|The graduating Group B students (back row) are joined by their Pacific Sky flight instructors alongside one of the Vietnam Navy’s Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft.|
The program, offered by Pacific Sky in support of a six‐aircraft deal between the Vietnam Navy and Pacific Sky’s sister company, Viking Air Limited, is timed to coincide with production and delivery of the sixth Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. As five of the six Series 400 Twin Otters on order from Viking have already been delivered to Vietnam, and the sixth aircraft is scheduled to arrive in‐country in early October, the timing of the graduation if the additional pilots is ideal.
“Pacific Sky is proud to work with dedicated groups of students, such as those from the Vietnam Navy, to help them develop into world‐class Twin Otter captains,” said Michael Coughlin, CEO of Pacific Sky Aviation. “Pacific Sky, working closely with Viking, tailors its unparalleled flight training courses to the unique needs of its customers. We also provide continuing training support for customers over the lifespan of the aircraft with on‐site flight training and maintenance assistance, and through the company’s construction of a new advanced training facility, will offer a state of the art full motion Seaplane Simulator, a first in the world, which will be ready for training in 2016.”
All the Vietnam Twin Otter pilots completed the specialized training program developed in cooperation with the Vietnam Navy, which included:
- 6 months of Aviation English Language training
- Transport Canada Private Pilot and Commercial Licenses
- 6,000 total hours of flight training
- Float and Night Ratings on C172, C182 and DHC‐2 Beaver aircraft
- Over 1,000 total flight hours of Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft training, including 650 hours and 2,100 take‐offs and landings on the coastal waters and lakes of British Columbia.
David Curtis, President and CEO of Viking Air Limited, added, “We are very proud to have worked with the Vietnam Navy over the course of many years, developing a comprehensive program to help establish the first Naval Air Wing in Vietnam. “ He added, “Our commitment to supporting the Navy in every facet of Series 400 Twin Otter operations has not only built a strong relationship between Viking and the Government of Vietnam, but has been a rewarding experience for the dedicated employees at Viking and Pacific Sky, without whose effort we could not have accomplished this significant milestone.”
|Pictured from left: Kelsey Spring (Canam Active Enterprises), Taylor Williams and Michael Coughlin (Pacific Sky) and David Curtis (Viking) watch as Vu Quoc Huy, Group B Pilot‐Trainee Leader, addresses the crowd.|
The graduating students will return to Vietnam where they will be supported in additional on‐the‐job training by a Pacific Sky Twin Otter pilot and a Viking Field Service representative. This team will assist the Vietnam Navy in the further development of Twin Otter capabilities to meet the critical missions performed by the Vietnam Navy.
At a graduation ceremony today, Coughlin added, “Pacific Sky Aviation and Viking congratulate you on your dedication to your training and to your country. You are now members of a very special community – Twin Otter amphibious pilots. We know that your training will provide you with the knowledge and experience to perform your duties in Vietnam with great success.”
Pacific Sky Aviation is a Transport Canada approved flight training unit and provides flight and maintenance training for the Series 400 Twin Otter in support of sister‐company Viking Air Limited aircraft production. The Series 400 Twin Otter is the best‐selling next generation turbo‐prop aircraft in its class, with Viking aircraft sold and delivered to 26 countries worldwide. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland legacy aircraft (DHC‐1 through DHC‐7) and forms part of Westerkirk Capital Inc., a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation, and real estate sectors.