Latest News

Oct 2021

Aviotec International, an Aviation Consulting firm based in Ontario, has reached out to Sunset Aviation Services Ltd.

They are currently working with the government of British Columbia in order to upgrade a helideck attached to a hospital on Vancouver Island. In a recent conversation, the president of Aviotec International shared his thoughts of our expertise in such matters:

We are working on a hospital rooftop heliport project in BC and questions and issues have arisen regarding wind orientation and turbulence experienced on rooftop helideck environments.  As such, we are seeking an expert to provide advisory and review options. I recognize that your expertise is more related to offshore environments, but suspect that your expertise is applicable and transferable. Going forward, I was also hoping to discuss your interest in supporting us on other heliport projects that we are undertaking across Canada.”

Another example of our operational expertise being valued by industry leaders.

September 2022

Sunset has entered into discussions with a major SE Asia helicopter operator that requires compliance for offshore S-92/ AW139 operations in the Gulf of Thailand.

In particular, both aircraft types will require review/ edit of all manuals :

  1. ECL
  2. NCL
  3. Special Operations
  4. OMA, OMB, OMD, OMC
  5. MEL

Our in depth knowledge of how to interface cockpit centred operational communication with requirements of Civil Aviation Authorities’ compliance objectives, ensures that our partner will have robust operational tools as they move from a larger S-92 fleet to a more evenly distributed medium (AW139) and S-92 fleet.

PHI to Operate Four H160 Airbus Helicopters for Shell in Gulf of Mexico

Oil firm Shell has picked the US offshore helicopter operator PHI to operate four Airbus H160s to service a support contract in the Gulf of Mexico, marking the entry of the H160 helicopter series into the oil and gas market, Airbus has informed.

According to Airbus, with 68 patents, the H160 is “the world’s most technologically advanced helicopter” and features “an unprecedented suite of pilot aids delivered through its Helionix avionics which substantially reduces crew workload and decreases the risk of pilot error.”

Per Airbus, these include the world’s first ground helipad assisted take-off procedure, a vortex ring state pre-alerting system and a recovery mode to automatically regain steady flight in difficult circumstances.

The H160 is powered by two of the latest Arrano engines from Safran Helicopter Engines and incorporates an embedded monitoring system and redundancy of sensors, and can be maintained autonomously far from base. Also, per Airbus, the design emphasizes robust corrosion defense specifically envisaging offshore missions.

In a pioneering move, the helicopter manufacturer said, Airbus will provide one H160 ahead of final deliveries to PHI and Shell for a year-long route-proving program to enable the operator and the final customer to familiarize themselves with the type’s advanced features and mitigate the normal challenges around entry into service.

At PHI it will be based at Houma, Louisiana, and join a large company fleet of H125s and H135s deployed in emergency medical service throughout the United States, as well as two H145s operating for Shell on pipeline survey work in Louisiana, and two H145s flying the world’s longest harbor pilot shuttle in Mackay, Australia.

Airbus Helicopters Executive Vice President Global Business, Ben Bridge, said: “We greatly appreciate the innovative thinking of our customers in formulating this partnership around the H160 which will begin a new era of safety, reliability and environmental performance in the medium class of offshore operations.”

PHI Aviation Managing Director, Keith Mullett said: “We are proud to be playing a key role in the entry into service of the highly advanced H160 in the offshore sector and we look forward to bringing a step change in operating standards through the confidence building route- proving exercise agreed with our partners Airbus and Shell.”

Shell Aircraft Vice President, Tony Cramp said: “Shell welcomes the opportunity to embrace new aviation technology and introduce this highly advanced and efficient aircraft to safely service our vibrant and growing offshore business in the US Gulf of Mexico.”

Shell General Manager – Supply Chain Deepwater, Viet Van added: “The emissions reductions that the H160 provides help us continue to deliver crude and natural gas with the smallest carbon footprint of our global deepwater portfolio, and are another important step to meeting our goal of zero net emissions by 2050.”

Airbus Delivers First Five-bladed Helicopter for Offshore Wind Operations to HTM

Helicopter maker Airbus Helicopters said Wednesday it had delivered the first five-bladed H145 helicopter to be used in the offshore wind segment to its client HTM Helicopters in Germany.

The aircraft will be operated from one of HTM’s bases at Norden-Norddeich, Emden, Borkum and Helgoland. For its missions, which include passenger transport to and from wind farms and hoisting technicians to the wind turbines, the helicopter is equipped with a powerful hoist, floatation equipment, and a cargo hook, Airbus Helicopters said. The fifth blade increases the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg.

“We already operate one four-bladed H145 in the offshore wind segment which has proven to be the perfect fit for our operations in often challenging environments,” said Bernd Brucherseifer, Pilot and Managing Director at HTM Helicopters. “The increased useful load, the smoother ride onboard and the excellent OEI performance of the five-bladed version will help us to further enhance our mission capabilities.”

“We’d like to thank HTM Helicopters for its continued trust in our helicopters and especially in the H145,” says Axel Humpert, Head of the H145 Programme. “We’re proud that our helicopters are used to maintain offshore wind parks, which play an important role in the expansion of renewable energy.”

The European Union has set its target to increase the offshore wind energy capacity to more than 60 GW by 2030 (2020: 12 GW). With its outstanding performance for the transport and hoisting of wind farm technicians, the H145 can address more than 95% of the world’s current and future offshore wind farms projects, Airbus said.

According to Airbus, the new variant of its best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta in March. 

The latest upgrade adds a five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. 

“The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew,” Airbus said.