Pawan Hans, India’s largest helicopter operator, recently completed the maiden flight of its first leased Sikorsky S-76D helicopter.
The inaugural flight was flagged off from ONGC’s Juhu Helibase in Mumbai by Pankaj Kumar, Director, Offshore, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Sanjeev Razdan, CMD, Pawan Hans. The second helicopter will be inducted once all regulatory approvals are in place.
Pawan Hans has contracted for lease a total of six Sikorsky S-76D helicopters from Milestone Group and the new helicopters will meet requirements of ONGC’s offshore operations. Pawan Hans has already been contracted by ONGC to operate two S-76D helicopters. The remaining four S-76Ds will be operated in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Pawan Hans has been operating helicopters in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for nearly three decades. There is a requirement for extensive helicopter operations in the area and the S-76D will replace the Airbus Helicopters Dauphin N3 on this sector.
The S-76D helicopter is the next generation of the S-76, and first customer deliveries started in 2012. The S-76D features all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; optimised rotor system for quiet operation; active vibration control and powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines. The helicopters are also fitted with an advanced THALES integrated avionics system and autopilot, while an optional Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) is available for all-weather capability.
Sikorsky has delivered more than 875 S-76 helicopters worldwide since 1977 and offshore missions account for 65% of the total flight hours accumulated fleet-wide to date.