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I scared the cr#p out of myself when


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I once suffered from: Get home-itis! This is a problem that afflicts many pilots that have done long tours and really wanted to get home. I was heading home after nine weeks in the bush. I was flying from Grande Cache to Grande Prairie in northern Alberta. The weather was marginal and I was suffering from a big case of get-home-itis. Also, my replacement was waiting for me in Grande Prairie. I was following a river to Grande Prairie staying under the clouds.  I noticed on the map that if I followed a power line up and over a mountain, I would cut a few miles off my track. The clouds were low but I thought as long as I had the wires in sight, I’d be ok. So up I went but I saw that the clouds were right on the top of the hill. Now I thought I could see through so I took the plunge and went over the hill. Big mistake! Suddenly I saw nothing in my windshield but white! I banked hard, VERY hard, to the right to keep the ground and power lines in sight. I was very lucky as I just managed to get back out through the way I came in. As I was pulling back on the cyclic and craning my head back and down to keep things in sight I kept thinking that I did not want to be a statistic in Vortex. This was a lesson I have never forgotten and made me a pilot with the patience to wait things out. A golden lesson learned!

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A very good boss I had for years would look out the window and see the poor weather and turn around and say.

Days like this is what they made coffee pots for.

I hear him every time the weather is bad. 

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1 hour ago, 412driver said:

I once suffered from: Get home-itis! This is a problem that afflicts many pilots that have done long tours and really wanted to get home. I was heading home after nine weeks in the bush. I was flying from Grande Cache to Grande Prairie in northern Alberta. The weather was marginal and I was suffering from a big case of get-home-itis. Also, my replacement was waiting for me in Grande Prairie. I was following a river to Grande Prairie staying under the clouds.  I noticed on the map that if I followed a power line up and over a mountain, I would cut a few miles off my track. The clouds were low but I thought as long as I had the wires in sight, I’d be ok. So up I went but I saw that the clouds were right on the top of the hill. Now I thought I could see through so I took the plunge and went over the hill. Big mistake! Suddenly I saw nothing in my windshield but white! I banked hard, VERY hard, to the right to keep the ground and power lines in sight. I was very lucky as I just managed to get back out through the way I came in. As I was pulling back on the cyclic and craning my head back and down to keep things in sight I kept thinking that I did not want to be a statistic in Vortex. This was a lesson I have never forgotten and made me a pilot with the patience to wait things out. A golden lesson learned!

I was sweating reading this.

In a cloud next to the wires..... wow....... glad you made it.

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OK, I'll Bite.

 In 1984 I was working my 4th year in the industry, and was with a small operator out of Buffalo Narrows, called Western Helicopters. The company and owner are no longer with us, so I don't mind naming names in this case.

 It was my second season with them, flying a FH1100, for those of you who don't know, the FH1100 was the third aircraft submitted to the US military for the LOH ( light observation heli. ) contract, won by the Hughes 500.

Sask. was burning, and we were flying very long days, up at 6:00, lifting off at 6:30, flying down to Isle La Cross, to pick up the Fire Boss, out to the fire, and then dropping off crews in the morning. All day I was flying gear, lunches, gas, you all know the drill, then late afternoon picking up crews and dropping them in their camps, and finally after everyone is back, pick up the fire boss, fly around the fire, back to Isle la Cross, and home to Buffalo Narrows, landing at dusk.

 I just checked my log book, and we started flying these fires June 09, and flew every day, sometimes up to 13 hours, until Sept 01, non stop, no days off. Who ever wishes for the old days might want to watch what they wish for.

 Any way, back to the story, it was mid Aug., dead tired, and I was picking crews up from the fire and bringing them back to their camp on a small island. They had cleared a small pad, cutting down small trees about 3-4 inches from the ground, and dragged them away. I had landed with a group, and was trying to hustle up, as there was still  lot's to do, but I stopped myself, and waited for the guys to grab their gear, and clear the arc of the blades before I pulled collective. I vividly remember checking myself mentally, and saying to myself, wait for them, we are not in that much of a hurry, and boy am I glad I did. I pulled collective, and over she went, I managed to slam the collective down in time to save a roll over, but the main blade caromed off a knocked down tree that was about 18 inches off the ground, and bent the blade tip in an upswept look, and who knows what else damage .I am positive to this day, had I not waited, I would have killed at least one firefighter, maybe more had I not waited for them to clear the arc of the blades.

 What had happened, is when I landed, a small tree stump, about the size of my thumb, slipped in one of the holes in the aluminum bearpaw, and when I pulled collective, the machine must of slipped sideways a bit and trapped the small stump in the hole, pinning that bearpaw to the ground, and dynamic rollover almost flipped me over. 

 The moral, quite obvious, take your time, have a good look around, and only when it's safe, pull pitch. 

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20 hours ago, Pool pilot said:

 

I liked getting the flier that came with the AIP updates that told us about accidents and of course the pilot that was always doing dumb stuff..... I don't remember his name

 

 I think you might be referring to this guy. If I remember right, there was always a short story included about his escapades, and then when they ran out of stories, they produced this book. This copy has lived with me for probably 40 years now!

20220624_133422.jpg

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4 minutes ago, gwk said:

 

 I think you might be referring to this guy. If I remember right, there was always a short story included about his escapades, and then when they ran out of stories, they produced this book. This copy has lived with me for probably 40 years now!

20220624_133422.jpg

That's him.

The schools should have that for the students. 

Do you know where I could get a copy?

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