Eurocopter Canada Limited (ECL) has delivered the 600th helicopter for the Canadian market to Héli-Inter Inc., a major helicopter charter company headquartered in St- Hubert, Quebec. The powerful Eurocopter AS350 B3 light helicopter will be flown primarily in Northern Quebec, supporting mineral exploration and development programs.

We are delighted to reach the 600th helicopter milestone in supplying Héli-Inter with a new dual hydraulics AS350 B3 aircraft that highlights our helicopters’ ability to exceed Canadian requirements for maximum dependability and cost effectiveness, said Mr. Guy Joannes, President & CEO, ECL. Each delivery demonstrates that our helicopters offer the payload and performance required to work in Canada, whose vast distances and extreme weather make it one of the most challenging operating environments in the world.
From left to right: Mr. Patrice Bellerose, CEO, Héli-Inter Inc., Mr. Denis Simard, Vice-President, Operations & Marketing, Coast to Coast Helicopters Inc., Mr. Guy Joannes, President & CEO, Eurocopter Canada Limited, Ms. Roxanne Allard, Owner, Coast to Coast Helicopters Inc., Mr. Richard Airlie, Eurocopter Canada Limited, Mr. Denis Savoie, Coast to Coast Helicopters Inc., Mr. Guillaume Leprince, Eurocopter Canada Limited.

The delivery of this dual hydraulics AS350 B3 to Héli-Inter is also another milestone in our long term relationship with Groupe Placement B. Allard Inc., the Quebec-based aviation holding company that is parent to Héli-Inter and five other companies, flying a total of 86 helicopters “ Canada’s second largest fleet.

We added the AS350 B3 as the next logical step in the development of our helicopter business, said Benoît Allard, owner of Groupe Placement B. Allard Inc. Our companies already have 49 AS350 helicopters in their fleet and we have acquired considerable expertise with these helicopters, thus re-enforcing the safety and reliability of our operations.

With the new Eurocopter AS350 B3 delivery, Héli-Inter will operate a fleet of 44 helicopters, including 23 single-engine Eurocopter AStars/Ecureuils and two twin-engine AS355 TwinStars/Ecureuils. The company has two operating bases located in Malartic in the Abitibi region of Northwest Quebec, and Radisson, Quebec, two well-known mining regions.

Groupe Placement B. Allard Inc. subsidiaries include Helicraft, Héli-Excel, Héli-Wask, and Héli- Inter which service Quebec, Ontario and the Eastern Arctic; Coast to Coast Helicopters Inc. and Mustang Helicopters based in Alberta; and Heli-Can in Latin America. The group also owns Exact Air, a fixed-wing flying school and scheduled and charter service.

With the introduction to our fleet of this new and more powerful aircraft, we can further fulfill all our customers’ expectations, said Denis Simard, CEO of Groupe Placement B. Allard Inc. This acquisition complements our existing fleet and will allow us more flexibility with what we can offer to our customers.

A pre-owned AS350 B3 was recently acquired by the group to work in Chile from a base serving the local mining and forestry industry working in the rugged Andes Mountains.

Eurocopter holds a 51% share of the turbine helicopter fleet registered to Quebec companies as of December 2010.

The AS350 B3 is the top of the range high performance member of the popular single-engine AS350 family, with unmatched performance and reliability. It has a top speed of 140 knots and the capacity to carry a pilot and five passengers in the transportation role or external loads of up to 1,400 kg (3,086 lb.) beneath the helicopter on a cargo hook.

Eurocopter Canada employees and representatives from Groupe Placement B. Allard gather in front of the 600th Eurocopter helicopter delivered into the Canadian Market.

The AS350 B3’s 847-shp Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 turbo shaft engine provides the helicopter with the ability to lift maximum loads under the hottest summer operating conditions, providing excellent utility.

This aircraft is equipped with a number of Eurocopter Canada designed options, easing operations to perform the most demanding utility missions. These options include the enlarged long lining floor window, the aft cargo door hinge kit and the left hand and right hand cargo pods that increase the cargo compartments by 80% over the standard AS350 compartment.

In regards to operational safety, Eurocopter Canada is delivering proximity training solutions to Héli-Inter in supplying Aircraft Maintenance Engineer training at Saint-Hubert, QC École nationale d’aérotechnique and dedicated onsite pilot training.

The powerful engine features a dual FADEC (Full-Authority Digital Engine Control) and a dual hydraulic system for power management.

In the cockpit, the AS350 B3 provides enhanced safety and reduced workload with the Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) for pilots.