Workshop – Aerial survey safety
May 26 @ 12:00 – 13:30 MDT
Flying in small planes or helicopters is an incredibly useful tool for wildlife surveys and conducting fieldwork in remote locations. There are many things to consider in the project planning and fieldwork phases when working with aircraft.
While useful and integral to wildlife related work, flying in small planes and helicopters is also the leading cause of death of wildlife professionals and students. Many of us know someone who was caught in an air crash. These accidents serve as reminders of the risks we take in our profession. The ACTWS has lost several members over the years to air crashes and each one has impacted us deeply.
We want to help you to stay safe and have all the knowledge you need to do so. This workshop will discuss:
- planning a field study that requires aerial data collection or surveying
- getting contracts with pilots in place – what to ask and look for
- training you and others should have before flying
- helicopter and aircraft performance calculations, considerations, and alternatives
- working with pilots to meet your research objectives and stay safe
- safety and what to do in the event of a crash
We are so pleased to welcome speakers with decades of experience in aerial wildlife surveys to share their thoughts, advice, and perspectives with you. Whether you have decades of experience flying and need a refresher or are new to using small aircraft for fieldwork, this workshop will help prepare you for the realities of aerial surveying.
$20 (non-members); $10 (members); $5 (students)
Regional Wildlife Manager – Northwest, Alberta Environment and Parks
I’ve spent the last 20 years working for Alberta’s Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Branch (under various former names) planning and conducting a variety of wildlife and resource related surveys from a variety of fixed and rotor-winged aircraft. I’ll present an overview of some of the vitally important considerations a biologist should contemplate before even entering an aircraft and during the conduct of a survey.
Chief Pilot, Airborne Energy Solutions
David has been living in Whitecourt for 9 years. Primarily responsible for crew flight training and procedural assessments. Over 4000 hours of flight experience specializing in low level aerial flight and surveys. Completed formal education from the University of Guelph studying Zoology. In the winter of 2022 completed his first season of Aerial Ungulate surveys in Fort St John (Sikanni Chief and Williston Lake areas).
David will be joined by Nic Bilodeau from Airborne Energy Solutions, a pilot with vast experience conducting wildlife surveys in Alberta.