American Eurocopter announced the delivery of the first Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)-capable EC135 in the United States. The aircraft was delivered to Paradigm Helicopters and will be put into operation in the Houston, Texas area.
“This delivery highlights the dedication of our employees and our company to providing our customers with the most advanced technology to meet their demanding mission requirements,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “We are proud of this achievement and to once again work with an innovative, multi-mission customer like Paradigm Helicopters.”
Paradigm Helicopters was founded in 2006, and it operates out of Ellington Field on the south side of Houston, Texas. The company is a true multi-mission operator and provides a variety of services for the Houston area including charters, tours, external load operations, NVG operations, survey flights and pipeline/powerline patrols. The company has great access to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as many of the surrounding communities, and also flies offshore missions and lightering operations. This EC135 was purchased specifically to support these missions.
“The EC135 offers us the size, twin-engine performance and reliability we need to perform our missions,” explained Todd Degidio, Chief Pilot and Director of Operations for Paradigm Helicopters. “Its advanced technology, WAAS and NVG capabilities, and safety enhancements make it the perfect aircraft for our offshore and nighttime operations.”
With WAAS-capable aircraft, operators have the ability to utilize previously unavailable landing sites during inclement weather on IFR flights. Hospitals, metropolitan heliports, remotely located heliports and offshore oil rigs are now more accessible in IFR conditions. With the addition of vertical coupled guidance information, pilots can execute steep-angle approaches at published runway GPS approaches and point-in-space heliports.
Paradigm’s new EC135 will be unique in the Houston area. In addition to the advanced WAAS and NVG technologies, the aircraft is also single-pilot IFR capable with externally deployable floats and life raft and will have a hoist for specific operations and evacuation procedures.
With this delivery, the company now has three Eurocopter helicopters from American Eurocopter in its fleet including an EC120 and an AS350.