HAI Convention News

Chelton EFIS: TAWS and more

 - September 28, 2006, 2:45 PM

A very sore-throated EMS pilot named Mark Graveline, who flies a Bell 206 equipped with the Chelton Flight Systems FlightLogic EFIS for Air Methods of San Antonio, talked about the cockpit system with HAI Convention News at the show yesterday.

Graveline had just enough voice left in him after a busy morning on the show floor to share the main reason why he believes the Chelton system, available as standard equipment in the new Bell 417, will provide increased safety for EMS pilots.

“It takes a lot to impress me, and this did,” he said. “The EFIS has a moving map and puts the terrain on the primary flight display. This shows you, day or night, what’s ahead of you. This can eliminate CFIT on a crystal-clear night.”

Chelton Flight Systems, based in Boise, Idaho, has obtained STCs for installation of the FlightLogic EFIS in all Bell 204, 205, 206, 210, 407 models and the Eurocopter AS 350 and AS 355 models. An STC for the EC 120B is expected to be completed this spring, and Chelton is also planning to pursue an STC for the Robinson R44, Eurocopter BK117 and the Sikorsky S-76. The Chelton EFIS-equipped Bell 206 that Graveline flies is on display at the Hillsborough Aviation static display (No. 44).

Linda Griffitts-Harper, a spokeswoman for Chelton Flight Systems, said the STC’d units, which include an integrated terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), cost $95,000 plus installation. A representative from Hillsborough said the complete Chelton EFIS installation runs about $125,000.

Graveline remarked that his company is in the process of upgrading its fleet to the Bell 430 and is “having difficulty putting together a system that will match what Chelton has already done.” Chelton is currently pursuing an STC for the Bell 430.

Around 40 to 50 helicopters are flying with the Chelton EFIS so far. A high percentage of those are Bell 407s installed by Edwards & Associates (Booth No. 3117) as completions.

Temple Electronics of Houston is working on a field approval for a single-screen Chelton TAWS/GPS system in a BK117 for a New Zealand operator. Griffitts-Harper said that Chelton system will cost about $90,000 including installation.