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I scared the cr#p out of myself when

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On 6/24/2022 at 10:28 PM, 412driver said:

one more....


Back to Canada and 1995 when I was sitting at the fire base in Lynn Lake Manitoba with a Bell 205 helicopter when a frantic  call came on the radio. “Lynn Lake Fire Base, this is IA crew 27, fire 63 just took off and we need immediate evacuation!” Without needing to be told I immediately ran to my helicopter and fired it up. I had my bucket hooked up so I quickly filled it up in the lake right beside the base and I was off to the fire. I called the crew over the radio and told them to haul *** for the helipad. As I got close I could see the fire was running towards the firefighters and their camp and could see the firefighters running through the bush to the helipad. I took my bucket of water and made a fast long drop along the front of the fire. I knew I wasn't going to stop it but only needed it to slow down a little so I could pull out my guys. After my drop i landed on the pad and the guys started to pile in. I looked up at the fire and was shocked by what I saw. The fire had started to “roll” which meant it was moving fast and it was hot. Trees were literally bursting before my eyes. The next thing I knew the fire was licking at my helicopter. I started to scream to the firefighters to leave everything and get onboard. The paint on the nose of my helicopter started to bubble so I started to pull pitch and lift off. The last fire fighter dove into the machine while I was lifting off and got safely onboard. I hovered out over the lake and checked everyone was belted in and accounted for, then flew to the other side of the lake and dropped off the crew. I then went back to bucket water on the fire until the tankers could come in to knock down the flames. That night my engineer was looking at the bubbled paint and asked: “getting a little close aren't you?” “Ya” I said, “but it's not fun if it’s not a little exciting!”

Had something similar...was on a fire near Leaf Rapids...we had been backburning with a drip torch...just dropped it off and we get a frantic call from a crew who was running from the fire...we grabbed some gas and blast out to the closest pad to pick them up...we are in radio contact all they way out to their location....they didn't sound happy...we land on the pad and can see the fire is heading straight towards us...all of a sudden these 3 guys burst out of the bushes and dive into the back of this jetbox...ok...we now have 5 of us in this thing and the heat is so bad I thought the front windows were going to melt...we struggle to get out of there just as the fire goes over the pad. Those guys never went back to work...they quit that day!!!

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On 6/24/2022 at 3:23 PM, gwk said:

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. 

This is for gwk...I worked on all those fh1100's when Kenting had them!

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GWK...if you go in photos from the field in 2018 you will see one of those FH1100 sitting in Kenting hangar in Calgary! I posted that a few years back...we also already know about the S-58 FZM.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/27/2022 at 10:35 PM, Trudashian said:

Popped in for a quick peek. Same few guys patting themselves on the back and arguing at who has the bigger wiener. 

Ya...not sure why you guys argue... I'd post a pic but Mike would ban me for life!!! LOL Peace out!! 

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Hi all,

I’m new to the forum and trying to learn all I can - will put up with the spelling lessons too 😬
Got my ppl(h) last month - it’s been an incredible experience. 
I had two scares in training…

My second solo Nav (cross country) was in a 22. 2hrs20 flight time. Arrived back to base to hear tower directing a fixed wing with radio failure. I was asked to orbit until he had landed. Checked my fuel and I had a quarter (main), aux was empty. Reported 50mins fuel remaining but actually had 30 - was a bit tired after the nav. Orbit was 10mins, I got dizzy so stopped orbiting and flew up and down the coast. Eventually got nervous and started coming in. Ended up landing on very little fuel. Was properly rattled about getting dizzy and the low fuel. Hopefully a last for both.

And then the next day…

I left for my third and last training nav at sunrise. R22 was vibrating a bit so I asked the instructor to jump in and he said it was fine. I shouldn’t have gone. But I did. 

About 30nmi out and my aux tank still read full (…so faulty aux guage), then 60nmi out vibrations got worse. I turned around and headed back. Was the worst 40mins in air. Was watching warning lights but all were fine. 

Landed and called the engineer. Main rotor pitch link had siezed (which I didn’t pick up in preflight) and then a mag had failed in flight which made vibrations worse, I suspect at the 60miles out point. 

Anyway. Was some good lessons, mainly to not fly if I’m not comfortable and to just land if I’m unhappy in flight - it’s a helicopter for goodness sake. 

Looking forward to learning from you all. 


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We’ll done David. It’s always good to be able to talk about it because you made it back safe and take some lessons out of it. You’ll find that most of what you learn is when you’re flying by yourself. Stay on top of that fuel and always use a watch. 

Safe flying and congratulations on getting your license. 

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Not really a scary story but...it was my first solo cross country at Canadore...flying a Bell 47 on floats. I was not feeling great that morning but went anyways...first leg was no problem...second leg I started to feel sick...I pick a large swampy area to land ...left the ship running...frictions on...out on the floats puking my guts out...I figured after I got back in that I better head back to North Bay as the fuel was becoming an issue...as I was coming into final at the old barn I was sure the engine was going to quit...was ready to do an auto...landed at the base...cooled down...shut it off...I checked both fuel tanks up top...empty!!! I never ever ran a ship that low ever as I was told ...you run out of fuel...your fired!!!

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On 6/25/2022 at 9:11 PM, Iceman said:

One more I will share, if it saves a life great. May you have fun with it.

Beautiful sunny April day in Squamish. Tasked with taking a couple environmental contractors (a man and a women) to sample water in some creeks at Phantom Lake about 16nm as the crow flies west of Squamish over a couple mountain ranges.

Lift about 9am and sit at Phantom Lake waiting for them while they do their thing. Around noon it started clouding over.

I trudged through the deep snow in my *light hiking shoes and told them to pack it up as there is weather moving in. 30 minutes later they show up and the snow is really starting to come down.

After everyone was seated and comfy I lifted and almost immediately found myself not able to tell how high I was above the ground. With help from the front passenger I moved over to the tree line along the shore. 

By now its foggy and the snow is really coming down, I radio a hydro guy in the valley below and he says there is no cloud just snowing “its pretty clear down here”.

At the south end of the lake there is a 1200 foot drop off to the valley below so I hover taxi over there and start making my way down tree top by tree top. By now I am shitting bricks.

My windshield is useless as its covered in snow and slush so I have to descend parallel to the trees and use my side window for guidance.  What follows is one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. 

Halfway down I cannot see the tree tops below me anymore (I think it was rock cliff) and looking up I can barely see the trees above.

Someone was watching over me that day as I was able to inch my way back up to the mouth of the lake. Vis was almost zero by now and it was almost impossible to land. 

Out of my little open window I saw something that contrasted with the snow. I flew that way and the sweetest little spruce tree was there to Marshall me in.

Ended up having to spend the night up there. It was terrible but thats a story for another time. But a Sunny morning broke and our company  Astar was there first light with Tim Hortens to pick us up.









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