Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), today recognized Helijet International as operator of the world’s highest airtime Sikorsky S-76Â® airframe â€” an S-76A helicopter (serial number 760074) with 37,025 flight hours. Vancouver-based Helijet operates North America’s largest scheduled helicopter service.
Since 1986, aircraft 760074, an S-76A helicopter operating in Helijet’s airline service, has carried more than 500,000 scheduled service passengers more than 3 million miles between Helijet passenger terminals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
“Helijet’s S-76A helicopters collectively have accumulated an impeccable service record,” said Dan Hunter, Sikorsky Global Helicopter’s Director of Programs. “The key to success is starting with a great product and instituting a highly effective maintenance program that maintains the aircraft in a safe and airworthy state. We salute Helijet for the discipline and quality of their repair station in support of an outstanding transport service over the past 25 years.”
Aircraft 760074 entered service in July 1980, and then flew 2,287 hours during nine years as a corporate aircraft in the north-eastern United States. Helijet acquired the aircraft in January 1990.
“We established the reliability of aircraft 760074 during 1,980 flight hours in the first 12 months of operation,” said Rick Hill, Helijet’s Vice President of Operations. “For the last 22 years, aircraft 760074 has averaged 132 hours of flying a month. We’ve seen that if you maintain a great product, you’ll have exceptional reliability for a long time.”
To ensure uninterrupted passenger service, Helijet adopted Sikorsky’s equalized inspection/maintenance program that enables the company’s fleet to operate at a high operational availability rate.
“Our 14 maintenance engineers maintain our aircraft on a continual basis by spreading the maintenance loads into equal segments,” said Morris Forchuk, Helijet’s Director of Maintenance. “This approach ensures we rarely take an aircraft out of service. I also commend Sikorsky for the high caliber of its help desk and field service representatives who help us keep the aircraft going.”
In addition to operating the highest airtime S-76A aircraft, Helijet operates an additional four S-76A aircraft, as well as three medically equipped S-76C+ helicopters that provide air ambulance service to the province of British Columbia. Helijet also provides two medically equipped Lear 31A aircraft in support of the BC Ambulance service and other medical service clients.
During 25 years of service, Helijet’s fleet of scheduled service S-76A helicopters have flown 22 million kilometers. On Feb. 2, 2012, Helijet flew its two-millionth passenger.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems.
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