Boeing has reached the milestone of supporting the Australian Army's 27 Bell 206B-1 Kiowa helicopters for more than 60,000 flight hours. The total includes 180h of relief efforts conducted following the recent cyclone and flooding in Queensland.

"When Cyclone Yasi severely damaged north Queensland in February, the Australian Army supplied all available training and transport Kiowas to support Operation Yasi Assist," says Mark Brownsey, programme manager for Boeing Defence Australia.

"Boeing aircraft maintainers worked around the clock alongside the army for two weeks to keep those Kiowas flying," he adds.

Boeing, along with its heritage companies, has supported the Kiowa for 14 years.

The Army Aviation Training & Training Support (AATTS) contract began in 2007. Since then, Boeing has trained more than 120 Kiowa pilots and performed ongoing maintenance tasks for 19 Kiowa training helicopters at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland, and for the 173rd Aviation Squadron's eight transport Kiowas at Holsworthy, New South Wales.

The company also trains the army's Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk helicopter pilots, aircrew and technicians at Oakey, and the service's Boeing CH-47D Chinook pilots and technicians at the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, north Queensland.

Boeing will continue to deliver the AATTS training and flight support programme until the Australian Defence Force's Project Air 9000 Phase 7 Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) comes into service. HATS will be a combination of the delivery of rotary-wing training for the Australian army and navy.

Source: Flight International