Garden City Helicopters

Garden City Helicopters in Christchurch approached SafeSmart Access with a problem. They needed a way to access the rotor heads on their R-44 helicopters during maintenance. The R-44 helicopters are the quieter helicopter amongst the GCH Aviation range with noise attenuating blade tip caps that decrease flyover noise. With a focus on their popular helicopter line, it was up to SafeSmart Access to come up with a height solution that would work best with the aircraft as well as the safety for the workers doing the maintenance.

Two Birds, One Scaffold

After a site visit and discussion with John Kappelle, Parts & Procurement Manager, SafeSmart Access recommended using the aluminium mini mobile scaffolding along with additional platforms as an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution, to work with the contour of the helicopter and to fit around the apparatus on the aircraft, giving the engineers access to their work. This solution was without complications or the need for investment in bespoke equipment. With safety in mind, the engineers could then be able to work around the skids of the aircraft while getting close enough to the rotor head.

rescue helicopter being worked on with scaffolding

Using SafeSmart Access corner ledgers, 3mL variations, 45-degree stair access and handrail posts, the GCH Aviation engineers were able to quickly assemble and position the versatile aluminium scaffold around the R-44 and work on maintenance as soon as it landed. All tower scaffold systems from SafeSmart Access are manufactured with the highest-grade aluminium for strength, durability and ease of use.

So versatile in fact, that when a BK-117 was brought into the hangar for maintenance they used the same set up on the larger machine with equally effective results. Keep in mind, the BK-117 aircraft is used as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter and has a twin-engine with a max speed of 280km per hour, capable of rescuing casualties from the toughest situation to the harshness of ocean waves.

Safety & Economy in Mind

GCH Aviation engineers are now able to access both models of the helicopter using the same equipment, providing a cost-effective and safe full-surround working platform for maintenance duties. SafeSmart Access is the premiere height solution provider. Whether the solution to your needs comes from our standard product range, or it is something we can work with you to design and develop, we are ready to help. Contact us today.


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