Saturday, January 20, 2007

First Light

The alarm shook me out of a sound and restful sleep. I looked at the clock. It was 5:30 AM. I dragged my sorry butt up out of the covers and prepared myself for the bitter cold. We would be mounting a recovery mission from Talon base. The plan was to fly from YVR out to meet up with Flight Engineer Mike Thorneycroft, who went out ahead of us to Pitt Meadows Airport. We we to clear the machines of snow and de-ice. Then we would fly back to Base and prepare for the fine day that was expected.
We took off at first light. Kelsy Wheeler was at the controls. Brian, and Peter would round out the passenger manafest on this early morning flight.

Kelsy spools up as we prepare to depart to Pitt Meadows.

We need to get the machines back. For Talon Helicopters it's all hands on deck. All of their machines have work today. In just an hour clients would be arriving at the hanger. They would arrive en mass.
As we left via Richmond Square (Cement Plant Departure) I couldn't help but feel confident. Here I was in the back of the A Star and I am out numbered by pilots. Yes if Kelsy had the big one, there was both Brian and Peter who could land us safely. It was a strange setting to be sure.

Brian and Kelsy in the front seats as we depart over Richmond.

Peter, with coffee in hand, makes for a chatty "back seat pilot"

On approach into Pitt Meadows with both machines in full view. Mike had already began de-icing the A Star.

After dropping the three of us off, Kelsy departs back for Base. There are clients waiting and there is much flying for him to do this day.

Sun rise and Chopper 9. We would take an hour to de ice. A frozen oil line delayed us until near 10 AM.

Brian, Peter and Mike (above) begin to work on Chopper 9.

When we discovered the frozen line in Chopper 9, our efforts switched to the A Star. As this machine too was needed back at base. Mike cleans the ice buildup off the main rotors.

This shot was taken just after our return to the Hanger at YVR. We were to pick up Kink and hit the sky to catch up on the back log of shoot locations from the day before.

Kelsy long lining equipment for a client. Before the day was out he had made several trips to the drop zone. This long line work had been building up over the past weeks. Poor weather the day before spells a long day for Kelsy getting caught up.

Chopper 9 during a fuel stop at Vancouver Horbour. Flight missions that day included local ski mountians, Stanley Park recon and a trip back out to the valley for the icy road conditions.

One of the high points of the day, a fly by of the Golden Ears near Maple Ridge. I never get tired of seeing the mountians up close.

Day is done and a salute from Kink. Knowing we had a great day in the skies, skies that were clear and sunny for a change.

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