31-Jan-2012 Source: HeliHub.com
New Zealand based Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST) has bought a de-registered Sikorsky S76 from Japan which was damaged beyond repair in the tsunami of 11th March 2011.Â Chief pilot Peter Turnbull confirmed to local press that it had been acquired for an undisclosed sum for parts use only at a price significantly lower than the reusable parts would cost them.
Turnbull added that two parts already removed for re-use would more than cover the cost of purchase, and while he declined to provide the exact purchase price, he said the two parts were drag braces, a small undercarriage component.Â We understand these are valued around US$14,000, indicating the S76 hulk was bought for under $28,000.Â NEST are open to sell parts to other operators too – although HeliHub.com understands they are the only S76 operators in New Zealand.Â NEST’s engineer will reportedly re-certify some of the useable parts in accordance with NZ Civil Aviation rules, while others would be returned to the manufacturer for testing and re-certification.
The New Zealand CAA register indicates that NEST operate three S76A helicopters, ZK-IAL, ZK-IKM and ZK-ISJ – one of which is featured in the photo accompanying this article.Â The only tsunami-affected S76 we are aware of is S76C JA6905, but that is not a conclusive identitification.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com