Meet our Pilots
As with any heliskiing operation, good pilots are a must. They must be able to land on tight areas while dealing with variable wind conditions, rapidly identify weather pockets across the valleys for the next run, and know all the heliski runs within the area. For this Friday’s tantalizing post, we are going to take a look a closer look at our pilots. But before we begin, you are definitely going to want to grab that cup of coffee, snatch up that last stale donut and sit back and relax – this one may be short, but these guys are definitely sweet.
The two helicopter companies we work with are Access Helicopters and Mustang Helicopters. Mustang Helicopters are new partners for us this year and will be flying out of Ripley Creek, in Stewart. Access Helicopters, on the other hand have been partners with us for years and fly for us out of Bell II Lodge. Both companies provide us with A-star b3 helicopters, true mountain flying machines with outstanding performances.
There are four pilots that we work with from Access Helicopters, all of whom focus on one thing first and foremost – safety. Their goal is simple: to give everyone the experience of a lifetime, while making sure that everyone gets back to the drop-off safely at the end of each day. Their “safety program, one of the best in the industry, is ‘benchmarked’ with a minimum of 10 other companies to determine current industry trends.” Their goal is to “be a leader in the industry, to be aware of what is happening within the industry, and to prevent safety issues from happening repeatedly.”
Joel Valentine is one of the co-owners of Access Helicopters. With an uncountable amount of flying hours, he is the most experienced of the group. He has been flying for us at Last Frontier Heliskiing since 1998 – “partly because he loves the challenge of precision flying, partly because he loves meeting amazing people from around the world and mainly because he loves seeing the smiles on the faces of those people after he has flown them through what he calls the ‘most beautiful part of our country’” (as told to our own Katie Burrell – check her article out here).
Mike Holcroft (also a co-owner of Access Helicopters) also has many hours of flying under his belt – over 7,000 to be more exact.
Another one of our pilots is Jean-Marc Boulanger. With 11 years of flying experience overall and 3 years flying at Last Frontier Heliskiing, Jean-Marc knows where the goods are – and has no problem getting you there.
Last but not least, Tyson Murphy rounds out the crew with 9 years of flying experience – pictured above on the far left in the orange pants.
Having confidence in your pilots is key – and having the highest level of trust in their experience and their abilities is a given. Here at Last Frontier Heliskiing, we have that confidence and trust in every pilot that we work with. Their experience, focus on safety, precision, ongoing training and customer service are unmatched within the industry, and we are proud to call them our partners.