VIH Helicopters (formerly Vancouver Island Helicopters) was founded in 1955 by Ted Hensen and Bill Boeing Jr., a Seattle-based aircraft dealer and son of the founder of Boeing Aircraft. Canada's oldest privately held helicopter company started with one single Bell 47G2 helicopter to provide services on Vancouver Island.
Soon after, Frank Norie, an avid pilot and pioneer in the BC logging industry, became a shareholder in Vancouver Island Helicopters, flying in his Bell 47G2 to and from his home in Cobble Hill to the company's head office in Victoria, British Columbia. Frank's eldest son, Ken, also became involved in the company in the early 1970s, beginning as a pilot and quickly moving into management roles. Utilizing Kamov KA32A11BC heavy-lift helicopters from Russia, Ken developed a very successful logging division, "VIH Logging Ltd." After much hard work and persistence, Ken became the sole owner of both Vancouver Island Helicopters and VIH Logging Ltd. in the late '90s. Under Ken's leadership, VIH then expanded rapidly, buying up Northern Mountain Helicopters in British Columbia and Cougar Helicopters on the East Coast which had logged an impressive number of flight hours in the midst of some of the world's most challenging flying weather. Shortly following these acquisitions, VIH Helicopters was soon transformed into the VIH Aviation Group of Companies.
To this day, the VIH Aviation Group headquarters continues to operate its original Victoria office, although there have been some major changes since the days of that single Bell 47. The VIH Aviation Group head office in Victoria, British Columbia is now an outstanding facility that houses not only office staff, but additional divisions of the VIH Aviation Group. VIH Aerospace is a state-of-the-art division, operating a service centre staffed with technicians and engineers trained to repair every component of a helicopter including increasingly sophisticated communication and navigation systems. YYJ FBO Services is an exceptional full-service fixed base operation located at the Victoria International Airport that provides corporate aircraft storage, fueling services, an executive lounge, as well as many other services to exceed traveler expectations. VIH Execujet is the fixed wing division of the Group, operating an elite Challenger 604 as well as a Hawker 800XP, both of which are available 24/7 for private charters.
The VIH Aviation Group of Companies now employ over 300 people and operate a fleet of over 50 helicopters of many varieties. The VIH Aviation Group operates multiple divisions and operating companies, among which are Cougar Helicopters, with multiple locations on the East coast of Canada and utilizing Sikorsky S92 helicopters to provide passenger transport to the offshore industry, SAR and Helicopter EMS; and VIH Helicopters with locations both on the West coast of Canada and Internationally, working heavy lift, seismic, mining, wildfire operations and forestry.