Sikorsky Aircraft has obtained FAA approval of its automated S-92 “Rig Approach” system for offshore operators developed with PHI Inc. The approach lowers cockpit workload by 60 percent and increases performance in bad weather and other operating conditions, according to Sikorsky. The creation of the approach traces back to 2007, when a PHI pilot spoke with a Sikorsky pilot about developing a safer method for landing on offshore oil platforms. Sikorsky carried out flight tests of the system in 2011, working with FAA toward certification during 2012 and into 2013. FAA officials flew the system in February 2013 as part of a certification review.
PHI-operated S-92. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky
PHI Chief Pilot Paul Perkins notes that the Rig Approach “will play a huge role in our S-92 IFR operations by providing the crew with automation that reduces the workload at critical times during the instrument arrival procedure and provides additional barriers to CFIT.” He added that the system reduces pilot workload from 17 items to seven. PHI tallied more than 19,000 hours of IFR operations in 2012.
Related: Offshore News