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Working in conjunction with the Canadian Coast Guard, “Qualified Flight Training” with the Gitga’at First Nation & Coast Guardians.

On Sept 26, 1946, the Zalinski hit the rocks on Pitt Island and sank within 25 minutes. it wasn’t until 2003 that the location of the wreck was determined. At any time the bulkheads could collapse and release up to 600 tonnes of bunker oil into the waters roughly 100 km south of Prince Rupert.

We had some early conversations the Gitg’at regarding drone technology and training and its use for Coastline monitoring and surveillance. Immediately it became apparent that we all believed in Qualified over Certified. (You can challenge and pass the exam, but does that make you a pilot?) Timing couldn’t have been better as the Manager, Gitga’at Emergency Response Team for the Giga’at First Nation reached back to us to develop a drone flight training syllabus to support the handoff of the Zalinksi oil monitoring operation from the Canadian Coast Guard to the Gitga’at Guardians. Our vision for pilots within our own operations is to develop Qualified Pilots by developing skills through hands on training. We carefully move from one aircraft to the next just like a pilot in manned aviation would do. “You need to get stick time in the aircraft and become proficient before we move you to the next level of sophistication”. To this end we will train our pilots with our oldest equipment, no bells or whistles, gps, obstacles sensors etc until they are ready to move into a newer type of aircraft and feel confident they have the know how to deal with emergencies.

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