20-Aug-2012 Source: FreeFlight Systems
FreeFlight Systems announced today that Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS), a leading provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, has selected FreeFlight Systems RANGR FDL-978TX ADS-B Out solution for its AW139 helicopters serving Bristowâ€™s customers in the Gulf of Mexico.
The FreeFlight Systems RANGR FDL-978TX system for the AW139 is the first certified, fully rule-compliant UAT based ADS-B Out solution available for Gulf of Mexico helicopters. The system allows Air Traffic Control in Houston to track aircraft operating in the Gulf of Mexico far beyond the range of ground-based radar. This can dramatically increase the efficiency of flights with more direct, point-to-point routing.Â By contrast, aircraft not equipped for ADS-B Out in IFR conditions must manually report their position and direction of flight within a vast airspace grid, often resulting in complex routing, longer flights and increased crew workload.
Bristow will install the FreeFlight Systems ADS-B Out solution in two AW139 helicopters serving customers in the Gulf of Mexico. Overall, Bristow operates multiple types of helicopters from facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, servicing 3,400 production platforms and approximately 100 drilling rigs.
â€œWe selected the AW139 as the first Gulf helicopter model to receive a certified, rule-compliant ADS-B solution specifically because leading operators such as Bristow rely on it for safe and efficient offshore transport,â€ said Tim Taylor, CEO of FreeFlight Systems. â€œOur system integrates seamlessly with the AW139â€™s advanced avionics suite in a straightforward installation and enables Bristow and its customers to realize quickly the significant benefits of ADS-B in daily operations.â€
â€œWeâ€™re looking forward to equipping our AW139s with the FreeFlight Systems solution to take full advantage of the existing ADS-B infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico,â€ said James Taylor, Bristowâ€™s Avionics Manager overseeing the installation. â€œWe expect the FreeFlight Systems RANGR installations in the AW139s to add even greater value to an aircraft thatâ€™s already proven to be a favorite among flightcrews and customers alike.â€
As the first rule compliant TSOâ€C154c UAT transmitter to comply with Advisory Circular AC 20â€165, the RANGR FDLâ€978TX continuously reports course, speed and altitude data to air traffic controllers and other ADSâ€B equipped aircraft. The unit is qualified to DO-160G environmental requirements (including helicopter vibration), weighs less than one pound and connects to the FreeFlight Systems low-cost 1201 WAAS/GPS receiver. FreeFlight Systems completed the Supplemental Type Certificate for the RANGR FDL-978TX earlier this year.
About Bristow Group, Inc.
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The Company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.bristowgroup.com.
About FreeFlight Systems
FreeFlight Systems designs and manufactures high-performance avionics systems that deliver substantial safety, cost, environmental and other benefits from the NextGen airspace transformation. Founded in 2001 and based in Texas, the company pioneered the first certified WAAS GPS receiver and today produces a range of high-quality, American-made, competitively priced ADS-B systems for installation in all aircraft types. For more information, please visit www.freeflightsystems.com.