Australian operator Aviator Group has reached a key milestone to become the H135 Helionix worldwide fleet leader, surpassing 2,600 flight hours on its H135 aircraft, currently flying in Port Hedland, Western Australia. The H135, operated by Aviator Group subsidiary Mackay Helicopters, is supporting helicopter marine pilot transfer (HMPT) services for the Pilbara Port Authority and the Port of Port Hedland, the busiest bulk commodity port in the world, with more than 500 transfers per month and a 99.9 per cent on-time performance dispatch rate.
The Helionix avionics system designed by Airbus Helicopters offers operators increased mission flexibility and safety. The Helionix cockpit system with four-axis autopilot reduces the workload of the pilot and brings the H135 to an top level of safety due to the additional functions and mission features it adds to the helicopter's capability.
The Aviator Group is the first operator in the world to utilise night vision goggles (NVG) for HMPT in the H135. The Helionix avionics provides a leading platform for NVIS operations enabling a 24/7 service every day of the year, with significantly improved safety and operational benefits.
Aviator Group COO Keith Thompson says: “The H135 Helionix provides a an efficient, safe and reliable helicopter marine pilot transfer service to a major port customer. Our service is supported by a dedicated team of pilots and engineers, and strongly backed by Airbus HCare Smart solutions. Our second H135, also with Helionix, is on the same trajectory to reach a similar flight hour milestone. It's already reached more than 1,400 hours despite only commencing operations in April 2020.”
Together, the two H135 aircraft have accumulated 4,324 flight hours, encompassing 94 per cent of marine pilot transfers in Port Hedland.
With the four-axis autopilot, Airbus' Helionix offers an innovative cockpit layout, which helps to increase situational awareness. Designed with three large multi-function displays, the flight deck is immediately NVG compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator, which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator. Thanks to two touchscreen GPS/Nav/Comm GTN-750, Helionix ensures an all-in-one GPS navigation and communication system. The Traffic Advisory System TAS620A, a system that improves flight safety by assisting pilots in detecting and avoiding aircraft intersecting their flight path, is another key feature delivered by the Helionix avionics suite.
Airbus Australia Pacific MD Andrew Mathewson comments: “The H135 equipped with Helionix is an Airbus Helicopters three-tonne class light twin best seller. It represents the perfect balance between flight performance, flight safety, reliability and cost of operations, while maintaining its unmatchable agility. We're proud to support Aviator Group with its helicopter marine pilot transfers throughout the busy and essential ports of Australia.”
With more than 5.8 million flight hours across the H135 global fleet, the H135 continuous maintenance programme has been fine tuned to facilitate continued operations with minimal downtime and unmatched reliability. The H135 delivers exceptional power reserves including full Performance Class 1 and 2, enhanced safety margins, best in class payload and the industry benchmark in precision and control.
Aviator Group is the leading specialist provider of helicopter marine pilot transfers, servicing busy Australian ports. Aviator Group conducts more than 15,000 HMPT transfers annually across multiple locations including the ports of Port Hedland, Mackay, Hay Point and Gladstone. Port of Newcastle services will commence in November 2021.