Bristow Introduces Safety Developments on Mi-8 Helicopters

Bristow is again at the forefront in helicopter safety through the continued development of Integrated Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (IHUMS) this time in the Russian Far East on Sakhalin Island where Bristow has a Russian joint venture company called Aviashelf.

Three more MI 8-MTV aircraft operated by Aviashelf on contract to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) have recently had IHUMS systems installed at their base in Nogliki. This follows the first ever introduction of HUMS on the Mi-8 by Aviashelf in 2005, making a total of four helicopters equipped operating with HUMS.

IHUMS was first developed as a critical safety feature by Bristow in the late 1980's and is now an accepted feature of safe helicopter provision.

As part of a SEIC funded project the systems were designed and installed by MIL and CIAM and have a total of eighteen sensors monitoring all of the power train systems for incipient failure or degradation, as well as a ""Rotabs"" system for in flight monitoring of track and balance for both main and tail rotors.. The data collected in flight is downloaded via a memory stick to a laptop through an RS232 connection or with a handheld device through infrared. This data is then sent 7,500 kms west to the Moscow offices of CIAM for diagnosis and to build the MIL- 8 data base.

Jim Barnet, the General Manager of Sakhalin Bristow Air Services, Aviashelf's partner company in Russia stated:

"The Russian Aviashelf maintenance teams have already achieved some positive results to the reduction in main rotor vibration levels by the use of data from this advanced technology. In addition there has now been one timely diagnosis of a potential premature failure for a tail rotor drive shaft hanger bearing. The system will greatly enhance and prevent premature component wear/failure, aircrew fatigue and passenger discomfort."