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Synopsis

In 1962 I had just been released from active duty as a US Marine helicopter pilot and had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but had planned from the very beginning to make the most of my mandatory armed services draft obligation so that I would at least have the qualifications and experience of being a commercial pilot as one means to earn a living. The most interesting job offer which would utilize my training as a pilot came from Klondike Helicopters of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. Despite my very excellent and thorough training in the Navy and Marines, bush flying turned out to be dramatically different and more challenging. The high costs of commercial helicopter operations demanded that the pilot make daily judgments crucial to the safety of not only the machine but also its occupants. And then there was the total unpredicability and rapid changeability of weather conditions in mountains and above the Arctic Circle. I was fortunate enough to be one of two pilots and two helicopters on a project whose purpose was to map the stratigraphy of the entire northern half of the Yukon Territory. This took me over nearly every square mile of the northern Yukon at a time when it was still a relatively untouched frontier. It was most certainly an opportunity of a lifetime, covered here with color photos and stories from legendary bush pilot, Pat Callison, owner of Klondike Helicopters.

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