Monday, February 15, 2010

‘Heavy Lift’ Squirrel Helicopter Arrives in Phnom Penh

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (February 1, 2010) – Cambodian helicopter operator Helistar Cambodia has taken delivery of a Eurocopter AS350B3 “Squirrel” for upcoming geo-survey and mapping contracts as well as providing heavy lift onshore mining support – taking the total number of helicopters it will operate to four. In addition to carrying six passengers, this helicopter can lift up to 1,400kgs.

“We expect demand to pick up from the mining sector once we begin operating this helicopter. It is the perfect helicopter for onshore geo-survey work and mapping services”, says Martin Cleland, General Manager & CEO of Helistar Cambodia.

“This helicopter was purchased from Italy and was previously used in fighting forest fires. It is relatively new - manufactured in 2004 - with quite low hours, and in immaculate condition. It comes with an excellent maintenance record so we expect it to perform very well for us. Being a B3, it will be the first of its kind to enter service in Cambodia and we expect the heavier lifting capacity of this aircraft to significantly benefit businesses operating in the mining sector, offering reduced costs.”

Captain Dave Taylor, Flight Operations Manager with Helistar Cambodia, says this helicopter is just what is needed in Cambodia’s hot conditions. “As a pilot, you need the power margin when you have a full load of passengers and equipment. Although the helicopter appears similar to others already in the country, its larger engine is what sets it apart and provides the safety margin we need.”

Martin Cleland says, “Cambodia’s provincial roads in the wet season can be almost impassable, and companies in the mining sector as well as NGO’s often need support to bring in supplies, equipment and personnel. Our AS350B3 can efficiently handle almost any request; sling loads, up to six passengers and medical evacuation in cases of emergency.”

Helistar Cambodia will operate its AS350B3 from its main base in Phnom Penh as well as from sub-bases at Siem Reap and Sihanoukville International Airports.

For further details visit Helistar Cambodia’s website

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