German Offshore operators Wiking Helikopter and HTM Offshore have responded favourably to two days of flight trials with the Airbus Helicopters H145 in late January. “One of our main activities is the transfer of harbour pilots via helicopter in any kind of weather conditions,” explains Lars Hilgert, chief flight coordinator at Wiking. “Harbour pilots navigate ships safely in and out of German harbours. In most cases these pilots are brought onto the moving ships using the winch. This process requires the utmost attention of the helicopter's pilot and crew.
“We are pleasantly surprised with the intuitive Helionix cockpit of the H145 and its four-axis autopilot with auto-hover function. These systems contribute to the helicopter's high levels of safety in every scenario. At the same time the workload of the crew is reduced.”
The rotorcraft is also well-suited for HEMS. “Our rescue helicopters are constantly on stand-by for offshore HEMS,” adds Wiking MD Alexander von Plato. “Every unit is staffed with a doctor and an assistant and is ready to embark on a mission in a minimum amount of time. The H145 would qualify perfectly for these missions, given that it features tremendous levels of performance and a spacious cabin.”
HTM MD Bernd Brucherseifer was equally impressed: “The H145 would be an ideal addition to our 11 H135s, as it can carry more passengers and travel for longer distances. Despite its spacious cabin the main rotor has a very small diameter, making it suited for approaching wind turbines.”