Brazilian operator Omni Táxi Aéreo (OTA) is supporting Melbourne, Australia-headquartered oil and gas exploration and production company Karoon in its drilling campaign in block Z38 in Peru. This will be OTA's first international operation, which involves transporting passengers from the Peruvian city of Talara to the Marina 1 well in the Tumbes basin, approximately 110 km from the base of operations.
Two Omni S76C ++ aircraft were moved from Rio de Janeiro to Talara in an operation that was planned in some detail, particularly for the critical Andes crossing, where commanders Ulisses Zago and João Siddharta flew about 2.8 miles over the mountains. Between the city of Tarapoto and Talara, the operation was divided into two stages, with a refuelling stop in the city of El Valor before crossing the highest and most hostile region of the route, with mountain peaks up to 24,000 ft.
The Karoon campaign support will last for 50 days, and OTA has moved a number of its crew, mechanics and flight coordination teams to Talara.
The company has also selected SkyTrac to provide both real-time health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) and satellite push-to-talk (PTT) solutions on nine AW139s currently engaged in services contracts with Petrobras, the largest multinational Brazilian producer of oil and gas.
“SkyTrac has an excellent reputation as a leading enterprise data solution provider, and we are looking forward to rolling out upgrades with it in the coming months,” says Omni CEO Roberto Coimbra. “Equipping both satellite push-to-talk and real-time HUMS on our AW139s will drive safety and improve operational efficiencies for our customers.”
A vital safety programme that can help catch, communicate and resolve emerging safety issues as they are detected, the onboard system monitors the HUMS parameters in flight and alerts ground crews in real-time when exceedances are captured. The solution also streamlines the transfer of HUMS and flight data monitoring files postflight to ground stations, eliminating the need for technicians to board the aircraft and manually download files.
Omni will also equip SkyTrac's PTT solution, a satellite-based 256-bit encrypted radio system which allows the operations control centre to efficiently communicate with the aircraft while in flight. The system can hold up to 15 talkgroups per device with crystal clear sound, as opposed to traditional HF radio which is commonly known for distortion and static, cost-prohibitive equipment and unruly radio tower agreements.
Utilising the Iridium network for true pole-to-pole coverage, and the ISAT-200A to enable functionality, PTT-enabled assets can communicate freely with less than half a second audio delay from speech on one end to audio playback at the other. PTT also eliminates the reliance of ground or offshore radio towers, and can be even more important when engaged to support emergency situations, a critical feature for offshore oil and gas operators.