Sikorsky recognizes CHC and MCA with Rescue Award
Sept. 23, 2009, Duxford, England – Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today presented its Winged S Rescue Award to a UK helicopter rescue crew and the base it operates from in recognition of their outstanding bravery and performance.
Sept. 23, 2009, Duxford, England – Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today presented its Winged S Rescue Award to a UK helicopter rescue crew and the base it operates from in recognition of their outstanding bravery and performance in an extraordinary rescue of 14 fishermen stranded aground at St. Kilda in 2008. Sergei Sikorsky, son of company founder Igor Sikorsky, presented the award during a ceremony at Helitech. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). The award went to both the crew, deployed by CHC on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and the MCA base they work from at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
CHC is operating a fleet of Sikorsky Search and Rescue (SAR) S-92® helicopters in the United Kingdom for the MCA. Recently, the fleet exceeded the operational milestone of more than 500 missions. The MCA contract began in 2007.
The Sikorsky Winged S Rescue Award recognizes those who perform rescues while flying a Sikorsky helicopter. Since 1950, the award has been given in honor of the humanitarian efforts of all pilots and crew members who put themselves in harm’s way to save others.
“This rescue award is a small gesture of gratitude and recognition, but it is also symbolic of the vision to which my father dedicated his life’s work,” Sikorsky said. “His vision of the helicopter as a unique and powerful life-saving instrument is a reality today, and the tremendous rescue by CHC and the MCA is a stunning example. On behalf of Sikorsky Aircraft, I salute you and thank you for your exceptional efforts.”
Winged S statues were awarded to Capt. Liz Forsyth, Co-pilot Michael Melaye, Winch Operator Larry Slater, Winchman Phil Warrington, and to the MCA Stornoway Rescue Helicopter Base. Warrington was on hand to accept the awards on behalf of the CHC crew, along with Capt. Alun Tink, the Deputy Chief Pilot for the Stornoway base.
“This is further tremendous recognition of the courage and skills of the crew involved in an extraordinary rescue, and of the wider work undertaken by the base. Indeed it’s acknowledgment of the outstanding rescue work undertaken routinely by SAR crews,” said Ian McLuskie, UK SAR Manager, CHC Search and Rescue.
Last year, during the early months of SAR S-92 helicopter service in the U.K., a crew rescued 14 fishermen from the vessel Spinningdale, which had run aground at St. Kilda. The rescue was conducted amid gusting 70-knot winds as the vessel sat stranded on rocky, cliff-facing terrain. The helicopter crew later was recognized with the Great Scot of the Year Award for its bravery and professionalism, and the winchman Phil Warrington recently received the Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy from His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, for his outstanding bravery on this mission.
The S-92 aircraft is the first helicopter in the world certified to the latest U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European airworthiness safety standards. The S-92 helicopter features a Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS), which allows the aircraft to operate in known icing conditions. RIPS has been certified by both North American and European aviation authorities and is available on S-92 helicopter military variants as well as commercial aircraft. EASA certification was issued in April 2008 for an Initial Approach Fixes (IAFS)-equipped aircraft, which is currently in commercial operation.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.