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Helicopters, Mountain Bikes, and a question....


JCM5

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First order of business. This video is awesome, but I noticed that there is nobody at the controls in the beginning of the video. Can you lock frictions on an A-Star running at idle and just get out like that??

 

http://vimeo.com/49045078

 

 

Secondly,

 

What are the requirements/steps one would have to take to be able to fly in Canada? Are the flight regulations/charts/minimums/etc any different than in the US?

 

I've always had my heart set on flying heli-ski someday in the distant future - outside of AK, BC is one of the biggest zones for great heli-ski. How would an American tap in there?

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To answer your first question: Yes, and there's nothing wrong with it.

 

To answer your second question: You'll need someone with a Canadian pilot certificate to get that information.

 

Music sucked in that video, and I even (normally) like that kind of stuff. Couldn't he have just used AWOLNATION'S "Sail" like everyone else?

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Sail!!! the best video music ever created!! Sorta on topic, I got in a discussion with a pilot about shutting down and getting out with the blades still spooling down. (not walking away). His opinion was that you should sit in the helicopter until the blades come to a complete stop (no rotor break, MD500E). My view was that im useless after Ive ensured there are no after fire issues. Id rather be outside the aircraft listening to the rotor system, listening to the engine compartment and watching 360degrees. Not sitting buckled in a helicopter for 5 minutes until they come to a stop on their own.

As far as engine running. I have no issues locking the frictions and getting out briefly. We do a lot of remote off-site where the pilot and TFO need to configure the aircraft for rescues. Im definitely not going to shut down while we are setting up the long line, single pilot release leg strap and cinch collar. This is all usually done sitting on the river bank with a capsized boater stuck in trees within view.

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In regard to getting out of the helicopter while the engine is running / blades spinning-

Some companies are okay with it, and some are not. I don't have a problem with it, but then again, it isn't my $2 million helicopter....so I will do whatever is required of me while working for an operator. That being said, if you are going to do it, DO NOT: get out at flight idle or on a windy day!!! This may sound obviouse, but for those of you out there looking to win the Darwin award someday, don't do it lol.

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No they don't.

 

Well maybe not anymore. But in the TH67 systems DVD set you can buy from flyusarmy.com, where it is basically them just taking a video from the back of an IERW class, the instructor talks about using the frictions to get out of the helicopter with blades turing at engine idle so you don't have to shutdown the engine. Take that for what it's worth. You fly for the Army and know what they teach, I just wanted to show you where I got my information from.

 

The link to the DVD set is below.

 

http://www.flyusarmy...-set-p-151.html

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Hey that's my home town Pemberton just 30 minutes north of Whistler. Looks like Andrew flying the Astar for Blackcomb Aviation.

 

I can offer my perspective on both questions.

 

First: getting out of a running helicopter is not prohibited by the FAA or Transport Canada. I have done it many times mostly in remote locations to attach a longline. The Astar has excellent frictions, Bell 206 series not so trustworthy. You are the PIC and will wear any problems so most of the time it's not worth the risk. I don't do it around people but it's pretty common in the bush. Your company will have op specs that may prohibit it, or allow it in certain situations. There are some cautionary tales out there so think twice. At an airport, bad idea.

 

Second: Getting your TC "Passport" certificate is pretty straight forward. You can get a private issued based on your FAA just by doing paperwork and an easy airspace differences exam. You also need a radio operator license which is an easy written test. To get your TC helicopter commercial requires a flight test and written exam. You need a recommend from a Canadian flight instructor to take the exam and most flight schools will only give that if you do a 5 hour "conversion" course. The written test is hard because there is not a bank of questions to study. Airspace and regulations are similar but different so there is a lot to study.

 

The biggest hurdle for an American to work in Canada is getting a work permit. When there was more of a demand for pilots before '08 it was not uncommon for a company to sponsor foreign workers but it's quite hard now. Lots of Aussies and Kiwis got sent packing.

 

Lastly: To work as a heliski pilot in BC usually requires at least mid time hours. Most ski pilots are really high time and have been in the industry for decades. You would need to get a lot of mountain flying experience first and work your way up to heliskiing.

 

I worked for 12 years as a heliski guide in the Whistler/Pemberton area which is what inspired me to become a pilot. That was in '07 and now I'm going into my fourth season flying in Alaska. AK has the most heliski flying opportunities for Americans. Here is an unedited video (you can play Sail) of guiding an experienced pilot who was unfamiliar with the area.

 

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First order of business. This video is awesome, but I noticed that there is nobody at the controls in the beginning of the video. Can you lock frictions on an A-Star running at idle and just get out like that??

 

http://vimeo.com/49045078

 

 

Secondly,

 

What are the requirements/steps one would have to take to be able to fly in Canada? Are the flight regulations/charts/minimums/etc any different than in the US?

 

I've always had my heart set on flying heli-ski someday in the distant future - outside of AK, BC is one of the biggest zones for great heli-ski. How would an American tap in there?

 

I might be able to help. I am writing my CAA commercial on Tuesday!! Wish me luck haha. It's a rather lengthy process to get your commercial in Canada. But it's just a lot of ground school. As WP said, the hardest part is difference in regs, learning the different charts which is fairly simple once you have it broken down, and then the fact there is no bank of questions. The FAA makes it really easy use your rote memory to answer the same questions over and over. Not gonna happen here. They have multiple ways to ask the same question and it gets tricky. They use words like true track instead of true course. Sounds simple right but it can be tough at times. They have two national languages which is why you have to take an English exam. When intake the test Tuesday, it will have taken me about 11 business days to get thought the stack of worksheets, study guides and practice exams. The school in BC, Heli College is pretty thorough and does an excellent job of making sure your prepared, even over prepared. But in the last 23 years they haven't had anybody fail the commercial or ATP. Says a lot about their system.

 

Once you finish the ground school, get your medical approved, then it's a simple checkride to commercial standards. If you have any amount of experience, it should be easy and fun.

 

If you have any more questions feel free to ask cause like I said I am just now finishing the course, so it's still fresh!

 

As for the getting out thing, if you get into a utility or similar gig, it's going to happen, and it's going to be in your company's OPSPECS. I thought it was crazy when I was on the outside looking in, but once you get into that role, it becomes clear as to why you need to do it, and as long as your safe about it, it shouldn't be an issue. As also mentioned before, it's a field/bush technique, no need for it when your around an airport environment with prying eyes ;)

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Also, this last summer I got a chance to fly and ride on some heli-biking. Granted it was for fun with another couple buddy's so nothing official and we just threw the bikes in the backseat. But it was super fun and watching that video pumps me up! I like dubstep tho too haha.

 

The company I flew for is working on setting up guided heli-bike tours in SE AK next summer so keep your eyes and ears out for that.

 

I have some sweet footage from those trips too. I need to get on some editing so I can share the experience!

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