We were asked to evaluate the suitability of a turbine powered airplane for waterfowl surveys in interior British Columbia. Previous surveys had been completed by helicopter (Andre Breault, personal communication).
The pilot has flown waterfowl surveys for 22 years throughout Alaska, Manitoba, Ontario and eastern Siberia. The observer was also an experienced waterfowl pilot/biologist from Alaska. Logistics for fuel and lodging were not a problem as we worked out of Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake, and Smithers. One day was spent on the ground due to excessively high winds. We found that a general wind of more than 15 knots created turbulence too extreme for surveying. Even on the sunny days with light general winds, thermal activity in the rough terrain made surveying difficult.