Specialist Aviation Services, the UK-based emergency services and utility operator, is celebrating having achieved 100,000 flying hours with the MD 902 Explorer.
The group is the largest operator of MD 902 Explorers in the world and first introduced the type into the UK in 1998 as a dual-roled police and air ambulance helicopter. The company now supports over 20 Explorers flying in a variety of roles across the UK, this fleet also having amassed over a quarter of a million flights. Several are operating 24 hours a day and achieving between 1,200 and 1,500 flying hours per annum.
Henk Schaeken, group md says: "Reaching this level of utilisation demonstrates the significant role that the Explorer plays for our customers in the industry.
"We now have over 30 engineers operating in and around the UK, and comprehensive spares holdings at our Gloucestershire headquarters.
"Also, our significant experience with the MD 902 means that we have been able to develop technical enhancements locally, driving component extensions and streamlining maintenance programmes. These all help to further enhance the reliability and maintainability of the fleet as the hours continue to build."
The group which operates in the air ambulance, police and utility markets, is anticipating further growth in its Explorer fleet and in its broader fleet of aircraft types in the coming months as the industry continues to develop.
The Specialist Aviation Services Group comprises Police Aviation Services Ltd and Medical Aviation Services Ltd and European Support Centre bvba in Belgium.