The great American writer Pearl S. Buck said, “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”

This notion certainly applies to some of our co-workers who recently celebrated major milestone anniversaries at Pacific Coastal. Their hard work and dedication sets an example for all of us, and we are proud of their achievements. Here is just a few of the people who make Pacific Coastal such a great place to work.

Dale Buchan, B1900 Captain – 40 years

Dale began flying with Pacific Coastal in October 1979. A man of few words, Dale was uncharacteristically effusive in recounting some of the stories of his amazing career with our airline. “In the old days, we would pilot the King Air 100 as well as floatplanes six days a week with Saturday our only day off. We even did our own ticketing”.
Those long hours did not seem to phase the Ontario born Buchan who enjoyed working with Pacific Coastal Airlines founder Daryl Smith. “Daryl was great to work for. What he said was cast in stone”. Dale’s passion for flying is evident to all who know him and he continues to inspire the new generation of pilots that fly with Pacific Coastal today.

Miriam Lenting, Director, Crew and Operations Planning – 30 years

Much has changed since Miriam began her career at Pacific Coastal in August 1989. “I started in the accounting department and acted as a secretary for both Daryl and Peter, who were co-owners of Pacific Coastal at that time, but was quickly lured into the Dispatch area of the office.”

In the 1980’s Pacific Coastal’s operated from two office spaces located upstairs in the South Terminal building. “We were operating a few Navajos at that time and had several float planes operating from Vancouver Harbour in those days.” As the company grew, Miriam found herself in various roles including reservations, flight watch, crew scheduling, and even ran the Ground Power Units (GPU) that are used to start the engines. “Those were the days when our crews would also drive the shuttle bus between the South Terminal and Main Terminals at YVR. How things have changed!”

Miriam is clear on why she has enjoyed working for Pacific Coastal all these years. “Every day is a new adventure. There is a genuine spirit of cooperation, and although it’s not always easy, I am surrounded by people who care.”

Heather Wilson, Manager, Commercial Operations – 15 years

Heather Wilson has explored a variety of positions at Pacific Coastal since joining Pacific Coastal in September 2004. “I started as summer relief in the Dispatch department and wrote my Transport Canada licensing exams to become a qualified Flight Dispatcher later that same year”. Heather has been Chief Dispatcher-FR Division, Operations Control Manager, is currently the Manager, Commercial Operations.

“The Dispatch department has grown exponentially over the years from a collection of a few Dispatchers to a full-fledged Operations Control Centre (OCC) which includes many different units all working together to ensure our passengers arrive safely at their destination.”

When asked about her favourite memory Heather recounted the time that ex-Vancouver Canuck Willie Mitchell, who hails from Port McNeil on northern Vancouver Island, chartered a Saab 340 from Pacific Coastal Airlines to bring his family and friends along with the Stanley Cup to Port Hardy, which is near his home town. “We all had a chance to pose with Willie and Lord Stanley’s Cup before they departed – a rare and special experience!”

Heather enjoys working in the dynamic OCC environment and appreciates the team atmosphere. “We support each other through all kinds of operational days, from stressful to care-free and share lots of laughs throughout the day!”

So why should someone choose to work with Pacific Coastal? “There are lots of growth opportunities right now – more than ever before!”

Story by Kevin Boothroyd
Photos by Jodie Sanheim