Heli-Union will be utilizing its newly acquired AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters equipped with a 600 pound capable external rescue hoist to perform in the first commercially based offshore helicopter search-and-rescue (SAR) program in France. Priority 1 Air Rescue Photo
Heli-Union, a worldwide leader in rotary aircraft services, has launched the first commercially based offshore helicopter search-and-rescue (SAR) program in France.
This newly formed helicopter SAR program is currently focused for emergency response and support dedicated for the offshore oil and gas industry and will commence service in November 2016, based out of its Yangon, Myanmar facility.
Heli-Union will be utilizing its newly acquired AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters equipped with a 600 pound capable external rescue hoist to perform these emergency services.
This highly specialized mission capability is being offered and provided in partnership with Priority 1 Air Rescue (P1AR). Heli-Union selected P1AR for initial to advanced mission training; full program implementation and CAA Human Hoist Operations (HHO) certification support, SAR Ops manuals, and also includes operational aircrew rescue swimmer staffing.
“Thanks to our partner P1AR, we were able to develop a new and robust SAR operations capability, which is now proposed to our customers in addition to medevac/crew change operation. P1AR experience and high standards were key factor of success to achieve this objective,” said Jean-Baptiste OLRY, Heli-Union head of operations.
Heli-Union’s mission training commenced at Priority 1 Air Rescue Search and Rescue Tactical Training Academy (SART/TAC) located in Nîmes France, where the student participants attended ground school, hoist tower training, and virtual search-and-rescue flight simulation. P1AR instructors then travelled from SART/TAC to La Rochelle, France to complete the onsite inland, ocean, and advanced maritime vessel pilot live flight training.
“It’s a privilege to partner with Heli-Union,” said Brad Matheson, “like our very successful partnership with Era Helicopters, this opportunity is laying further foundation for our long term growth throughout the SAR sector via commercial partnerships with leaders in the rotorcraft industry.
“P1AR has experience hoisting on the AB/AW139s since 2007, and has trained 12 separate customers in advanced hoist mission SAR on the AW139 alone, this contract with Heli-Union to implement a turn-key SAR training and operation solution further demonstrates our company’s strengths, and the importance in having relevant and proven mission experience and full CAA SAR program implantation capability.”