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FLEET PERFORMANCE


Flying a helicopter high in the Rockies is no easy task for man or machine. Everything about the flying environment is unforgiving and the margins of error are slim compared to flatland, sea-level flying. The altitude itself not only requires more power, but a pilot’s control, touch, and technique—or lack thereof—has sent many a pilot to their doom, or at least dented helicopters and egos. Taylor said, “The weather patterns in the mountains can be very unpredictable and change in a heartbeat, and the winds on the mountain tops can catch pilots off- guard if they do not remain situationally aware. With such a deep bench of helicopters, each with its own capabilities, every one of our helicopters has its place in the operation.”


Taylor went on to indicate that the Robinsons are perfect for flight training and some charters. “They are super reliable aircraft and all you basically have to do is put in gas and oil, perform 100-hour inspections, and fly,” he says. However, when more passengers need to be transported, or more horsepower is required for high-altitude work or increased payload power is needed at the end of a longline, then RMR’s fleet of Bell helicopters fly into action.


Taylor is impressed with the high-altitude performance of the new 505 JetRanger X. “Just last week, I was slinging 800-pound bales of hay between 8,000 and 10,000 feet with the 505 and it was a beast,” he said. From the light, single-turbine-engine Bell 505 to its twin-engine, IFR-capable Bell 429, and the 407GX in between, there’s very little the company cannot do.


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