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VIH orders two Eurocopter EC225

Feb. 25, 2010, Houston, Texas - The VIH Aviation Group of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada announced at the Heli Expo this week the purchase of two new Eurocopter EC225 long-range heavy helicopters.


February 25, 2010
By Carey Fredericks


Topics


The new
twin-turbine helicopters will support its expansions plans in the Australian
offshore oil and gas sector and be flown by HNZ Cougar Helicopters Pty. Ltd., a
new joint venture.

"The addition of the new EC225 aircraft to our fleet signifies our
commitment to the rapidly growing offshore oil and gas industry in Australia
and around the world," commented Mr. Ken Norie, President and CEO of VIH
Aviation Group. "VIH is the only Canadian controlled helicopter operator
offering the EC225; we have a long history of being the Canadian launch
customer for Eurocopter's products, and are proud to extend this partnership by
adding the EC225 to our fleet."

The EC225
offers offshore oil and gas industry superior speed, range, payload, optimal
safety and reliability. The helicopter is the latest generation of the Super
Puma/Cougar family, which has flown more than 4 million flight hours.  The
EC225 can accommodate up to 19 passengers for offshore crew change flights.

"We are
extremely proud that VIH Aviation Group continues to place its confidence in
Eurocopter and has chosen the EC225 for oil and gas operations. It marks the
return of Cougar to the Super Puma family on which the company had accumulated such
a recognized expertise in the harsh operational conditions of Newfoundland.  VIH's selection of the EC225 serves as
confirmation that our product evolutions are well received by the operators and
the market", remarked Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of Eurocopter Group.

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The EC225 is
certified to the latest JAR29 standards, the state-of-the-art avionics and
autopilot system minimize the pilot's workload and ensure crews can perform
cost effective missions, with absolute confidence.

The EC225 is
powered by two Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turbine engines with FADEC digital engine
control with dual duplex channels to ensure the highest level of reliability.

More than 85
units of the EC225 family have been delivered to 25 customers in 18 countries,
the majority for transportation use by the offshore oil and gas sector.

"As VIH
Aviation Group continues to expand its global footprint to provide offshore oil
and gas helicopter services, the addition of the EC225 to our fleet is the
right operational decision," said Senior Vice President Offshore Oil and Gas,
Mr. Rick Burt.  "We believe the
EC225 is the aircraft best suited to our mission requirements in Australia and
we look forward to their arrival."

Through its
operating entities – VIH Helicopters Ltd. and Cougar Helicopters Inc. – the VIH
Aviation Group currently flies 72 single and twin-engine helicopters, with over
20 more aircraft on order, from strategically located bases throughout Canada,
Alaska, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, South America and Australia.

The
company's new Eurocopter EC225 helicopters will be flown by HNZ Cougar
Helicopters Pty. Ltd. which is a joint venture launched in October 2009 that
combines the strengths of the Canada's VIH Aviation Group and New Zealand's HNZ
Helicopters to serve the Australian offshore market.

One of North
America's oldest and most experienced helicopter operators, the privately owned
VIH Aviation Group began serving customers along Canada's rugged Pacific coast
in 1955 and subsequently expanded globally.  VIH Aviation Group is globally recognized for its superior
all weather, deep water, offshore capabilities developed in North America
through its operating company Cougar Helicopters which began offshore
operations in 1990 and has almost 20 years experience flying in some of the
most inhospitable offshore operating environments in the world.
 

The
VIH Aviation Group also provides contract offshore search and rescue services,
and serves a broad range of helicopter charter markets including forestry, oil
and gas, air ambulance, mineral exploration, aerial construction and tourism.


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