EC155: Reducing Operating Costs

With the help of its EC155 customers, Eurocopter presented a short-term action plan last summer to reduce the maintenance on this helicopter and provide significant gains for operators.


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EC155 customers can be rightly pleased. In Paris, on July 10, 2008, Eurocopter presented the first modifications to the EC155’s current maintenance plan, which were identified in a thorough analysis and will significantly reduce the aircraft’s operating costs in the short term. “We set up a special working group made up of Eurocopter staff from Support & Services and the design office, as well as seven customers, who brought to the table a very wide range of maintenance issues taking into account operational factors such as the frequency of flights, the environment and the regulations,” explains Véronique Cardin, EC155 Service Chief Engineer at Eurocopter. The customers representing the oil and gas segment were Bristow UK, Bristow Nigeria, DanCopter, HeliOne as well as CHC Scotia and CHC Netherlands, whilst the German Federal Police and Mont Blanc Hélicoptères represented the law enforcement and corporate segments.” During the project’s first stage, which was conducted between September and December 2007, customers were interviewed separately to ascertain their experience “in the field” of the maintenance program. The interviews identified maintenance tasks that were too close together, or seemed unnecessary, and pinpointed the most expensive operations or the concepts that were most difficult to understand. After these interviews, an action plan was drawn up and presented to the working group, and several actions have already been finalized leading to significant operational gains. The bulk of the actions are based on a win-win process requiring a contribution from the customers participating in the working group. The customers provide Eurocopter with detailed reports attesting that they have uncovered no problems when performing certain maintenance operations that are penalizing in terms of manpower and aircraft downtime. In return, the design office endorses the extension of the inspection intervals or the simplification of the maintenance task. What’s more, a similar approach has now been launched for the EC225.



_AUTHOR: BELEN MORANT


What the customers say

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“I’d like to thank you once again for inviting me to take part in the CAT meeting for the EC155. Bristow appreciates the hard work and effort Eurocopter is putting into this project and we can’t wait to see the results."
Russell Gould, Senior Type Engineer, Bristow, Eastern Hemisphere

“Just a quick word to say thank you for all the hard work behind the improvements you presented at the CAT meeting for the EC155. I am fully conscious of the fact that when you are part of a large organization, where you are often reliant on other parts of that organization, it can be extremely difficult to bring about change."
Andy Broad, Engineering Officer, CHC Scotia Ltd.