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Northern NSW : Rescue Winter 2016
I’ve recently returned from a trip to Italy where I was part of the team assigned to take delivery of the second of our four new AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters. This is an exciting time as accepting a new aircraft from a manufacturer is not an area in which most maintenance engineers have any previous experience. Overall, it is very similar to picking up a new car from the dealer, but with a few exceptions. The documented process we followed was developed in-house and involves ground and flight testing, a detailed visual ground inspection along with a thorough review of the supplied documentation. The acceptance team included two members from our engineering team, chief pilot Jason Cusack from the Lismore base and a representative from Lease Corporation International. We spent five long days going through the various checklists in a purpose-built customer acceptance facility at the manufacturer’s assembly plant at Vergiate, located just north of Milan. One distinct difference from the experience of purchasing a new car is payment. This cost differential, combined with the product being an aviation one, is the reason why so many resources are needed. After business was completed the team headed for the long journey home while the aircraft was disassembled by the manufacturer and packed into 16 timber boxes of varying shapes. A very delicate journey then begins via Malpensa Airport, through Asia and into Melbourne, all on the main deck cargo of a Boeing 747 freighter. Reassembly in Melbourne is handled by the manufacturer’s Australian division. Another acceptance team from engineering and operations then undertakes a very similar process and when completed, the aircraft is then ready for its ferry flight to Newcastle. More importantly for us, it officially becomes part of the Service’s new fleet, which we maintain on a daily basis. Encouragingly, the first two handovers have gone smoothly thanks to a great team effort. General Manager Richard Jones and Commercial Finance Manager John Candy were in Italy to help accept the first AW139 where the manufacturer and lessor provided extremely positive feedback in regards to our overall acceptance program. The experience helps to show even though we are only small when compared to many of the organisations purchasing these large helicopters, it’s our dedicated and professional team approach that helps make it all happen. Acceptance team members, left to right, Lease Corporation International’s technical director Padraig Conneely and team lead John Gumulak with chief engineer Matthew Wallace Taking delivery MATTHEW WALLACE, CHIEF ENGINEER Chief pilot John Cusack in charge of test flying the new AW139 in Italy 19 Rescue Magazine WINTER 2016
Rescue Aut 2016
Rescue Spring 2016