Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa (AHZA) (Hangar 4, Stand W8) has delivered a new H125 rotorcraft to Namibia’s Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism in the capital Windhoek. The helicopter has been customised for day and night-time operations, enabling it to fly anti-poaching and other missions in this vast country.
Custom equipment includes an SX Nightsun for night-time flights and a cargo swing, so that large animals and other items can be carried. In typical operations, the H125 will be flown by a pilot and will be able to carry up to five passengers on flights of up to four-and- a-half hours or over a distance of some 630km.
The H125 is a member of Airbus Helicopters’ rugged and proven Ecureuil (Squirrel) family. Some 5,000 single-engine Ecureuils have been delivered in more than 100 countries for some 1,600 operators. Of these, more than 170 are flown by African operators.
The worldwide fleet has accumulated more than 23 million flight hours operating in a variety of roles. It is especially suited to high-performance missions in high and hot conditions, which are typical in Namibia and across Southern Africa. The new helicopter was assembled at its Grand Central, Midrand base near Johannesburg.
The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism’s pilot was also trained there and was among the first to make use of the company’s new H125 helicopter flight simulator, which was recently commissioned. The Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer (FNPT) is based on the widely used single-engine Airbus Helicopters H125 (formerly AS350 Squirrel), of which more than 170 are in service in Africa and other territories in AHZA’s region with 70 operators including law enforcement agencies in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Lesotho and Malawi.
The FNPT’s core is a full-scale replica of an H125/AS350 cockpit with all its navigation, flight control and communications avionics. It is configured with dual controls so that a student pilot and instructor can ‘fly’ together.
“The addition of this new simulator enables us to offer a fully comprehensive, very cost-effective and low-risk training package for AS350/H125 pilots in the region.
It augments the already proven training systems that we have in place for aircrew and technicians who fly and maintain our products.
It will also make a significant contribution to improving flight safety in the region,” said Arnaud Montalvo, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa.
The company also operates a Super Puma simulator for training aircrew operating large-category helicopters. This is the only full-motion helicopter simulator in Africa and is situated on the Denel campus, adjacent to Johannesburg’s O R Tambo International Airport.
Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa was formed in 1994 and has its headquarters at Grand Central Airport (Gauteng). AHZA also has a satellite base at Cape Town International Airport and a line maintenance facility at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. It supports a regional fleet of approximately 150 turbine helicopters in service with emergency medical rescue, law enforcement, environmental protection, infrastructure servicing and commercial operators.
AHZA is a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent company, Airbus Helicopters S.A.S.