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Sikorsky S-61N

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EC-FZJ Sikorsky S-61N Mk.II c/n 61758 - Helicsa Helicópteros / SASEMAR - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 27 June 2009 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The Sikorsky S-61N is a twin-engine medium utility helicopter with a sealed hull for amphibious operations that can accommodate a basic crew of two and up to 26 passengers. The Sikorsky S-61N is built by the American manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and based on the military Sikorsky SH-3A/S61B Sea King series originally developed in the late 1950s for all-weather operations. The Sikorsky S-61B prototype flew on 11 March 1959 and the type entered service with the U.S. Navy as the SH-3A Sea King in 1962. The Sikorsky S-61N and its non-amphibious configurated variant Sikorsky S-61L are based on and essentially a commercial equivalent of the military S-61B incorporating a number of changes, including a longer fuselage. The Sikorsky S-61L was flown for the first time on 6 December 1960 and received its FAA Type Approval on 2 November 1961. The S-61L entered production the same year. The Sikorsky S-61N with sealed hull and stabilising SH-3's floats flew first on 7 August 1962. The S-61N version is optimized for overwater operations, particularly oil rig support. The initial production S-61s were fitted with two 1250shp General Electric CT58-110-1 turboshafts. Both the S-61L and S-61N were subsequently updated to Mk II standard with more powerful CT58-140 engines giving better hot and high performance and other improvements and detail refinements. Production of the commercial Sikorsky S-61s ended in 1979 with over 1300 built. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the S-61N helicopters is S61.

Helicsa Helicópteros SA registered the 1976-built Sikorsky S-61N s/n 61758 as EC-FZJ in Spain on 10 January 1995. The helicopter was registered before as LN-OQE and EC-717. Helisca operates the EC-FZJ on behalf of the Sociedad Estadal de Salvamento y Seguridad Marítima as a SAR-helicopter along the Spanish Mediterranean Sea. Maintenance of the Helicsa SASEMAR (Salvamento Maritimo) Sikorsky S-61N's is done by Heli-One, Stavanger. On 27 June 2009, Sikorsky S-61N Mk.II EC-FZJ made a fuelstop at Gronigen Airport Eelde on its way from Stavanger in Norway to Lille in France with Spain as final destination.

page last updated: 28-06-2009
Photo Copyright © Jack Poelstra, the Netherlands

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