“Rotor” Helicopter Logging
July 14, 1973
Nine cars transported 35 people to Frissel Creek across Carpenter Bridge on Clear Lake Cut-off to the rotor sale area. Because it was Sat, & trucks were not hauling, Carl Milho, Evergreen Helicopter Supervisor permitted the group to walk in on the operation area. The huge Sikorski S-64 (new cost-plus 2 million $) was refueling on our arrival. Even at 100 yards the scream of the twin jet motors had most people holding their ears & wondering why they did not shut down during refueling (because rotor blades would not stop during such time) 500 gal of jet fuel per hour, but this giant which in Vietnam carried two 12x32 complete surgical operating rooms or two 40ft pontoon bridges or two tanks was hauling half truckload of logs every three to four min.
When the tail of the logs hit the landing area the electronic hook was tripped & the machine was on its way back. Conventional fallers and buckers are flown to two high perchs by two small helicopters early in the morning. Also the choker setters, who work a half day in advance are flown out & back from work. The sale is an experimental approach to obtaining logs from steep rocky south slopes which would not be otherwise logged due to extreme breakage, slow reproduction and or visual degradation. Helicopter operating costs of $2700 per hour are offset by 14$ stumpage instead of the usualk $100–$150. After second refueling we went down along the McKenzie River for lunch. About ½ the group returned early; the rest went up Frissel Ridge to view the cutover from a burn, thence on around Carpenter Mtn. where we visited a conventional tower logging operation and Waldo Rock & down Blue River Road to see partial cutting on flat ground done by tractors. Past the unseasonably low Blue River Reservoir back to the McKenzie Hiway and home.
Several expressed a desire to visit a conventional high lead steel tower operation on a later trip.
With Dave on this exciting trip were: Charles & Jim & Louise Berkey, Brenda & Cliff & Irene & Lisa Broyles, Al Church, Dutchess Cox, Patsy and Peter Hawkins, Wayne and Mrs Jarvis, Aaron & Catrina & Janice Kaufman, Man Wai Lau, Barbara and Marv & Rachel & Sarah Lickey, Don & Susie Payne, Ranjan Ray, Merle Traudt, Abe & Ingrid & Cindy & Lori Wright, Cheryl and Dave & Linda & Mark & Mike Zevenbergen & the leader — Dave Burwell.