CHC Group has partnered with Shell Brasil and Leonardo Helicopters to launch the first global implementation of Leonardo's enhanced helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (H-TAWS) on the CHC AW139 fleet operating in Campos, Brasil for Shell.
Committed to aviation safety leadership, Shell and CHC recognise that Leonardo's innovation forms a key component of the Safety Performance Model launched by HeliOffshore, a global safety-focused association for the offshore helicopter industry, and will be important in reducing one of the largest remaining risks in offshore helicopter operations.
CHC CEO Dave Balevic says: “Dedication to safety performance is the foundation of CHC's flight operations. This partnership with Shell and Leonardo supports that commitment and ensures our aircraft are fitted with the best available technological and safety innovations in the industry, allowing our aircrews to deliver our customers the best possible helicopter services during the most demanding missions.”
H-TAWS software and equipment computes in real-time the precise three-dimensional position and velocity of the aircraft in relation to accurate databases of the terrain height and hazardous-obstacle locations. The system allows the pilot to execute immediate changes to the flight trajectory to prevent controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) events in inherently hazardous flight situations.
Leonardo MD Gian Piero Cutillo comments: “We're excited to mark the introduction of the advanced H-TAWS technology with CHC and Shell. Leonardo is the first OEM offering this new safety enhancement on our AW139 and AW189. This is an essential advancement and enabler for safer flight operations, which will greatly benefit the global rotorcraft community. Our continued commitment to safety enhancements of operations is, and will remain, a prime commitment of Leonardo. This effort invested from the outset and the development of this cutting-edge H-TAWS function confirms and marks the company's commitment to investing in safety as an integral part of the capabilities our products must deliver for our customers.”
While many aviation authorities advocate wide voluntary adoption of H-TAWS throughout most civilian flight operations, they primarily have required adoption in only two helicopter industry mission segments: helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and offshore operations.
Shell's VP aircraft Tony Cramp says: “Having supported our partners across the industry for a number of years to develop this capability, I must congratulate Leonardo for being the first to field it, and I applaud the safety leadership shown by CHC and Shell Brazil, for what I hope will be the first steps in it becoming a standard fit for all offshore helicopters.”
HeliOffshore CEO Tim Rolfe concludes: “Learning from the fixed-wing industry, we know effective warning systems save lives. These systems have already been installed in helicopters, but the collaborative efforts of the offshore industry demonstrate that tailoring the warning system to the offshore environment will deliver crucial safety improvements every day.”