Bill Leyburne

Owner/AME
Bill LeyburneBill grew up in North Bay, Ontario and attended Canadore College immediately upon graduation from high school. Bill graduated from the Aircraft Maintenance program in 1981.

Upon graduation, Bill moved out West and worked for a few years with operators such as, Lift Air International and Lamb Air, in Churchill, Manitoba.

In 1984, Bill moved back to Ontario and worked for Ranger Helicopters in Sault Ste. Marie until he moved to Goose Bay, Labrador and began to work for Sealand Helicopters. After a couple of years working in Goose Bay, Bill moved to Sealand’s head office, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Also working at Sealand Helicopters, was an old college friend of Bill’s, Wade Culliton who was also a licensed AME. In 1988, Bill and Wade realized the need for AME’s in Southern Ontario, to perform maintenance on aircraft owned by operators, who did not have their own AME’s, so they decided to leave Sealand and open up their own business in Southern Ontario. Wade left the company after a couple of years, but Bill continued on his own, eventually starting Great Lakes Helicopter in 2003.

Jo Anne Leyburne

Owner/General Manager
JoAnne LeyburneJo Anne grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and started her career with Sealand Helicopters upon graduation from a local college and worked there for five years.

In 1988, Jo Anne and Bill moved to Kitchener, Ontario and started “Rotor Services Limited”. During these first few years, Jo Anne worked for the City of Kitchener.

Jo Anne is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Great Lakes Helicopter.

Nick Booth

Chief Flight Instructor

Nick BoothNick comes from an Aviation/Teaching family, his dad being a Royal Air Force Pilot/Instructor and his mom a school teacher. Nick obtained his commercial helicopter license in 1998.

Nick started his flying career as a flight instructor and has trained in California, Gander, Newfoundland and London, Ontario.

With Nick’s many years’ experience as a flight instructor, it was a perfect fit for Nick to be hired as CFI at Great Lakes Helicopter when they opened in 2003.

Nick is a Class 1 Flight Instructor and Designated Transport Canada Flight Test Examiner. He has personally trained well over 200 students.

Nick is endorsed to fly the Robinson R22, R44, R66, Bell 206 series and the AS350. Nick has been working with Great Lakes Helicopter since 2004.

Adam Tastula

Class I Flight Instructor/Chief Pilot

Adam TastulaAdam started his flying career in 2005.

Upon graduation, worked as a charter pilot and eventually obtained his instructor rating and became a Helicopter Flight Instructor.

Adam joined Great Lakes Helicopter in 2008 as a Flight Instructor and spray/charter pilot. Over the years Adam has conducted a wide variety of flight operations such as aerial spraying, (forestry, crop, greenhouse,) vertical reference work and cinematography in many regions of Canada.

Adam currently has accumulated over 4000 flight hours in both turbine and piston aircraft and is a Class 1 Flight Instructor.

Chase Koolen

Pilot
Chase KoolenChase is a spray/utility pilot with Great Lakes Helicopter. Chase obtained his Commercial Helicopter License with Great Lakes Helicopter in 2008. Chase’s career in aviation has ranged from Fuel Truck driver to Airport Manager, and eventually becoming a helicopter pilot with Great Lakes Helicopter.

Growing up in a farming community and working various jobs prior to starting his flying career, has become a valuable asset in ancillary skills not normally covered under the general scope of aviation.

Chase’s responsibilities with Great Lakes Helicopter include primarily aerial application flying, with growing experience in other utility work when needed.

Chase is currently endorsed to fly the R22, R44 and Bell 206 helicopter. Chase has been working with Great Lakes Helicopter since 2012.

Stan Mance

Pilot/Spray/Marketing
Stan ManceStan is an aviation enthusiast who began his career in Aviation as a second career. His passion for aviation started early for Stan and he obtained his private pilot’s license in 1990.

Stan was a long time business owner in KW when he realized his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot could actually become a reality. While running his business, Stan began his training as a commercial helicopter pilot with Great Lakes Helicopter in 2007.

With Stan’s vast experience in business and marketing, it became evident that Stan would be a perfect fit for Great Lakes Helicopter. So upon his graduation from Great Lakes Helicopter in 2008, Stan was hired as a pilot and marketing director for Great Lakes Helicopter.

Stan has been instrumental in marketing Great Lakes spray program as both a pilot and spray coordinator. Stan’s responsibilities with Great Lakes Helicopter include flying (aerial spray/tours/photography etc.), marketing the flight school and charter operations.

Stan has accumulated over 1,000 hours with Great Lakes Helicopter.

John Rae

AME/Safety Manager
John RaeJohn has been an aviation enthusiast his entire life. He is a private fixed wing pilot, and is also licensed to fly gyro’s. John is actually building a Pietenpol airplane in his driveway!

John graduated from Centennial College’s Aviation Maintenance program over 30 years ago.

Upon graduation, John spent some time in Western Canada working as an AME for companies such as McPhail Aviation, in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. John moved back to Ontario in 1989 where he began working as an AME for Rotor Services Limited.

John has worked on many aircraft over his vast career, including: Gazelle 341, Bell 206 Series Helicopters, Hughes 300/500, Bell 47 Series, R22/R44 and other piston helicopters.

John is a valued employee with Rotor Services and as AME and also as a Sheet Metal Specialist.

Mike Warford

AME
Mike WarfordUpon graduation from College of the North Atlantic, in Gander, Newfoundland, Mike was immediately hired by Rotor Services Limited as an Apprentice in 2003.

Growing up in a small town in Central Newfoundland and moving to Kitchener/Waterloo was quite a change for Mike back in 2003.

Mike has proven to be an asset for Rotor Services over the years, and Mike became a licensed AME in 2006.

Mike has recently completed the R44 Canadian Field Maintenance Course and is now qualified to work on the R66 helicopter.

Mike is also licensed on the R22/R44 Helicopter and Bell 206 Series Helicopters, and has also completed the Bell 206 Component Overhaul course.

Newfoundland will probably always be “home” to Mike, but he has settled very well living in Guelph, Ontario with his wife and young daughter.

Libor Bocek

AME/Production Manager/PRM
Libor BocekGrowing up in the Czech Republic, Libor was always interested in Aviation. Libor moved to Canada in 1984, and upon finishing high school, decided to become a Chef. After working for a few years as a Chef, Libor’s interest in Aviation became apparent when he registered for the Aviation Maintenance program at Canadore College.

Upon graduation from Canadore College in 1995, Libor was hired by Rotor Services as an Apprentice.

Libor is endorsed on many helicopters, including the Bell 206 Series, R22/R44 Helicopters and has worked on other helicopters such as the AStar.

Libor has attended many workshops/courses over the years, including the R44 Factory Maintenance Training Course, and the Quality Assurance Workshop.

Shane Chambers

Pilot/Ground Instructor/Ground Crew Coordineator
After stufying biology and teaching part-time, Shane eventually chose to pursue a career in aviation to realise his childhood dream of flying. Shane then graduated from the collaborative Great Lakes Helicopter and Conestoga College aviation diploma program in the spring of 2014.

Shane was immediately hired by Great Lakes Helicopter upon graduation and he gained valuable experience working as ground crew during the season's ride events and spray operations. Shane stayed on with Great Lakes after the season to help tutor current students and he was then made the full-time ground instructor in January 2015.

Shane loves helping students and bringing smiles to people's faces at ride events.

Shane is currently endorsed to fly the Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters.

Adam Bradley

Class 3 Instructor/Pilot
Adam has been raised by a family of educators. His father, two sisters, and five aunts are all active school teachers. With this background, it is understandable that Adam's career would lead him to instructing full time.

After graduating in 2006, he spent several years building his flight time across Canada and the Southern USA as an aerial spray pilot. He has had the opportunity to work in many different flight operations, such as animal surveys on the coast of James Bay and fighting fires in western Canada.

Adam joined Great Lakes in the spring of 2016, he is endorsed to fly the Schweizer 300, Robinson R22, R44, Bell 206 series and AS350.