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Bristow Goes Above and Beyond On Engineering and Maintenance

June 02, 2014

Bristow helicopters fly under some of the most challenging conditions in the world. Whether flying conditions are extreme or simply routine, crews and passengers on a Bristow helicopter are dependent upon the precision performance of the aircraft. To ensure everyone’s safety, as well as peak availability and operating performance of the machine, each and every aircraft we fly needs frequent and infallible maintenance.

The technical skills and knowledge of maintenance and engineering are a crucial part of Bristow’s business. They are what keeps our aircraft airworthy and serviceable—and above all, safe. Even before a helicopter rolls off the manufacturing line and we take delivery, Bristow engineers are involved with the machine’s design and features. Our technical support program spans from the cradle (and almost conception) to the grave, overseeing every aspect of how that aircraft is maintained until we no longer own or operate it.

With Bristow having operations all around the world, it’s imperative that we sustain the same high levels of maintenance capabilities regardless of how remote the location may be. Civil aviation authorities in various countries and regions set the standards for how the work must be done—and in all cases Bristow meets or exceeds the local regulations. In fact, some of our contributions to helicopter engineering and design have actually set the bar higher for safety standards and regulations. For example, the Integrated Health and Usage Monitoring System (IHUMS) developed by Bristow engineers has become a required safety feature in all U.K. registered public transportation helicopters.

It takes precise coordination to get all the people, parts, documentation and aircraft together at the right time, in the right place, for the right work - all the while minimizing downtime and inconvenience for our customers. Here are a just a few examples:

- Every aspect of an aircraft’s configuration is tracked in detail. We know precisely what components are on the aircraft, where they came from, and how they have been serviced and maintained.
- We enforce rigorous document control to ensure our people are working with the most up to date documents available.
- Our parts inventory is housed in hubs in New Iberia in Louisiana; Aberdeen, Scotland; Perth, Australia, and coming soon, Lagos in Nigeria. All parts are approved by the manufacturer and are certificated and inspected by Bristow. An Aircraft on Ground (AOG) group supports the business units 24X7, 365 days a year.
- Our industry renowned design group has a long history of developing industry-breakthrough modifications. We routinely obtain regulatory approvals in Europe, United States and Australia.
- Our onsite representatives at aircraft manufacturer locations follow aircraft on the production lines to ensure they’re built to our requirements and standards. Our global fleet support team work with the manufacturers before aircraft are even in production.

Our promise to you, our customer, is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transportation. Our maintenance and engineering programs and teams are just one way we ensure you accomplish your goals.

Bristow Engineers Rise Above Expectations
When a Bell 407 aircraft based in Escravos, Nigeria, was declared Aircraft on Ground (AOG) for a replacement igniter box, no one expected to be told that the replacement lead-time would be 240 days.

Instead of accepting the eight months of downtime, Bristow engineer Juan Olivier took on the challenge of finding an alternative solution. Olivier reviewed all three volumes of the Commercial Engine Bulletins (CEBs) held at Escravos. Then he scoured online for the CEBs available from Rolls Royce until he found the data needed to modify the aircraft to accept a readily available igniter box.

Locating the required parts and performing the modification took a total of six days, meaning Olivier’s initiative and dedication saved Bristow's customer more than 230 days of downtime.