Corporate operator Lion Aero was looking for a good value in a light or intermediate twin-engine helicopter to meet its corporate transport needs. What the company found was a Bell 230 that had done extensive corporate service in India. It would need “substantial work,” to understate the challenge.
Enter MRO and refurbishment specialist PAC International (Booth No. 1021). While the airframe fundamentals were there, the aircraft was not airworthy and additional work was needed to bring the helicopter to the standard required by Lion Aero’s corporate passengers.
Following its arrival at the Port of Baltimore, the helicopter was trucked to PAC International’s southwestern Pennsylvania facility. It began its next life with an inspection and review of what had to be done. Then it progressed through modifications and repairs, upgrades to the drive, electrical and avionics systems, interior refurbishment and finally a flashy exterior paint job.
When it was done, Lion Aero took its new aircraft on an extended business trip to New York and then to Florida for evaluation as to suitability for its mission.
PAC director of maintenance Ed Wahl was sufficiently happy with the results that he appealed to Lion Aero to allow PAC to display the “new” helicopter at its Heli-Expo 2011 exhibit. Lion Aero, equally happy, agreed.
To get a look at “The ugly duckling that turned to a lion,” visit the PAC International exhibit (Booth No. 1021).
Oooohs and ahhhhs gratefully accepted.