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Blackcomb hooked by Onboard for Canadian launch
Blackcomb Helicopters is going to be the Canadian launch customer for the forthcoming medium Bell HEC dual cargo hook system from Onboard Systems.
Blackcomb has a number of medium Bells in its fleet and is looking forward to expanding its mission capabilities with Onboard’s new HEC system.

British Columbia, Canada-based Blackcomb Helicopters has committed to purchase four medium Bell HEC dual cargo hook systems from Onboard Systems International, which is currently in development and is expected to receive FAA and Transport Canada STC certification by the end of 2024.

Director of operations Chris Haslock says: "We have a number of medium Bells in our fleet, and we're looking forward to expanding our mission capabilities with Onboard's new HEC system. We especially appreciate that it works in conjunction with our existing cargo hook, greatly minimising the cost and installation effort to retrofit our fleet."

"In addition to the recently developed Bell 429 HEC system, we've had numerous operators request a medium Bell dual cargo hook HEC system," says vice president of sales and marketing Mike Fox. "As we wrap up our Bell 429 HEC certification, we're turning our focus to this programme in order to meet the strong, existing demand for an Onboard solution."

Onboard's new medium Bell HEC dual cargo hook system will be certified to meet the requirements of 14 CFR 29.865 for human external cargo (HEC) for the Bell 204B, Bell 205A, Bell 212, Bell 412 and UH-1 models. The dedicated HEC module will be attached to the airframe in very close proximity to the primary (non-HEC) cargo hook, simplifying installation and removal for mission-specific configurations. Its location minimises the impact on aircraft balance during normal operation and in event of a load transfer between hooks.

The HEC system features Onboard's Talon LC hydraulic cargo hook. The hook's keeperless design eliminates dynamic rollout risk, a critical safety factor considering the nature of HEC missions. The HEC hook will be rated for lifting 1,300lb (590kg), which will be the highest HEC capacity on the market for this aircraft. Options for adding an Onboard Weighing System will also be available.

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