Russian Helicopters playing big role in Olympics
February 10, 2014 By Carey Fredericks
Feb. 10, 2014, Sochi, Russia - Helicopters manufactured by Russian Helicopters are playing an active role in providing security at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, which run from February 7-23, and at the 2014 XI Paralympic Winter Games from March 7-16.
Helicopters will be used by the Russian Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, and the Russian Emergencies Ministry to monitor, carry out patrols, and provide security at the Games. If needed, they will be used for medevac and search and rescue operations.
"We are proud that our helicopters will play a key support role in these Games, a major sporting event that draws the attention of billions of people worldwide," Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev said. "Russian-made helicopters have been used in preparations for the Sochi Olympics, helping complete highly complex aspects of the construction work on Olympic venues. We are confident that Russian helicopters will become essential and efficient tools for state agencies involved in ensuring the comfort and safety of those people participating in and attending this event."
Russian Helicopters launched preparation work for the Sochi Olympic Games back in September 2010. At that year's Hydroaviasalon exhibition, the company unveiled a new line of commercial helicopters that could be used in Olympics-related work. Specialists rated them very highly, and these helicopters were involved in preparation work for the Sochi Games.
Today, Russian-made helicopters are used in Sochi by virtually all state agencies involved in the event. The Emergencies Ministry's medical module-equipped medium Ka-32A11BC helicopter (this model has become the symbol of the Global Helicopter Firefighting Initiative) has been standing by at Sochi Olympic venues since October 2013. This type of helicopter, and Mi-8/17 series helicopters operated by the Emergencies Ministry chief directorate for the Krasnodar Territory, will also be standing by at Sochi, and if needed will be used to fight fires, monitor areas of the ski-slope at risk of avalanche, and carry out search and rescue or medevac operations.
The helicopters are based at Sochi airport and Krasnaya Polyana's helipad. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Southern Federal District is using Mi-8/17 and Ka-226 helicopters to support police operations such as patrols and surveillance. The light Ka-226 with its coaxial rotor design is ideally suited for work in urban areas, it boasts a low noise level, is very environmentally friendly and can land in small spaces not designed as helicopter landing sites.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Southern Federal District, tasked with ensuring security at the games, is using specially-equipped Ka-226 helicopters fitted with additional surveillance and observation equipment, as well as Mi-8/17 helicopters.
Multirole Mi-8/17 helicopters, primarily intended for cargo and passenger transport, are also being used by commercial operators in Sochi. For example, UTair was involved in the construction of Olympic facilities in Krasnaya Polyana. Mi-8AMT and Ka-32 helicopters with external slings have been used to transport loads, in various kinds of construction work on the cableways and other ski resort infrastructure, and also in work to assemble special cannons for use in areas at risk of avalanche.
The Mi-26T heavy transport helicopter is used by PANH Helicopters on complex construction and assembly work in difficult-to-access areas. It transported heavy cargo and equipment to high altitudes, carried bulky loads weighing up to 20 tonnes, including electric transfomers and generators that will ensure Olympic facilities enjoy an uninterrupted electricity supply.