22-Aug-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
Bristow Helicopters has recently begun using the TCAS2 traffic collision avoidance system on one of its seven North Sea based S92s on a flight from Scatsa to an offshore rig.Â All seven of its UK Sikorsky S92 fleet – six based at Scatsa and one at Aberdeen – are expected to have the system installed by 30th September.
Bristow is also looking ahead to making the first TCAS2 flight on its Sikorsky S76C++ fleet later in the year, and expects to have its entire Europe-based offshore fleet of 50 helicopters carrying TCAS2 within three years.
TCAS2 uses onboard systems to detect other aircraft in the area that may represent a collision risk. The system then directs the crew to take avoidance action which is co-ordinated to ensure maximum clearance between the aircraft.
The extra push was required as there was questionable applicability of mapping the commercial airliners situation to slower moving helicopters, leading to a proof of concept to show whether helicopters had sufficient manoeuvring capacity to respond effectively to a conflict with a fixed wing aircraft at a high closing rate.Â CAA-observed tests were carried out by Bristow using a BAe 146 four-engined passenger jet.
Competitor Bond Offshore Helicopters is already using the TCAS2 system on its AS332L2 aircraft in the North Sea. The company is quoted by the Aberdeen Press & Journal newspaper as saying that it had made the system available to other operators to increase safety across the industry.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com