In a matter of hours, Jamie Renna, Sikorsky’s Chief Engineer for Commercial Programs, has gone from testing components on the S-92® helicopter to being hoisted by one—more than 100 feet over the North Sea.
Roald Kieseth, a captain for CHC Helikopter Service based out of Stavanger, Norway, led the skillful crew behind the mock training mission. Today, the CHC team has invited Jamie to experience what it’s like to be rescued by the very product he helped design.
Roald and his team are no strangers to the helicopter or the mission. Since August 2017, CHC has been flying All Weather Search and Rescue (AWSAR) S-92s and recently added a third to its Norwegian fleet. From saving the lives of two storm-doomed sailors to rescuing more than 450 people from a stranded cruise ship, the CHC crew has shown they have what it takes to succeed under the most trying circumstances.
“It’s really rewarding to be able to help people when they need help,” Roald says. “With this helicopter and this crew and this equipment, we are really able to save lives. It’s the most rewarding thing I can think of.”
In addition to safely flying the helicopter, operating the rescue equipment, navigating unpredictable weather, and caring for their passengers, CHC’s team is expected to move swiftly and efficiently. When an emergency occurs offshore, they have 15 minutes to respond.
“You don’t think that much about it in everyday life because the helicopter’s working. We just start it up, and we go flying,” Roald says.
From the manufacturer’s perspective, that’s music to Jamie’s ears. The S-92 has been designed and built to do just that. “Don’t worry about the helicopter; it’s going to do its job. You focus on what you need to do,” he says.
“Our founder Igor Sikorsky envisioned that we’d be doing this with these machines—saving lives.”
CHC operates one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated network of SAR services. They also fly Sikorsky S-92 and S-76 helicopters to perform offshore oil and gas transportation missions around the globe.