Offshore oil and gas helicopter service provider Bristow has secured new contracts for 20 large aircraft that it expects will generate more than $2 billion in revenue. The deals are a combination of new contracts and extensions of current ones in Australia, Brazil and Europe for Sikorsky S-92s and Eurocopter EC225s.
Eurocopter released a statement on June 15, absolving the UK’s Bond Offshore Helicopters of responsibility for the May 10, 2012 ditching of an EC225 Super Puma into the North Sea.
Eurocopter and helicopter support specialist Heli-One Norway have created Team Nordsar to bid in Norway’s competition for an all-weather search-and-rescue helicopter. The Nordsar version of the EC225 medium twin is touted as being well suited for missions in mountainous and coastal areas, as well as long-range operations in the Barents Sea. Eurocopter already has helicopters flying in SAR roles in the country.
Eurocopter has announced new business for EC145 and EC725 helicopters in recent weeks from Indonesia and Kazakhstan. They involve cooperative deals with local aerospace companies that Eurocopter hopes will enhance the company’s future sales growth in southeast Asia and central Asia.
A Eurocopter EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters with 14 on board ditched safely into the North Sea on May 10. At 12:13 p.m., G-REDW made “a controlled descent 24 nm offshore,” according to Bond. The investigation is focusing on the failures of two main-gearbox lubrication systems–the standard one and the back-up one.
RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Electricité), the company managing France’s network of electric power lines, took delivery of its second medium twin, a Eurocopter EC225, last month. It recently created a new subsidiary, Airtelis, that offers specialized aerial-work operations to third parties. In more than 250,000 flight hours over decades of operations, RTE claims to have developed patented techniques to use helicopters in power-line building, maintenance and surveillance.
The EASA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive for Eurocopter EC225 medium-twin helicopters, requiring operators to closely monitor vibrations. The emergency action stems from a May 10 incident involving an EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters, which safely ditched, with 14 on board, into the North Sea. Under the AD, those EC225s not equipped with vibration health monitoring are restricted to day VFR for flights over water.
Eurocopter (Booth P616) is the only helicopter manufacturer exhibiting here at the ABACE show in Shanghai. In some respects, it is no surprise that it is here because it has strong ties with China. The company is counting on growing civil sales in the country, especially as general aviation is to benefit from a more open airspace at low altitude. It is also deepening its roots in the country, with training, maintenance and production joint ventures.
The Southern Vietnam Helicopter Corp. (VNH South) has ordered its fourth EC225 aircraft from Eurocopter Southeast Asia. The large-cabin helicopter will be used to expand the operator’s activities in support of the oil-and-gas industry.
In two separate deals here yesterday, global aircraft finance company Milestone Aviation Group (Booth No. 7010) announced with OEMs Eurocopter (Booth No. 1917) and Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 6148), respectively, orders for 16 Eurocopter EC225s and three Sikorsky S-92s. The EC225 order is valued at $480 million. Terms of the S-92 contract were not disclosed.
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