Kasper Air Melding Northern Ontario Transportation Options
THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Kasper Air is expanding operational capacity with the airline’s new Kodiak Quest 100 – dubbed the Kasper Air ‘Hornet’ for its bright yellow and black livery. The new aircraft is expected to be operational in mid-June.
“The Kodiak Quest is a turbo prop/ turbine engine aircraft designed for northern flying, it has the safety features that will allow the aircraft to increase the reliability that is paramount at Kasper Air,” stated Kasper Wabinski CEO and co-founder of Kasper Air.
“Our ‘Hornet’ meets and with the upgrades done by Northpoint Aviation in Minnesota, we have added, exceeds all Canadian and American Safety regulations,” added Wabinski.
The company will put the ‘Hornet’ onto their northern runs flying primarily out of Sioux Lookout and Dryden to northern communities.
Kasper adds, “Our new addition to the fleet is a late 2009 production aircraft. We purchased it with very little use on it. Our ‘Hornet’ was pretty much barely used, before us, it was privately owned only. It flew around 75 hours a year before we purchased this airplane”.
High Tech Additions to Ensure Air Safety for Customers
“We upgraded all the options to make it the same as a 2015 model and plus extras. To our knowledge after verification with the factory, It is the best equipped Kodiak in the world,” stated Wabinski.
“This is an all-weather capable aircraft that we believe is a needed upgrade for the North,” stated Wabinski. “It is more efficient and capable with safety, payload, speed, and reliability than a Navajo, and on Northern routes it will be equal to a PC-12.
“It represents an overall upgrade over a Caravan”, added Wabinski.
The Kodiak Quest not only offers safety, but comfort too. Wabinski says “Comfort is a big part of the aircraft’s appeal. Passengers can fly in complete comfort with passenger seats that are designed with the customer’s comfort in mind. There is extra heating built into the aircraft to assure cozy warmth during the winter”.
There are also USB jacks at the seats. For those flights with young people or teens, they can keep up on their games on their smart phones or iPads.
The Kodiak Quest has a capacity of eight passengers plus the pilots. Kasper Air will operate the ‘Hornet’ with two pilots.
Safety a Key Concern for Northern Flyers
Safety wise, the Kodiak Quest is packed with technology to make it one of the safest aircraft in the North. First off, the plane is equipped with Stormscope and satellite weather that allows the pilots to keep an eye on weather and avoid storms.
The Kodiak Quest is equipped with an Infrared camera that pilots can use to ensure the runway is clear of possible obstacles. Moose, deer, bears, wolves or coyotes might not factor in for a pilot landing at Toronto International Airport, but in Sandy Lake, Kasibonika, and other northern airports, wildlife can be a factor.
The Radar Altimeter allows the pilots to ensure they are on the right track and on the correct altitude. It shows the pilot how far off the ground the Quest Kodiak is, which is important for instrument approaches.
In terms of taking care of the business side of the plane, Wabinski says that the Kodiak Quest is fast with an air-speed of 170 knots. It is fuel efficient, and offers a very effective and cost economic alternative to other aircraft flying in the north.
The aircraft is equipped with a ‘Quick Change’ interior – so it is capable of flying into a community loaded with cargo, and in about 15 minutes, converts to take out a full load of passengers.
Kasper Air along with Kasper Mini Bus are looking to meld northern Ontario air service with bus service basing out of Sioux Lookout and Dryden from Thunder Bay to provide a complete transportation service for Northwestern Ontario.