A Growing network of program graduates and aviation professionals.
Pilot Profile: Blair Platt
From flying with Papa to flying in Paupa (New Guinea!)
Self proclaimed “aviation nerd”, Blair’s aviation origin story begins as a young kid. Fascinated by the world of flying, Blair surrounded himself with books on military aircraft and watched hours of videos and films. Blair’s Grandfather had his private aeroplane licence so they went flying together (lucky!). However, once he found Heli Skiing videos, fixed-wing flying quickly took a back seat. “I’m pretty big into skiing so seeing these things come together was the moment of ‘I want to do THIS’ for a living.”Read On
Pilot Profile: Evan Redka
Evan’s love of flying started at an early age. At just 10 years old, he took a scenic tour in a helicopter at a local airport and as his sister sat up front with the pilot. Evan sat in the back wishing he was in the pilot seat, knowing that one day, he too would be a pilot.
Evan’s exploration into aviation training began with an intro flight in a Cessna. His adventurous and outdoorsy spirit was too restless for fixed wing and an intro flight in an R22 gave him the challenge he was looking for. Evan landed on Essential’s program at Canadore College (now Helicopters Canada) and was intrigued by the operational courses so he took the tour, and was enrolled 1 year after high school.Read On
Pilot Profile: Dustin Rickard
As a contract pilot and base manager for Helicopter Transport Services Canada (HTSC), Dustin Rickard thrives in experiences that are both challenging and rewarding. Based in Moosonee, Dustin began his career in aviation with 4 months on the ground before getting his Long Ranger endorsement. Now, he focuses on flying utility work and long lining. The exploration and discovery are what ignites his passion for what he does. “I love meeting new people and travelling to new places; seeing different parts of Ontario and returning to the familiar ones.”
Dustin is no stranger to the world of aviation and grew up around helicopters. Having lived on a secluded island in Northern Ontario, road access to land was limited to winters only and Dustin was used to seeing helicopters as a sign of replenishing supplies and essential transportation. He also has an uncle that flies for Ornge. With inspiration all around him, and the added cool factor that flying a helicopter brings, Dustin embarked on his first hurdle, the classroom.Read On
Pilot Profile: Jim Harnett
We had the pleasure of interviewing alumni Jim Harnett on his path to becoming a pilot, and his story didn’t disappoint. From Hollywood stunts to Model T Fords, this interview burns brighter than nylon boots on fire. Jim kept us captivated with his challenges of becoming a pilot and getting his AME ticket, his proudest moments and some sage advice for navigating the industry.Read On
Pilot Profile: Andrew Demarco
“Flying has taken me places I might have never gone to otherwise, and I might never get the chance to go back. You get to meet locals, get to know their cultures and it really opens your eyes to the different ways in which people live all across our country… it’s incredible.”
Andrew Demarco was born for this career. His grandfather had roots in the Air Force and was in the Navy so flying has always been in his blood. Andrew works for Custom Helicopters in Manitoba, taking him to places he never thought possible, meeting so many people and making long-lasting connections that will last throughout his career, and beyond.Read On