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Alpine Helicopters


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I haven't bothered to read through the entire 8 pages of this, but it seems like there are plenty of opinions from both sides of the fence...


As someone who's been through the Alpine experience myself, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there and I don't think I would have traded it for anything else, as far as first jobs in the industry go.


I got on at a good time, spent a single season on the ground before getting into the cockpit, flew the 206 on tours for a season and banked about 300 hrs. In the fall, I got a job offer elsewhere and with Alpine's encouragement I took it. I often wish I'd stayed that 2nd season, as the next job was a bit of a step back before I got to fly again. And really, what was my rush to get away from an 8-5 flying job in Canmore where you could go for a hike in the evening sun after work, or have a beer on the patio with a bunch of great co-workers?


When I left, there was nothing on the menu for low timers after their 2 seasons of tours, but shortly thereafter I know at least a few of their tour pilots graduated into 407 endorsements, spray jobs, lodge trips, and even some heliski support. But I think that's more luck of the draw/how much they like you as an employee/general need.


Either way, you'll learn the 206 very well, get some experience at high gross weights (4 over-sized american tourists makes for an interesting time), get a good understanding of flying around mountainous terrain and the associated weather & winds, and certainly develop well-honed customer relations skills. Plus, not everyone out there gets to log 300-500+ hrs Turbine time at their first gig! As long as you're cognizant of the fact that your "real world" flight experience is going to be incredibly limited and you won't be able to jump straight into most other jobs without a good amount of additional training in confined areas and all that jazz. Landing a meticulously maintained 206 on a cement pad in a controlled environment with 2-3 PAX and 20 gal of fuel is a FAR cry from trucking around fire crews to off-level confined areas with as much fuel as you can get on board without getting in the way of the mediums doing their bucketing etc :)


There was probably more I wanted to say, but I lost my train of thought so I'll cut this off here. Feel free to PM me with any questions though!



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