer I worked with years ago was telling his war stories about some of the interesting things he's done with helicopters. One time he convinced this salmon farm company that moving fish with a helicopter would be a fast and economical alternative to boats. They didn't have any special tanks like they do now - they used a bambi bucket! Load 'em up at one end with a bit of water to keep the fish alive and just dump the load right into the pen at the other end. So they do this this all summer, flew thousands of salmon. Worked real good too.

 

Couple of years later he's flying this insurance guy off to a claim out in the bush somewhere and in friendly conversation he's talking about some of his more unusual claims - like the time this woman calls and says she's driving down the highway, minding her own business, when this 30 pound salmon slams into the hood of her car ........

 

I think I have heard this same war story before somewhere!

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This one may take the cake, you be the judge...

 

I was at the Elbow River Fire Base in Alberta on a long-term Fire contract and things on the fire front were pretty slow. So the ASRD had us doing odd jobs to fly of the minimums.

 

I was told one morning to grab my longline and head off to Kananaskis Park to do a longline job for the Parks Dept. I had this sneaking suspiscion that it may be outhouse barrels but figured what the heck, its better than sitting around doing nothing. I had done the same job for Parks Canada without incident so I really didn't give the whole thing too much thought.

 

I arrived at the staging area and shut down to find out the details and do a safety briefing with the crew. As suspected, it was going to be a barrel-job out of a remote camping area near Kananaskis Lake. After the briefing one of the crew made a point of saying that they were glad they had a "coastal" pilot to do the job as they had heard great things about guys from out west. I thought to myself at the time " I don't think coastal pilots are any better than anybody else and holly crap what a jinx."

 

Anyway, we fired up with two of the crew on board and headed for the camping area so that they could get set up. Once on the ground, they made thier way to the out-houses and I hooked up my line (100 ft.) to be ready for the first move. After a short while they called me on the radio and said they were ready to go so I fired up. I lifted off without incident and put the hook right in the hand of the ground-crew waiting with the first load (off to a great start). On the short flight back to the staging area I was thinking about the trailer that was to be the final destination for the loaded barrels and trying to remember how big it was. I will admit that at this point I was starting to get a bit nervous. My last shite-barrel job had gone well but in that case the barrels had been sealed with lids just in case the unthinkable happened. This time they were wide open up top just waiting for their opportunity. On short final I slowed way down and brought the load to a hover. Only a few more feet to go... As the barrel aproached the trailer I realized that I was about six inches lower than the guard rail so I brought in some power to lift the load. In reality I was probably about 18 inches lower because as I brought in the power to bring up the load, the extra oomff gave the load that little pendelem swing at the botttom and provided just enough inertia for the barrel to go over upon contacting the trailer. At this point things got a little bit ugly but I do recall watching the barrel go over in slow motion and saying to myself "No, this can't actually be happening, no way, this is just a bad dream!!!! But no, as you guessed it, it was more like a technicolour dream and the poor ba##ard on the ground near the trailer was ankle deep in shite to prove it.

 

I didn't know whether to land and help out the poor bugger or just get going and get the rest of the job done. It was only a two barrel job but so far I had had a pretty ugly misfire.

 

I did end up finishing the job and then landed to talk to the ground crew member. As I was walking over to the scene of the crime, the wave of stench hit me like a sledge hammer. I will never forget that smell and to this day I gag when i think of it. The guy on the ground was fine and actually very good about the whole thing. I felt terrible though and just didn't know how I could ever make up for this mistake.

 

On the flight home I decided that the least I could do was get him a new pair of hiking boots as the pair he had been wearing were surely toast.

 

Karma cought up with me quickly as that night while I was driving in to Calgary to hit the M.E.C and grab him some new boots a cop cought me speeding and handed me a $350 fine.

 

All in all, with the boots and the speeding ticket the mistake cost me about $600. It also tought me that no matter what you have done in the past, there will always be something around the corner to humble you.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my story. It isn't that fun to fess up to this happening but I am sure there is something to learn in it all. #### happens!

 

Keep your Barrel Upright!

 

gc

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post-1706-1171839147_thumb.jpgThat is a great story Go Coastal. I can sure picture it. Oh man thanks for the laugh. As for myself I've lost a load of lumber cause I used an old strap totally my fault. Recovered 80% of the lumber though. Also countless loads of shake blocks, hitting trees on final or trying to sweek that heavy one out by weaving through the timber. O well live and learn.
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Worked up near the Yukon border on a planting job, long tour, replaced a t/r strike machine, pilot relocated, people nervous, obvious how prev mentioned incident happened, unprepared landings, contractor freaking out and planters unhappy, bad weather, wasps, the whole thing sucked, but somehow I got through it, snow falling in early Sept, 15 min to twilight, stupid stupid pilot....first season on A-star......leave electical remote release circuit on....forgot...400 feet....radio final... that's not a radio.... why am I climbing?

 

Bizarrely enough, everything was forgiven. Laughs followed even, as the incident paled to an assistant cook being assaulted with a flashlight the night before, and everyone shrugged, I was a pounder with one plant.

 

Years later, I rely only upon the manual release, and believe me when I say that I check that it works.

 

Haven't punched anything since, though I had a Forage Drill with a crew from Quebec hook me to the derrick of an HQ up by Kugluktuk(Coppermine) and before I could even take up the slack, they somehow pulled the pins, and I could see the crown move. As I felt the inertia pulling me down, albeit smoothly, I leaned right cyclic away from them, looked in at the torque on the Super D and pulled 107, fingers hovering under the release, then the load stopped, lost maybe 40 or 50 feet, (thought for sure I'd be settling, or into vortex), I climbed and lifted the derrick out of the shack, set down, (Good thing for the 2 minute cool-down) and held the longest, most redundant irritating, condescending, repetitious safety meeting these (excellent by the way, best crew ever) French drillers had ever heard in English.

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