Industry leaders take centre stage at HAC event
November 11, 2013 By Carey Fredericks
Nov. 11, 2013, Vancouver - Several key members of the Canadian helicopter industry were honoured Saturday afternoon at the annual Helicopter Association of Canada's annual convention and trade show for their outstanding contributions to the industry.
Paul Spring, president of Fort McMurray-based Phoenix Heli-Flight, was named the winner of the 2013 Eurocopter Canada Innovation in Safety Award for his long-standing efforts to raise safety standards not only in Canada but around the globe. Active in the industry for more than 37 years, Spring has been an early adopter of innovative safety management systems in Canada helicopter operations and a strong advocate for new safety monitoring technology. Spring has worked to transform the safety management culture at Phoenix Heli-Flight to align with the aviation safety guidelines of the International Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and also acquired satellite-based communications, flight tracking systems and twin-engine helicopters. He is also a pioneer in the implementation of flight data monitoring systems in his aircraft and worked tirelessly in the industry to promote the use of HFDM to hundreds of industry professionals as a founding member of the Flight Data Monitoring Steering Group.
Long-time HAC leader and safety advocate Geoff Goodyear, president and COO of Universal Helicopters, and Al Eustis, who spent an illustrious career as both a fixedwing pilot and a rotary-wing pilot and was a tremendous advocate for safety in his illustrious career, were each recipients of Honorary Life Member Awards. In Goodyear's case, it was suggested by luncheon host Sylvain Seguin of Canadian Helicopters that HAC should consider "retiring his number" for the illustrious years of service he has dedicated to the board.
Three other prominent industry stalwarts were also honoured as 2013 Agar Stringer Award winners. This award is given to industry trailblazers who stand out amongst their peers for dedication and achievement. The 2013 winners: Keith Ostertag (KO), Chinook Helicopters, for his dedication in training development; Aviation insurance guru John Ward from North Saanich, B.C.'s Pacific Adjusters; and CHC's Greg Whyte, who has been instrumental in the development of the successful CHC Safety & Quality Summit.