Victoria, British Columbia, Canada – At the Farnborough Airshow today, Viking Air Ltd. (Outside Exhibit OE28) announced today that their sister company Pacific Sky Aviation will install the world’s first Twin Otter Level “D” Full Flight Simulator and Seaplane Trainer, along with a Flat Panel Procedures Trainer (FPT), later this year in Calgary, Alberta. The new training centre will open its doors to welcome customers for Twin Otter training in mid-2017.
This will be the world’s first full flight simulator to feature a seaplane configuration, with Viking’s highly successful 19-passenger Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft as the launch platform. With the benefit of breakthroughs of integrated air, ground and water models and the latest simulation software and hardware, Twin Otter seaplane pilots will be able to perfect simulator takeoffs, landings and docking operations on a range of sea states, winds and water conditions, including glassy water. This realistic seaplane training capability will reduce the time and cost for operators to develop seaplane captains in a safe simulation environment.
The Twin Otter Level “D” simulator and FPT will be housed at Viking’s final assembly facility at Calgary International Airport. Originally planned to be located in Victoria, the companies selected Calgary as the simulator training facility following a strategic review of future growth and available facility options. As an international gateway, Calgary will also offer convenient flight connections for customers travelling from Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Michael Coughlin, CEO of Pacific Sky Aviation said: “We are excited that we will soon be able to offer Twin Otter operators the highest level of flight training experience for both wheeled and seaplane versions of the type. There is a shortage of qualified seaplane pilots today, and with the potential for significant growth in new seaplane markets in regions like China, Russia, and Vietnam, this simulator help meet the growing demand for seaplane pilots.
The state-of-the-art Level “D” simulator and FPT are being manufactured by TRU Simulation + Training of Montreal, Quebec, a Textron company. TRU has developed the integration of flight and marine models that will drive the visual and motion cues to replicate aircraft performance in both the wheeled or seaplane configuration. Pacific Sky Aviation will soon be accepting bookings for Twin Otter Initial, Recurrent and Seaplane courses commencing mid-2017.
Coughlin added: “Our new training centre is the next stage of growth in our capabilities and capacity, continuing the momentum which has seen the company grow by over 300% in the past 5 years. While our training business and principal facilities will continue to be headquartered in Victoria, this new facility expands our reach and establishes our company in the growing aviation and aerospace cluster in Calgary. Pacific Sky expects to hire additional staff in Victoria and more than a dozen people in Calgary to prepare for the start of simulator training.”
David Curtis, President and CEO of Viking Air Limited said, “We are eager for the grand opening of the new training centre at our Calgary facility. The Twin Otter operates in some of the most inhospitable regions of the world, ranging from the extreme climates of the Arctic and Antarctica to the tropics of South East Asia. It operates in the heights of the Himalayas and the Andes, to the open ocean of the Maldives. With such diversity of operating capabilities and configurations, being able to provide our customers with the highest level of training is absolutely essential.” Curtis added, “When considering the number of new build aircraft being added to the worldwide fleet, and the significant growth in international seaplane operations, having access to the world’s only Twin Otter seaplane simulator will not only allow us to alleviate the impending pilot shortage caused by long training cycles for qualified seaplane crews, but will help us remove significant constraints to our future growth.”
The Series 400 Twin Otter is the most versatile and best-selling next generation turbo-prop aircraft in its class. Capable of operating on wheels, skis and amphibious floats, Viking has booked sales of more than 125 new Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft to 29 countries worldwide, with the 100th production aircraft scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2016.
About Pacific Sky Aviation Inc.
Pacific Sky Aviation’s headquarters and principal training facilities are located at the Victoria International Airport, where it provides Transport Canada approved flight training (FTU), Aircraft Maintenance Organization (AMO), corporate flight operations, Twin Otter Series 400 production testing, and ferry delivery flights to locations throughout the world for its sister company Viking Air Limited.
About Viking Air Limited
Headquartered in Victoria, BC, Viking is the global leader in utility aircraft support and services, and the manufacturer of the world-renowned Series 400 Twin Otter. Viking is the Original Type Certificate holder for all out-of-production de Havilland aircraft, from the DHC-1 Chipmunk through the DHC-7 DASH-7 50-passenger STOL regional airliner, and provides exclusive spare parts manufacturing for the legacy de Havilland fleet.
In 2007 Viking launched the Twin Otter Series 400 production program, and to date over 125 new aircraft have been sold to 29 countries worldwide, averaging a production rate of one new aircraft delivered every 15 business days. In June 2016 Viking acquired Bombardier’s amphibious aircraft program, including the Bombardier CL-415 waterbomber and its variants, as well as the earlier CL-215 and CL-215T versions. The acquisition includes the Type Certificates (manufacturing rights) for all variants of the aircraft and Viking will also assume responsibility for product support, parts and service for the fleet of 170 waterbombers in service around the world. The transaction is expected to close before fall 2016.
Pacific Sky and Viking are managed by Longview Aviation Capital, forming part of the portfolio of a prominent Canadian family office investment firm which maintains a long-term investment horizon and one of the leading investors in the Canadian aviation industry.
Pacific Sky Aviation
Viking Air Ltd.