Heli Fly Fishing Part 1
I fly whenever possible because it’s a rich experience that adds so much to a day’s fishing. The views are always incredible, and the level of excitement when adding a chopper flight to a day of fly fishing is truly high-level fun. We only put our anglers in to turbine engine helicopters, and don’t ever use piston driven helicopters for guest flights. While more expensive per flight, the turbine helicopter is far quieter, vibrates less, and is much safer that the piston driven helicopters. Helicopters can certainly be intimidating for those who’ve not flown in one before. These are loud, vibrating machines that move in ways that are completely foreign to those who have no experience with them. Each helicopter pilot is different, and has his or her own way of doing things, but there are a few general rules that apply to all flights that guests need to be aware of in order to stay safe and to get the most out of this fantastic experience.
IMPORTANT RULES FOR HELI FLIGHT SAFETY
- Always approach a stationary helicopter from the side or front of the helicopter. NEVER from the back of the helicopter. The tail of the helicopter has its own tail rotor, which is exposed and very dangerous. If you just remember to approach a helicopter from the side or front, you really don’t have much else to worry about. APPROACH FROM THE SIDE OR FRONT ONLY.
- You always want to be in the pilot’s field of vision. SIDE OR FRONT. Your pilot will tell you when it’s safe to de-board over the intercom and to board, usually through a simple series of hand signals, like thumbs up. Your guide will also tell you when it’s safe to board the helicopter.
- Approach and depart from the helicopter in a crouching position.
- Your pilot will always try to land on level ground when coming in to pick you up at the end of the day, but there are times when the ground might be uneven. Be aware of this, and get as low to the ground as you can for your approach to the helicopter.
- Your focus should be on getting in and out of the helicopter safely, and not on your gear. Give your day pack and rods to your guide before you board the helicopter. Your guide will be familiar with loading and unloading gear, and where it goes.
- Remove all loose clothing well before boarding a helicopter. This means all hats should be taken off before you plan to board a helicopter. Put your hat in your day pack, and retrieve it when the flight is over. Sunglasses are fine to wear, but no hats please.
- Seatbelts have to be worn at all times when flying in a helicopter.
- When your seatbelt is fastened, then put on your headset which allows you to communicate with the pilot and your guide.