When the curtains closed on Heli-Expo last month, the attention turned to the two-day inaugural demo tour of the AS332 C1e from Feb 28 to March 1. Just 30 miles down the road from the Anaheim Convention Center at AirFlite in Long Beach, Cali., pilots from as far away as Alaska, Colombia and South Africa took the new Super Puma for a spin.
This six-part video series follows each pilot on his flight. Over the next two months you'll hear from the following pilots and passengers:
Pat Patterson, Chief Pilot, North Slope Borough Search & Rescue, Barrow Alaska
Captain Marco Cordon, Operations Manager, Helistar Colombia
Karl Kebert, Executive Director and Founding Member, Starlite Group, Ltd
Scott Tripp, Rotary Wing Chief Pilot, AAR Airlift
Peter Todd, Chairman, Starlight Aviation Operations, Ltd
Captain John Steel, Pilot and Manager of General Aviation Standards, Irish Airworthiness Authority
Feedback from pilots focused on the new aircraft's intuitive cockpit dashboard and effortless 4-axis auto pilot (borrowed from the EC225), the overall lightweight feel and the impressive hover capability. Passengers praised the smooth ride and low sound levels.
The missions undertaken by these operators range from peacekeeping and humanitarian, to aerial work and onshore oil & gas -- precisely the missions this workhorse helicopter, with its impressive lift capacity, is designed to perform.
The C1e's standard configuration keeps the cost of this aircraft significantly lower than for other Super Pumas, while customizations can be made through Service Bulletins or Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs).