Brazil regulator ANAC has approved the Sikorsky S-92A for use in its search-and-rescue (SAR) configuration. The certification was received in late March, but Sikorsky’s parent company Lockheed Martin did not make the announcement until this week.
ANAC had approved a 27,700-pound maximum gross weight allowance in December and, with the 2014 approval for the Rig Approach software, the latest certification permits the S-92A to be employed in all of its production configurations, which cover offshore work, SAR duties, airline passenger services, and VIP transportation.
Eight Brazilian operators fly 90 Sikorsky helicopters, and the company has been closely involved with the offshore industry for some time. “For more than 47 years, Sikorsky helicopters have been the workhorses of the Brazilian offshore oil transport market, first with the S-58T in 1972, the S-76 since 1979, and over the last 10 years with the larger, farther-reaching S-92 heavy aircraft,” noted Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky regional executive for Latin America. “These new certifications—along with the announcement of the forthcoming S-92 A+/B—help ensure that that the S-92 will continue to be the aircraft of choice in Brazil for safe, reliable, deep-water offshore oil exploration.”
In 2018 the company relocated its forward stocking location from near Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão airport to a site at Barra da Tijuca near Jacarepaguá airport, to be much closer to the principal operators: Lider Aviação, Omni Helicopters International, and CHC Helicopter. At the same time, the company increased parts stock by nearly sevenfold, reducing typical parts-supply times to around two hours.
Also in 2018, the Composite Technology do Brasil (CTB) rotor blade repair facility was expanded to include S-92 work, eliminating export fees and cutting around 30 days from the overall process by removing the need for transportation to and from the United States. CTB is a joint venture between Sikorsky-owned CTI and Líder Aviação, created in 1999 to repair S-76 blades in-country.