Get to know our Koala Helicopters- the ‘Ferrari’ of Heli Skiing Choppers

There are many reasons why we stand above others when it comes to offering the best experience for our guests. Our guests often notice the quality of food & service, how DEEP our powder is, and the amazing tree & high alpine terrain we offer. But there is one element that is often overlooked by guests- and that is how amazing our Koala Helicopters are. While other operations offer many different types of 4,5 & 10 passenger helicopters, no one can match the speed, power, comfort and overall experience of our 6-pax Italian designed Koalas. In our ‘Classic’ Package at Yellow Cedar Lodge- we fly a maximum of 3 groups of 6 and still fit in 6 guests, a guide, and a pilot very comfortably. And in our ‘Elite’ program with Accommodations at our Mountain Lodge- we only ski in groups of 5. So no tight squeezes here. Everyone can fit in to our Elite groups with plenty of extra leg, shoulder and arm room. Here is all you need to know about your sweet ride in the mountains.

Agusta Koala Helicopter

The AW119 Koala is a ‘flying Ferrari’ for the Mountains of British Columbia

The AW119 Koala is a single-engine multirole helicopter. AgustaWestland, the manufacturer, promotes the model as possessing excellent flight qualities with high levels of controllability, manoeuvrability and inherent safety. Exactly the type of machine you want for flying in the vast Skeena Mountain range around our lodges. It employs a four-bladed fully articulated main rotor; the composite rotor blades are designed to produce maximum lift with minimum noise, and feature tip caps to reduce noise and elastomeric bearings with no lubrication requirements. Aluminium honeycomb structural panels are used throughout the airframe, which absorb both noise and vibration, thus requiring no additional vibration absorption systems to be employed. All this equals a pretty quiet ride for our guests.

Also to note, the outstanding technology and safety features. The machine offers in most model types excellent flying qualities and best-in-class levels of safety typical of light twin category helicopters. The Garmin G1000NXi VFR glass cockpit enhances situational awareness, the Genesys Aerosystems IFR glass cockpit is available as alternative and allows pilots to operate the aircraft safely in low visibility and challenging weather conditions. With constantly changing light and weather conditions, these are exactly the type of features that you want in an aircraft flying in the mountains. As you know, weather out in the field can change not only day to day, but hour to hour or even minute to minute. Our skilled pilots with their years of flying fire, forestry and heliskiing missions really appreciate flying such and incredible helicopter.


Exceptional cabin flexibility can also be found in the Koala. With its spacious, comfortable and elegantly designed cabin, tailored to unique customer specifications, it offers more room than any other single-engine helicopter..

Did you know? The Koala has been used for various roles, including utility, emergency medical services (EMS), offshore, law enforcement, and executive transport. And the machine is used by many countries such as the US, Israel, India, Mexico and others for both military and offshore rescue use. We are proud to be one of the few in Canada to use these incredible machines, and truly believe it’s one more reason why our overall heliskiing experience can’t be matched by our competitors. So next time you are out with us flying in the mountains, take a minute to appreciate the “Ferrari” of helicopters!

Heli skiing in Terrace BC

Heli Skiers love the speed, power and comfort of the Agusta Koala helicopter.

General characteristics 

  • Crew: 1-2 
  • Capacity: 6-7 passengers or 1,400 kg (3,086 lb) sling load 
  • Length: 12.92 m (42 ft 5 in) 
  • Height: 3.60 m (11 ft 10 in) 
  • Empty weight: 1,483 kg (3,269 lb) 
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb) 
  • Fuel capacity:
    3-cell fuel system 605 l (160 US gal)
    4-cell fuel system 711 l (188 US gal)
    5-cell fuel system 870 l (230 US gal) 
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-37A turboshaft engine, 747 kW (1,002 hp) 
  • Main rotor diameter: 10.83 m (35 ft 6 in) 
  • Main rotor area: 92.1 m2 (991 sq ft)

  • Cruise speed: 244 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn) 
  • Never exceed speed: 282 km/h (175 mph, 152 kn) 
  • Range: 954 km (593 mi, 515 nmi) 
  • Endurance: 5 h 20 min 
  • Service ceiling: 4,572 m (15,000 ft) 
  • Rate of climb: 9.1 m/s (1,790 ft/min)


*Data from AgustaWestland AW119Kx brochure