I went up to Mt Coates yesterday. The system is all tested and back up and running. I asked for close support with the helo since I knew it wasn't going to take me too long to get system going again. The pilot agreed. So we landed, turned off the machine and he enjoyed a bit of a break. Saturday is dress down day for the pilots. I had him pose with his jacket open so you can see his Hawaiian shirt. The weather was closing in on us. The ceiling was coming down fast so it was pretty good that we got in and out. Our flight plan was for 2 hours on the deck. I think we finished in about 20 minutes. The Eurocopter AS 350 is a 3-bladed machine that is pretty sporty. I sat in the front seat and the visibility is great. I am a lot less intimidated by the prospect of flying a helicopter now after technical discussions with the pilots. You do have to "fly" a helo all the time for the most part compared to a fixed wing. I spent the rest of the day working on a cross-band UHF-VHF repeater system in the shop that will go up on mountains on this side of the sound.

The picture shows what you might think is a freezer door. Wrong. It is common to use these freezer doors as entrance doors to buildings. This is (as marked) the exit. Specifically, this is the door in the helo pad briefing room. The doors open in rather than out so you can open them after a herbie (Hurricane Blizzard) comes thru and piles snow around the buildngs. The other picture shows Mt. Coates on our approach. Look closely and you will see the repeater on the left newar the point. We have two repeaters up there all powered by solar.


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