Robinson Helicopters, May 31, 2013 - Torrance, CA - On 31 May 2013, Transport Canada issued its type certificate for the R66. Thirteen U.S. registered R66 helicopters are currently operating in Canada, and Robinson will deliver another thirteen by the end of this year.
Canadian certification reached a standstill until the FAA’s ELOS (Equivalent Level of Safety) finding that effectively removed an exemption in the R66’s original type certificate.
During certification of the R66, the FAA granted Robinson an exemption from a regulation requiring hydraulic control systems be designed with an alternate or redundant system in place in case of failure. The FAA exemption was based on the hydraulic system’s simple designand proven history (the R44’s hydraulic system is the same and has accumulated millions of flight hours without incident). The ELOS was granted in early February 2013, after the FAA (along with representatives from Transport Canada) witnessed tests that clearly demonstrated a pilot could easily maintain control of the aircraft in the event of a hydraulic failure.
Eric Gould of Aerial Recon, Robinson’s longtime dealer in Canada, believes the R66 will give commercial operators a boost to their bottom line. “Having run a commercial company with over sixty aircraft, I believe a more efficient and reliable light turbine helicopter with lower annual operating costs is exactly what the industry needs right now.”
To date, twenty countries have certified the R66 including the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Russia and South Africa. There are close to 400 R66 helicopters operating worldwide.