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(Initial-) External Load Training

This course is designed to introduce the prospective Natural Resource/Utility Rotorcraft Pilots the techniques and skills involved while executing the Vertical Reference mission. This course gives students a basic introduction and will assist companies and agencies to assess whether a pilot will have the aptitude to perform the VR mission with further training. The mission has become a tool in wild land fire fighting, forestry, construction, resource exploration, logging, seismic and many other arenas to complete or accomplish a job safely and effectively. Heli Aviation has a well defined training curriculum that is designed to introduce the student to the Vertical Reference mission.

The Ground and Flight portions of the syllabus will take the student from the beginning planning stages of the mission which will include performance planning for the specific mission flight environment utilizing the “load calculation” form designed for Heli Aviation and similar to the USFS5700-17. Seating comfort position and instrument scanning techniques will be discussed and stressed both during the flight and ground portion of the course. The pre-flight process will begin with the aircraft being utilized for the mission and will progress to the equipment required for the mission. The beginning flight will introduce a perspective that will be unfamiliar to normal flight. From there the student will begin an introductory training starting with a 75’ length line. An open field environment will be used for the beginning flight phases consisting of centering load techniques to load delivery to an open area. From there the pilot will be introduced to the 100’ and 150’ length line and load delivery locations that will be tasking but not overwhelming.

Pickup, departure, enroute, reconnaissance, approach, and landing techniques will be taught. With the completion of the course the student will be evaluated to Heli Aviation flight evaluation standards and will be given a professional critique and evaluation as to the students potential aptitude for furthering mission training.

Heli Aviation will utilize a Bell 206 L-3 Long Ranger or MD500D, that is currently maintained under FAR 135/133 maintenance standards and is also carded for USFS/DOI operations.


Hold at least a Private Rotorcraft Rating.
Able to read, speak & understand the English language.
Hold at least a 3rd Class Medical.
Weight does not exceed 265lbs.


10 hrs Dual Training Bell 206 L-3 or MD500D
10 hrs Utility Equipment Charter
2 hrs Ground Instruction


Receives a Part 133 External Load Training Endorsement from an authorized Instructor.


Start your training at any time.
Estimated duration: 2 to 5 days


Pay as you go, NO upfront payments.