Under the five-year contract with the MCA, CHC will operate its S-92 fleet around-the-clock from coastal bases in Sumburgh, and Stornoway.
This marks the first time that the S-92, the world's newest medium-lift helicopter, has been selected for a dedicated SAR mission. "The S-92's modern technology, performance, and industry-leading safety standards make it superbly equipped for SAR," said Jeffrey Pino, Sikorsky's senior vice president for corporate strategy, marketing, and commercial programs.
Company founder Igor Sikorsky was inspired to build helicopters because he believed in their life-saving capabilities. Within the past year alone Sikorsky-built helicopters rescued thousands during the aftermaths of the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Pakistan. "Sikorsky helicopters have been saving lives for more than 60 years. We are proud that CHC has selected the S-92 to build upon this legacy," Pino said.
CHC's S-92s will be equipped with duals hoists, autopilot, coupled hover capability, and the new Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS), which meets the Federal Aviation Administration's latest and most stringent all-weather flight safety standards. RIPS allows the S-92 to launch into known icing conditions that might otherwise delay or cancel flight operations. The RIPS determines the temperature and moisture content of the surrounding environment and applies heat to the main and tail rotor blades to remove any ice buildup.
The S-92 is the first helicopter in the world certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency/ Joint Aviation Authorities (EASA/JAA) to the latest and most rigorous safety standards. The S-92 was also the first helicopter certified by the FAA to FAR Part 29 Transport Rotorcraft, Amendment 47, the latest U.S. safety regulations, which mirror the European standards
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corporation, based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
CHC Helicopter Corporation is the world's largest provider of helicopter services to the global offshore oil and gas industry, with aircraft operating in more than 30 countries around the world. CHC currently provides search and rescue and emergency helicopter services in Ireland, Africa, Australia and Norway.