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Heli skiing in Siberia

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
post #2 of 22
Someday maybe. I would be worried about maintenance on those choppers.
The Russians aren't really known for being too picky about that kind of stuff.
I wouldn't fly Aeroflot to get there either.
post #3 of 22

.

If it ain't Boein' I ain't Goin'.


(It sounds a lot better aloud)
post #4 of 22
Shreadhead hit it right on the money.

Learn a bit about helicopters and flying at altitude, though coastal stuff probably isn't that high.

Learn about parts availabilty for an aging fleet of military hardware.

Life is about risk .... but .... weighing the odds ain't a bad concept.

PS ... when I watched the tourist helo ops on the "Big Island" and then on Kuai, despite my wife's badgering, I refused to go on a "tour" and she was on me for days. I watched numerous violations of the FAR's/CFR's and just said no f'n way. Two days later the FAA shut down all of the tour operators in Hawaii.

Who is watching the operators in East Bumfudge Siberia .... :
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well those skiiers in the pictures looked pretty happy...
post #6 of 22
And how many of those happy campers are aircraft mechanics or pilots?



Quite frankly, with the "off shore and outsource" of maintenance for many of the US fleet, I am having second thoughts about our own safety on major carriers.

BTW ..... Qantas got burned the other day when they flew a bird fresh out of service from an "off shore" vendor with the oxygen system wired in the "off" position. The "service technicians" in Mainla screwed up big time on the A 330.

Same with a Qantas 747-400 earlier this year that was major serviced in Singapore .... ox wired shut!
post #7 of 22
Quote:
I wouldn't fly Aeroflot to get there either.
On almost all international flights Aeroflot is using either Boeing or Airbus and their service is very comparable to airlines in the US. And by the way, Kamchatka is not in Siberia, it's in Russian Far East.
post #8 of 22
just another comparison...

to be a guide in many countries you need very little actual certification. Ski guide operations in Japan are constantly cited by many hard core BC riders for taking atrocious risks. 20 people in a group? all dropping in on the same face? No wonder 4 people died. (true story this winter) The guides had an "official" operation, yet none certified higher than an Avi I cert. (I got that when I was 18, it took 2 days and 120$)

so anyway, stay away from Japanese guiding operations if you don't have inside knowledge on certifications and how valid theirs really are. And i completely second Yuki's argument. Once you're in-the-know, you realize how most aren't.

I may fly with this op sighted above as the foundation to this thread, but only after I learned more about how their credentials hold-up on a world-class scale. Just because they have a helicopter, doesn't mean they change the oil.
post #9 of 22
no problem, bring me as your guide. i speak russian + my russian instructor, she has been dying to go back for 5 years now. we'll get you a good pilot, good chopper and keep you out of the places americans shouldnt go.
post #10 of 22
FWIW...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elemental Adventure
Helicopters & Safety
The extremely powerful, Russian built M18 MTV helicopters are used to transport skiers and boarders. The helicopters are particularly well suited to the local heli skiing terrain and rigorously serviced and maintained according to international maintenance procedures. Both pilots and engineers are highly trained and qualified professionals with extensive mountain experience. Each group of skiers or boarders is accompanied by a UlAGM certified European guide as well as a highly experienced Russian guide. All of the guides have a great deal of heli skiing experience and all guests are supplied with ABS avalanche air bags
Elemental Adventure Heliskiing
post #11 of 22
I've spent a little time in Russia, including the Far East, and it always amazes me that things actually work. They may not look functional, but they are. I remember sitting in the airport in Magadan watching Tupolev aircraft take off in clouds of black smoke and thanking God I was not on them.

I suspect the choppers are top notch, actually. Especially given that the operation in based in Europe and is catering the foreigners.

As for Aeroflot, it sucks in ways you cannot imagine, but all international carriers have to meet the same safety requirements. Internal flights may be more dicey, but the problem with Aeroflot has more to do with the inside of the plane than its safety.

The only thing that'll keep me away from this is the price tag and my skiing ability.
post #12 of 22
You could describe UTAir and the TU fleet they operate as "rugged yada yada" and highly experienced.

Let your fingers do a trip on "Google Air" ... and check the "Blacklist" of carriers that are forbidden in EU airspace and note that many of them are of "Russian" break off .. origins.

The M18/17's are indeed "rugged" and powerful ... the questions about parts and pilots ..... note ..... I also had questions about US operators too (and they were shut down .. same bunch had a crash a few weeks ago in Princeville).

You are dealing with a "chrun & burn .... kick the tires & light the fires" industry. I've watch too many go out after shutting down (ag and tourist), without preflighting the aircraft .... jus' MHO. Before I put my adz on one of those I'd be looking for leaks and cracks and watching some operations first.


As the man sez .... "Step right up, pay your money and take your chances"
post #13 of 22
Flown Aeoroflot (domestic) many, many times and lived to tell the tale. US airlines are getting to be the same. Pretty soon, folks'll be bringing their chickens and sausages onto the NY to Dallas flights too, now that they won't feed you anymore.
post #14 of 22
aeoroflot is no united, but its not that horrible.

actually, if you have to go skiing in Russia; i'd recommend Abzhakovo resort. I mean, it's putin's favorite; so it's gotta be good skiing. although, being around Putin these days seems to be more dangerous than flying aeoroflot.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Now let's not get too political............... :
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skicougar View Post
aeoroflot is no united, but its not that horrible.

actually, if you have to go skiing in Russia; i'd recommend Abzhakovo resort. I mean, it's putin's favorite; so it's gotta be good skiing. although, being around Putin these days seems to be more dangerous than flying aeoroflot.
Isn't that were some people got knocked off a lift by an avi a few weeks ago? I'm still trying to figure out how exactly that happens.
post #17 of 22
if it did happen, I don't find it all that surprising.

snow rolls down a mountain, it doesn't slide as the misconception iterates. Plumes in the sky have velocity too.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinguitar90 View Post
Now let's not get too political............... :
hey, no politics here. my priorities are correct. skiing and women are 1 and 2(or 2 and 1, depends on the woman), everything else is a distant and unimportant 3rd.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Isn't that were some people got knocked off a lift by an avi a few weeks ago? I'm still trying to figure out how exactly that happens.
That happened in Krasnaya Polyana......

Personally I would recommend doing heli skiing in either Terskol or Dombai which are both located in Caucasus because of much shorter flight from Moscow - only 3 hours and possibility of skiing the highest mountain in Europe - Elbrus, more info here: www.kavkazskitur.com
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyrocket101 View Post
That happened in Krasnaya Polyana......

Personally I would recommend doing heli skiing in either Terskol or Dombai which are both located in Caucasus because of much shorter flight from Moscow - only 3 hours and possibility of skiing the highest mountain in Europe - Elbrus, more info here: www.kavkazskitur.com
Yes, but what is the shorter flight from the US? (the world is round)
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Yes, but what is the shorter flight from the US? (the world is round)
Best to my knowledge there is a weekly flight from Anchorage to Petropavlovsk which is more expansive than the flight through Moscow.
post #22 of 22
http://vtolblog.com/?p=2595

OK, it wasn't maintenance.
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