American Eurocopter has received a Supplemental Type Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration for installing the Garmin G500H “glass cockpit” multifunction electronic flight display system in the EC130 T2 helicopter.
Launch customer Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, the only helicopter tour company serving all four major Hawaiian Islands, has received the first two G500H equipped EC130 T2s with more on order. The new aircraft, the latest model in the Eurocopter single-engine product range, will supplement Blue Hawaiian’s existing fleet of EC130 B4 and AS350 helicopters.
The G500H system is available with optional components like Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System, including Synthetic Vision. With this capability pilots can monitor and adjust the radios, navigation, intercom and operating systems through touch screens. The Garmin system is a leap ahead in technology.
“The G500H is a revolutionary tool to improve situational awareness and significantly reduce our greatest risk. The cost/benefit of this system makes this choice a ‘no-brainer,’” said David Chevalier, Chief Executive of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. “The greatest risk factor faced by helicopter operations in Hawaii is inadvertent flight into IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) and subsequent CFIT (controlled flight into terrain). Garmin’s synthetic vision technology is a godsend.“
Blue Hawaiian was the launch customer for the EC130B4 in 2001. Since that time the company has logged more than 460,000 flight hours on its all-Eurocopter fleet.
“Blue Hawaiian is a great tour company that has always put safety first. This investment in the new glass cockpit EC130 T2 is another step forward,” said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive of American Eurocopter.
The popular EC130 T2 light single-engine helicopter provides many advantages for aerial tour operators including increased cabin space and comfort with individual seats for each passenger, improved visibility through a wrap-around glass cockpit, state-of-the-art avionics and Eurocopter’s advanced main rotor and Fenestron tail rotor technology. The Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine provides increased power with lower specific fuel consumption.
“The double sliding doors significantly improve passenger ingress and egress and the additional engine power is substantial over the EC130B4. The most exciting thing about this aircraft is the expected reduction in operating costs,” said Chevalier.
Blue Hawaiian has been Hawaii’s leader in the air tour industry for more than 25 years. In addition to its scenic flights, Blue Hawaiian also provides charters and utility services such as firefighting, search and rescue, power line patrol and the transportation of external loads.
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin aircraft, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.
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