Canadian Operators: Businessmen on the Move

In Canada, business executives have discovered that helicopters are the most reliable means of reducing travel times and shrinking distances. And by selecting Eurocopter aircraft, they also shrink costs… read on for a few testimonials.

© Frédéric Lert
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Daniel Pelletier’s EC120 is a fantastic PR tool.

© Frédéric Lert
Jean-Guy Ouelette feels just at home in his enormous tractors as he does in his EC120.

Daniel Pelletier is founder of the Artopex brand of high-quality office furniture, which is distributed throughout North America. His company runs five manufacturing plants located at remote sites, requiring several hours of road time to travel between them. Mr. Pelletier, who is also a licensed airplane pilot, first attended Heli-Expo in 1993. That’s when he saw the light: Just a few months later, he obtained his license to become a helicopter pilot as well. “The first helicopter I bought was a Bell 206B,” he explained. “I replaced it in 2006 with an EC120, which offers extremely sophisticated technology and a design that is perfectly adapted to my needs. Thanks to the EC120, my travel times are only a fifth or a sixth of what they used to be when I had to travel around by car.”
Shawn Murray and Gerry Thomson were of a like mind. The two business partners, who run a company specialized in scrap metal recovery, were constantly on the road prospecting or visiting customers. Both men are helicopter enthusiasts, and each now flies their own EC120. “Everything gets done much faster. Flying our own helicopters has helped us increase business exponentially. We fly two or three times a week, for a total of about 150 flight hours a year each.” Herbert Black is another businessman very active in metals who is convinced of the helicopter’s utility: “Time is precious in this business,” he stated. “From April through October, I use my helicopter just like a car. I fly from my office to the airport, and I also fly all around Quebec City, in Ottawa. With a helicopter, I know exactly when I’m going to leave and when I’ll arrive, and I can really use my time more efficiently.”

A Powerful Commercial Tool
“Herbert first began flying 28 years ago with an AStar,” said Richard Airlie, Eurocopter Marketing Manager for Eastern Canada. “He spends all day on the telephone, and one day I even caught him starting the engine while he was talking on his cell phone! I had to give him a slap on the wrist for that one! But on a more serious note, I told him he might want to think about acquiring a helicopter equipped with a FADEC system to avoid making any mistakes during startup, and now he’s operating an AS350 B3 AStar!”. “It’s a very robust and reliable helicopter,” stressed its proud owner. “Plus the power it provides is an important safety factor. The AS350 B3 AStar is in a league of its own!” The helicopter does more than just shrink distances, all these businessmen insisted: It is also a powerful commercial tool. “I often take my customers, partners and distributors in my helicopter to visit our plants,” Mr. Pelletier said. “I can travel to all our sites with three or four passengers in a single day. The EC120 also helps promote the avantgarde image that we like to associate with Artopex. It offers an extremely comfortable ride, and everybody in the cabin has a great view. It’s a fantastic PR tool.” Herbert Black coined a phrase to explain the impact his helicopter has on its passengers: “When I take my customers for a ride in the helicopter, they’re chopperized. Which always makes it easier to negotiate after we touch down!” Jean-Guy Ouelette, a farmer and real-estate developer, offers a further example of the helicopter’s professional applications. Mr. Ouelette feels just at home behind the wheel of one of his enormous tractors as behind the controls of his EC120, which he uses for prospecting and land development activities. But that’s not all. “For me, the helicopter is a symbol of personal liberty, and I often use it for hunting parties in the Great White North with friends or customers. You have much more freedom with an EC120 than you do with a seaplane. Three or four of us can take off with everything we need for about ten days. We also take along a satellite phone just in case.” Whether it be for the city or the country, the EC120 has definitively won over Canadian businessmen!

© Frédéric Lert
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For Gerry Thompson and Shawn Murray, flying their own helicopters has helped them increase business exponentially.

© Frédéric Lert
For Herbert Black, time is precious: With a helicopter, he can use his time more efficiently.


EUROCOPTER CANADA LTD: New Facilities in Richmond

On October 8, 2008, Eurocopter Canada inaugurated its new facilities in Richmond, British Columbia. Eurocopter Canada is expanding to meet the growth of the market in British Columbia and to show its commitment to its customers in the region, as well as the rest of the country.
These new premises will house the technical support department and the spare parts logistics center, which will distribute parts to all Eurocopter customers in Canada. Marie-Agnès Vève, president and CEO of Eurocopter Canada, explained the region’s significance: “British Columbia is an important market for Eurocopter Canada, with opportunities for growth in such sectors as the oil and gas industry, mining, forestry, law enforcement, and tourism.”