Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies, recognized Vancouver-based Helijet International as operator of the world’s highest time Sikorsky S-76 airframe. Helijet’s S-76A (serial number 760074) has logged 37,025 flight hours. It entered service in July 1980, and then flew 2,287 hours during nine years’ service as a corporate transport in the northeastern U.S.. Helijet acquired the aircraft in January 1990. In scheduled service, it has carried more than 500,000 passengers 3 million miles between Helijet’s passenger terminals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
“We established the reliability of Aircraft 760074 during 1,980 flight hours in its first 12 months of operation,” said Rick Hill, Helijet’s vice president of operations. “For the last 22 years, Aircraft 760074 has averaged 132 hours of flying a month. We’ve seen that if you maintain a great product, you’ll have exceptional reliability for a long time.” Hill credits Sikorsky’s equalized inspection/maintenance program for the aircraft’s exemplary service record.
“Our 14 maintenance engineers maintain our aircraft on a continual basis by spreading the maintenance loads into equal segments,” said Morris Forchuk, Helijet’s director of maintenance. “This approach ensures we rarely take an aircraft out of service. Sikorsky’s high caliber help desk and field service representatives help us to keep the aircraft going.”
In addition to operating the highest time S-76A, Helijet operates an additional four S-76As, as well as three medevac-equipped S-76C+ helicopters that provide air ambulance service to the province of British Columbia. Helijet also provides two Learjet 31As in support of the BC Ambulance service and other medical service clients. During 25 years of service, Helijet’s fleet of S-76As has flown 13.7 million miles.