Heli Logging-Bute Inlet
Acrylic on canvas.
Heli logging is a dramatic event, and a spectacular spectator sport! The immense helicopters – often Sikorskeys, with rotors front and back literally drop from the tops of mountains; dumping their loads of old growth timber into the inlets with an unbelievable splash.
‘Ohs’ and ‘ Awhs’ jump from your fellow passengers on the Aurora Explorer as they witness this dramatic event. Boom tugs quickly move in to push the loads out of the way for the next drop.
These large helicopters allow loggers to access prime timber high up on cliff faces that could never be accessed by logging roads. Logging roads are very expensive to build, and the huge trucks are very costly to operate.
Helicopters have simplified the operation.
But even helicopters haven’t taken away all the work and worry involved. Flight crews on these helicopter sites have to rotate shifts every four hours to ensure they don’t lose their critical edge when it come to such dangerous work.
They have lives in the balance when they hover overhead with these monumental trees in their talons!
Crews are specially trained for this type of work, as a small error can lead to disaster.
This has been an economic boom on the coast as traditional forms of logging have declined. To be able to go from the top of a mountain to a waiting tug boat at tide water eliminates a lot of expense. Some of the finest trees to ever be harvested in British Columbia have come down relatively recently a a result of these massive helicopter operations.