Bhutan’s second chopper to arrive in June

Aviation: Bhutan’s second helicopter has arrived in Singapore where it will be assembled, fitted, painted and tested.

The helicopter will be ferried to Bhutan in June.

The second helicopter will be used for the same kinds of missions the first chopper has been engaged in like medical evacuations, fighting forest fires, and charter flights.

However, having a second helicopter means that a back-up will be available at all times, Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services (RBHS) CEO, Chhewang Gyeltshen said.

“This risk factor of dispatch reliability is very low,” he said.

The CEO also pointed out that so far, the RBHS has achieved a 100 percent dispatch rate for emergencies.

RBHS is currently staffed with three pilots and two engineers. The company has also sent two engineers for training and identified three Bhutanese for pilot training.

Between November 1, 2015 – March 29, 2016 the helicopter has flown a total of 174.4 hours, which includes training hours for the crew. It has conducted 28 medical evacuations, and six fire fighting missions. The helicopter has been chartered 58 times, which includes both by the government and private sector.

The Lunaps have chartered the helicopter six times to travel between Lunana and Punakha.

Gyalsten K Dorji

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