UK: Legal proceedings filed to close down Sterling Helicopters

UK: Legal proceedings filed to close down Sterling Helicopters

18-Apr-2011 Source: HeliHub.com

In a recent filing in the London Gazette, one of the official journals of record of the British government, British helicopter operator Sterling Helicopters is facing complete closure.

Published on Friday 15th April, a document dated Wednesday 13th April indicated that Toby Blackwell Ltd was seeking a petition to wind up (close) the company, claiming to be a creditor of Sterling Helicopters Ltd.  The filing indicated that this process would be heard in the High Court on Wednesday 4th May 2011, at 1030 hours (or as soon thereafter as the Petition can be heard).

Toby Blackwell Ltd is the registered owner of three Bell 206 JetRangers operated by Sterling Helicopters – registered G-BNYD, G-BXDS and G-OAMG, all bought from Sterling in June/July 2010.

It can be inferred from the filing that Sterling Helicopters Ltd owes Toby Blackwell Ltd a sum of money that the latter only feels able to collect via judicial proceedings.  Sterling Helicopters has not been able to operate any helicopter commercially since the CAA withdrew their Air Operators Certificate on 22nd February (see HeliHub.com story), which included contracts for East Anglian Air Ambulance with two BK117s, Norwich Police with a Bo105 and at least three JetRangers on line patrol with Transco.

Toby Blackwell Ltd is owned by 82-year old Julian Blackwell, known as Toby.  Mr Blackwell is the controlling shareholder of the famous Oxford-based Blackwells bookstore chain founded by his grandfather in 1879, and with over 60 shops around the UK.  Blackwell stores are mainly located close to universities and have an emphasis on academic titles.

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