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Certified Mountain course

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MFLNRO as a "club" is pretty accurate I think. A bunch of coworkers got MTN courses the season of the Plateau fire but after that 130 went in the lake, MFLNRO decided they had an unwritten rule that there was a minimum mtn time on TYPE requirement as well. A few of the guys they released had already flown a full shift on the fire, and had crews vouching for them. It's very much being at the right place at the right time. I was lucky enough to have an employer put a 25hr course into me a few years back, but I'm acutely aware that I only just scratched the surface in terms of knowledge.

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I did just over 20 hours in the southern Rockies in a jet box.   It was the most humbling thing I have ever done.  I laugh at the 5 hour hac course.  I also feel if you have 1000 hours in the rocks you are still far, far from a experienced mountain pilot and potentialy a even bigger hazard because you may be over confident and think your a mountain pilot..  Now, years later I have flown on oxygen in the Andes in Chile and Peru, was base pilot on the continental divide..   I can tell you I still do not feel remotely as experienced as I would like think I am.  I still am very humble flying in the rocks, and all I have really   learned,  is to maintain huge respect for the rocks. There are a lot of pilots that fly in the mountains but few I would call mountain pilots, I am still trying to become a “mountain pilot” 

Note in the pic, altitude, t4 vs tq.

E7885578-B845-4B77-8F3D-40D9363DF46C.jpeg

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Well said sirlandsalot!

The irony is, the guys without the mountain time (course) are typically the ones that don't think it is a big deal.  

The course should be not called "flying in the mountains" but rather "landing in the mountains"...or "operating a 150' long line at 98% TQ in the mountains ".

Flying "through" or "around" the mountains, is not why you need to be humble and really have you Sh*t together. 

"Working" within the environment, in the changing weather, the and the DA with high winds, is why!!    It is NOT comparable to any other environment, so be humble and don't try to pretend it is. 

90% of the time you can get away with "figuring it out"....the other 10% should be mentored by chief pilots, instructors or other experienced pilots. The point is, its the 10% that is what is going to get you (and likely a group of pax) some day. 

In my opinion....the more experienced you get, the 10% rarely happens because you have already used your PDM to abort or not even get close to a situation that you don't want to be in.

Im not advocating 20 hours....but there is a reason they came up with that number. That said, 5 hours is not going to send you heliskiing. Get some training, read the books and then get some exposure with the help of people that are positive.

 

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Thanks for the comments guys especially topfuel and sirlandsalot. When I was told I would have it figuired out in a week and don't sweat it I thought this guy must be nuts! I had not flown on Baffin at that time .Anyways I said no thanks and walked. Sounds like I made the right move. I have always wondered if I had made a bad decision as I still don't have a CMC but after flying on Baffin I would sure have love to have had the course. Strange how no one told me when I went up to fly on Baffin that I was getting into some very tough on the job training once again. That sediment sampling job was real fun...on bags in gale force winds..some of the lakes we landed on were very small and way down in some tight holes. A couple of times I had to say NO way are we going down in there!

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It didn't take me long to figure out that at 95% torque in a jetbox with 20 gallons of fuel and 2 pax and a vsi gauge heading for the bottom that I should maybe do a go around. Especially when the airspeed is heading for 0!

CCF01112006_00005 (2).jpg

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I was a lucky pilot who started my career with VIH right here on the West Coast back when VIH was still a smallish company. After a few years flying and figuring it out in Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert, they put a mountain course into me. It was conducted in Rupert and omitted all the helipad and longline stuff as I'd already done a lot of it considering my total time then. After a couple days of classroom and about 5 hours or less, I was signed off. This was an approved course and I was legally off to the races. From then on, nothing much changed, I just continued flying in the mountains, long lining a huge variety of jobs ranging from 200' choker jobs to mountain top repeater/tower work. All this was done with no formal training and me just figuring it out and/or asking lot's of questions of my peers. I believe I got lucky a few times, learned some valuable lessons that can only be learned by doing it...repeatedly. From there came heliskiing in Astars and seismic in the high mountains of China (Extremely humbling?) Fast forward 10 years from there and the real mountain learning came with skiing in a 212...Thats is where the real learning and humbling experiences continued almost daily... Sorry, i rambled on, not meant to be a resume...Lol, just that my 2 bits are, I don't believe they should put an hour level on a course. It should be and I think is in some circumstances, a competency based course. If you learned from the beginning in the mountains, that's a good situation because it's just what you know and are comfy with. If you want to fly in the mountains but currently don't, try and get hired by a company that operates in the designated mountainous regions. They might even just give you a course after they get to know you.

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