Garth Eichel, an aviation and flight management professional with 30 years of experience, has been named chief pilot for the fixed-wing division of Helijet International based in Richmond, BC. Helijet is the world’s largest scheduled helicopter airline carrying more than 2.4 million passengers over the past 33 years, while also providing a range of fixed-wing services throughout the west coast of British Columbia and Pacific Northwest.
In his new role, Eichel is responsible for the professional standards of Helijet’s fixed-wing flight crews, as well as the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), training, scheduling and supervision.
Eichel entered the aviation industry in 1989 at the age of 19. After graduating from Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with a Commercial Pilot Licence and a diploma in Aviation-Flight Management. He flew wheel, float and ski-equipped aircraft in northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the arctic for several years.
Eichel then transitioned to airline operations, flying both regionally and internationally, and obtained his Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) in 1997. He has since flown a variety of single-engine, multi-engine and turbojet aircraft.
Prior to recently joining Helijet, Eichel was employed as a B1900 captain at Vancouver-based Pacific Coastal Airlines. He was also the owner of Archipelago Media, long-time publisher of IFR In-Flight Review, Helijet’s in-flight magazine.