Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Do you wish you could fly?

At Alpine Helicopters, your unique Rocky Mountain experience comes from the air instead of by ground. Guests travelling through Banff National Park say that the closest experience would be taking the Sulphur Mountain Gondola in Banff, but that comparison is still not similar enough. 

Upon arrival at Alpine Helicopters, guests are asked to check in and pay at that time because of the weather temperamental Rockies. Ask any local, and the common phrase of the weather is, "If you don't like it, wait 5 minutes and it'll change." 

After check in, you are asked to sit in the Safety room and to watch a short Safety video followed by a brief explanation by one of the Ground Crew. The video covers how to safely approach the Helicopter, where you are allowed to take photos without risk of injury, and other safety guidelines. The "Decker", or the Ground Crew in charge of briefing and placing guests in groups will explain how to work the Headset that every passenger is equipped with inside the Helicopter, and reinforce the photography policy between the Deck and the Helicopter.

After the Safety Briefing, each group (consisting of 2 - 6 passengers) will be taken out to the red rectangle so that the Decker can give each passenger a seat number, and the Ground Crew on Radio that day can inform the pilot if their next group is ready to be loaded. After given your seat number, the Decker will give the guest with the Seat #1 a coloured ticket with a number, and guide the group to their gate number to wait for their Helicopter. 

Each colour represents a different pilot, and the number on each ticket is for which Flight of the day you are for that pilot. Eg. Red ticket with 4 means that you have the Pilot assigned Red for the day and the fourth flight of the day. 

This is where one of us lovely photographers pops up and will be hovering around the Deck waiting for Helicopters to start being loaded so that we can show our prowess. One of the Ground Crew will come to take your ticket and take you out towards the Helicopter, at which they will turn the group so their backs are to the Helicopter and a Photographer will be crouched on the ground awaiting your smiles. 

After taking 2 photos of your group, the Ground crew will finish loading everyone into the Helicopter and assisting passengers with getting properly strapped in. Then, the doors are locked and the Pilot will proceed to talk you through a tour on your Alpine Adventure.

Upon returning from your tour, be it a 12, 25, or 30 minute tour, you will be unloaded by Ground Crew and can browse the gift shop, grab a cup of coffee or tea from inside, or lounge on the Deck as you await the rest of your group. Beside the gift shop, the Photography kiosk will be awaiting with your group picture on one of our two monitors. From there you can purchase your photo by Print or Digital copy, finish in the gift shop, grab your complimentary Alpine Helicopter certificate, and continue on your adventure through the Rockies while reminiscing about your experience from the sky.

Alpine Helicopters flies all year round, but is weather dependant. However, this all season activity means that you could experience the Rockies in at least 3 phases. Summer, Fall, and Winter, and each season is a different experience.


Blog Post Written by Jessica Lauzon, Summer Alpine Photographer.