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Erickson team, the blades are efficiently removed and stored on a cart. Upon completion of blade removal, the team prepares to roll the Aircrane into the convention hall. Even though I am sure they have measured

the aircraft height, I silently doubt the helicopter will fit through the door. To me, it still looks as if the tail rotor is much too high to make it under the door header. As it turns out, the tail rotor blades (in any position) were higher than the door header and would not fit without some maneuvering. The crew had to slowly rotate the tail rotor as the helicopter moved through the opening, putting the door header in between the blades. It was a tedious process with less than a couple inches to spare! Once into the hall, it was smooth sailing

back to the Erickson Aircrane display area where the team would reinstall the main rotor blades and some other ancillary equipment. Naturally, by the end of the show all operators who had undergone such monumental efforts to get into the hall would have to reverse the entire process and do it all again just to get back out.


For several reasons, there are many aircraft

(16 to be exact) that are actually not flown in, but driven in by tractor-trailer. Some aircraft are mockups and are not flyable. Others are experi- mental, while some are trucked in simply because it is more cost effective than flying. HW Farren is one of those companies who specialize in hauling helicopters all over North America and abroad. At this show, they were responsible for

safely delivering the high profile Sikorsky X2 and S76D.

THE TAKE-AWAY Generally speaking, I think that to a certain

degree, most HELI-EXPO attendees (myself included) do not have a true appreciation for the efforts and costs of getting all of those helicop- ters into the show hall for attendees to touch and feel.

From the helicopter operator’s perspective,

when you consider the distances that many trav- el and the number of days a helicopter may be out of the revenue stream, the costs to the oper- ator and/or OEM can rapidly add up. With

VIDEO – Visit and

watch the “HELI-EXPO 2011 Fly-in” feature to see footage from the pilot brief to the hall floor and from the cockpit to the ground! ◆

respect to the show itself, HAI does an out- standing job of organizing the Fly In. Creating a legal and safe infrastructure for the operators and pilots to work within is a huge task and its suc- cess every year is a testament to the dedication of Mr. Summers and the entire HAI Team!


Eurocopter, Erickson Aircrane, and the Air Methods Corporation for their assistance and cooperation.

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