HeliOtago H145 hits 2,000 hours; DART Aerospace gets FAA nod on H145 float system

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(PHOTO: HeliOtago)

Airbus Helicopters customer HeliOtago has recently achieved 2,000 flight hours with its H145 in the first two years of its operation. The H145 entered into service in the South Island of New Zealand in 2019 and in its support of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) missions, the aircraft has achieved a dispatch rate of 100 percent, with an availability rate of 98 percent, according to Airbus.

Graeme Gale, chief pilot and owner director of HeliOtago, said “The Airbus H145 is a star performer in our fleet, and the best in its class for HEMS missions. The capability of the aircraft and the flexibility of the configuration make it extremely effective for the HEMS support we provide in the South Island. To have achieved the 2,000 flight hours in the H145 in only two years of operation is a testament to the excellence of this aircraft and the extremely high availability rating we’ve had.”

The H145’s compact footprint, unobstructed cabin and flat floor from nose to tail lends itself to a range of applications, including one or two pilots and either eight or 10 passengers in each configuration. It also has a wide range of rapidly and easily interchangeable operational equipment, such as emergency floats, rescue hoist, searchlight and cargo hook, making it especially tailored for EMS missions.

Christian Venzal, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Australia & New Zealand, said “We congratulate HeliOtago in achieving the 2,000 flight hour milestone in such a short operational time. It’s great to see how effective the H145 has been in providing such fantastic HEMS support to the South Island of New Zealand.”

DART Aerospace gets type certification for H145 floats

(PHOTO: Robert Lindner)

DART Aerospace said it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for its Emergency Float System with Integrated Liferafts for the five-bladed Airbus H145. This certification comes alongside its existing TCCA & EASA approvals. Previously approved for the Airbus four-bladed H145 and EC145 models, the floats feature a tri-bag float design for increased stability in water up to sea state 6. The design includes two externally-mounted liferafts delivering a 45% weight reduction over other externally mounted liferaft options while saving cabin space.

“We are eternally grateful to Airbus, FAA, TCCA, and EASA for their support as we pursued this STC during a particularly challenging time so that DART could provide this critical system to the five-bladed H145 operators,” said David Shepherd, vice president of certification at DART Aerospace. “We also received great support from Airbus as we worked together to complete flight testing in Germany in the midst of a global pandemic.”

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