Wisk Air Welcomes Big Bird to the Fleet

Wisk Air
Wisk Air "Big Bird" joins fleet
Wisk Air "Big Bird" joins fleet
Wisk Air “Big Bird” joins fleet

THUNDER BAY – Fire Fighting, supporting essential Hydro services and First Response are a few of the vital missions planned for Wisk Air’s new Bell 412 helicopter. It is one of only 12 helicopters of it’s kind in Canada.

Mark Wiskemann
Mark Wiskemann

In terms of regional business and economic development, the helicopter will support Mining and the Ring of Fire.

“I want to thank and congratulate Mark Wiskemann on today’s announcement. It is always encouraging for me as the MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan when private sector companies make investments in their Thunder Bay operations. It is a strong signal for this economy and speaks to the overall strength of our local economy,” says MPP Bill Mauro, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

With speeds reaching 140 knots (260 kilometres an hour) the Bell 412 can reach destinations significantly faster than the Bell 407 or Long Ranger helicopters in the region.

“It is huge investment for Wisk Air, and this helicopter will support both regional business needs and essential services related to community safety, emergency response, fire suppression, and power line construction/maintenance,” says Mark Wiskemann, President of Wisk Air Helicopters.

The new helicopter has been nicknamed “Big Bird” by staff at Wisk Air because of it’s impressive size and strength, and its new bright yellow paint-job.

The helicopter’s key features include:

Safe:  It has two engines; it is rewired, refurbished, and repainted.
Light: It is the lightest helicopter of it’s kind in North America.

Strong: It can lift up to 4500 pounds (ideal for heavy lifts and crew loads).

Fast: It can travel at 140 knots, the equivalent of 260 kilometres an hour.

Large: It seats 14 passengers, making it ideal for larger crew requirements.

“The Bell 412 is the largest helicopter based in Northwestern Ontario, offering new capacity for the tough jobs in our region. Equipped with state-of-the-art Fast Fin technology, this helicopter clearly demonstrates Wisk-Air’s ongoing commitment to innovation and customer service,” said the Airport’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Schmidtke.  “The Airport Authority is proud of its longstanding relationship with Wisk Air, and we wish them every success with their new machine.”

Wisk Air has made significant effort to connect in meaningful ways with communities in the Northwest. The company has signed agreements with 14 First Nation communities. For 35 years Wisk Air has been offering safe, trusted and reliable helicopter services in remote areas.

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