Veteran industry leader Louden passes away
January 30, 2014 By Matt Nicholls
Jan. 30, 2104, Kelowna, B.C. - One of Canada’s leading advocates for safety in the Canadian helicopter industry has died. Grant Louden, co-founder and president of Skyline Helicopters, passed away on Sunday January 26, at his dream home in Kelowna, B.C.
Louden was a true industry pioneer who worked passionately to create a safer working environment for not only his own operation but also the industry as a whole. A pilot, business owner and outspoken member of the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) for more than five years, his commitment to the industry and HAC was an example for all operators to follow. His passion for industry and the many issues that governed it was matched only by the commitment he had to the people who kept the blades turning.
As a member of the HAC board, Louden spent countless hours working with various committees to help create a safer and stronger working environment, particularly with the oil and gas committee. A leader and mentor to many pilots and friends over the years, he truly understood the concept of “giving back.”
Born on April 5, 1954 in Niagara Falls, Ont., Louden attended A.N. Meyer Secondary School before getting his training in Toronto at Niagara Helicopters. In 1975, he headed west and flew out of Calgary and Canmore, Alta., before settling in Kelowna in 1991 and buying his dream home in 1992. His impressive flying career includes a wide variety of operations including fighting forest fires, flying heli-skiers to the top of mountains and moving oil drills for oil and gas clients. A dedicated humanitarian, he also supported his deeply rooted faith by flying famine relief in Ethiopia for several years.
In 1996, Louden became the co-founder of Skyline Helicopters. Operating out of Kelowna and Terrace, B.C. Skyline specializes in a variety of missions including oil and gas, seismic, heli-skiing, forestry and fire fighting, mining exploration, film work, aerial construction and more.
A dedicated mentor, pilot, businessman and leader, Louden will be sorely missed in the Canadian helicopter industry.
Funeral services for Louden will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, at the First United Church, 721 Bernard Ave., Kelowna.