Powerline Detection System Certified on Enstrom 480B Helicopter
White Plains, NY (April 11, 2011) — Safe Flight Instrument Corporation’s Powerline Detection System (PDS) has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the Enstrom 480B model helicopter.
The FAA has issued a Type Certificate for the Powerline Detection System. Safe Flight and Enstrom are currently working towards a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that will allow for a retrofit installation to existing in-service 480 operators. The Powerline Detection System will also be offered as a production option from the Menominee Michigan based Enstrom Helicopter Corporation.
Enstrom has begun delivery of the Powerline Detection Systems equipped 480B model helicopters to the Royal Thai Army as part of a 16 aircraft contract award. The helicopters will be used primarily for training purposes and will be based at the army’s aviation centre in Lopburi province, in Central Thailand.
A multi-role light turbine helicopter, the Enstrom 480B series has now been certified in 16 countries and has already been operated in 18 countries. With over 90 aircraft in the field now, the 480B is proving to be a popular choice for a wide range of applications, including personal transport, flight instruction, law enforcement, power line patrol, executive transport (charter), electronic news gathering, pipeline patrol, aerial photography, sightseeing, and cargo/passenger delivery.
The addition of Safe Flight’s Powerline Detection System is a key component in the contract award to provide the Royal Thai Army with the Enstrom 480B model helicopters. The Powerline Detection System is being installed in lieu of wire cutters for an “avoid don’t cut” approach to low level helicopter operations.
Safe Flight’s Powerline Detection System has been FAA and EASA certified and is currently being operated worldwide. PDS is an extremely lightweight and passive system that alerts the aircraft pilot and crew when approaching an energized power line in a heads up attitude. The system provides a visual and aural warning to the crew. As the aircraft approaches the danger the aural warning intensifies allowing the pilot to avoid contact with the hazard altogether.