Ken Giesbrecht joined Keewatin Air in July of 2019 to assist with the Company’s Pilot training programs. Recently he has stepped into the Director of Flight Operations role. He brings 44 years of diverse Aviation and Governmental experience to Keewatin Air.
Ken has extensive experience in the roles of Director of Fight Operations, Chief Pilot, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Accountable Executive, Elected President/CEO of the Canadian State Air Operators Association, Aviation Risk Manager, Aviation Consultant/ Technical Writer, Line Pilot and Flight Instructor.
With an excess of 9600 hours Ken has had the opportunity to work for several aviation organizations including two of our sister companies, Perimeter and Calm Air. He has broad flight experience throughout North America from the Artic to southern Mexico.
In his previous position Ken had the opportunity assist Transport Canada and companies from Israel, Japan and United States with technology and regulatory advancement. His belief in the teamwork concept and out of the box thinking allowed him to be a recipient of the Manitoba Government 2009 Service Excellence Award for Innovation.
Ken hopes to promote this teamwork and innovation philosophy at Keewatin Air and knows that honesty, integrity and humour play an import role in a healthy workplace.
Chris Brake is the 704 Chief Pilot at KAL. He has been with the company since June 2012 and has worked in numerous roles in his time here. In joining the company, he brought with him several years of experience in working with other operators in Ontario, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador.
Chris came to KAL with some diverse flying experience in remote locations in Northwestern Ontario, as well as the challenging weather conditions of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Eastern Quebec.
During his employment at KAL, Chris has continued to diversify his experience by operating as Captain in all aircraft that the company flies, joining the training department and having a fundamental role in the training of company pilot, becoming a Transport Canada Approved Check Pilot, as well as serving as Chief Pilot of the 703 and 704 Flight Operations.
Chris’s total flight time is currently just in excess of 10,600 hours. This has been gained in many unique and challenging areas of Canada. He has experience and understands the unique challenges and requirements of operating in remote areas flying in and out of smaller, isolated communities, as well as the challenges of operating out of larger Centers, major airports, dense IFR airspace and operations south of the border into the United States of America.
Chris has seen and been a part numerous positive growths and changes at the company in his time here and continues to be an eager part of its safe and effective operation. He enjoys being an effective member of the management team and greatly values the positive team aspect at KAL.
Dean Bakke joined KAL in October of 2021 as a medevac line Captain. As of July 2022, he was promoted to 703 Chief Pilot. Dean brings over 23 years of aviation experience including six years prior experience as a Chief Pilot, and operations management. In addition, Dean has extensive experience in Transport Canada rules and regulations, has been directly involved in human resources as well as experience in various steps towards the purchase of aircraft.
Along with management knowledge, Dean has developed and implemented Transport Canada approved training programs, overseen various departments, and developed ground crew operations including flight following, dispatch, and fueling.
With a flight background that includes BE20, BE30, BE02, airplane SEL/MEL, the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) along with the navigation for single pilot and two-crew operations, Dean has over 6,500 hours and brought his knowledge and experience to several aviation corporations. Dean has years of experience flying King Airs in the northern, gravel airports of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC and Nunavut. Dean’s corporate flying into dense air space of Canada and the US helped foster a strong belief in providing the best customer service possible.
Dean welcomes new challenges and brings a focus and drive to everything he does. He has a strong understanding of the pilot role and provides support, an open-door, and an attitude of “how can I help you succeed”.
With his knowledgeable background, Dean brings a well-rounded skill set. He believes in safety first, company loyalty, hard work and a “get it done” attitude. He enjoys conversing on many aviation subjects and brings a natural leadership ability to the team.
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.