Viking and PAL Aerospace Sign DHC-6 Twin Otter Aerial Firefighting System Contract

CALGARY, AB and ST. JOHN’S, NL, Aug. 3, 2021 /CNW/ – Viking Air Limited (“Viking”) and PAL Aerospace Canada are proud to announce the establishment of a contract to support the Twin Otter Fire Attack System. The agreement’s scope includes the design, manufacturing, installation, and certification of the Aerial Firefighting System for the Twin Otter DHC-6 300 and 400 aircraft. It is anticipated that the Aerial Firefighting System will be certified in 2022 and an international customer will receive the first converted aircraft.

The photo is a mock-up of the DHC-6 Twin Otter Firefighter aircraft featuring the air tanker configuration. (CNW Group/PAL Aerospace Ltd.)
The photo is a mock-up of the DHC-6 Twin Otter Firefighter aircraft featuring the air tanker configuration. (CNW Group/PAL Aerospace Ltd.)

This undertaking is a progressive effort between Viking and PAL Aerospace to build additional capabilities for the already versatile DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 and 400 aircraft. The Aerial Firefighting System will allow the Twin Otter to transition effortlessly between global firefighting missions and its more traditional mission profiles, including transporting passengers and cargo.

The airtanker-configured Twin Otter aircraft will help mitigate and fight wildfires with the ability to drop up to 700 US gallons of water or retardant in challenging environments.

Phillip Garbutt, PAL Aerospace Senior Vice President of Global Support said, “PAL Aerospace is proud to partner with Viking on this exciting project that supports innovation, economic growth, and supply chains in Canada. As an established DHC-6 Twin Otter Operator, we know firsthand the capability and versatility of the aircraft and consider it a privilege to bring our comprehensive design, engineering and modification capabilities to bear in developing this new capability.”

“We are happy to work with PAL Aerospace to provide our operators the ability to utilize our DHC-6 Twin Otter for specialized aerial firefighting missions,” said Benjamin Carson, Director of Customer Support Operations, Viking. “As the OEM, we work to continuously enhance the aircraft we support, providing our customers with ongoing fleet sustainment activities and upgrades.”

About PAL Aerospace:

A member of the Exchange Income Corporation family of companies, PAL Aerospace is a Canadian-owned and operated international aerospace and defence company. With a focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, in-service support solutions and aircraft engineering and modification, PAL Aerospace is recognized by governments and militaries for on time/on budget delivery and high reliability rates. PAL’s record of accomplishment now extends to operations in Canada, the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. PAL Aerospace offers a single point of accountability for its programs and takes pride in being the trusted choice for clients worldwide.

For more information, visit www.palaerospace.com

About Viking Air Limited:

Celebrating over 50 years in the Canadian Aerospace industry, Viking is the manufacturer of the world-renowned Twin Otter Series 400 and Guardian 400 Twin-engine turboprop aircraft.  Viking is the Type Certificate holder for all out-of-production De Havilland Canada aircraft (DHC-1 through the DHC-7) and all Canadair amphibious aircraft, including CL-215, CL-215T and CL-415 aerial firefighter aircraft, and the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft.

As the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for these iconic Canadian aircraft designs, Viking fully supports a diverse global operator base with exclusive factory spare parts manufacturing, in-service engineering & technical support, technical publications, warranty administration, and field service support.

For more information, visit www.vikingair.com

Viking Renews Twin Otter Series 400 “Maintenance Plus” Support Contract with Peru Air Force

Pictured above: Viking has been providing factory-new spare parts and hands-on technical support to the Peru Air Force under the Maintenance Plus program since 2016 resulting in improved dispatch reliability for Peru’s entire Twin Otter fleet. Photo credit Katsuhiko Tokunaga.

Calgary, Alberta, July 30th, 2020: Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and the Fuerza Aerea del Peru (FAP) have renewed their comprehensive Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft support contract originally initiated in 2016 for a further five years under Viking’s Maintenance Plus (M+) Program. The FAP operates twelve Series 400 Twin Otters that provide civil protection, environmental monitoring, critical infrastructure support and emergency medevac services in the remote Amazonian regions of northeast Peru.

Viking specifically developed the M+ program to meet FAP’s requirements for a single-contract instrument that provides budget predictability, a streamlined procurement process for continuous flow of factory-new spare parts, up-to-date technical publications, on-site technical training, and digital tools for monitoring scheduled maintenance events.

Since implementing the initial Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) support contract in 2016, Viking’s M+ program has helped the FAP maintain spare part inventory levels with minimal bureaucracy, maximize its Series 400 Twin Otter fleet utilization, and increase dispatch reliability rates to further enable the organization’s critical operational and training requirements.

“As the OEM for the De Havilland Twin Otter, we are continuously evolving our customer support offerings to help operators manage their fleets with safety and efficiency in mind,” commented Gregory Davis, Viking’s vice president Customer Service & Product Support. “Our Maintenance Plus program is one example of how we work with customers to understand their needs and develop custom support services to suit them. We are proud to continue providing this comprehensive service to the FAP.”

About Fuerza Aerea del Peru:

The Fuerza Aerea del Peru’s purchase of twelve Series 400 Twin Otters is Viking’s largest single-customer order of new production aircraft to date. Delivered between 2011 and 2014, the aircraft are configured with land gear and floats to provide critical infrastructure support, medevac services, environmental monitoring, civil protection and troop transportation to remote regions in northeast Peru.

Pictured above: The Peru Air Force provides critical infrastructure support to remote communities in the Amazonian region of northeast Peru with its fleet of twelve wheel & float-equipped Series 400 Twin Otters. Photo credit D. Moeri.

David Curtis to Retire as Executive Chairman of Longview Aviation Capital

SIDNEY, BC, June 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Longview Aviation Capital Corp., manager of a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry including De Havilland Aircraft of Canada and Viking Air Ltd., today announced that David Curtis will be retiring as Executive Chairman, effective August 1, 2021.

David Curtis (CNW Group/Longview Aviation Capital Corp.)
David Curtis (CNW Group/Longview Aviation Capital Corp.)

Mr. Curtis began his tenure with Viking in 1983, becoming President and CEO in 1991. Under his leadership, Viking grew to become a prominent global specialty aircraft company, and the only company to successfully re-launch an out-of-production aircraft, bringing the Series 400 Twin Otter back into production in 2010. He was also instrumental in executing the vision to build a leading Canadian aerospace enterprise, including spearheading the acquisitions of the CL-215/415 waterbomber program in 2016, and the Dash 8 aircraft program in 2019, bringing together the entire original product line of the De Havilland aircraft company. Today the combined enterprise operates manufacturing and aircraft service support in locations across Canada, and in addition to the De Havilland Type Certificates also holds the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft.

“Dave has been the leader of a great Canadian success story, and leaves behind an amazing legacy in the global aerospace industry,” said Bill Sheffield, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors of Longview Aviation Capital. “He has overseen the evolution of this business from a small Vancouver Island-based service company into a global leader in specialty and turboprop aircraft, with an iconic portfolio of aircraft, and a stable foundation based on diverse revenue streams. Our aviation business has a bright future, and is well positioned to remain at the forefront of the industry as the world emerges from the effects of the pandemic. On behalf of the Board, and our employees, we thank Dave for his many contributions, and wish him well in his richly deserved retirement.”

“It has been a true privilege to work alongside the women and men who have made, and continue to make, our portfolio what it is,” said Mr. Curtis. “I joined Viking because of my passion for aviation, and I am proud that our companies have contributed to the development of the Canadian aerospace industry. I am most proud that our team has helped demonstrate that with vision, commitment and spirit even small companies working outside the limelight can take on the world and accomplish big things.”

Added Mr. Curtis: “The time is right to turn over leadership to a new generation of visionaries. This organization has all the qualities necessary to lead the post-pandemic industry, including talented people, great assets, and a committed owner with a long-term perspective. With the industry in the midst of a transition, it is an excellent time for renewed leadership with a focus on charting the future for these great aircraft programs.”

As it pursues the opportunities of a transitioning industry, David Riggs will lead the business having been appointed Chief Transformation Officer of the entire aviation enterprise including De Havilland and Viking. Mr. Riggs has served as Chief Transformation Officer of De Havilland since June 2020 and has a long track record in the aviation industry, including consulting to Viking on the restart of production of the Twin Otter. Don Boitson, currently Chief Operating Officer responsible for Western Canada operations, will take on that role for the entire enterprise including the Viking and De Havilland operations, reporting to Mr. Riggs. Todd Young, who has more than 30 years of experience with De Havilland aircraft, will provide additional support as an advisor to the management team. An international search is underway for a new Chief Executive Officer for the combined aviation enterprise. The Board will seek a proven leader to focus on growing the aircraft businesses, founded on a commitment to customer service and a passion for strengthening De Havilland as an anchor of the Canadian aerospace industry. More details on the search will be available in the coming weeks.

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft, as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes. https://dehavilland.com.

About Viking

Viking Air Ltd. is the global leader in utility aircraft services and manufacturer of Series 400 and Guardian 400 Twin Otter aircraft. Viking is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Type Certificate holder for all out-of-production De Havilland Canada aircraft and the Canadair Amphibious Aerial Firefighting aircraft fleet. https://www.vikingair.com.

About Longview Aviation Capital Corp.

Longview Aviation Capital Corp. was established in 2016 to manage a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry, including De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited; Viking Air Ltd.; Pacific Sky Aviation Ltd; Longview Aviation Asset Management Inc; and Longview Aviation Services.
Longview, through its subsidiaries, holds the Type Certificates for the entire product line of the original De Havilland aircraft company including the DHC-1 through DHC-8, as well as the CANADAIR CL-215, CL-215T, and CL-415 aerial firefighting aircraft, and the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft. Longview’s subsidiaries operate manufacturing and aircraft service support in locations across Canada, including Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.

Viking Air tests Twin Otter at Port Alberni airport

From Alberni Valley News – link to source story

Victoria-based company used rural airport for numerous flights

A Viking Air Twin Otter takes off midway down the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021 during a series of training flights. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

SUSIE QUINN | Jan. 26, 2021

An aviation company from Victoria has been using the Alberni Valley Regional Airport to test one of its aircraft for Transport Canada certification.

Viking Air crews brought a Twin Otter aircraft to Port Alberni in mid-January for steep-angle approach certification with the federal agency, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District airport superintendent Mark Fortune said. Air crews flew numerous flights over several days.

Viking Air Limited is based in Victoria, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in the Canadian aerospace industry in November 2020. A call to the company was not returned.

De Havilland first built Twin Otters in 1965 and like its single-engine float plane cousins the Beaver and Otter, is well recognized throughout coastal British Columbia for its capability in the province’s challenging terrain. Viking Air in 2006 obtained the type certificates for de Havilland’s heritage aircraft, including the Beaver and Twin Otters. They now manufacture Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft similar to the one undergoing Transport Canada certification at the AVRA.

Viking Air has a global presence, and Fortune hopes they like Port Alberni’s airport enough to consider building some sort of a facility here. “It would be to the area’s benefit if we did have that organization at the airfield,” he said. The airport already has world-renowned Coulson Aviation operating from the airport, with plans for expansion.

Viking Air did not pay to use the Alberni Valley’s airport for their test flights, Fortune added. The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District does not have a fee bylaw in place for use of the airport.

“We don’t have any way to charge them for something like that,” Fortune said. “But we’re looking at that for 2021.”

That will be part of the visioning process the ACRD’s airport advisory committee is undertaking.

Fortune said a public survey asking people what they want to see happen at the airport “had a good response” as far as he is aware. Results from the survey will be released sometime in February.

“We’ve got a really good facility,” he said. “We’ve had a huge influx of leases this last year,” including a new hangar that has been built. “There’s possibly four more hangars going in. There’s possibly two air maintenance operations that have leased and possibly a flight school.”

There are only three more leasable lots available, and they are spoken for, he added.

“That’s all within a year and a half (of expansion). Those lots have been available for decades.”

Wing lift strut fatigue caused fatal float-plane crash near Little Grand Rapids: TSB

From Global News – link to source story

By Elisha Dacey  Global News | Posted January 6, 2021

A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter float plane, the type that crashed near Little Grand Rapids in 2019.
A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter float plane, the type that crashed near Little Grand Rapids in 2019.

A fracture in a float-plane’s wing lift strut led to a crash that killed three people near Little Grand Rapids in October of last year.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released the details of its investigation Wednesday.

The TSB “found that a fatigue fracture in the right-hand wing lift strut assembly led to the 2019 in-flight breakup of a floatplane near Little Grand Rapids, Manitoba.”

The incident occurred on Oct. 26, 2019, when a float-plane operated by Blue Water Aviation left the small airport in Bisset on a flight to Little Grand Rapids.

The plane was carrying the pilot, two passengers and about 362 kilograms of freight.

“While on approach to land on Family Lake, the aircraft’s right-hand wing separated from the fuselage. The aircraft then entered a nose-down attitude and struck the water surface.

The TSB found that a “fatigue fracture” developed in one of the two upper right-hand wing lift strut attachment fittings, leading to the other fitting failing due to being overstressed.

When the plane made a left turn before its final approach, the right wing strut came apart from the plane wing, said the TSB.

“Following the occurrence, Viking Air Ltd. issued an Alert Service Bulletin calling for operators to perform more detailed testing on DHC-3 wing lift strut attachment fittings and lug plates.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

How to Land an Otter Really, Really Short

From avweb – link to source story – hint from Viking Air

By Paul Bertorelli -November 22, 2020

This week’s Best of the Web video comes from Eli van W and is a nicely shot piece on an airline Twin Otter being landed and taken off from a 1300-foot runway on the island of Saba. For orientation, Saba is in the Dutch Antilles in same archipelago as Sint Maarten and St. Kitts and Nevis, just off the northern coast of Venezuela. Yrausquin Airport has been open since 1963 and, improbably, has had airline service for many years since then.

The aircraft in the video is a De Havilland DHC-6-300 Twin Otter flown by Windward Islands Airways. Look carefully in the video and you’ll note a strong quartering crosswind from the left—the windsock is on the hill left of the runway and note the flags on the terminal building. The wind certainly helps with the rollout, but the real driver is pilot technique. The trick is to be on speed—even with the crosswind—and touch down as close to the numbers as possible. The Otter has Beta range and that helps the pilot make the first turnoff. Well, the only turnoff. The next one is a wild ride over a 200-foot cliff into the ocean.

That may have happened, but not with an Otter. But a Dornier DO.28 A-1 lost control in a crosswind totaling the airplane. The only fatality was a goat. For a hilarious take on what not to fly into Saba, check out Swiss001’s graphics-fueled take on landing a 777 on 1300-foot Yrausquin Airport.

Sydney Seaplanes To Demonstrate Sydney-Canberra Twin Otter Seaplane Service

From Smart Aviation Asia-Pacific – link to source story – link from Viking Air

Sydney Seaplanes To Demonstrate Sydney-Canberra Twin Otter Seaplane Service
Photo: Sydney Seaplanes

Edward Eng, 9 Dec 2020 

Charter operator Sydney Seaplanes is proposing to launch a regular seaplane service linking Sydney to Canberra. 

The thrice-daily service between Sydney Seaplanes’ Rose Bay terminal in Sydney Harbour and Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin will use a 15-seat De Havilland Canada Twin Otter, say news reports citing Sydney Seaplanes’ managing director Aaron Shaw. He says the daytime-only flights will take about an hour and have a minimal impact on the local environment as the aircraft will avoid flying over built-up areas. 

The service is mainly designed as a commuter service and the aircraft will only spend about five to ten minutes on the water each time, Shaw says. “We’re hoping that with the convenience of the centre-of-city to centre-of-city that we’re going to be able to entice some people off the road as well,” he told Australia’s ABC News. Tickets will cost about A$300 (US$224) each way, he says. 

Sally Barnes, CEO of the National Capital Authority (NCA), which manages the Canberra lake, says Sydney Seaplanes will do a demonstration flight next week, after which there will be public consultation with regards to the proposed service.

If successful, this service will be the first time Sydney Seaplanes operates Twin Otter seaplanes. It is unclear whether the airline intends to use the Series 300 or Viking Air model, or how many aircraft it will add to its fleet for the service. 

Sydney Seaplanes is the biggest seaplane airline in Australia, operating three Cessna 208 Caravans, two De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beavers and one Cessna 206 Stationair, according to flight registries. Its current business focuses largely on the sightseeing and leisure charter market. 

The airline also provides training and consulting services for seaplane startups, listing on its website Vietnam’s Hai Au Aviation and New Zealand’s Auckland Seaplanes as partners.  

Viking pushes back ‘formal launch’ of CL-515 water bomber

From Flight Global – link to source story

Canadian airframer Viking Air confirms it has delayed the launch of its CL-515 First Responder firefighting aircraft, citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sidney, British Columbia company had previously intended to launch the programme in 2020. Earlier this year, it pushed back the launch to the fourth quarter.

“Unfortunately, due to the effect of Covid-19 on Viking’s operations and the pandemic’s impact on governments, their citizens and budgets globally, we have elected to slide the formal launch of the CL-515 until we see a stabilisation in the global economic situation and a return to normal daily activities,” Viking executive vice-president of sales and marketing Robert Mauracher tells FlightGlobal.

Viking does not elaborate on when the formal launch of the aircraft might happen.

CL-515 -c-Viking Air
Source: Viking

A Viking CL-series aerial firefighter

The CL-515 is to be a new-build variant of Viking’s stalwart CL line of water bombers and special mission aircraft. Previous versions include the original CL-215, the CL-415 and the CL-415EAF, which are upgraded CL-415s.

In 2019, Indonesia became the CL-515’s launch customer when it ordered six of the type, with deliveries, at that point, set for 2024.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW123AF turboprops, the CL-515 is to have Collins Aerospace’s Pro Line Fusion digital cockpit, and more capability than previous variants. It will have better corrosion protection, increased landing weight and 7,000 litres (1,850USgal) of water capacity, up from the CL-415’s 6,000-litre capacity, Mauracher said in 2018.

Viking parent Longview Aviation Capital acquired the CL programme from Bombardier in 2016.

The airframer calls the CL-515 a “production multi-mission amphibian and purpose-built aerial firefighting aircraft”.

Mauracher has said Viking envisions CL-515s with advanced sensors for use in search and rescue and maritime surveillance roles. Viking was also considering a boom system for spraying insect repellent or oil suppressant, and a large cargo door for medevac work, he has said.

Indonesia’s order included four CL-515s in “first responder” multi-mission configurations, and two as aerial firefighters.

Viking Renews Twin Otter Series 400 “Maintenance Plus” Support Contract with Peru Air Force

Pictured above: Viking has been providing factory-new spare parts and hands-on technical support to the Peru Air Force under the Maintenance Plus program since 2016 resulting in improved dispatch reliability for Peru’s entire Twin Otter fleet. Photo credit Katsuhiko Tokunaga.

Calgary, Alberta, July 30th, 2020: Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and the Fuerza Aerea del Peru (FAP) have renewed their comprehensive Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft support contract originally initiated in 2016 for a further five years under Viking’s Maintenance Plus (M+) Program. The FAP operates twelve Series 400 Twin Otters that provide civil protection, environmental monitoring, critical infrastructure support and emergency medevac services in the remote Amazonian regions of northeast Peru.

Viking specifically developed the M+ program to meet FAP’s requirements for a single-contract instrument that provides budget predictability, a streamlined procurement process for continuous flow of factory-new spare parts, up-to-date technical publications, on-site technical training, and digital tools for monitoring scheduled maintenance events.

Since implementing the initial Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) support contract in 2016, Viking’s M+ program has helped the FAP maintain spare part inventory levels with minimal bureaucracy, maximize its Series 400 Twin Otter fleet utilization, and increase dispatch reliability rates to further enable the organization’s critical operational and training requirements.

“As the OEM for the De Havilland Twin Otter, we are continuously evolving our customer support offerings to help operators manage their fleets with safety and efficiency in mind,” commented Gregory Davis, Viking’s vice president Customer Service & Product Support. “Our Maintenance Plus program is one example of how we work with customers to understand their needs and develop custom support services to suit them. We are proud to continue providing this comprehensive service to the FAP.”

About Fuerza Aerea del Peru:

The Fuerza Aerea del Peru’s purchase of twelve Series 400 Twin Otters is Viking’s largest single-customer order of new production aircraft to date. Delivered between 2011 and 2014, the aircraft are configured with land gear and floats to provide critical infrastructure support, medevac services, environmental monitoring, civil protection and troop transportation to remote regions in northeast Peru.

Pictured above: The Peru Air Force provides critical infrastructure support to remote communities in the Amazonian region of northeast Peru with its fleet of twelve wheel & float-equipped Series 400 Twin Otters. Photo credit D. Moeri.