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Alpine Helicopters

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Alpine is a tough decision for a low-timer from what I have heard.

If you CAN get a flying job on the prairies with someone else....take it. However.....

 

If you do get onto Alpine's ground crew, you will be treated with respect, and get to help with a lot of interesting work. Then eventually get to fly tourists around in Canmore.

Alpine flies mainly in the mountains and/or mediums. Not much chance to fly for a newbie except for the tourism work. Hey, a 407 in the Rockies in the summer??? Sounds like a fun job and a great learning experience to me !! (Note; if you are a low-timer that doesn't like the sound of that....get another career please).

 

Alpine doesn't have much work for "mid-timers", i.e. 1000 to 3000 hours.

I've met some guys that started with them, then went elsewhere (with Alpine's blessing) for a few years to gain a variety of experience, and were then hired back with Alpine. I heard some guys even stayed with Alpine all the way up from 100 hours, but there weren't many of them.

 

I've met a few Alpine 212 guys on fires over the years that fly the 206L in the winter. However Alpine operates so many 212s (and 407s) in the ski season that a seat will come open before too long. And I've met a lot of Alpine 212 ski pilots...they almost all had to fly the lunch-buggy until Alpine (and the customer) got to know that pilot's abilities.

This applies whether the pilot started their career with Alpine or not, and whether the pilot has previous ski experience or not. Alpine is very careful about who gets to drive their 212s during ski-season...because they have to be. (The same applies to all the medium/ski operators!)

 

But driving a 212 in ski season is off-topic. It's not for a low-timer to consider yet.

However, Alpine's Canmore operation is probably well worth considering and a visit.

Good luck.

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I am not directing that Alpine is a bad outfit, everybody knows, probably one of the best. And of course there are success stories of pilots making it up the ropes. Those pilots put their time in, and then they flew 700 hours, they got lucky. The majority don't. I am just saying that there are quicker ways to get a cyclic in you hands, Gemini for example, I bet they have pumped out a lot more low timers than Alpine, they have the type of work, the aircraft and the clients to give lowtimers a chance.

 

Most companies in the mountains don't have that option, It is not Alpine's fault that the requirements are too high for low timers in almost ALL of their work except tours in Canmore.

I have met more people that have tried the Alpine thing and not made it than I have met people that have tried it and made it, And I flew over 2 years in that area.

 

You can do it the hard way and go against the odds if you like, or you can do it the easy way and have the odds in your favor....a good practice in this industry.

 

I flew in the back seat of Rocky Coopers Longranger as a firefighter in the mid 90's. My Dad knew Lance Cooper when he was a park warden before he flew, I hold the highest respect for many at alpine. I am sure that if they worked in eastern Alberta, they would give many more lowtimers a chance.

 

However, working ground at Alpine is far better than flipp'in burgers with a commercial helicopter license.

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Yeah, no. You spend max 2 years on the ground and you fly 2 summers and end up with roughly 700 hours! Good gig for low time in my books!

 

 

 

 

 

Wizard, you should read again what I said..... "but in the end, once you spend 5 years or maybe more trying to get to a 1000hrs, you get the glory of flying a hour a day delivering lunches."

 

 

You are saying 2 years on the ground, and then 2 years of flying tourists and ending up with 700hrs.

 

Thanks, I rest my case, my estimate of 5 years and 1000 hours is quite close then?

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Alpine is a tough decision for a low-timer from what I have heard.

If you CAN get a flying job on the prairies with someone else....take it. However.....

 

If you do get onto Alpine's ground crew, you will be treated with respect, and get to help with a lot of interesting work. Then eventually get to fly tourists around in Canmore.

Alpine flies mainly in the mountains and/or mediums. Not much chance to fly for a newbie except for the tourism work. Hey, a 407 in the Rockies in the summer??? Sounds like a fun job and a great learning experience to me !! (Note; if you are a low-timer that doesn't like the sound of that....get another career please).

 

Alpine doesn't have much work for "mid-timers", i.e. 1000 to 3000 hours.

I've met some guys that started with them, then went elsewhere (with Alpine's blessing) for a few years to gain a variety of experience, and were then hired back with Alpine. I heard some guys even stayed with Alpine all the way up from 100 hours, but there weren't many of them.

 

I've met a few Alpine 212 guys on fires over the years that fly the 206L in the winter. However Alpine operates so many 212s (and 407s) in the ski season that a seat will come open before too long. And I've met a lot of Alpine 212 ski pilots...they almost all had to fly the lunch-buggy until Alpine (and the customer) got to know that pilot's abilities.

This applies whether the pilot started their career with Alpine or not, and whether the pilot has previous ski experience or not. Alpine is very careful about who gets to drive their 212s during ski-season...because they have to be. (The same applies to all the medium/ski operators!)

 

But driving a 212 in ski season is off-topic. It's not for a low-timer to consider yet.

However, Alpine's Canmore operation is probably well worth considering and a visit.

Good luck.

 

 

 

Overtalk....that is what I am trying to say, you are better than me at this! :up:

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I'm thinking more about the start for low time vs how long till 1000 hours. Getting a start in the industry is the hardest part.

 

Flying for a heli- ski outfit is likely less important then getting a couple hundred hours at the start.

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I should also add, a start in this industry is a start. Find a better way to get hours I say go for it! Best of luck to everyone! Stay positive and have fun!

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All low-timers should defiantly consider any opportunity like this, duh. How often do you see companies looking for "100hr wonders"?

 

Also even if it takes you 2 years before getting the chance to fly tours you still will make a living. This is defiantly more respectable then flying tours and paying for it out of your own pocket! (like another operator in those parts)

 

My 2 bits

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Although I didn't start this thread, i'm sure getting lots of great info/advice out of it - on both sides of the coin.

 

Thanks all for your input and PMs!

 

 

 

- Darren

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