Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) teams face daily challenges when it comes to safely and efficiently doing their jobs. There are several companies that design, manufacture and sell items such as hoists, harnesses and cargo hooks that help make the jobs a bit easier. Listed here are just a few of those companies and items available today.
Aerial’s Spider is a six-person extraction device designed to safely move up to six rescuers or survivors over a short distance using short-haul techniques with a medium to large helicopter. The device includes six color-coded lifting legs and a bull ring for simultaneous multiple extractions. For more information, visit www.aerialmachineandtool.com.
Breeze Eastern’s Model HS-29900 rescue hoist, as the industry standard for medium to large helicopters, is designed to support the most challenging search and rescue environments. The system is available for OEM factory installation or retrofit on existing fleets, and its highlights include a pilot cable payout display, cable tension control, unlimited duty cycle, and multiple hook design options. Safety features include a Reactive Overload Clutch (ROC), thermal/voltage protection, mechanical fail-safe brake and automatic slowdown at travel ends. For more information visit www.breeze-eastern.com.
CMC Rescue, based in Goleta, Calif., is a leading manufacturer of rescue and work-at-height equipment. CMC provides numerous harness options, including the Helitack Harness. This harness, designed for aircrews by aircrews, includes a sewn waist loop attachment point that allows for multiple carabiner attachment as well as large hoist hooks. A rear D-ring provides a travel restraint attachment point, and the vest is made of high-visibility orange mesh and features reflective material that allows the wearer to be seen in low light conditions. The harness also features dual-radio pockets and a built-in Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) attachment system. Visit www.cmcrescue.com for more information.
Dart Aerospace offers several selections for cargo hooks made specifically for models from manufacturers including AgustaWestland, Airbus, Bell, MD Helicopters, Robinson and Skiorsky. Options include four-, six-, and eight-hook carousels, C-Series hooks and dual and single hook cages. For more information on these products, visit www.dartaerospace.com.
Britain-based Drallim Group provides cargo hooks for helicopters, including the SACRU 1 Mk 1 & Mk 2 Cargo Hook, 6000lb Cargo hook, and SACRU2 Mk 1 & Mk 2 Cargo Hook. Drallim also provides lashings and restraints designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. The Semi-Automatic Cargo Release Unit (SACRU) 1 Mk 2 has been selected by AgustaWestland for use on the EH101 Navy Merlin. Certified by the CAA, variants of this cargo hook are also available as an FAA and Transport Canada approved bolt on replacement hook for the Bell 204 through 412 series helicopters. The SACRU 1 is now available with load measurement to enable pilots to know the cargo’s weight and monitor the airframe. Visit www.drallim.com for more information.
Emergco holds several Transport Canada Civil Aviation–issued Supplementary Type Certificates for aerial human external cargo products, and is currently in the approval process for a number of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certificates. The company offers several products including crewman and evacuation harnesses. Emergco’s Crewman Flight Harness is personnel-carrying device system (PCDS) created specifically for aerial flight applications that incorporates the company’s method of weight distribution that provides the security of a full-body harness and the comfort of a seat harness. Emergco’s evacuation harness is a PCDS designed to encompass a person’s torso to prevent them from inadvertently falling out of the harness. For more information on these harnesses and Emergco’s other products, visit www.emergco.com.
LISI Aerospace offers numerous cargo hook options for several helicopter models including the Bell 429, EC135, BK117 and AS350 in both the commercial and military sector. The hooks range in maximum load capacity from 600kg (model AS22-52-21) to 5,000kg (model S109-3). For more information, visit www.lisi-aerospace.com.
Onboard Systems International
Onboard Systems International engineers products for airframe manufacturers, military forces and commercial helicopter operators. The company provides products such as hook kits, cargo nets, longlines and remote equipment for specific helicopter models. The cargo hooks include both carousel and remote TALON brand hooks that can be used for rescue and cargo missions. They include both hydraulic and mechanical cable release types, and can be purchased as a kit or just the remote hook replacement. Visit www.onboardsystems.com for more information.
UTC Aerospace Systems
UTC Aerospace Systems is the only hoist and winch manufacturer of both level wind and translating drum cable management systems. Translating drum cable management technology extends cable life, allows for continuous duty cycles, and handles high fleet angle operation. Hoist models 42325, 44301, 44311, and 44316 use translating drum technology and can be found on both commercial and military platforms. Level wind technology hoists utilize brushless DC motors and cable guide technology to allow 30 degree flat angles and continuous operational duty cycles for high performance, reliability and maintainability. Level wind hoists can be used as primary hoists for light helicopters and can be combined with translating drum cable management systems to provide a dual back-up configuration For more information, visit www.utcaerospacesystems.com.
Related: Mission Equipment News, SAR News