April 23, 2020

Yukon Helicopter Chief Retires


Delmar Washington, owner and president of Capital Helicopters, has sold his company and will soon retire from the firm. The Whitehorse-based operator was reincorporated in 1995 when Washington, then Capital’s chief pilot, purchased the company from the previous owner.

“Well, this will be my 25 years in business, so it’s been a long haul,” said Washington. “And [I] really just want to have some weekends instead of seven days a week all the time.”

Delmar Washington during an interview with Stories North.

A member of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Washington caught the rotary wing bug when he rode in a helicopter in the mid-1980s. He earned his pilot licence in 1988 and then started as a line pilot at Capital.

“Every spectrum of work that I have done, I have had great moments … whether seeing amazing country, working with amazing people … It’s amazing, you know,” Washington told CBC News, reflecting on his career. “We live in a beautiful, beautiful place,” he added.

Among the four-aircraft fleet operated by Capital are a Jet Ranger, a LongRanger and a 407, all manufactured by Bell Helicopters. Capital also operates an Airbus AS350. The company provides support for the film and mining industries as well as providing fire-fighting services. Capital’s primary base is at Whitehorse airport (CYXY) and it recently opened a base at Haines Junction airport (CYHT).

Taking over as president to Capital is Melvin Lagersson, who already has nine years of seniority with the company. When asked to comment on the current operating environment, Lagersson said, “There is always going to be barriers. This year it’s COVID and another year it will be raining all summer or there will be a downturn in the economy — there is always going to be something.”

Top photo credit: Capital Helicopters