How to help: Northern California wildfire relief

Life Flight pilots get mountain terrain training from top instructor

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY – Intermountain Life Flight has been carrying out some airborne trainings with one of the top instructors in the world.

Pilots with the group trained this week with Tim Simmons, who is one of the world’s top flight instructors and specializes in mountain flying.

“I’m like a sponge today,” said Pete Anderson, one of the line pilots who attended the trainings. “I'm picking up all kinds of information that will keep me and my crew safe and keep our patients safe.”

Simmons is the chief flying instructor with HNZ Top Flight, and he said the terrain in this area can make flight challenging.

“We're talking about the airflow around mountains, the hazards that need to be understood around the mountains, and some of the techniques to land and take off safely,” he said.

Anderson said such techniques are critically important.

“It’s huge, we do quite a fair bit of search and rescue... picking people up,” he said of their efforts in the mountains.

Intermountain Life Flight undertakes more than 3,500 flights throughout the year, and with this training pilots said they will be able to be even more efficient when a life is on the line.

Bill Butts is the Director of Aviation Operations for Intermountain Life Flight, and he said the training will extend their reach by making pilots more comfortable responding to a variety of situations.

See the video above for more on the trainings.