Pilot Safaris

The Pilot Safari is a holiday - a very flying-oriented holiday that will extend your abilities in the easiest and safest way. We buddy-fly, giving guidance and advice by example or over the radio. We have a suggested itinerary, but tailor each tour to our clients’ wishes and abilities, sometimes splitting the group in the air but always aiming to meet up at the end of the day, whether back in Bir, out for the night in Dharamsala, up in the hills for a wild vol-bivouac or living it up at our fully catered skycamp.

Photo: Jody MacDonald


Each tour will start and finish in Bir and last ten days. There will be seven full days of fly-guiding (experience has shown that everyone, clients and guides, gets worn out by ten days on the trot, which is what the weather usually allows). For the first tour our suggested flying itinerary , which is of course very flexible, is as follows:

Day 1: Out and return flight from Billing to acclimatise, test equipment and assess skills.
Day 2: Fly 45km to Dharamshala along the main Dhauladhar range and stay the night at Sky Pie in Bhagsu.
Day 3: Walk up to Magic View take off (1 hour) and fly back to Bir.
Day 4: Over the back into the high mountains above the Barot valley (1:1 and 2:1 only) and then on to the catered camp at 360.
Day 5: 360 camp back to top land at Billing for a chai, then down to Bir via Big Face if wished for.
Day 6: Billing to Mandi (45km), a beautiful low route giving a unique glimpse into Himalayan village life. Taxi back to Bir.
Day 7: Tailor-made to suit pilots’ requirements. Anything from a local bivi to a 100km XC along the Dhauladhar range from Dharamshala to Mandi, or over the back and across the big stuff to Manali.

Colin Hawke flew most of these routes in 2009. For his take on the experience read his

If the weather allows for more flyable days (which is more than likely) we shall arrange pilots’ transport to take off and advise on possible flight plans. For a supplementary fee, we can guide them on their chosen routes, including a possible wild vol bivouac. Prices will depend on the planned routes and client ratios.

Photo: Jody MacDonald

For the Second tour

The 2nd tour will be more challenging. It will be starting and finishing at Bir but will involve more camps and overnight stays away from the immediate environs of Bir.

Once pilot and guide are familiar the routes may alter to include a vol biv/ hotel itinerary with up to 5 consecutive overnight stays. Destinations may include Dahramsala, 360 Camp, Parasur, Chamunda, Mandi and Manali.

The order in which these flights are taken will depend on the day and wishes of the pilot and guide

Picture-Taker-cKZ0p8 Parasur 2400m

Picture-Taker-19ECA5 Chamunda 2800m