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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Era Orders EC225s for Gulf of Mexico


Era Helicopters ordered four more EC225s at Helitech Oct. 3, bringing its total orders for this aircraft type to eight.

Era is the first offshore oil and gas operator to select the EC225 for operations in the Gulf of Mexico. It signed an agreement for two of the aircraft at HeliExpo 2006 for that operation.

Era sees a shortage of heavy helicopters worldwide that is not model specific, David Stepanek, Era’s vice president of business development, said at the biennial trade show in Duxford, England. He said the Lake Charles, La.-based operator expected to have a Gulf of Mexico customer for the EC225s with weeks of the show.

Era considered the EC225 "slightly better than" the Sikorsky Aircraft S-92 in payload and range "and the design of the cockpit is better," he said. Stepanek joined Era earlier this year from Sikorsky. Another factor was Era’s experience operating Pumas, he said.

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