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PH-NZS Sikorsky S-76B c/n 760325 - CHC Helicopters Netherlands - Den Helder Airport in Holland - 1 March 2010 Den Helder-de Kooy (EHKD)

The Sikorsky S-76 Spirit is a twin-engine medium utility helicopter that can accommodate a basic crew of two and up to 13 passengers. The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter is mainly used for cargo and passenger transport to oil platforms, in V.I.P. version and emergency. In 1975, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation started the development of the Sikorsky S-74 medium lift helicopter for the offshore/ oil support sector. The S-74 was subsequently redesignated the S-76 in honor of the U.S. Bicentennial. Sikorsky's design work on the military S-70 helicopter (selected for use by the United States Army as the UH-60 Black Hawk) was utilized in the development of the S-76, incorporating S-70 design technology in its rotor blades and rotor heads. The first prototype S-76A, powered by two Allison 250C30S turbo shafts, flew on 13 March 1977. The FAA certification (TCDS H1NE) was achieved on 21 November 1979 and deliveries started the same year. 284 Sikorsky S-76A helicopters were manufactured, a large number were modified to S-76A+. The Sikorsky S-76B with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B engines was flown first on 22 June 1984. Deliveries started in 1987 and the final S-76B was delivered in December 1997, with 101 S-76Bs built. In June 1989, the Model S-76C, fitted with Turboméca Arriel 1S1 engines, was announced. The Sikorsky S-76C flew first on 18 May 1990 and FAA certification was achieved on 15 March 1991. The Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopter was the version in production until 2011. Its main feature is the Arriel engine, which gives excellent single-engine performance as well as good range. In 2011, with aircraft number 882, the last S-76C++ closed out that production progam. The last development of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter was the S-76D. The S-76D helicopter featured all-composite main rotor blades, Pratt & Whitney PW210S engines and Thales TopDeck avionics. FAA approved Type Certification for the S-76D helicopter on 12 October 2012. Sikorsky delivered the first S-76D aircraft to Bristow Group, Inc. for offshore oil worker transport in December 2013. Until 2020, Keystone / Sikorsky built over 1000 S-76 helicopters in various models. The Sikorsky S-76D helicopter was the last version built. Sikorsky took the decision to end domestic production of the S-76 following an FAA mandate that all new-production helicopters be equipped with crash-resistant fuel systems.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the S-76B helicopter is S76.
On 6 November 2015, Lockheed Martin completed for $9 billion the acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft, replacing United Technologies as Sikorsky Aircraft’s parent company.

The 1986-built Sikorsky S-76B Eagle c/n 760325 was registered PH-NZS in the Netherlands by KLM Helikopters BV on 18 December 1986. The aircraft was mainly operated on offshore flights, first out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, later out of Den Helder-de Kooy. On 12 October 1993, name and ownership changed into KLM ERA Helicopters BV. S-76B PH-NZS was operated from 26 January 1996 till 24 February 1998 as G-UKLS by KLM ERA Helicopters (UK) Ltd. In 1998, KLM ERA Helicopters was integrated into Schreiner Northsea Helicopters BV and S-76B PH-NZS was registered with this new owner on 3 July 1998. In 2005, Schreiner Northsea Helicopters was integrated into CHC Helicopters and the PH-NZS is operated by CHC Netherlands since. Sikorsky PH-NZS was registered to CHC Helicopters Netherlands BV, Den Helder, on 24 April 2006. The helicopter was stationed at Den Helder-De Kooy until 25 October 2012. That day, Sikorsky S-76B PH-NZS; PH-NZW and PH-NZZ left Den Helder by road to Zeebrugge in Belgium. From Zeebrugge harbour, the helicopters were shipped to Boundary Bay, Canada. On 12 May 2014, registration PH-NZS was cancelled as the CofA was over a year expired.

page last updated: 26-11-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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