Last month I spent a very interesting couple of hours in the company of Gemma Walker, the dynamic Operations Director at HeliSpeed, a fast growing and experienced Pilot Services and Heavy Lift Operator currently based out of Blackpool Airport, in the North West of England.
Gemma had much to say about the “rising stars” of the helicopter services world and I was genuinely excited to learn what has been achieved, in what is a relatively short time, by the team of dedicated and highly experienced individuals that make up Helispeed.
Can you provide an overview of the offering provided by HeliSpeed?
HeliSpeed offers a Pilot Supply Service unique in today’s market place. We have dozens of quality experienced aircrew, type rated on over 10 different helicopters, all of whom are current and available for work.
Why come to HeliSpeed over the other Pilot Supply Service offerings in the market?
We are differentiated from others by several factors. We include all our pilots on our own proprietary data base called HeliTrax®. This ensures we can see who is available, their current flying status, their medical state and furthermore, the types and specialist qualifications they hold!
HeliTrax® also allows clients to log on to our customer portal and raise a tasking upon our crews. Once received and accepted we can then progress by offering the client several different pilots, obviously with the names removed but it gives the client a chance to be involved with the selection. Once this is complete HeliTrax® acts as the unique log of all activities. For example, our crews record everything from when they start until they finish the task and provide findings for when they are debriefing the technical staff. Finally, we support and provide detailed invoicing, giving a clear, precise and fully transparent log of all activities undertaken by HeliSpeed crews.
In these cost-conscious times our clients have a right to see what we are specifically charging for. We offer a log showing, to the minute, where your money is being spent – this puts our clients in control. This is a big step forward for the industry and it doesn’t end there. HeliSpeed’s engineers are constantly modifying and updating HeliTrax® to offer new and improved services.
What else does HeliSpeed offer the world of rotorcraft?
Well the core of the company is centered around our CEO, Captain Geoff Packer. Geoff is a veteran of the North Sea and many other extremely challenging environments such as Mali, Nigeria and Chad to name but a few. He holds TRI/TRE status and is qualified to fly over 10 different types of helicopter. In addition, he is a Cat 4 Airbus Helicopter Test Pilot. Geoff also offers a consultancy and expert witness based service to the industry where his reputation and opinions are highly sort after.
Geoff also leads our core business as Chief Pilot; the main core of our business being the supply of crews to assist companies to meet the ever-changing levels of staffing; thus, helping to keep businesses operating at peak performance without having to bring on permanent and expensive long term staff. Additionally, we carry out test flights, repositioning flights and ground runs.
Also supporting the HeliSpeed operation is Dave Thompson. Dave trained as an Engineer during his 28 years of service with the Royal Air Force. Since leaving the military life in the late 1990s, Dave has gone from strength to strength developing his commercial skills that have allowed him to hold several senior posts within the industry. Dave now acts as Business Development and Commercial Director for HeliSpeed.
Finally, HeliSpeed is very lucky to have recruited to its ranks Larry Alexandre. Larry is one of the best- known names in the business. The former President of Heli-One and Sagem Avionics, as well as Turbomeca USA, Larry brings board level gravitas and connections to this dynamic new company. His skills and guidance will undoubtedly steer HeliSpeed towards the top over the coming years.
So, what next for HeliSpeed?
We are looking to take delivery of our own heavy lift helicopter in the next month or so. From this we intend to develop a niche market for heavy lift with duties both on and offshore and we also have a few other interesting projects up our sleeves…so watch this space!
HeliSpeed will be exhibiting at Helitech International 2017.