Kawasaki BK117's

I reckon its one of the best choppers out there, very much underated.
Kareela Aviation (seen here) have one of the best and largest (i think) fleet of Kawasaki BK117's in oz, they also hold the RFS (Rural Fire Service) contract too 🙂
There is a Bell 205 in there too, the ute of the air and not even in the same class 😉

I rarely, actually, never, get in a helicopter unless I have to for work, however this was one exception for some aerial photography work from a AS350, probably the smallest chopper I would trust my ass in 🙂

Its the end of the fire season over here and hence some spare time for a bit of downtime for these guys, hence the effort to arrange the aircraft and tankers – these guys are fully self sufficient with the ability to fly maintenance (Baron fixed wing – not shown) dudes out to working aircraft across the state and provide fuel support.

This is a vertical pano shot, 3 frames, landscape orientation – cheers to my pilot for the day for some nice steady OGE (Out of ground effect) hovering to get me in the right position for this one 🙂

Exif/setup love:
3 Landscape orientation images stitched
D750 coupled with 24-70mm f4 @ 24mm Aperture: f/8 and Shutter Speed: 1/320s
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL.

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32 thoughts on “Kawasaki BK117's

  1. Thanks, Mr. +Gerard Blacklock for the beautiful shots. However, I must comment on the commentary, as they say. "I rarely, actually, never, get in a helicopter unless I have to for work…," As a forty plus year helicopter pilot I ran into this 'helicopters are inherently unsafe' jive all the time. It's hard to see it perpetuated. Helicopters are NOT inherently unsafe; they can certainly be flown in unsafe ways, and it is tempting to 'cowboy' them around, but the rotary-wing industry suffers from this perception of instability, and it's too bad when people pass it along as received wisdom. The pictures are beautiful, and the machines are, too. I flew helicopters 'safely' for 12,500 hours and 41 years, and I miss it every day. Just something to think about. Thanks again for the shots.

  2. +Byron Edgington there is something to be said for high time pilots. I worked for 37 years in the fire service, most of my summers were crewing helicopters. Back in the early 70's we loved to see the Vet Pilots on our contract ship. They did what was needed and could make that ship save us time and money. Not saying the younger guys didn't know what they were doing, I just know I sure relaxed more when I had a high time pilot was hauling us in and out of the fire or doing bucket work for us……. I thank you for ur High time experience

  3. Hey +Byron Edgington , thanks for the comment mate – regarding the note about me getting in helicopters smaller than a squirell – its more of a tongue in cheek thing 🙂 I have done enough flying to develop a healthy respect of all things that are more than 10ft off the deck 🙂 I agree that most aircraft are not inherently dangerous and quite frankly you have more chance of being nailed in your car. That said I have seen plenty of questionable aircraft and … actions… which can and have had bad consequences.
    You're a lucky man to have spent your career flying, I find its an exhilarating ride every time (excluding sitting on a boing or scarebus burner 😉 ).
    Speaking of unsafe flying, well not unsafe, but the need for some brass balls, I assume you have seen that BO-105 (redbull one) do aerobatics! awesome stuff.
    Again, thanks for spotting by and commenting 🙂

  4. +Brad McKelvy
    well said mate – I know when I learnt to fly I certainly valued that crusty old white haired dude belting me on the back of the head when I did something wrong rather than the 18 year instructor with just enough hours 🙂

  5. Working in the offshore oil fields I've flown in quite a number of helicopters over the years, Bell 216, 214, old Pumas and new Super Pumas but my favourite is still what we started on, the old Sikorsky 61s. Basically a flying boat/bus for us with plenty room, would carry 16 of us plus a crew and still room for cargo. Happy days

  6. +Gavin Gordon The S61 is/was a good chopper, but as you mentioned, its like a bus 🙂 I saw a video of it sometime ago during a rescue where it got hit by a large spray wave, it did not even notice – although the dude being winched out would have lol.
    Chinooks have got a bad rap lately , speaking of videos, that one of the chinook bolted to the deck for a ground resonance (?) test is awesome 🙂

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