A year ago, the EH101 was in trouble in Denmark after the drive shaft broke on one helo grounding the fleet. At the time, the EH101s were suffering low availability rates, although during the course of the year the reliability had improved (more here from a prior Ares post).
Now, the defense ministry is making the case it’s getting good utilization rate out of the EH101s in a search-and-rescue role. Last year, one EH101 deployed in a search-and-rescue role performed 44% of the 759 rescue helicopter mission the country performed in 2008, the defense ministry says.
The high ops tempo is driven in part by the fact the EH101 is based at Skrydstrup, one of the busiest SAR outposts.
After being quite public last year about its concerns, the defense ministry now says “the new helicopter has met the operational expectations and the crew experience with the machine is very positive.” The SAR helo belongs to 722 squadron.
The EH101s in the SAR role are to replace Sikorsky S-61s. Those are to be withdrawn from service mid-2010.
[Photo: Danish MOD]