Director of Flight Operations Bio
Heather McGonigal joined Keewatin Air’s management team in August 2017 in the capacity of Director of Flight Operations. She is responsible for overall safety, maintaining control of operations, and for setting and maintaining operational standards for flight crews and all aircraft operated.
Heather is a third generation pilot. She built a significant amount of her early flight time as a flight instructor while she attended university, graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. At this time, she moved to Calgary for full-time employment and taught Initial and Multi-IFR at Morgan Air. Later, she became Morgan Air's Chief Flying Instructor while still flying charters.
Prior to joining Keewatin Air, Heather worked at Transwest Air and Northern Shield Helicopters in Saskatchewan as the Director of Flight Operations, overseeing CAR 702-705 operations respectively. In addition to her Director of Flight Operations role, Heather was a line Captain and Training Captain. She implemented the company’s Safety Management System (SMS) and assisted in its oversight.
Heather’s experience in northern Saskatchewan gave her an appreciation for the challenges that people living in the north encounter on a daily basis. Her knowledge of multiple subparts of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) reinforced the importance of effective documentation from a customer and regulatory standpoint.
Heather has a passion for teaching and as a result has voluntarily instructed at local community colleges for the Commercial Pilot Program as well as being a First Aid Instructor for the Red Cross.
She is currently the Chair of the Board for the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC).
(204) 888-0100 Ext. 6513
Crew Scheduling Bio
Dean Tippett’s journey in aviation began in 1988 when he acquired his private pilot licence in St John’s Newfoundland. During the next few years while Dean followed different career paths he would always keep in contact with his friends at Atlantic Airways, which would eventually become Provincial Airlines. Through these contacts, and his brother who was a pilot with Atlantic Airways/Provincial Airlines, Dean would eventually set his sights in a career in aviation.
In 1995 Dean began as a flight instructor out of Halifax, Nova Scotia in a college program with the Aviation Career Academy. After that company had failed and went bankrupt, Dean took a 6 month hiatus until he was offered a position at Airmac Flight Center in 1998, Airmac operated a flight school and charter operation out of Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. During his time with Airmac Dean held numerous positions, including Chief Flight Instructor, Chief Pilot and Operations Manager.
In early 2000 Dean accepted a Captain position, flying single pilot IFR with Piper Seneca’s throughout eastern Canada and the US with Atlantic Charters out of Grand Manan, New Brunswick. As Grand Manan is an island at the southern end of the Bay of Fundy, Dean gained valuable experience dealing with the many challenges and an increased respect for the weather this region can produce.
At the end of 2000 Dean and his family had decided to move west to Winnipeg, where he accepted a supervisory flight instructor position with Winnipeg Flying Club. During this time Dean’s primary role was to supervise class 4 and 3 instructors in their college program, while being involved in their multi IFR program.
In September of 2001, Dean accepted a First Officer position on the Pilatus PC12 with Keewatin Air LP, flying their scheduled service and charters throughout central Canada and Nunavut. During the next few years Dean progressed as Captain, and eventually accepted an office position as Training and Standards in 2005. Included in Dean’s responsibility was handling the logistics for training, pilot records and pilot scheduling. In January 2007 Dean accepted a Captain position on Keewatin’s newly acquired Beech 1900C aircraft continuing their scheduled service in Nunavut. Dean’s time spent flying for Keewatin Air not only gave him many valuable experiences, but gave him an appreciation for the diversity of cultures in Canada.
In May 2008, Dean experienced a life changing event and could no longer hold an aviation medical.
In 2010, Dean took a supervisory role in Keewatin Air’s warehouse and ramp where he eventually became the Assistant Chief Pilot, Training and Standards, and Pilot Scheduling. As time moved on, Dean stepped down from this and continued in flight operations as the Crew Scheduler, including many logistical duties, and filling in as a Ground School Instructor.
With over 30 years in and around the aviation community, Dean feels grateful and blessed for the experiences and flight time in the many regions around Canada and the US.
(204) 888-0100 Ext. 6515
Training and Standards Bio
Kyle Chartier began his career in aviation with Keewatin Air in September of 2007 as a Training Coordinator and Ground Agent. After 4 years in those positions, Kyle pursued a position with Calm Air to gain experience in a 705 operational environment. After spending just a little over a year in operations at Calm Air, and after gaining valuable experience, Kyle once again returned to Keewatin Air to take over their training department. In 2016 Keewatin Air implemented a Flight Operations Quality Assurance program and Kyle was promoted to the FOQA Manager, a position which he still currently holds.
Kyle is a veteran of more than half a dozen Transport Canada Primary Validation Inspections (PVIs), and is a subject matter expert in the area of Flight Operations and training records. In recent years, Kyle has served as a permanent member of the Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) internal audit team, spending significant time performing process and document audits for Keewatin Air’s sister companies.
Kyle is one of the few Flight Operations members whose background did not originate in the aviation industry. Kyle’s background pre-aviation was in computers and graphic design. Those skills still remain a strong part of Kyle’s skill set and can be seen on display in Keewatin Air’s advertising and other EIC projects, which Kyle still has an active hand in.
(204) 888-0100 Ext. 6518
703/704 Chief Pilot Bio
Terry McGonigal’s aviation career started in Lynn Lake, MB in the spring of 1988, working for La Ronge Aviation. Starting as a dock hand, he worked his way into the right seat of the DHC6. By 1989, he had obtained his first role as Captain on the C185. He continued to work for La Ronge Aviation as well as it’s merged companies until the fall of 2017, having served as Captain on several aircraft, including: C185, DHC2, BE55/58, PA3, DHC6 Also during this time, Terry relocated in 1994 to Saskatoon Saskatchewan where he obtained a position as co-captain on the Gulfstream I. In 1995, the Jetstream 31 aircraft was added to the fleet and he was trained as a Line/Training Captain on this aircraft. In 1998 he was awarded the Chief Pilot role while also continuing to fulfill the role as a Bae31 Line/Training Captain.
The summer of 2000 brought along the merger of Athabasca Airways and Air Sask Aviation (formerly La Ronge Aviation). In 2002, the Saab 340 aircraft was added to the fleet and he became a Line/Training Captain on the SF34. In 2003, he was once again awarded the position of Chief Pilot and continued in this role until the end of my employment in 2017. He was served in the role of Safety Manager in winter of 2015/2016.
In September 2017, Terry accepted the position of Chief Pilot at Keewatin Air, overseeing a team of pilots ranging from 40 to 60 people, including medevac operations. As part of his role at Keewatin Air, he was trained as a Captain on the LR35 jet aircraft. This position has given Terry an opportunity to learn how medevac operations are conducted by Keewatin Air in the Arctic regions.
Throughout his aviation career, Terry has spent numerous hours as a line pilot flying medevac missions, as well as managing line pilots conducting these operations. Terry firmly believes that the experience he has gained throughout his career enables him to “give back” to the younger generation of pilots, and assist these future leaders in aviation forwards in their career path and goals.
(204) 888-0100 Ext. 6516
Flight Training Manager Bio
Darrell Grantham has been a commercial pilot for 17 years with 15 years of this experience exclusively working the Nunavut region. Darrell has worked the majority of his career within the EIC group including such companies as Calm Air, Keewatin Air, Perimeter and flying Bearskin routes on their behalf.
Darrell is very knowledgeable with the inner workings of Airline Operations, specifically focusing on Medevac and Arctic operations. He worked within Nav Canada for 10 months gaining valuable experience in the understanding of IFR operations and the impact of these operations on the Keewatin Air piloting group.
Darrell is currently working as the Flight Training Manager at Keewatin Air, primarily teaching ground schools in Winnipeg, disseminating his knowledge to new piloting groups working on the flight line.