Our April/May issue looks at COVID-19 and Canadian operators. We also visit Summit Air, Fox Flight Air Ambulance and Planes & Parts. Plus: Boeing Block III Super Hornet and Diamond DA40 NG flight test!
Sikorsky has recognized Bristow, CHC, and Cougar Helicopters for their life-saving mission capability using the workhorse S-92 search and rescue (SAR) helicopter.
Audrey Brady, Sikorsky VP, Commercial Systems and Services and Sergei Sikorsky, son of company founder Igor Sikorsky, thanked Bristow, CHC, and Cougar executives in a ceremony at the 2020 Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
In 2019, Bristow, CHC, and Cougar were responsible for a total of more than 2,700 SAR missions resulting in more than 1,700 lives saved. Bristow operates the aircraft for the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for Her Majesty’s Coastguard. The S-92 was involved in almost 65 per cent of its sorties in 2019; 72 per cent of all people rescued by Coastguard aircraft were saved by crews operating a Sikorsky S-92.
In addition, Bristow Americas completed 26 SAR sorties using the S-92 in the Gulf of Mexico. In Norway, Bristow used the S-92 for all SAR and Medevac missions in 2019. In total, 62 SAR and ambulance flights were performed in the Ekofisk area as well as the Barents Sea.
CHC SAR operations experience extremely high dispatch availability rates; the Irish Coast Guard currently flies at nearly 98 per cent reliability. One of CHC’s most notable rescues of the year lasted into the early morning hours of March 24, after a large cruise ship off the coast of Norway experienced an engine failure. Three S-92 aircraft were involved in the rescue mission, and 466 people were safely rescued. To date, this is the largest helicopter rescue at sea.
“The recognition for our SAR missions belongs to our pilots, flight crews, mechanics and all the other team members that work tirelessly to ensure safe and reliable transport and dispatch reliability,” said Miguel Carrasco, CHC’s senior vice-president, Operations and Supply Chain. “I am honoured to accept the award on behalf of the great team at CHC.”
St. John’s, NL-based Cougar Helicopters, the first rotorcraft company in North America to utilize the S-92 in a SAR capacity, flew more than 350 SAR sorties this year, totalling nearly 570 flight hours. Cougar has been the recipient of 35 Sikorsky Winged-S Rescue Awards since 2008 and boasts a 20-minute SAR response time in the northeastern Atlantic.
The Sikorsky S-92 has flown more than 1.6 million total flight hours, predominantly for civil search and rescue operations and for operators serving the worldwide offshore oil and gas industry. The S-92 currently operates in 25 countries and is the industry standard for safety and reliability. Thirteen nations, including the U.S., have selected the S-92 helicopter for their head of state missions.