This is what I get to see from the front:
|The Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness|
Maybe, as a helitack foreman with hundreds of hours flying left front seat, I should do what so many of my kind have done: fade graciously into the background, stay in the office, and spend my time struggling with government computer programs that sound as if they should be fun but are anything but: 52 tracker, talx separation reporter, Aglearn. I should let my employees fly in the front seat more, giving them valuable experience sizing up fires, helping navigate, and operating the radios. Maybe...oh, who am I kidding. No way!
|Great Northern Mountain|
Flying in the front seat, I have evacuated civilians from the path of fast-moving fires, advised air tankers where to drop retardant, located stray cows, and participated in search and rescue. I have bonded with pilots during long ferry flights across Alaska and survived some scary moments that we both decided not to talk about afterwards. The possibility of flight gets me through dark winters spent in a cubicle in the main office, torturous video conferences, and the oddly named "family meetings". The helicopter just left less than a month ago. I can't wait for it to come back.
|The Beavers in Minnesota were cool, but helicopters are still better!|
|Small fire by Aspen, CO|