20-Feb-2015 Source: Airbus
First reports back from NHV about the EC175’s entry into service show that the helicopter is performing above expectations for a new aircraft, with 88 percent availability.
Less than one week after NHV received their first two EC175s on December 11, 2014, the aircraft entered operation, performing oil & gas crew change missions in the North Sea.
During the nearly two-month period between entry into service and February 11, 2015, these aircraft flew 260 hours with 143 flights – a high level of activity made possible thanks to the helicopters’ high availability rate.
Seventy-eight percent of these flights were commercial in nature, transporting offshore oil workers to, from, and between oil rigs. Eighteen percent were training flights. Around 1,500 passengers have been transported in total.
First passenger reports were very positive, revolving mainly around cabin comfort thanks to low noise and vibration levels and the extra-large windows.
The crew has noted the new working environment, which reduces pilot workload and fatigue.
The EC175’s performance has been in accordance with the flight manual, and all missions were performed as Category A operations at performance class 1.
As of today, the most demanding missions were performed in wind speeds of 55 knots, while the longest-range mission carried seven passengers plus luggage 175 nautical miles without refueling.
Nearly 20 percent of the flights were performed at night, representing 65 heli-deck landings.
In addition, inspections made after the first 50-flight hours and the first 100-flight hours were performed without any need for unplanned maintenance.
Much of this success is due to the maturity campaign that was completed prior to the aircraft’s entry into service.