Day Helicopter provides service throughout Northern Ontario from its main office and hanger in Sudbury. Pilots with the company have between 1,500 and 20,000 hours logged in the air.
The new helicopter is highly customized, said Van Zon. Eagle Copters in Calgary, Alberta converted a Bell Helicopter 212 to a 212 S by removing the twin engines and replacing them with a single, state-of-the-art Honeywell T5317-BCV engine.
The helicopter’s payload is increased because of the reduced engine weight, said Van Zon.
As with all of Day’s helicopters, the new single engine has been equipped with a barrier filter to prevent foreign objects like sand from being sucked in, he said.
Vector Aerospace in Langley, B.C. installed a Sagem cockpit display.
“It eliminates all the round gauges. Everything is now glass,” said Van Zon. “All the information is displayed all the time. The view is better because it’s now in colour, and there is no glare.”
For safety purposes, all of Day’s helicopters are equipped with sky tracking technology that identifies the pilot’s location, altitude and airspeed in a Web-based display, he said. Customers can also use the technology to find out where the helicopter they’re leasing is currently located.
The 212 S was to be ready for commercial use by early spring after a few last adjustments were completed and the pilots trained on its use.
“We flew it from Calgary to Langley for the conversion with Vector Aerospace,” he said. “It cruises beautifully. It’s nice. The fuel economy was great.”