Columbia heads for the tropics

 - January 29, 2007, 5:47 AM

Three Columbia Helicopters Chinooks have recently entered service in South America. One is in Ecuador working for AGIP and two are in Peru supporting Occidental Peru and Repsol.

The AGIP contract includes, for the first time in South America, Part 135 work ferrying crews to a land-based exploration platform, and one of the projects in Peru has involved moving sections of an oil rig inland–a process known as heli-rigging. Barges delivered the rig and support equipment to the river port of Sargente Puno, where the Chinook took over to fly the loads underslung nearly 20 miles to their final destination. The helicopter carried 265 loads weighing nearly 5.75 million pounds in slightly more than 121 flight hours. Load coordinators and aircraft averaged a hefty 21,655 pounds per load over the course of the move.