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Highland Helicopters provides a hands-on learning opportunity for Northern Lights College oil and gas students

On , In General, College News

On September 20th, Highland Helicopters sent over a Euro Copter A-Star, piloted by Sean Whitford, manager of its Fort St. John base. Whitford landed adjacent to the B.C. Centre of Training Excellence in Oil and Gas Simulated Wellsite on the Fort St. John Campus, where students received a helicopter orientation.

After the on-site orientations, students from the Oil and Gas Field Operations and Power Engineering programs took part in PowerPoint and ground school presentations, basic flight theory, machine mechanics, and an in-depth flight and safety discussion.

The students then split into groups of five, and approached the helicopter while it was powered up, working with instructor Mike Seinen and Whitford to learn how to board and load the helicopter before lifting up for a brief flight and landing. The students also took part in unloading the tools and clearing the area, working with the pilot using hand signals and procedures they learned earlier in the day.

“It was a fun day and I can’t wait to do it again sometime in the new year,” said Whitford. “Thanks for the opportunity to be involved and to Mike and the students for their cooperation.”

“We will be working with Highland Helicopters in the future,” said Seinen. “About 30 per cent of the class does extensive helicopter work during their practicum placements.”

In total, 38 students attended the special presentation, and were very pleased with the knowledge they gained.

A big thank you to Highland Helicopters in Fort St. John and Whitford who generously donated the helicopter time, fuel, and man hours, demonstrating their strong commitment to support education and the community.