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Bristow Spearheads Helicopter Flight Safety System

September 01, 2011

Bristow Helicopters Ltd continues to lead safety innovation in the aviation industry with a multi-million dollar investment in the development of TCAS2 (traffic collision avoidance system) for its helicopter fleet. Just a few days after receiving EASA approval, the company this week commenced commercial operations with its latest TCAS2 equipped aircraft, the Sikorsky S92, operating live for the first time on a flight to an offshore installation from Scatsta, Shetland.

Plans are in place for all seven of its UK based S-92 helicopters to have TCAS2 installed by the end of September. Bristow will achieve another industry first when one of its S-76C++ helicopters featuring TCAS2 takes to the skies later this autumn.

Mike Imlach, Bristow’s Director of European Operations, compared TCAS2 with a similar traffic collision avoidance system that has been in use on commercial airliners for a number of years.  “The applicability of the commercial airline collision avoidance system to slower moving helicopters was questionable.  Bristow developed the first TCAS2 system a number of years ago specifically for rotary wing aircraft,, and since then has been developing TCAS2 solutions for its entire fleet to improve flight safety.”

TCAS2 uses on board systems to detect other aircraft in the area that may represent a collision risk. The system then directs the crew to take avoidance action which is coordinated to ensure maximum clearance between the aircraft.

Mike continues: “Our safety leadership continues today with the launch of this latest innovation. Bristow is responsible for many of the safety advancements and modifications that are now taken for granted as standard equipment on offshore helicopters worldwide such as IHUMS (Integrated health and usage monitoring system), HFDM (helicopter flight data monitoring systems), automatic flotation deployment and externally stowed life raft systems.

“Our dedication to developing pioneering systems is a result of Bristow’s commitment to ensuring the highest standards of flight safety. We pride ourselves on providing the safest and most reliable service to clients in all the world’s major onshore and offshore producing regions. We are determined to give all our customers added confidence in flight through our Target Zero mission, which aims for no accidents and minimum downtime or complaints.”

With numerous bases around the world, Bristow Group provides aviation support to the global oil and gas industry. The company has 3,500 employees and boasts a varied fleet of around 400 aircraft.

Notes to Editors

Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE:  BRS), the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated  and one of two  helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations.  The Company has major operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, and operations in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Trinidad.