CHC to roll out VR-based winch training

By Offshore operations, SAR, SimulationNo Comments

CHC has revealed that following a successful test programme using the Priority 1 Air Rescue virtual reality (VR) training system for winch operators, it will roll out the technology across its operations.

The trial programme, which concluded recently, was carried out by the team members from its Irish operation. According to CHC, the motivation for the trial was so that its crews could “prepare and practice emergency procedures for a variety of challenging SAR events in a safe, controlled and realistic environment, including procedures that couldn’t be practised in a live aircraft”. The VR system, which has garnered approvals from both EASA and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), allows crews to complete SAR-based training scenarios and those representative of the emerging offshore wind support market.

Commenting on the announcement, Dennis Groeneveld, Director Flight Standards, CHC, said: “Safety is at the heart of CHC’s global operations. Our mission is to keep our people and passengers safe as we travel to remote and challenging destinations. We are delighted with how the trial performed and are excited to roll the programme out more widely… This ground-breaking partnership with Priority 1 allows our crew members to repeatedly practice managing complex situations in a realistic but safe environment, ensuring they are fully equipped to act quickly and effectively in real-world SAR events.”


Milestone signs three-helicopter deal with PHI

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

The Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”) have announced a leasing deal with PHI Aviation (“PHI”) for three helicopters.

The agreements include the placement and extension of two Sikorsky S92 helicopters and one Leonardo AW139 helicopter, bringing PHI’s total fleet on lease from Milestone to four, including the existing lease of one S92 helicopter. All four helicopters are supporting PHI’s growing operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Australia, transporting passengers for the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world.

Commenting on the announcement Keith Mullett, Managing Director, PHI Aviation, said, “We are excited to extend our working relationship with Milestone in two of our most important markets. Increased flying activity had meant PHI’s existing, and mostly owned fleet, was fully deployed. This arrangement with Milestone enables us to continue to meet the increased demands for the high-quality service our customers expect. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Milestone.”

BP signs 10-year Gulf of Mexico deal with PHI

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

PHI Aviation has signed a contract that extends it’s relationship with BP for a further 10 years.  The contract, multi aircraft agreement calls the PHI to support expro operations utilising S-92s from it’s Houma Louisiana base. As a result of the contract, PHI is planning a multi-million dollar investment in it’s facilities at Houma. Commenting on the announcement Jamie Hinch, COO Americas said “This investment will help make critical enhancements to our Gulf of Mexico support facilities, a significant piece of our operational footprint. We’re committed to the South Louisiana community and our employees in the area and are excited to continue working with BP.”

Last year, PHI signed another 10 year offshore support contract with Shell for H160/S-92 services from Houma.



Sazma Aviation adds another AW139 to fleet

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

Malaysia’s Sazma Aviation has taken delivery of a AW139 Leonardo aircraft directly from Leonardo’s Vertigate assembly line. The aircraft which is leased to Sazma by Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) will be used primarily in support of the energy industry although it may also be tasked for VIP transport. The aircraft is the third which it has leased from ADA and comes fully equipped with Honeywell’s Primus Epic Phase 8 avionics suite with synthetic vision, improved 2D maps and wireless data loading delivering even greater all-weather capabilities and mission effectiveness, and EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System) and the ability to design custom approaches to facilities like oil rigs.

ADA has a portfolio of 50 helicopters 27 of which are Leonardo aircraft, predominantly AW139s although increasingly it also offers the AW169 as a light intermediate alternative to the 139.

CHC scores US$53 million contract from Neptune Energy

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

Neptune Energy has announced that it has awarded offshore transport contract to CHC Helicopters worth a USD53 million over three years. The contract calls for CHC to deliver transport services in support of 29 rigs Neptune has in operation in the Netherlands sector of the North Sea.

The contract, which can be extended to run for up to five years, is part of longer term alliance agreement between the companies aimed at optimising flight scheduling in order to reduce the number of required flights to support its operations.

Commenting on the award Neptune Energy’s Head of Supply Chain & Logistics in the Netherlands, Nicola Goodwin, said: “The new Alliance Agreement is an innovative approach for Neptune Energy and our service partner. It will enable us to build on our good safety record, reduce the CO2 emissions associated with offshore transport, and improve overall efficiency.”



NHV completes first SAF flight in support of offshore wind industry

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

NHV has operated the first flight in support of the offshore wind industry earlier today when one of the company’s Airbus H145s departed for Elia Modular Offshore Grid (MOG1)

On this flight, the use of sustainable aviation fuel produced by TotalEnergies reduced C02 emissions by 27%. The sustainable aviation fuel supplied by TotalEnergies is produced in Europe and made from waste and residues from the circular economy, such as used cooking oils. The renewable fraction reduces up to 90% of CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle, compared to its fossil fuel equivalent. Once produced, this renewable fraction is blended with up to 30% of traditional fuel (JET A-1) to create sustainable aviation fuel, which has similar technical properties to JET A-1 and does not require any modifications to the aircraft, logistics, infrastructure, or refueling operations. Bram De Backer, Vice President of Offshore Wind at NHV Group said “This is a huge milestone for NHV and the industry because it’s the first time sustainable aviation fuel is used to support Offshore Wind. Investing in this kind of fuel is the first step in reducing the overall carbon footprint and making helicopter transportation more environmentally friendly.”

Bristow signs SAR contract for up to seven years with Equinor

By Offshore operations, SARNo Comments

Bristow has announced a contract with Equinor to provide search and rescue services offshore at the Johan Sverdrup and Statfjord B platforms, located in the Norwegian North Sea off the west coast of Norway. A critical part of the emergency preparedness on the southern Norwegian continental shelf, the contract has a duration of four years and includes three single year extension options. Three advanced search and rescue configured S-92 helicopters will provide the search and rescue service. Two helicopters will be based on Equinor’s platforms with a backup S-92 based onshore. “We are honoured that Equinor has placed their trust in Bristow. This award is a strong declaration of their confidence in our industry-leading experience in providing search and rescue services,” said Heidi Wulff Heimark, Managing Director of Norway. “Search and rescue is a strategically important service for Bristow, and we are all extremely proud to be chosen as the preferred operator for SAR services to Equinor’s emergency preparedness with SAR helicopters located offshore at Statfjord B and Johan Sverdrup offshore installations and backup SAR.”

Bristow has been an Equinor aviation partner for more than 25 years supporting the Norwegian Continental shelf both for crew change service and search and rescue services. In addition to Norwegian operations, Bristow also provides helicopter services to Equinor in Brazil and the U.S.

Bell to showcase Relentless mock up at ONS 2022

By Offshore operationsNo Comments

Bell have announced that they will display a mock up of a 525 Relentless on offshore operations configuration at the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) Conference and Exhibition which takes place in Stavanger August 27 to September 2. Bell will provide aircraft tours and discuss the superior support and service offerings available for offshore operators. “The Bell 525 will offer revolutionary solutions to deep water operators,” said Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, International Commercial Business, Bell. “This venue is the perfect location to demonstrate our commitment to customer operations and highlight how the Bell 525 fits their requirements.”

Long awaited certification of the fly by wire 525 is expected “within months” and according to Bell will be a game changer when it it enters service.