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DGP

Certified Mountain course

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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!

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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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Once again folks thanks for all of the great replies. With the said club attitude going on and from what I just heard from a friend who also was looking around out west I think I will not waste the cash buying a mountain course. At this stage in my career its probably safer to stick with what I know. I have had enough  scary s**t in 40+ years without looking for more. Again thanks.  

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I recently returned home to BC after 2 years flying in Nepal. Early in my career I did the 20 hour mountain course at Chinook with KO as my instructor. Much of my flying has been in the mountains, but I was pleased to discover that the Canadian mountain flying techniques work just as well up to 23000’ as they do below 10000’. Thanks KO, R.I.P. Glad I got to call him from Nepal and say thanks for the mountain training before  he passed.  The good thing about training is you don’t have to learn just by trial and error. I’ve tried that method with bad results, and prefer to learn from others mistakes. So in my opinion if you’re flying in the mountains take the course. 

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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” "

sirlandsalot - with that attitude I would say you can call yourself a Mountain Pilot - well said.

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I worked with a guy down east here for 5 years and got to be real good friends.At this time I hadn't flown a jetbox for about 7 years.We get chatting one day and we started talking about what we had done flying a 206. It finally gets down to how many passengers you would haul with max fuel for gross weight.I tell him that when I worked out in the prairies I normally would only take 3 passengers.He tells me when he worked in BC he was told to always take 4 .We all know what a jetbox will haul .You aint going very far with 4 passengers and gear in a jetbox ....do the math. Now throw in some altitude..Sure a 206 can do a job if you stay within its limits but lets get real.The old jetranger has seen its days. I loved flying them. SLA..I am sure you would have loved to have a ship with some pulling power especially in the mountains.I get the same reaction from people flying 206Ls. I have lots of hours on B's and L's. Not much fun loading them up to gross and trying to get airborne in a tight spot.Add some density altitude and you are in for some fun. Also there was a reason that Bell developed the high altitude tailrotor for the L...this is the same t/rotor that they put on the 407. I am sure you would have preferred to have been in a 407. I have flown 407 for 18+ years and I love them. I have friends that have flown them out in the mountains and they tell me that they are ok but not on hot days.Even at 1500 ft on a 30C day you will hit your TOT limit. So thats why they have an engine swap!.As SLA said...humbling...stay safe folks!

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