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Massif's Women's Fit Garments for Blackcomb Helicopters’ Female Team that Supports SAR Operations

Blackcomb Helicopters Search and Rescue
March 27, 2024
Massif's Women's Fit Garments for Blackcomb Helicopters’ Female Team that Supports SAR Operations

Blackcomb Helicopters has been at the forefront of search and rescue (SAR) operations within the Sea to Sky Corridor and Western Canada for over three decades. 

Since its inception in 1989, the company has worked closely with SAR teams from Whistler, Squamish, North Shore, Lions Bay, and Pemberton, significantly contributing to the evolution and practice of Long Line Rescue operations. They have played a key role in developing both the essential equipment and techniques for operations in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

Class D Long Line Rescue and Hoist Operations

Class D rescue is a specialized aerial rescue technique used in situations where conventional rescue methods are impractical or impossible. This method is often employed in remote, rugged, or otherwise inaccessible terrain, such as mountains, forests, or canyons where an aircraft and crew are unable to land.

The technique involves a helicopter flying close to the rescue site and deploying a long line or cable, at the end of which is a rescue technician, stretcher, or basket. A member of the SAR team, who is specially trained in medical and rescue operations, is either suspended on a fixed long line and flown to the location and then lowered by the helicopter, or lowered by the hoist cable from the helicopter above the site. Once the victim is secured, both the victim and the SAR member are suspended from or hoisted back up to the helicopter and flown to safety.

Long-line rescue requires both highly skilled pilots and rescue personnel, as it involves complex maneuvers and coordination. The pilots must maintain a stable hover while dealing with variable wind conditions and other environmental challenges, while the rescue personnel must quickly and safely prepare the victims for extraction at the same time as being suspended at the end of a long cable.

Blackcomb Helicopters' contributions to the field extend beyond their immediate rescue missions. They have been instrumental in the development and refinement of long line rescue equipment and techniques, influencing and supporting best practices within the search and rescue community in Canada and internationally. Their deep commitment to safety, excellence and innovation in long line rescue has made them a respected resource for search and rescue operations, earning them recognition as true leaders in this life-saving field.


The expertise and dedication of their search and rescue pilots and aircrews are underscored by their annual training regimen, which not only meets but surpasses the rigorous standards established by Transport Canada and the Helicopter Association of Canada's Best Practices. These efforts ensure the highest level of readiness and capability in responding to backcountry emergencies.

Blackcomb Helicopters has taken a significant step forward in enhancing the safety and comfort of its crew by partnering with Massif to use our flight suit garments. This collaboration emphasizes not just the performance of our gear, but a focus on providing women's fit garments. This initiative ensures that all team members, regardless of gender, have access to high-quality, well-fitted protective clothing that enables them to perform their demanding roles comfortably and efficiently.

Massif Women’s Fit Garments in use by Blackcomb Helicopters Team

In this challenging and demanding field, where precision, comfort, and reliability are critical for safety in extreme conditions -  Blackcomb Helicopters’ partnership with Massif for their women’s fit garments represents a significant advancement in operational effectiveness and crew comfort. This collaboration highlights a shared commitment to excellence, recognizing the unique needs and contributions of female pilots and aircrews.

The decision for Blackcomb Helicopters to equip their female personnel with Massif's women’s fit garments is driven by several critical factors that underscore the importance of proper fit, comfort, and safety in challenging conditions.

Flamestrech ¼ Zip Pullover

Blackcomb Helicopters has selected the Massif Flamestretch 1/4 Zip Pullover in a women's fit for their female aircraft engineers and crews. This garment is one of Massif's warmest layering options, designed to provide unparalleled comfort and functionality. Tailored specifically for women, it offers a snug, female-specific fit and sizing that enhances mobility without being restrictive, ensuring peak performance. 

The Flamestretch Pullover, made with Nomex® brand fiber, is distinguished by its ultra-soft, comfortable fabric that is highly breathable while efficiently trapping heat to keep the wearer warm. This makes it an ideal insulating layer, perfectly suited to meet the diverse needs of the Blackcomb Helicopters' personnel, accommodating various body types and ensuring practical utility in high-demand environments.


This initiative reflects Blackcomb Helicopters’ understanding of the challenges in a male-dominated industry, especially given the low percentage of female pilots and engineers. 

By partnering with Massif to provide uniforms made to fit women, Blackcomb Helicopters is not only enhancing their team's operational effectiveness but also paving the way for a more inclusive future in the industry.

2-Piece Flight Suit Pant

For the demanding roles of female aircraft engineers and crews, Blackcomb Helicopters has adopted the Massif 2-Piece Flight Suit Pant in a Women’s Fit to meet the specific needs of its wearers.


Developed from direct feedback across multiple military branches, this pant combines functionality with a fit tailored for women, ensuring both comfort and efficiency during operations. Its innovative design features, including a patented attachment system for flexibility and mesh-lined pockets for better heat management, make it an ideal choice for the rigorous demands of SAR missions.

This choice reflects Blackcomb Helicopters’ dedication to supporting and encouraging women in aviation, a field where they are significantly underrepresented. 

The Massif 2-Piece Flight Suit Pant represents a critical step towards creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for women in these vital roles, aligning with Blackcomb Helicopters commitment to diversity and excellence in aviation.

2-Piece Flight Suit Jacket

Blackcomb Helicopters uses the Massif 2-Piece Flight Suit Jacket in a Women’s Fit for their female flight crews, showing a strong commitment to providing garments that fit well and work hard. 

This jacket, created with input from military personnel, is designed specifically for women. It features a smart attachment system for better movement and mesh-lined pockets for cooling, making tough SAR missions a bit more comfortable.

By picking uniforms that meet their female team members' unique needs, Blackcomb Helicopters is not just ensuring their team can do their jobs effectively; they're also making a statement about the value of diversity in their ranks. The Massif jacket is more than just a piece of clothing; it's part of Blackcomb's bigger goal to encourage more women to pursue and succeed in the search and rescue industry.

We invite you to explore the line of Massif women's fit garments and find out how comfort, functionality, and inclusivity are shaping the future of flight operations with Blackcomb Helicopters and Massif. Check out the Massif women's fit garments today, and support a movement that's making a real difference in the lives of those who put their lives on the line for others.

Massif 2-Piece Flight Suit Jacket in a Women’s Fit
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