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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
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Centaurium Aviation

Mountain Flyers 80

Bell 407

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Centaurium's B407GXi is ideal as an air taxi and demonstrator
This year has been more active than 2020 for Centaurium, but it has not yet returned to the same level as it was before the pandemic. Presently a lot of people are on holiday, but its B407 should soon be in business.
Ivan Schmidhalter says the 407 is very useful for mountain training.
Read this story in our August 2021 printed issue.

Grenchen, Switzerland-headquartered Centaurium Aviation, the independent sales representative for Bell Helicopter in Switzerland, has taken delivery of a Bell 407GXi helicopter. “The Bell 407GXi is performing very well so far,” says head of sales and marketing Ivan Schmidhalter. “We have mainly been using it for VIP, air taxi and demo flights. The aircraft is up and running now on the AOC of Mountainflyers. We haven’t completed many hours on it so far, perhaps a couple of dozen, but from what we have seen, it is very good. It is very enjoyable to fly, a really nice and powerful aircraft. In the cockpit is the Garmin G1000NXi, which is really helpful and displays a lot of information, in our case also traffic advisories and so on. It reduces workload of the pilot and it’s safer for the pilot and passengers.”

The aircraft is predominantly used in the northern part of Switzerland, and not so much in the mountainous areas. Centaurium has a second one that is going to be operated by Mountainflyers up in the mountains for sightseeing and utility flights. Specific mountain training has to be completed in Switzerland, according the FOCA requirements in order to land up high. “This aircraft is very useful for mountain training and such missions,” Schmidhalter continues. “The market is quite difficult at the moment. This year has been a bit more active, but it has not yet returned to the same level it was before the pandemic. Presently a lot of people are on holiday, so it is quiet. As soon as the borders opened, everyone decided to leave Switzerland on vacation.”

The company has two pre-owned 505s that it is looking to sell, and then it will be ordering a new 505. “We are also working on some offers for a 429 and one or two for 407s, but this is not like selling bread in the bakery – it takes a bit longer! It takes time. The 407 is really a beautiful aircraft. It flies like a VIP twin, a 109 or something like that. Though it is not quite as fast as the 109 it flies very smooth. Passengers and pilots really enjoy flying in it; it’s better than expected.”

As Bell representative for Switzerland Centaurium Aviation offers a range of services, including training, compliance and safety management, helicopter valuation, financing and insurance as well as bringing Bell products to the Swiss market.

Other News
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Helipool adds Bell 407 for inventory and pleasure
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Helipool owner Daniel Hofer is very pleased to have acquired a Bell 407. An unusual type in Switzerland, the aircraft will be predominantly used for leisure flights and is unlikely to complete too many hours.
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The Louisiana State Police Air Support Unit plans to utilise its new Bell 407GXis to expand its public safety mission portfolio.