From fighting fires to relocating wildlife, the fleet of Silverking A-star helicopters that bring us our unlimited vertical in winter keep themselves just as busy in the summer months. What’s keeping them so busy ? We got the low down from Silverking owner Ryan Hinds. Here’s his breakdown of the top three activities these machines take to new heights:
Forest Fire Management
When fighting fires there are many duties that a pilot / helicopter can carry out. These include moving fire crews, mapping the fires dimensions and movement and water bucketing. Bucketing takes some skill in terms of accurately placing the water into predetermined areas of the fire. If water is not dropped at key locations the fire activity can easily increase in size. Wind and temperature are the key factors that the pilot will constantly be monitoring in order to insure that the helicopter can perform at an efficient level.
Grizzly Bear RelocationGrizzly bears can be a safety issue for remote work sites etc. The bear(s) are tranquillized and transported via helicopter to a remote area as far away as possible from human activity. Usually this is carried out by slinging the bear in a net below the helicopter, but sometimes the bear will be put inside the helicopter. This will allow the helicopter to fly faster and further to relocate the bear. However, in some cases, the bears will return after a short time. I have had a grizzly bear start to wake up sooner than anticipated while in the back seat. It’s a slow process, so it’s not a concern. We simply land and let him out a little sooner than expected.
Mining OperationsWe also do a ton of mineral exploration looking for gold and copper. We long-line diamond drill into various mountain locations. Once the drills are in place we support the drilling by bringing fuel, crew and other supplies to the site.