Bell 505 helicopters delivered to Australian customers; Columbia sells Chinooks to ROTAK

(PHOTO: Bell)

Use this oneBell announced the delivery of the first two Bell 505 helicopters equipped with the new Garmin GFC-600H flight control system to two Australian corporate customers. Both customers took delivery of the aircraft from Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada. The first Bell 505 was delivered in May followed by the second one in June this year.

The Garmin GFC-600H flight control system, which received its Supplemental Type Certificate in July 2021, provides helicopter specific safety features including attitude hold with speed stability, an innovative hover assist mode, Garmin Helicopter Electronic Stability and Protection, dedicated return-to-level mode, overspeed and low-speed protection, and more. In addition, the Garmin GFC-600H works together with the G1000H® or G1000H NXi integrated flight deck on the Bell 505, using navigation information to automatically fly approaches, provide enroute navigation guidance and fully coupled missed approach procedures including holds, as well as search and rescue patterns.

Other new features on these aircraft include a baggage door kit on the left-hand side that compliments the standard right side baggage door and Flitestep kits that assist with entry and exit from the Bell 505 cabin.

Columbia Helicopters sells 2 CH-47D Chinooks

(PHOTO: Columbia)

Heavy-lift helicopter company Columbia Helicopters announced it has sold two Columbia CH-47D Chinook helicopters to ROTAK Helicopter Services of Anchorage, Alaska. The helicopters include Columbia’s Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) safety modifications, as well as firefighting and external load modifications. As a part of the sale, Columbia will also provide full lifecycle sustainment and airworthiness and technical publication services for the aircraft.

“ROTAK is an exceptional external load and utility helicopter operator performing heavy-lift work in some of the most remote and inhospitable locations on earth,” said Mike Tremlett, Columbia’s executive vice president. “The Columbia CH-47D Chinook helicopter is an ideal addition to their fleet, providing them with increased lifting power, range, and capability to fight fires, perform vertical construction, and support a variety of other projects requiring unparalleled muscle and lifting power.”

“We are honoured to be the first company to purchase a tandem helicopter from Columbia, adding these aircraft to our fleet and expanding our relationship with Columbia is a major milestone for the future of our operations.” said Ely Woods, ROTAK’s founder and general manager. “Columbia Helicopters pioneered the application of Chinook capabilities in the world of commercial heavy-lift and has evolved to become a proven and trusted provider of the critical manufacturing, maintenance and materials support that ROTAK will rely on into the future.”

A heavy-lift utility helicopter operator, ROTAK Helicopter Services specialises in transmission line and tower construction and repair. Since its founding supporting telecom customers in rugged Alaska, the company has expanded its services to include heli-logging, crew transport, mining support, and firefighting across the United States. The new Columbia aircraft joining its fleet will be used primarily for firefighting operations and super-heavy-lift long-line operations.

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