HAI Convention News

Dart hits bullseye with ‘copter service

 - February 21, 2010, 7:15 AM

Dart Helicopter Services, celebrating just its fifth anniversary this week at Heli-Expo, is weathering the recession and growing nicely, says CEO and managing partner Jeff Shapiro.

In an interview with AIN on Friday, Shapiro said the Oceanside, Calif.-based parts specialist now has an inventory of more than 3,000 parts, and an agreement reached this week with Bristow Group of the UK as its worldwide distributor increases that inventory to more than 8,000 parts.

“They have some incredible stuff, all EASA STC’d and until now only a little more than 100 items were available on the worldwide marketplace,” said Shapiro.

With the exception of 2009, which he described as rather flat, Dart Helicopter Services has been experiencing 50 percent annual growth in terms of gross revenues and even with a flat year, continues to grow and  now claims the title of “the industry’s number one provider of helicopter accessories.”

Among other recent growth milestones are:

• The addition of 500 new accessories, including fire suppression, air conditioners, tools and interior components.

• A new, expanded Web site with new provisions for online ordering, as well as an expanded hard-copy catalogue totaling 448 pages.

• A broader global presence with 12 locations worldwide and plans for additional international expansion.

• Special categories of safety-enhancing accessories, such as emergency floats, shoulder-harness kits and emergency-exit upgrades.

• Additions to a collection of special operations equipment, including FMS moving map with slaving, searchlights, external platforms and FAST rope systems.

Announced Friday was Transport Canada approval for an auxiliary fuel tank reissued in the name of affiliated partner Dart Aerospace. The tank, from John Cameron Aviation, provides 34 additional gallons of usable fuel for the Eurocopter AS350 and 40 gallons for the EC130. It extends the range by as much as 25 percent, and a provisions kit allows rapid transfer between aircraft.

Dart has also recently acquired the tooling division of Canadian conversions
and upgrades specialist Heliproducts Industries, as well as a 30-percent share of tool manufacturer Red Barn Machine of Eugene, Ore.

Those in a celebratory mood may join Shapiro and his Dart staff at Booth No. 1045 to mark the company’s fifth anniversary with wine and beer.
On display at the booth are a broad sampling of Dart products, from moving maps and life rafts to quarter doors, skid tubes and three mockups with accessories installed.