By MALUM NALU
Nationally-owned aviation company Heli Solutions has created another proud moment in Papua New Guinea aviation history with the arrival of its second Bell 407 helicopter at Jackson International Airport last Friday (March 23).
Heli Solutions, PNG's second 100% nationally-owned company involved in helicopters after Helifix, only last August took delivery of its first Bell 407 helicopter and less than a year later has obtained its second.
There were hugs and congratulations all around as the all-PNG crew of captain James Pima and his maintenance controller, Peter Kenos, touched down just after 6pm at Jackson with the US$2.1 million helicopter.
|The eagle has landed…Captain James Pima steps out from the Bell 407 after a grueling three-day flight from Sydney through very bad weather.-Pictures by MALUM NALU|
Pima left Sydney last Tuesday but was delayed because of very bad weather in Queensland as well as no fuel in Daru last Friday.
The flight took them through Brisbane, Cairns, and various other small towns in Queensland, Daru and Kerema before arriving in Port Moresby.
Pima said the new helicopter was bought from a business tycoon in The Bahamas last December, with the assistance of a loan from First Investment Finance.
|Father and son reunion…James Pima and son Dwayne reunited at Jackson Airport tarmac last Friday.|
“It was then flow to the States, dismantled and put on a ship to Sydney,” Pima said.
“It took seven weeks to get from the States to Sydney.
“In Sydney, it took another three weeks to put together the helicopter, after which we went down and completed all registration formalities with PNG Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) officials, whom we invited down to Sydney.
“It’s now a PNG-owned and registered aircraft
|Proud family members with James Pima (centre) after his safe flight to Port Moresby from Sydney on his new Bell 407 chopper.|
Pima said the helicopter, P2-HSM, would support the first helicopter in providing air services for mining, oil and gas, communications, government and politicians
Former PNG Defence Force pilots Pima and Philip Emeck, both from Mendi in Southern Highlands, are joint owners of Heli Solutions.
Pima and Emeck, after leaving the PNG Defence Force air wing, worked for other aviation companies, including Helifix, before setting up Heli Solutions.
Pima thanked all their family members and friends for their support, and especially their financiers Westpac and First Investment Finance for their faith in helping them to buy the helicopters.
|That's me (right) congratulating James as his proud son Dwayne looks on.|
They anticipate buying more helicopters in the very near future to boost up their fleet, especially with the booming resources sector in PNG.