Business Operations
You definitely know something important is up when former Montreal Canadien Guy Lafleur is in the house. And even though the superstar right winger and current helicopter pilot was a shining NHL star in the mid- to late-1970s, he still provides plenty of “wow” factor wherever he goes, especially in La belle province.
Spring is emerging along the West Coast as winter has been slow to release its grip this year. It has been a difficult winter in many places and looking beyond the weather, it has been an interesting few months around the world to say the least.
Variety. New opportunities. Mentorship. A sharing of important industry safety data and trends. All are just part of the typical work cycle for Gary Krebs and it’s made for a truly interesting and diverse career.
The helicopter industry used to be a fun place to work. There was always a new frontier to explore, some new helicopter being rolled out by the OEMs, some curmudgeonly operator claiming the old helicopters were good enough and some oil company saying we need to get aircraft with at least one engine per passenger in order to be safe. The growth in industry has been meteoric, with some operators mistaking a bull market for business acumen, while others think there’s no challenge they can’t handle.
Let’s face it. We all love challenges or everyone in this industry would abandon helicopters, just like everyone except the federal government has abandoned fax machines.
Think globally and act locally would describe many businesses today, but you wouldn’t necessarily include a small regional airport on the outskirts of Vancouver on that list. Langley Regional Airport (CYNJ) is not as small as it might first appear and packs an economic punch far above its weight class.
Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes fame once wrote, “ . . . airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened, it is about to.”  
Is it possible to create a working environment that is completely safe? Can we reduce the chance of errors, oversights, omissions and/or deviation to zero in our various workplaces, and in particular an aviation environment?
Hamlet’s soliloquy mid-way through Shakespeare’s pivotal work informs my column this issue as I personalize my message to you.
One of the best things about Ian Fleming’s iconic fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond is the techno whizzes at “Q branch” who never fail to present our hero with the latest gizmo to save his bacon.
Lockheed Martin’s intended acquisition of Sikorsky Helicopters will likely have little impact on Canadian aviation, civil or defence, in the long term. In the short run, it could mean further delays for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aptly named Cyclone program’s twisted path just when deliveries of the CH-148 are beginning.
He’s the biggest advocate for the helicopter industry in this country and when you have the opportunity to stop by and meet up with Fred Jones, the energetic president and CEO of the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC), you certainly must capitalize on the chance – especially when you are in the Capital Region.
I was thinking this past summer about the pain the industry has experienced as a result of the broad downturn in the economy. Across the board, from east to west, flying hours were reduced in mining and exploration, and in the oil patch, with the added pain of a reduction in “ad-hoc” work. If not for the dozens of large wildfires in Western Canada, the industry may well have experienced a major retrenchment, (something that in my opinion is long overdue).
Carter Aviation Technologies is ramping down its developmental flight test program and refocusing on moving the CarterCopter into production.
Peter Voss, president, CEO and owner of Shimco, has been recognized by Worldwide Branding for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in specialty product design and manufacturing. Shimco is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of precision parts, laminated and edge-bonded shims, tapers and spacers, in materials ranging from aluminum and titanium through to synthetics and composites.
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