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  • Helicopters

    Hey guys,

    I'm very glad that I have found this forum. Let me introduce myself - I'm a South African helicopter pilot and instructor currently living in Cape Town. I've got a passion for science and have always been particularly fascinated by Antarctica.

    What I would like to know is if anyone here knows which countries/operators have the largest helicopter presence in Antarctica, and what sort of skills they are looking for. I'm 23 now and would like to start working towards the qualifications/skills they need - I don't yet know how I'm going to do it, but all I know is that I am going to do it.

    I have about 2 years volunteer experience working as deck-hand/radio operator/IT on research/environmental ships. It was on them that I had my first helicopter flight. That really got me hooked on flying - so I slowly worked my way up to CPL-H (commercial pilot license) with an instructors rating.

    If anyone can please give me some pointers I would really appreciate it!

    All the best,

  • #2
    Re: Helicopters

    I know that the United States Antarctic Program has at least four helicopters based at McMurdo Station, which are used for flying personnel to field sites that are within helicopter range. There are no helicopters at South Pole Station. I can't speak for other stations or other nations.

    However, some cruise ships may also have helicopters, so that might be your best chance. Alternately, if you can fly small fixed-wing aircraft you might see about getting a job with Kenn Borek, which is based out of Calgary, Alberta (Canada) but does a lot of flying in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

    With your nationality, you might have a chance with the South African, British, Australian, or New Zealand programs (except I don't think New Zealand is using any helicopters in Antarctica). There's even a slim possibility of getting hired by the U.S. program, but I wouldn't count on it.

    In the meantime, Cape Town is a nice place and you even have penguins, so take the time to appreciate what you have. ;-)

    Best of luck.


    • #3
      Re: Helicopters

      Thanks so much Alan,

      I'll keep on sniffing around and I'll let you guys know if I find out anything useful. Apparently "Helicopters New Zealand" also operate quite a few helos on the ice - not sure where though.

      Cheers from sunny Cape Town!