Murphy anxiously awaits his first rid in the helicopter.
I had helicopter training for TCSAR this weekend. I was hoping it was going to be canceled due to the weather. With the 5″ of new snow on Teton Pass, I knew things would be skiing nice and I wanted to get Julia out on her new AT rig.
Our training was in Curtis Canyon and the clouds spit on us the whole time, luckily it wasn’t very cold. We were able to get a few “toe-in” loads and unloads in, as well as some training with the dogs before the weather shut down and it really started getting wet, not to mention the helicopter running low on fuel.
Jason warms Murphy up to the helicopter (49MA) as
Teton County Search and Rescue members look on and board the ship.
We split into groups and got shuttled to different LZ’s and Murphy, the retriever, ended up in my group. It was Murphy’s first time in a helicopter and I was a little concerned how he would react. We’ve had some problems with dogs in the helicopter before and there’s always a chance the dog may get nervous and do its thing inside the helicopter. A sure way to piss off the pilot. Luckily, his handler Jason had some experience and slowly warmed Murphy up to the ship while some other groups transitioned in and out. After a couple “hot” loads (getting in and out of the heli while the engines are running), Murphy looked solid and ready to go.
When it was our team’s turn, Murphy got extra pumped and wiggled in Brian’s arms as the helicopter came in close. While keeping him under control, we loaded our gear in the back while another team member hopped in the front seat to even out the weight. I opened the back door and Jason tossed Murphy in without a hitch. Like an old pro, he calmly enjoyed the view while we flew to the next LZ. Murphy nailed the exit, even though it was on a ridge…with a mandatory air out of the ship. Props to Murphy…he’s earned his wings!