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Maverick Helicopters and Airbus Helicopters have announced they will partner to retrofit the tourism operator’s entire fleet of 34 EC130 B4 helicopters with the Airbus Helicopters Crash Resistant Fuel System (CRFS), which has just received EASA certification with FAA to follow shortly.
Maverick Helicopters, one of the largest aviation-based tourism companies in the world, carries more than 250,000 passengers annually in Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Hawaii. It operates an exclusively Airbus fleet of nearly 50 helicopters, comprised of the H130 which has come standard with a CRFS since its entry into service in 2012 and of its earlier variant the EC130 B4. The company’s decision to ensure that its earlier models have the same CRFS as the rest of its fleet reinforces both Maverick’s and Airbus’s strong commitment to ensuring the highest levels of safety available in the industry.
“We are glad that Airbus has been able to provide us with their own retrofit kit for our fleet of EC130 B4s, as it’s important for us to bring our entire fleet up to the same high standards,” said Greg Rochna, CEO of Maverick Helicopters. “Retrofitting such a large fleet is not a small endeavor, and Airbus Helicopters has shown great support, and we expect this to continue as we work together moving forward.”
Airbus Helicopters has also announced that its CRFS was certified last month by EASA for operations with a cargo swing on H125, in full compliance with the 27.952 regulation, and that it is now also available for the AS350 B3 variant for retrofit. Furthermore, the Airbus Helicopters CRFS, which comes standard on all H125 aircraft coming from Airbus Helicopters’ Columbus, Mississippi production facility will now come standard on all new-built H125s worldwide.
Any Airbus H125 or H130 family helicopter in service today that does not have a CRFS can be equipped with one through either an Airbus Helicopters or third-party approved retrofit solution, based on the model. To encourage the implementation of this important safety feature industrywide, Airbus Helicopters has been offering its CRFS retrofit kits at the below-cost price of € 35 000 or US$44,000 worldwide for the past year and has been providing incentives to its customers who choose to retrofit their fleet with a third-party solution.