Columbia Helicopters Sells 107-II VERTOL to Heliswiss International AG for Fire and Disaster Response

Aurora, Oregon: JANUARY 30, 2023 – Columbia Helicopters, the world’s leading heavy-lift helicopter OEM, MRO, and operator, announced today it sold and has delivered a Columbia Model 107-II Vertol to Heliswiss International AG (HSI). The sale makes HSI the official launch customer for the aircraft in Europe.

Due to the uncertain future of the Ka32 and the imposed sanctions by European countries and Canada, HSI sought a long-term comparable and trusted workhorse for medium external load operations. With full OEM support, the standard category Columbia Model 107-II Vertol features a 22,000-lb (9,979-kg) lifting capability, internal and external cargo lift options, and 17-seat passenger capacity.

“The addition of the Columbia Model 107-II Vertol expands our fleet of heavy-lift helicopters, allowing us to better serve our existing clients and open new market segments in alignment with our business strategy,” says Ralf Walser, CEO of the Swiss Helicopter Group, parent company of HSI. “Working directly with Columbia, the aircraft’s manufacturer, provides us with the remarkable advantage of unique availability with extremely short downtimes.”

HSI will use the aircraft in its partnerships with governmental and private institutions for forest fire fighting, external load lifts, and rapid disaster response. The company plans to send the aircraft to Chile to fight fires and perform external load operations during the European winter season.

Picture: Columbia Model 107-II Vertol arrived in Switzerland by Eugen Amrhein

“We are pleased to support Heliswiss and the Swiss Helicopter Group as the European launch customer of our Columbia Model 107-II Vertol,” says Michael Tremlett, President of Columbia Helicopters Inc. “This partnership truly demonstrates Columbia’s dedication as an OEM to support international partners seeking highly capable heavy-lift solutions that can operate year-round.

Columbia Helicopters is the global leader in heavy-lift helicopter operations and a trusted expert in maintenance, repair, and overhaul services. Backed by over 60 years of experience, Columbia operates internationally, often conducting operations in remote, austere conditions, providing safe and reliable aircraft and qualified personnel that meet demanding global transport requirements. Columbia leverages its position as the OEM for the Model 234 Chinook and 107-II Vertol, and the FAA Type Certificate holder of the CH-47D Chinook, to provide responsive modifications, lifecycle support, and MRO services trusted worldwide by a diverse customer base.

The name Heliswiss is in aviation since nearly seventy years. It was established as Schweizerische Helikopter AG in 1953 and since 1955 it carries the name Heliswiss. The first helicopter type with a lifting capacity above 3 tons was the Bell 214B Big lifter operated in Heliswiss from 1975 until 2002. In 1990, a Ka32 was added to the fleet to push the external cargo lifting capacity to 5 tons. In the restructuration process of the Swiss Helicopter Group in 2008, Heliswiss International AG was incorporated as the heavy lifting operation company of the group. Since its early beginnings, Heliswiss has put great emphasis on innovation, safety and sustainable operation procedures in all their activities. Disaster relief operations in Asia and Africa were conducted as well as complex construction projects in Asia and South America. Today, Heliswiss International AG operates Ka32 and AS332C1 Super Puma in construction projects and natural disaster relief mainly in Europe and in South America.

Ryan Mason
Ryan Mason
Ryan is an accomplished writer and aerial photographer that has worked in the aviation industry for over a decade before co-founding AerialFire Magazine. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ryan is a former police officer that focuses his writing and photography efforts on para-public operations and agricultural aviation.

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