Paris-based operator Trans Helicopter Service (THS) has its twin-engine Eurocopter AS 355 Ecureuil II available here at EBACE 2007 for demo flights of Safe Flight’s helicopter powerline detection system (PDS). The system has just been awarded certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on the AS 355. THS conducted the certification work on behalf of Safe Flight, based in White Plains, New York.
The system senses radiating electromagnetic fields from live wires and warns pilots about them. An audio warning increases in frequency, like a Geiger counter, as the helicopter gets closer to the line. A red warning light illuminates simultaneously in the cockpit. The PDS is said to weigh less than one pound.
Demo flights can be scheduled when visiting Safe Flight at Booth No. 748. The system will be marketed and distributed here in Europe through THS. The latter is in discussions with two insurance companies to obtain discounted aircraft insurance for helicopters with PDS installed.
THS and Safe Flight are now applying for certification on the Eurocopter AS 350 series–the single-engine Ecureuil–for which EASA approval is expected by the end of next month.