Bell Helicopter (Booth No. C9343) continued to expand its global presence last month with purchase agreements covering seven aircraft signed during Jet Expo 2013 in Moscow and a deal with Heli-Charter involving the first Bell 429 configured for air ambulance operations in the UK.
“A CHC Helicopter [Eurocopter] Super Puma [AS332] L2 aircraft landed in the water Friday, August 23, about two nautical miles west of Sumburgh, on Shetland Island in the U.K.” CHC Helicopter said in statement issued yesterday.
On March 26 this year the UK’s Department for Transport announced that Bristow Helicopters (part of the U.S.-based Bristow Group) had won the contract to provide a search and rescue helicopter service for the whole of the UK. The 10-year, £1.6 billion contract will officially begin implementation in April 2015, and will be fully in place by 2017, managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
The busy North Sea oil and gas rig transportation sector lost nearly a third of its capacity on October 23, after CHC Helicopter suspended all flight operations using the Eurocopter EC 225. The ban, pending further investigation, came after a company Super Puma ditched in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland the day before. CHC competitors Bond and Bristow also grounded their Super Pumas after the incident.
The aircraft suffered a cracked gearbox shaft, according to the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch.
Ontario’s Legislative Assembly will continue its hearings over the summer into alleged performance failings and mismanagement at the Canadian province’s government-funded air-ambulance service known as “Ornge.” The hearings started on March 28 and, as of press time, it was unclear when Members of the Provincial Parliament (MPPs) would issue their final report into what appears to have gone badly wrong after Ontario’s Liberal Party-led government gave overall control of the service to privately owned Ornge.
Lake Charles, La.-based Era Helicopters signed an order for seven Eurocopter EC135s today at Heli-Expo. With this purchase, Era’s fleet will include 17 EC135s. Era has one of the largest fleets of Eurocopter helicopters, ranging from the AS350 to the EC225. It is also the largest user of the EC135 in the Gulf of Mexico, where it uses the light twin for offshore oil missions.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is to deliver a new S-92 helicopter to China Southern Airlines’ Zhuhai Helicopter Branch next week. This follows the delivery of two S-76s in December last year. The offshore utility aircraft will support expanding oil operations in the South China Sea.
Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland and Lease Corporation International (LCI) of Dublin, Ireland, have signed an agreement covering purchase of a fleet of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters, a deal which, including options, is valued at more than $398 million.
A cornucopia of copters and rotorcraft-related gizmos, conference sessions and conversations awaits attendees at the Helicopter Association International’s annual Heli-Expo, to be held in Dallas February 11 to 14. This year, HAI is expecting more than 18,000 visitors, 65 helicopters and 600 exhibitors at the Dallas Convention Center.
Offshore oil and gas operator CHC Helicopter has ordered 20 Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma medium twins and taken options on four more, with deliveries scheduled for 2012 to 2016.
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