British operator Tiger Helicopters are to lease two AB206 JetRangers from Castle Air.Â The lease commences 1st October 2010 for an initial period of two years, with each JetRanger expected to fly 1,000 hours during that time on an intensive training contract.Â Tiger are providing ab initio training for Algerian military pilots who will then progress on to the AgustaWestland training base at Newquay, ultimately aiming at Lynx and AW101 type ratings in support of their country’s purchase of these types.
The two JetRangers involved are G-SPEY and G-OMDR.Â G-SPEY was bought back by Castle Air in Spring 2008 from a private owner who was upgrading to a much newer JetRanger which he continues to operate on a US registration in the UK.Â Prior to that it had provided long service in the Castle Air fleet from May 1982 to April 2004.Â G-OMDR has been taken in part-exchange in the last few months from Formula 1 champion Jenson Button, who has upgraded to an Agusta 109A Mk.II.Â This aircraft is now undergoing a full refurbishment and respray at Castle Air’s base near Liskeard UK.
Coincidentally, both aircraft left the Agusta-Bell 206 production line in 1981 and are in fact only two serial numbers apart.Â Public-view CAA records show that G-SPEY had 5727 airframe hours at the end of 2009, while G-OMDR had 8057 hours at the same date.Â The new Tiger contract will thus significantly add to these totals, with the expectation of 2,000 hours added to each aircraft in the first two years of the lease.
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