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IN THE FIELD


When Columbia Helicopters deploys a crew for a particular firefighting contract, a fairly large team is required. At a minimum, a crew would consist of: two pilots with the aircraft at any time for a 12-hour on/12- hour off shift, three to five mechanics, a fuel truck driver, an equipment driver, a fuel tanker, a service van for parts, a utility trailer for ground support equipment, and a staff vehicle.


I was surprised to learn that most of the company’s pilots are civilian-trained. It’s also standard practice for all new hire pilots with Columbia Helicopters to start off as copilots and be trained in-house. The pilot pool fluctuates between 60 and 80 pilots, but that only represents approximately 10 percent of the entire Columbia team. It takes an expert team of 800 personnel to support Columbia’s global operations across all sectors.


rotorcraftpro.com


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