About Transwest Helicopters

We are your ONE CALL for comprehensive helicopter solutions. Transwest Helicopters maintenance, repair and overhaul division is recognized internationally by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), United States FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Transwest Helicopters owns and operates a Bell 412 EP helicopter perfected suited for utility and fire fighting operations.

Transwest Helicopters is celebrating over 50 years of providing safe and cost effective helicopter services worldwide. From maintenance, repair and overhaul, part sales or support to the unique certified solutions developed over the years, Transwest Helicopters ensures their customers receive efficient and cost-effective solutions.

  • play_arrow World leaders in Bell Medium and Legacy helicopters including the 204, 205, 212, 214B, 214ST and 412 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
  • play_arrow Complete helicopter rebuild and refurbishment facility
  • play_arrow Component Repair and Overhaul, Avionics, Structural Repair, Painting and Finishing divisions
  • play_arrow Design and Certify reliable and safe solutions that are cost efficient and increase operational capability
  • play_arrow Worldwide 24/7 AOG Support and Field Maintenance Services
  • play_arrow Fly-in, fly-out convenience

Mission Statement

Transwest Helicopters Ltd. is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality, safest and most cost-effective helicopter services available, through our team of skilled and dedicated professionals.

Our Story


John “Jack” McMahon, a former RAF Halifax pilot and WW II veteran, established Transwest Helicopters (1965) Ltd in BC in 1965. He had purchased an inactive Calgary aviation company and moved that business to Vancouver International Airport, retaining the name “Transwest Helicopters”.

Transwest Helicopters 1965
Transwest Helicopters 1968

Transwest Helicopters was in full operation with 11 helicopters, which increased to 16 by 1970. The company was involved in constructing transmission towers, heli-logging, spraying, fire fighting and were involved with the Federal Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and the BC Forest Service.


Transwest Helicopters (1965) Ltd relocated from YVR to 2792 Norland Avenue in Burnaby and built a new hangar on 1.5 acres. At this time Transwest operated 9 helicopters with 22 staff.

Transwest Helicopters 1973

The Transwest fleet consisted of 2 x Alouette-Astazou, 3 x Hughes 500’s, 3 x Hiller UH-12E’s and 8 x Bell 47G’s.


Transwest began successfully heli-logging with a Bell 204 and eventually operated 3 x Bell 214B’s, for which the Company became renowned. Transwest Timber was eventually wound up due to a decline in demand/NAFTA tariffs in 2009

In the early 80's

Transwest moved to Pitt Meadows Airport.


Transwest Helicopters began operating the 214B Big Lifter.

Transwest Helicopters 1990

Transwest relocated to Olds Drive, Chilliwack BC, having been purchased earlier by Tim and Leslea McEvoy.


Transwest Helicopters was purchased by it’s current owners Ernst-Ulrich and Alison Maas in October 2004 and continued to operate several Bell 214 aircraft, predominantly for heli-logging, heavy lift and fire fighting operations. The company also established a thriving business for component overhaul as well as structural repairs for the Bell 214B and Bell 412 and invested in a Bell certified tail-boom and main cabin fixtures for the 214B.

Transwest Helicopters 2004

Transwest relocates to a new hangar/base in Oliver Airport BC with 1 x Bell 214B and 1 x Bell 412.


We continue to build a business to support the everchanging industry requirements. Our MRO division continues to provide a wide range of services for the Bell Medium and Legacy aircraft, from field maintenance to complete rebuilds. As we work with other operators we continue to design, certify and manufacture certified solutions, bringing much needed STC'd products to market. Solutions designed with the operator in mind.

We are also operators with a well-equipped Bell 412 EP aircraft and experienced staff to carry out a variety of utility missions as well as fire suppression.

Transwest Helicopters Today

Our Team

Ernst-Ulrich Maas


Ernst is both a fixed wing and helicopter pilot with 50 years (12,800 hours helicopter and 4,400 hours fixed wing flying experience), both throughout Canada and also internationally. He has also worked in aviation management since the 1980’s with Abu Dhabi Aviation (helicopters/UAE), Air Hart (fixed wing/Kelowna BC) and Transmaldivian Airways (fixed wing/Republic of the Maldives) and of course Transwest Helicopters (helicopters/ Chilliwack & Oliver BC). He and his wife Alison have successfully owned and operated Transwest Helicopters Ltd since 2004.

Doug Maki

Director of Maintenance

Doug has 40+ years of all-round experience in extensive refurbishment of Bell 206 series, 407, 204, 205, 212, 212 ‘S’, 214, 412, Airbus 350 series and MDHI 500 helicopters. He has been working with Transwest in Oliver as 212/412 Production Manager since 2015. In addition he has gained Sales, QA and Safety Program Management experience over the course of his lengthy career.

Jason Brown

Chief Pilot/Operations Manager

Transwest was excited to welcome Jason Brown to our team Summer 2020 as Chief Pilot/Operations Manager, following our resumption of helicopter operations. Jason has 15,000+ hours total time flying helicopters both domestically and internationally. In a heli-career spanning over 30 years, Jason has a wide range of experience in various flying environments including fire suppression, mountain, heli-skiing and wire-line.

Alan Cartwright

Component Shop Manager

Alan Cartwright joined Transwest in February 2020, bringing with him over 30 years of Component Shop experience to our Company. Alan has worked at several of the biggest and well-regarded MRO companies in British Columbia over the course of his career, specialising in Bell Medium (206B/L, 212, 214ST, 407,412,430) component overhaul.

His extensive experience and skill set is a great fit for Transwest and our history of Bell medium legacy aircraft support.