The Heli UK Expo event on June 1-3 provided the launch for the new Bell representatives in the UK. While Heli Charter continue maintenance and operations as before, but have in recent months ceased being both a Bell CSF (Certified Service Facility) and a Bell IR (Independent Representative). This is due to the medical condition of company owner Ken Wills, which he has chosen to publish on the internet via his Curing Ken website.
Gary Slater, previously sales manager of Heli Charter, has set up new company Helix AV with Stephen Purchase with each owning 50% of the shares. Slater told HeliHub.com at Heli UK Expo 2017 that they were appointed IR (Independent Representative) status on 1st May as Bell was keen to have a continued presence in the popular UK market and Heli Centre was not in a position to provide a long-term commitment. Initially Helix AV are renting office space from Heli Charter, but the longer-term view is that an airfield location is not a pre-requisite and they may move elsewhere later in the year.
At Heli UK Expo, Helix AV were showing a year-old Bell 407GXP (see below) – the same aircraft Heli Charter showed at the same event last year, although it carried an FAA “N” registration at that time. Slater is expecting twelve Bell 505s in the UK market over the next three years, with three in 2017, four in 2018 and five in 2019. He has been told by Bell that FAA and EASA certification is expected in August 2017, with the European paperwork following within a week of their American counterparts.
Stephen Purchase previously worked for Gresham Computing for over 20 years, leaving that company in November 2007. Through his company Aerospeed Ltd, he currently owns ten Bell 206s – comprising six Bell 206Bs, two Bell 206Ls and a pair of Agusta-Bell 206Bs. Four of the ten helicopters are currently stored, and the remaining six are active and usually leased out to operators. Recently three of these six have been handed back to Aerospeed by Helicentre Aviation after their customer National Grid chose to move their gas pipeline patrol contract from Bell 206s to Robinson R44 Raven IIs (see story).
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
- First Bell 505 delivered to Mexico
- Bell brings 505 demonstrator to Europe
- Heli-Alps Purchases new Bell 505
- Sacramento PD Becomes First Law Enforcement Agency to Operate Bell 505
- DART Aerospace certifies lightweight Bell 505 Bearpaws
- Bell to Widen Malaysian Market
- Mecaer Aviation Group Signs First VIP Bell 505
- Able Services Rolls out B505 Capabilities
- Bell outlines Heli-Expo display
- Alpine first to market certified Bear Paws for B505
- Japan Coast Guard acquires four Bell 505s
- B505 to assist in recovery of missing US Military personnel
- Bell sells two B505 Jet Ranger Xs to Vietnam
- Bell delivers first 505 Jet Ranger X to Japan
- Bell delivers first 505 Jet Ranger in Asia Pacific region
- EASA certifies Bell 505 at last
- Chinese customer orders 50 more Bell 505s
- DART Aerospace now accepting preorders for Bell 505 Bearpaws
- Bell to deliver B505s to Eagle Copters
- Donaldson delivers first IBF for Bell 505