2-Mar-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
Swedish operator Northern Helicopters has the two highest hour G2 Cabri helicopters in the world, and nearly 8,500 hours experience flying the type. However, they have decided to sell the two examples that they have, and are in the process of acquiring three Robinson R44 Raven IIs to replace them. Northern cite “increasing costs and extreme long delivery times” as their reason for the move. The company statement also said that “new CPL pilots are able to start flying those helicopters directly after training” which may be an oblique reference to the relative scarcity of the Cabri at present and thus the need for CPL graduates to get another type rating to make themselves more marketable for future employment. Guimbal will soon reach a production rate of four G2s per month, but the order backlog is 18 months and we expect that will suddenly grow this coming week as the type is shown at Heli-Expo for the second time, now with its FAA type approval.
The operator’s first new R44 arrived recently, the second is due before the end of March and the third “before the summer”.
John Burcote – HeliHub.com