For our 2008 season at BC West, we changed our changeover program so that guests transfer through Bella Coola rather than through Campbell River as they had in the past. We made this change primarily to minimize the length of the final charter leg, which makes our transfers much more comfortable and predictable in the event of inclement weather.
One other benefit of the Bella Coola transfer, however, is that the flight is incredible! This is the heart of BC’s Coast Range, and words just don’t do the place justice.
We charter two aircraft for this final leg of the trip – an A Star helicopter and a Cessna 185 on floats. Both charter companies, West Coast Helicopters and Bella Coola Air, have vast experience flying around the Coast Range.
The pilots that we work with are pretty amazing folks. Richard LaPointe flies the helicopter for us, and his resume includes these gems.
- Hobbies: Water skiing, snow skiing, woodworking, photography,mountain biking, reading technical manuals
- Over 5,600 hours on Eurocopter AS350 Astar helicopter in British Columbia
- He has flown these fixed wing aircraft– C-150, C-172, Buffalo, Musketeer, Tutor, PA-28
- And here’s his list of rotary wing aircraft– Astar AS350, Bell 206, Bell 212, Bell 412, Labrador, Hughes 500D, SRN6 [that’s a hovercraft!]
These guys are good at what they do, and the Bella Coola-Dean River flights are a pretty great way to bookend the week on the river.