WTF. 40 hours of helo time to move rocks to the top of a mountain.
If anyone has time to research the reason, I would surely like to know why we need more rocks on top of Mount Lassen. Lassen Volcanic National Park
However, I will say that I would rather spend the money this way than on the welfare parasites.
'Aerial Truck' Becomes A 'Rock Star'
Thu, 16 Sep '10
K-MAX Cargo Helo Moves 2.45 Million Pounds Of Boulders To Over 10,000 Feet
Swanson Group Aviation based in Grants Pass, OR, recently hauled 2.45 million pounds of boulders to the top of a 10,400 foot mountain peak in Mt. Lassen National Park in northern California with a company-owned and operated Kaman K-MAX cargo helicopter. The helicopter, dubbed the Aerial Truck, completed the move in just over 40 hours.
Swanson’s K-MAX, flying under a U.S. government contract, used a specially designed bucket system to dump the 500-700 pound rocks at the top of the mountain peak while maintaining a steady hover, avoiding the landing process. “The K-MAX’s unique rotor system provides excellent high-altitude lift performance” stated Jeff Allen, director of business development for Swanson Group Aviation. “We were able to carry nearly 5000 pound loads, even at this altitude,” continued Allen.
Carson Johnson, Swanson Group Aviation’s vice president, said that the Swanson Group started using the K-MAX initially to support their parent company’s forest products division, providing helicopter logging services to support its saw mills in the northwestern U.S. “In that role, the K-MAX typically lifts over one million pounds of timber a day, and on a few occasions, we’ve exceeded two million pounds” stated Carson. “The K-MAX really does remind you of a truck. It doesn’t require much maintenance, even when we’re flying over thirty lifts per hour,” said Carson. Swanson Group operates their K-MAX with one pilot and one mechanic, and typically leaves the machine parked in the woods overnight while operating in these remote sites. “We don’t normally have the luxury of hangars where the K-MAX lives” stated Carson, “but the machine was designed to handle this kind of work, and does it remarkably well.”
“This is exactly the type of mission K-MAX was designed to handle," said Sal Bordonaro, president of Kaman Helicopters. "Through our partnership with Lockheed Martin, we continue to invest in the unmanned K-MAX program for the U.S. military. Taking a machine that has proven itself as an aerial truck, and using it for unmanned cargo movements for the military is a natural progression. It’s simple and it’s strong, just what you’d want in an unmanned aerial truck” he said.