6 HeliSpirit team leaders

It takes team work to run an efficient, safe, productive business, especially a business that wins awards, even though operating in one of the world’s most remote areas.Ā 
The HeliSpiritĀ team of pilots, aircraft engineers, administration and support staff totals 38. It is a cohesive, friendly group of dedicated, hard working individuals with many skills. Ā Open lines of communication and effective reporting systems ensure that our operations are safe and our service is best practice.
We would like to introduce you to 6 HeliSpirit team leaders.

Michael McConachy
Managing Director, HeliSpirit
With a wealth of experience in the areas of business, tourism, agriculture, construction and aviation, Michael is Managing Director of several local Companies. His strong understanding of governance and accountability led to his appointment as Chairman of the Kimberley Development Commission. Michael is also a Board Member of the Western Australian Regional Development Council. He holds both a commercial helicopter pilot license and commercial fixed wing pilot license with many years of Kimberley flying experience.

Paul Cripps
Operations Manager, HeliSpirit
Having worked for HeliSpirit as a pilot since 2006, Paul understands all aspects of the business. Paul has over 2,500 hours flying helicopters in the Kimberley and is respected locally as a safe and efficient pilot. He has a strong focus on safety, compliance and customer service and extensive experience in senior management for construction and retail companies. Operations Manager for HeliSpirit since 2010, Paulā€™s role provides support to the Managing Director and Chief Pilot assisting in co-ordinating and managing a team of more than 25 pilots, 21 aircraft and 7 HeliSpirit bases, of which 6 are remote.

Howard James
Check and Training, HeliSpirit
Howard holds a Commercial Helicopter Pilot License, a Grade 1 Flight instructor rating and has held CASA approval to be an ā€œAuthorised Testing Officerā€. Howard has lived and worked in the Kimberley region since 1975. He has 30 years of helicopter flying experience in the Kimberley and has accumulated over 12,500 flight hours of which 5,500 are mustering and 5,000 are instructional. Howard is considered an industry leader in helicopter flight training and has carried out ā€œcheck and trainingā€, proficiency training and route checking of company pilots for 20 years.

Sonja Mitchell
Sales and Marketing Manager, HeliSpirit
Sonja Mitchell has been involved in the aviation industry in the Kimberley for 25 years, firstly as a Commercial Fixed Wing Pilot (ATPL) and then progressing through to roles of Operations Manager, General Manager and CEO. She was awarded the ā€œIndividual Award for Excellenceā€ Australiaā€™s North West Tourism 2006, recognising a personal contribution to the development of the Kimberley tourism industry. She has held numerous board positions including a seat on the board of the South West Development Commission and a 6 year term as Commissioner of Tourism WA. Since 2007 Sonja has specialised in business development, aviation and tourism marketing.

James Bondfield
Chief Pilot/Check and Training, HeliSpirit
James holds Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licenses in Australia, Canada, America and PNG. Having worked within both Australia and abroad James brings a wealth of experience to the company. Over the past 11 years James has accumulated over 7000 flight hours and has developed a diverse skill set with experience in cattle mustering, aerial shooting, fire fighting, heli-logging, mining support, mountain flying (over 10,000ft), VIP/Charter as well as filming and photography utilizing various camera mount systems. James is a precision long-line and heavy lifting specialist and recently attained a Grade 3 Flight Instructor Rating.

Phil Todhunter
Safety and Compliance Manager, HeliSpirit
Phil holds a Masters of Management from the University of NSW and has completed a range of specialist training. This training includes an Aviation Safety Managers Course, Risk Management, WHS Incident Investigation and Workplace Training & Assessment. Phil has worked in a number of demanding environments and organisations both overseas and within Australia. These include operational management roles as well as safety specific management roles. He has a strong commitment to safety and continuous improvement through engagement at all levels; reporting, investigation, review and analysis.

We are the largest aviation company in the Kimberley with solid history and experience in the remote outback.