Paul Spring

President, Operations Manager

Over his 40 years in aviation Paul has accumulated more than 14,000 hours of flight time in single and twin engine helicopters, also having flown fixed wing aircraft. He began his career as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer endorsed for rotary and fixed wing aircraft after attending Canadore College, later returning to Canadore to earn his commercial helicopter pilot’s licence. Paul’s path in the helicopter industry included long tours in the Arctic and various postings throughout Central and Western Canada flying a wide variety of helicopter roles. He ultimately moved to Fort McMurray to begin his new role as a base manager and worked tirelessly for years to cultivate a viable operation.

After a shift in his employer’s corporate focus Paul struck out on his own, flying and maintaining a single AStar by himself for 8 years. Over time and in calculated fashion Paul began to acquire additional aircraft and bring on more pilots, eventually constructing two custom hangars. With a sustained concentration on safe operations and ‘doing the right thing’ despite increased effort and higher costs Paul has grown Phoenix to be a highly respected industry member. He was an early adopter of Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring for light helicopters and his steadfast advocacy for the technology has seen him speak dozens of times at conferences in North America and Europe. Paul is an active pilot who dedicates himself to the betterment of the helicopter industry and to evolving Phoenix’s policies, procedures and equipment in order to enhance its position in a highly competitive market.


Darrel Peters

Chief Pilot

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

Darrel began his flying career in 1996, and as a new pilot he worked hard building his flight time on seismic operations. Over the next few years Darrel broadened his pilot skill set with firefighting, environmental work, mineral exploration and mountain operations, before joining Phoenix as a contract pilot in 2000. Enjoying the work and excited by the opportunities presented by the region, he decided to make Fort McMurray his home and build his career with Phoenix. He has now held the position of Chief Pilot for 6 years, has accumulated over 8,800 hours of flight time, and holds current night vision goggle, instrument and night ratings. Among much memorable work in the region, Darrel is most proud to now have the dedicated emergency response helicopter program operational after many years of effort.



Mario Blais

Director of Maintenance

“Phoenix Heli-Flight’s excellent safety record and reputation in the industry are what brought me to the company.”

Mario brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to Phoenix’s maintenance team. Over his two decades as an Aircraft Mechanical Engineer, Mario has completed dozens of airframe and engine courses relating to Airbus (formerly Eurocopter) aircraft, which we operate exclusively. With additional post-secondary education he has developed a high level of proficiency as a maintenance course instructor, as well as having acquired valuable expertise as an Airbus Canada instructor. Not limiting himself to the maintenance side of aviation, Mario also holds a private pilot licence.