Bristow Group Inc has ordered three AW139 medium twins for offshore transport missions with options for additional acquisitions. The company says that the AW139 offers good performance, low operating costs, an ergonomic cockpit, excellent handling characteristics and low vibration levels that significantly reduce pilot fatigue and enhance comfort.
Last year Bristow Helicopters invested more than £70 million in a fleet of six S92s to service North Sea oil and gas installations out of Shetland in Scatsta.
Tim Rolfe, chief training captain S92, Bristow European Operations, says: "The fleet has been making up to 90 trips a week with the aircraft which have been designed with the highest levels of safety and performance in mind. The 'stand-up' cabin ceiling height of 1.83m and the increased baggage capacity are benefiting clients and passengers who now enjoy the bonus of separate heating, vent and air conditioning systems providing them with fresh air from above while keeping them warm."
Rolfe says: "Being part of the introduction of the S92 into the Bristow UK fleet has been an extremely satisfying experience, both personally and professionally. Our crews and engineers faced several significant challenges in the early stages, all of which were met with enthusiasm and professionalism. The process meant enhancing our relationships with the aircraft manufacturer, Sikorsky, their training provider FlightSafety International and our then joint venture partners Norsk Helicopters (now Bristow Norway) who had been through a similar introduction with the S92 previously.
"We have learnt much to date and are fully aware of how much more there is to learn - it's all part of the excitement of being involved in such a challenging process. The next exciting phase is just around the corner - the commissioning of our own S92 simulator in our brand new training facility in Aberdeen."