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National Helicopter Services Ltd. (NHSL), a leading Sikorsky S-76 helicopter operator, is expanding operations with its first two S-76D aircraft in Guyana, a continuation of the significant growth of Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin in Latin America. NHSL has operated Sikorsky helicopters for nearly 40 years, providing offshore transport services to the oil-and-gas sector and other commercial entities, as well as government services for emergency and natural disaster response. Sikorsky is a Lockheed Martin company.
“Sikorsky’s venerable S-76 has long history in this important offshore region,” said Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky regional executive for Latin America. “The S-76D provides a more affordable, reliable, efficient service compared to other alternative medium-class aircraft, and we are thrilled to see the S-76D start operations in another new country.”
“The demanding pace and environments in which we operate speak to the S-76’s value, reliability and performance,” said Capt Homer Solomon, the Trinidad-Tobago-based NHSL director of operations. “We are proud to be the launch operator of the S-76D in Guyana, and we value the aircraft’s noticeably lesser fuel burn, quieter cabin, lower vibration levels and cost-effectiveness for our operations.”
The six S-76s currently in the NHSL fleet include three Sikorsky S-76C++ and three S-76D aircraft. NHSL completed the first-ever commercial revenue flight with the S-76D in February 2014, and since then, NHSL’s S-76Ds have flown more than 10,000 hours, with over 97 percent availability rates.
Guyana is the 51st country in which the S-76 will operate and a further extension of Sikorsky and parent company Lockheed Martin’s expanding reach into Latin America and other emerging global markets. More than 300 Sikorsky aircraft are currently flying in Latin America in a variety of roles and missions, including 29 S-92s in Brazil where a multitude of S-76s have operated through the years, most notably in the offshore oil transport segment.
Since 2007, the fleet of Sikorsky helicopters in the Latin America region has doubled to more than 300 with the S-92 as the workhorse heavy lift aircraft in offshore oil service and the UH-60 Black Hawk as the pre-eminent utility helicopter in regional military and paramilitary service.
The legendary S-76 helicopter operates successfully in more than 40 countries on six continents, fulfilling its many missions in varied environmental conditions. Sikorsky has delivered more than 875 S-76 helicopters to customers globally since 1977, contributing daily to a growing total of more than 7.4 million flight hours. The S-76D helicopter, through its application of modern technologies, is designed to provide a substantial increase in performance, power and value.