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Paul Nopper, aerial adventurer page 4

Story by Kenneth Armstrong • trip Photos by Paul Nopper

A good survival handbook is a must. Paul’s favourite is The British Army Survival Manual. The Canadian Armed Forces classic Down But Not Out is also excellent.

Paul claims WAC charts are okay, but he prefers the detail of the VNC-VFR (Sectional) maps.

At least one portable GPS should be used during the flight and it should be attached by velcro– not screwed or clamped down–so it can be readily grabbed after an emergency landing. (Again, spare batteries are wise.)

Communication with the Husky’s in-panel radio, a handheld and/or the fixed/portable AK-450 ELT will allow voice transmission to contact overhead flights and/or rescue personnel. However, on Paul’s next adventures he will carry the Globalstar satellite phone he recently purchased. Although it is expensive, the ability to be in touch with the outside world at any time is priceless!

Paul recommends monitoring 126.7 when in remote areas of northern Canada as you may hear one-sided conversations between Trans-Atlantic flights and Arctic radio.

GPS units like the Garmin 195 and 295 have “nearest search” features, which will give a pilot the ARTCC frequency for the area you are in. With this in hand plus a functioning radio, you should never be out of touch. Do not rely on a cell phone. Other than a loud air horn, a big knife and a can of bear repellent, Paul carries no weapons. Whatever else you deem necessary for protection is up to you, just be sure to pre-declare firearms or pepper spray with Customs.

If you are interested in becoming a far-ranging aviation adventurer, do your homework diligently and be prepared to have an enlightening escapade. See more of Paul Nopper’s fabulous trip images on the Web through his company, Aerial Images & Video Adventures (www.aiva.ca). |

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One barrel of gas for eight hours of flying – continued: [3] of 3

In two different studies, RWED (Northwest Territories Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development), radio-collared a number of grizzly bears and wolverines. Oleson’s Husky was contracted to do the radio telemetry tracking of the animals. Radio telemetry is a year-round job, but most of the flying is completed between spring and fall. “It’s a real nice assignment. I can start from home and set my own schedule, all subject to the weather conditions, of course.”

Oleson lives with his wife Kristen and two young daughters on the east arm of Great Slave Lake, north of Fort Reliance. The Oleson’s small settlement is situated 167 miles east of Yellowknife at the mouth of Hoarfrost River.

Oleson actually owns more than one Husky. However, the others are of the more traditional northern type. The 23 dogs used in his Hoarfrost River Huskies dog team are not as fuel efficient as the winged Husky. “We only buy expensive high protein dog food. Since half the cost is in the shipping, you might as well go for the best,” says Oleson. He has run in 10 dog sled races over 1,000 miles, including the famous Iditarod eight times, and the Yukon Quest twice.

During the early 1990s diamond rush, Oleson flew 600 hours in the right seat of Twin Otters. Sometimes, he wonders whether he should change his career and go back to flying the turbine twin again. But fortunately, these thoughts usually don’t linger very long. “It’s a totally different world out there, not flying from A to B. I like to disappear in the morning and land on lots of lakes nobody has ever been to. My first love in flying is always going to be low and slow in the Husky. That’s what attracted me to aviation and it’s still the kind of flying I enjoy.” |

Originally published winter 2000.

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