Yellowhead Helicopters Use Spidertracks to Improve Fleet Visibility
Based in British Columbia, Yellowhead Helicopters is a charter company whose services range from mineral exploration to heli-skiing, firefighting and oil and gas work. Their fleet of 35 aircraft operate Canada-wide, and have supported the forestry, mining, petroleum, utility and tourism industries for almost 40 years."We charter say between 30 and 40 aircraft, which is a good operation number that fluctuates with market demands," says Sean Rickards, Yellowhead’s Director of Operations. “Some of the challenges of maintaining a fleet of our size would include knowing where the aircraft are, getting people and parts, equipment out to the aircraft.”
‘’The company covers a lot of ground in a short period of time. When they reviewed their systems, the outcome was somewhat of a mixed bag. A lot of products were archaic,” Sean recalls. “It was time for an upgrade for us. Spidertracks solved the problems of getting the fleet equipped rapidly with very minimal cost."
Kate Biernaski, Assistant to the Director of Operations at Yellowhead, says the primary application of Spidertracks is for flight following. "The integration was incredibly seamless. We found every point of it to be very user friendly and simplified,” she recalls. “There was no challenge for our crews to adopt this new system or sunset all of our aircraft out of the old system and into the new to keep up with the times.”
The implementation of the Spidertracks solution has made Kate’s job easier because she knows the information she’s getting is reliable. “I know that the data feed we are getting is up to date,” she explains. “The ability to have situational awareness has really benefited us."
Sean says they give some of their clients the ability to view the Spidertracks through a web browser or login. "If we’re on a job that’s out in the middle of nowhere they’re monitoring us so we know that we have that connection to them,” he says. Yellowhead Helicopters has been working with Spidertracks for just over a year. “From the beginning, Spidertracks was there every step of the way,” Sean says. “We’ve brought up potential ideas for them, things that would make our business run better and they’ve been extremely receptive of that.”
The service Yellowhead has received from Spidertracks has also impressed. “Just a click and you can connect to them,” says Sean. “I send them the information, and they obviously spend the time and the effort to know the customer and know what their business is, and get a product that makes sense for them."
For Kate, the Spidertracks solution has meant that everyone is now on the same page. "We know what to expect of each other, where we can find the information and that it is reliable,” she says. “We really do have a grasp of the big picture."