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Heli-One Norway, a leading provider of helicopter maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, has completed an Airbus AS332L1 search-and-rescue (SAR) reconfiguration for CHC Helicopter; it is contracted to provide services for the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Safety’s Norwegian All-Weather Search-and-Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) program.
This reconfiguration gives CHC an aircraft that has been updated with the latest SAR equipment and avionics technology. The new equipment, lighting, and navigation/communication technology will aid the crew, enabling it to navigate and perform missions in the particularly challenging North Sea environment, while maintaining a high level of safety for crew and passengers.
This reconfiguration update was completed within an extremely short window to meet the September 2017 contract commencement date. The modifications were performed at Heli-One Norway in Stavanger and included:
- Lightweight medical rack: optimized to maximize crew ergonomics and efficiency while providing treatment to passengers, tool-free reconfiguration for flexible and quick adaptation;
- Multi-mission configuration: allows for a flexible cabin that can be configured for different mission types/scenarios (EMS, SAR, mass evacuation, etc.);
- Universal Avionics UNS-1FW Flight Management System: provides seamless navigation and mission management throughout all phases of flight;
- EGPWS Installation: a helicopter terrain and awareness warning system to help prevent accidents caused by controlled flight into terrain (CFIT);
- Night Vision Illumination System and upgraded NVG-compatible infrared filters: allows for safe NVG operation, even during searchlight use;
- Cobham Tetra (dual system) Tactical Communication system to allow seamless communication with military and traditional “blue light” services over the national emergency network.
In addition, a number of service bulletins and inspection points were performed.
The project was completed in 15 weeks and totaled more than 16,000 person-hours. It was made possible by the efficient teamwork of technicians, engineers and supply chain staff.
The aircraft was delivered on time in mid-July to be in operation on Sept. 1.
“As a project manager at CHC, it has been a pleasure to work with so many skilled people,” said Per Arne Utne, project manager at CHC. “The ability, energy and the willingness to go the extra mile was unique. In such a complicated project, coordination and supply chain are always critical factors. The staff really stepped up and performed in an even higher gear; [they] demonstrated great creativity and effort to procure the necessary parts and components for this aircraft to be completed on time, and for us to be operational for this critical service.”
“Our team really maximized resources to ensure this aircraft would be delivered on time to our customer,” said Eddie Lane, president of Heli-One. “We understand how challenging this environment can be to perform SAR missions, and our team made crew and passenger safety a key priority. The modifications implemented on the aircraft will aid crews to perform their essential service and return safely.”
Heli-One has performed SAR configurations for other aircraft types including the Airbus H225 and Sikorsky S-92.
Design engineers and technicians work closely with SAR crews to optimize the interior layout, complete with stretch installations — a modular medical equipment wall with reconfigurable units, sea tray, and storage solutions.