EASA certification been granted to Airbus Helicopters for its avionics enhancement called Rig’N Fly (Rig Integrated GPS approaches with eNhanced Fly-ability and safetY), which allows automatic rig approaches for offshore operations. The new enhancement has been certified on the H225 and will also be available on the A175 by the end of this year and also the H160 in the future.
The new system allows the pilots to focus on monitoring flight parameters and the outside environment, reducing their workload. It also allows for offset approaches, tailored as per weather conditions and the oil rig environment for the safest, standardized approach, where it places the helideck in the most easily visible position for the crew.
“Rig’N Fly procedures are of the utmost importance to ensure reliable operations and the safest flight conditions possible, and this is an area where Airbus Helicopters continues to focus its developments,” said Marie-Agnes Veve, head of the Super Puma and H225 programme. “With the Rig’N Fly, almost the entire approach procedure is automated, a key element in ensuring that our customers have the right technologies for safe, smooth and efficient flights.”
The enhanced flight precision and situational awareness for automatic VMC and IMC rig approaches, afforded by the Rig’N Fly avionics enhancement is delivered by the use of a combination of sensors (GPS, barometric altimeter, radar altimeter, weather radar, etc.). Pilots can also easily modify their approach using the Digital MAP (DMAP) and the Enhanced Cursor Control Device (ECCD). The ECCD will also be available on the H175 and the H160.
According to Airbus Helicopters, 20 H225s were delivered in 2015 and 181 H225s are currently in operational service with 32 customers in 22 countries.