In March 2018 Rainier Heli International (Rainier) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Kopter North America (Kopter) for five (5) firm and five (5) SH09 options. Rainier has continued to monitor the development of the SH09 and based on the anticipated performance along with the operational cost advantages expected from the helicopter the company has made the decision to expand their existing options for five SH09 by an additional five (5) aircrafts for a total of ten (10) options.
“We continue to monitor the development of the helicopter and based on what we see in terms of performance vs. forecasted costs of operation we felt compelled to expand our order book by five additional options”, said Richard “Lash” Larew, President of Rainier. Larew added, “If the performance and operational costs of the SH09 plays out as advertised we see a definite role for the SH09 in our operation and we look forward with anticipation towards certification and to the eventual delivery of the SH09 into our fleet”.
Larry Roberts, President, Sales, Marketing & Customer Support for Kopter North America commented: “Historically the operating margins in the highly competitive helicopter utility & firefighting industry are quite thin. One way that most successful helicopter operators are able to expand those margins is through their own operational savings. We believe this is an area where the SH09 will shine. Advancements in new composite technologies as well as helicopter health, usage & monitoring systems will allow for improved operational predictability, which will hone down on unscheduled maintenance events as well provide more complete prognostics to optimize scheduled maintenance resulting in increased mission readiness and lower maintenance costs”.
Rainier Heli-International is a family owned business with roots dating back to 1998, when the company was started between long time international helicopter industry Icon, Elling Halvorson, and his son Lon Halvorson. The company has successfully grown its fleet of helicopters to over 20 machines and continues to service the utility, firefighting and construction industries. In addition to Rainier Heli-International the Halvorsons have access and can draw support from other family owned companies, mainly Papillon Airways Inc and Grand Canyon Airlines Inc. In total, the combined companies operate in excess of one hundred helicopters.
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