Helipro Shortsky enters service

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HELIPRO International's shortened Sikorsky S-61 "Shortsky" has entered heli-logging service with two Canadian operators.

The first aircraft, a converted S-61N, entered service with VIH Logging on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in mid-March, just a month after the type's first flight (Flight International, 28 February-5 March, P9).

A second aircraft has entered service with Canadian Helicopters, also on Vancouver Island. The operator has ordered two S-61L-to-Shortsky conversions, with the second scheduled to arrive by early April.

British Columbia-based Hayes Forest Services Group, meanwhile, has traded in a newly acquired S-61N for a Shortsky, to be delivered in the second quarter.

Bellingham, Washington-based Helipro has removed 1.27m from the forward cabin of the S-61L/N, providing a 450kg increase in external-lift capacity.

The conversion, has received US and Canadian supplemental type certification, for passenger and cargo use. Helipro is now seeking UK and European certification for Category A single-engined operation.

The company says that offshore-support operators of the S-61N on the North Sea and in Southeast Asia are interested because the conversion reduces empty weight and improves both hot-and-high and one-engine-inoperative performance.

The latter is attracting North Sea operators facing new rules requiring Cat A certification, Helipro says.