Canadian UAVs, an unmanned aviation solutions provider for enterprise and military applications, received an approval issued by Transport Canada to inspect remote oil and gas assets beyond line of sight for environmental integrity in civilian airspace.
If the past decade hasn’t been proof of the old adage about living in exciting times, things promise to get a little more interesting in the future based on recent world events.
I wrote this column from the back of a Combi Dash 7 with virtually no heat whatsoever (it eventually came on, but it was still very cold).
May 7, 2015, Wilmington, Ma. - Operators who support global oil and gas producers are known for their high standard of helicopter operations.  In recent years, the desire to increase connectivity to the aircraft coupled with the sharp decline in world oil prices has posed a particularly difficult economic challenge to those companies.
May 7, 2015, Vancouver - CHC Helicopter has announced that Lee Eckert will be succeeding Joan Hooper as Chief Financial Officer effective July 16, 2015.
April 15, 2015, Portland, Or. - Erickson Incorporated has announced that the company has contracted with Group Desarrollo Infaestructura, SA de CV (GDI) who is contracted with Transcanada Corporation’s Mexican Subsidiary, Transportadora de Gas del Noreste, for a new rural infrastructure pipeline project that will bring clean-burning natural gas to businesses and citizens in Mexico.


Dec. 10, 2014, Edmonton - Edmonton’s STARS air ambulance will now be stocked up on a life-saving resource, opting to carry units of blood on board at all times when responding to medical missions.
Dec. 1, 2014, Prince George, B.C. - Tempest Aviation Group has become the latest local business to donate to a campaign to establish a dedicated rapid-response air ambulance helicopter service for northern B.C.
Nov. 24, 2014, Prince George, B.C. - The executive director of the Helicopter Emergency Response Operations Society (HEROS) says she should know by the end of January whether there is enough support to bring dedicated emergency medical helicopter service to northern B.C.
Sept. 3, 2014, Vancouver - For three hours, Sue Gordon watched as a massive rescue operation unfolded after a tour bus carrying 56 people flipped on the Coquihalla Highway Thursday afternoon. As she was getting ready to continue her trip home to Tsawwassen, she bent down to pull off a bloody piece of paper that had blown against her leg.
July 28, 2014, Moscow, Rus. - As recently announced by the Moscow Health Department, following an open tender, Airbus Helicopters Vostok was awarded a contract to supply two medical helicopters for the Health Department’s Scientific and Practical Centre of Emergency Medicine. The preferred rotorcraft among two other bidders was the proven EC145.
July 23, 2014, Saskatoon - Barrie Tolmie couldn’t contain his excitement about STARS Air Ambulance’s new helicopter. “Compared to what we’ve been flying before, this helicopter is just absolutely phenomenal,” the pilot said, with the enthusiasm of a teenager showing off a new hotrod.


Tourism and outdoor recreation have become major drivers in B.C.’s economy and continue to grow every year.
British Columbia’s volunteer Search & Rescue (SAR) teams are on their way to a record year for callouts at a pace that will see them exceed last year’s total by more than 30 per cent.
Jan. 21, 2015, Singapore - The AS365 Dauphin rotorcraft full-flight simulator at Airbus Helicopters’ Singapore-based training center has been upgraded to provide highly realistic training in both day and night search and rescue (SAR) operations, offering pilots the unique capability to safely practice these demanding life-saving missions.
Jan. 12, 2015, Samarate, Italy - AgustaWestland has announced it has achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the Search and Rescue variant of the AW189, paving the way for the delivery of aircraft for the UK search and rescue programme.
Jan. 2, 2015 – One man or woman was not going to replace Tim Jones after the search and rescue hero died suddenly of heart failure last January.
Dec. 23, 2014, Samarate, Italy - AgustaWestland has announced it has achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the Search and Rescue variant of the AW189, paving the way for the delivery of aircraft for the UK search and rescue programme.
2017 was a record year for wildfires in British Columbia, which is nothing to cheer about. The raw numbers are staggering in and of themselves: 1,200,000 hectares burned, and tens of thousands of people evacuated from communities across central B.C.
Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch.
I consider myself an optimist. The glass is always half full – and it can always get worse.
Gold. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
Anxiety is not conducive to positive job performance. It may be especially concerning in high-risk roles – surgery, for example, or landing a helicopter on an oil rig platform on a dark and stormy night.
As the extractive industries ramp up and enthusiasm spreads in our industry, the ever-pervasive fear that, once again, every operator will suddenly feel “expansive” is becoming more acute.
I woke up on January 23 to news of a major earthquake overnight near Alaska, which set off tsunami warnings from the Aleutians to Baja and sent residents of coastal towns scurrying for high ground.
It was a record year for wildfires in British Columbia in 2017 and many operators, which was good news for helicopter operators in the province engaged in aerial firefighting.
Events of the last couple of years – Fort McMurray in 2016 and British Columbia’s 2017 season of disaster – are a hint from Mother Nature that we need to rethink our relationship with forests, especially the part about what happens when things catch on fire.
Rain has finally arrived on B.C.’s south coast – and maybe, just maybe, there will be an end to the 2017 fire season. It’s been a record year for wildfires in B.C. and as we passed through the Labour Day weekend, the nominal finish line, there was no end in sight.
CAE loyalists might be forgiven if they refer to the company founder as Saint Ken Patrick.
Cathy Press, through her company, Chinook Helicopters, has been a major player in Canada and abroad, providing training to the rotary-wing market. I last spoke with her at the B.C. Aviation Council Silver Wing Awards gala in October 2017, where she was the recipient of the Back and Bevington Air Safety Trophy, awarded annually for the “most significant contribution to Air Safety in the province of British Columbia.”
Erickson Incorporated, builder and primary operator of the unique Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane heavy lift helicopter, successfully emerged from Chapter 11 in late April 2017 after filing for bankruptcy protection from creditors in November 2016.
In June of this year, Danny Sitnam, president and CEO of Helijet International Inc., was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame at the CAHF’s 44th annual Gala Dinner. The event was held on the departures level concourse at Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
When I caught up with Stephen Dengler in early August, he was a bit frosted. “The weather has been against us the whole way,” he commented. They were stuck in Nome, Alaska for a couple of days, and he had “no idea” when he, his father, and former Bell Helicopter test pilot Rob ‘Dugal’ MacDuff would complete their world circumnavigation in a Bell 429 GlobalRanger.
Once known as Canadian Holding Company, shortened to CHC, the once $800-million leader in offshore helicopter operations was devastated by the steep decline in oil prices and a pair of fatal accidents. CHC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2016.
Earlier this year, Helicopters highlighted OEMS, operators and industry leaders who are enhancing the safety landscape both here in Canada and around the world. In our special Innovation in Canadian Rotary Safety Week Aug. 21-25, Helicopters showcased companies such as Vector Aerospace, Heli-One, VIH Aerospace and more, who are innovating with new technologies and processes in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) space.

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