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Bag Swinging


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I was hoping that some of the seismic (recording end) pilots could sound off about the machines they're flying.

 

Back when I was a jughound (and troubleshooter and shooter and general dogsbody), I spent a lot of time working around 500's, and saw the odd R44 (or even a 206) for smaller 2D projects. What other types see use for swinging bags?

 

It'd be even better if we could see some feedback about comparative merits of those machines with respect to moving bags.

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I have to say that the AS350B2 would be my favourite for swinging bags. When its -30 and snowing sideways that heater works like a charm. Not to mention the comfort of the floor window. Once you get use to it I wouldnt fly anything else. Much easier than having to crane your neck out the window of other machines. I.E R44, B206, H500, B407. Nice amount of power and a big fat fan on the back. Just my preference.

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I seem to see a trend developing amongst the respondents...

 

Based on a pilot's point of view, the Astar does seem to be pulling ahead of the competition. I would imagine that ergonomics, visibility, and handling qualities play a large role in making it what it is.

 

What about from the client's point of view? How do the various machines stack up in terms of the number of bags/weight of bags moved per hour VS. the price per hour?

 

Another question for you guys...let me set up a hypothetical scenario for you here.

 

On a fairly big 3D, instead of bringing each rack of bags back to staging after picking, the bags are flow to a site in the exact center of the current spread. After a line's worth of bags have been picked, that same line's worth of bags are swung from that central point up to the layout crews. What sort of difference would that system make to your bags/hour figures?

 

Also, what sort of bags/hour figures are you generally expected to produce?

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Astars suck for long line work.

 

I know you get used to never seeing your load unless it's right below you but it still sucks. Especially if you are over white-out conditions.

 

Bell 205 and Hughes 500 are my favorite long-line platforms so far.

The B2 Astar is only nice because of it's power and comfort IMO.

I have never flown a 407, but a good friend tells me it's an incredible kite.

 

I'm very eager to try out the K-max too.

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Jet B,

 

Yes I think they suck for longline work also. You can of course pretty much move bags at the same speed as you can with bubble equipped machines, but at a higher mental work load. I know that if I have a big day moving 200-300 bags in an Astar I am wiped, not so much in say a 407. (know the "poor" message you get on the Kodiac, I always thought it should change to "Rich" when you hit 300 bags for the day!)

Throw in steep terrain, trees, wind....I also notice that I have my head "inside" a lot more in an Astar especially when you add in Kodiac and a Bag Runner. I would have to think in the grand scheme of things it's safer to have your head outside more often than not.

 

W Squared, the middle of the job thing you describe does happen from time to time, they tend to call it "Mini Staging". Bags layed out can vary anywhere from 30 to 65 an hour depending on distance, terrain and trees. Picking up with a bagrunner tends to be anywhere between 15 if its really nasty to 45 in the open flats.

Have also been on several jobs where we slung from the back straight to the front. Bags would get cycled through staging every third time or so for trash and batteries. This is back when it was carousel only bags run by a guy on a sled or quad.

 

Regarding bags moved vrs cost, wow there are so many variables....you would have analyze it on a job specific basis if a client is really bent on nickel and diming it, and we dont want to work for those kind of customers do we!!?!

 

DMNH

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Carousel only bag runs. Being the guy on the ground is a great job to have if you're lucky enough to be able to use a quad or sled.

 

It's not so much fun if you're running bags on "walk-only" reciever lines. I can remember spending a few days up in the Fontas working as one of four bag-runners on foot when we had problems with the bag picker. We had a good pilot in a 500, and the bags were 480m apart (60m stations with ARAM). That's a lot of running to be doing in deep snow.

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W Squared,

 

The bagrunner first arrived on the scene somewhere around 1995 ish I seem to remember. Even after that it was a few years before it saw wide spread use.

 

The guy on a quad only worked if it was fairly flat ground of course, any jobs in the mountains were all run of foot like you described. I remember seeing several guys flipping quads and sleds, never had anyone hurt on a crew I was with but I am sure it happened.

 

When the Seismic Companies started developing "Safety" programs in the mid to late 90's the whole concept of guys racing around on sleds, quads or running on foot came into question. Plus you need a dedicated crew of 4 or 5 guys to just run bags if its a larger job. Eliminating the cost of the bag running crew seemed to offset the increased heli time by using the auto bagrunner so it was an easy sell financially, plus of course eliminating the hazard of doing it manually. Now its industry standard......

 

Has anyone out there still running bags manually? Maybe small 2-D jobs?

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