HAI Convention News

More operators turn to Jet-Care for clean bill of engine health

 - March 6, 2011, 5:00 AM

The past 12 months have seen Jet-Care (Booth No. 4442) growing its presence in the helicopter engine support sector. The company, which specializes in oil analysis and health monitoring for engines and equipment such as gearboxes, has won new business in the North American market while also making inroads into the growing South American sector.

A new client for oil analysis in 2010 was Keystone Helicopters. The Coatesville, Pa.-based MRO provider is part of the Sikorsky group. Another recent endorsement came when the U.S. Coast Guard committed to a fifth consecutive contract renewal. The contract covers oil analysis and engine debris checks for the Turbomeca Arriels that power its fleet of Eurocopter HH65s.

Turbomeca’s U.S. division signed a contract for Jet-Care to provide both oil and engine debris analysis. The French turboshaft manufacturer first approved the company to support its engines in 1996, having previously approved Jet-Care’s European sister company Spectro in the late 1970s. Spectro has been in business for 35 years, and Jet-Care for the past 15 years.

Through its European laboratories, Jet-Care has recently won contracts from France’s Helidax,which operates 36 EC120s in support of the French army helicopter school. ZF Gearboxes has also signed a contract for oil and debris monitoring; it supplies gearboxes to Eurocopter. Another new client is Defense Support Services (DS2), which contracted for oil and debris analysis as part of its agreement to support helicopters being flown for the U.S. government on customs and border patrols.

In Brazil, where a surge in offshore oil and gas activity is accelerating demand for helicopter operations, Eurocopter subsidiary Helibras has appointed Jet-Care as its exclusive laboratory for oil analysis. Eurocopter’s operations in Chile and Mexico are also contracted to Jet-Care.

According to sales and marketing manager Alan Baker, the endorsement of helicopter manufacturers such as Sikorsky and Eurocopter has been a key to growing acceptance among operators of the value, in terms of both safe and cost efficient flying, of having oil and engine debris analyzed. In some cases, the processes are part of service bulletins, such as that covering EC135 gearboxes.

Jet-Care is the only laboratory in North America approved by Eurocopter. It also has the only laboratory exclusively selected by Sikorsky for the service bulletin covering the S-76 main gearbox .

Growing demand has prompted Jet-Care to increase the size of its facility in Cedar Knolls, N.J.,  from 9,500 to 16,000 sq ft. In Europe, the company supports clients through Spectro, with laboratories at Odiham in the UK and Basel in Switzerland. In addition to checking oil and debris from engines, the group can also analyze the condition and contents of oil filters, fuel and hydraulic fluids.

To help operators interpret and manage the data generated by its testing, Jet-Care provide its Echo (engine condition health online) software. The program is helpful for large fleet operators, enabling them to stay on top of engine performance trends and plan maintenance as efficiently as possible.