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2022 Helicopter Manufacturers Product Support Survey

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Turbine: 1 Leonardo, 2 Bell, 3 Sikorsky, 4 Airbus. Piston: 1 Robinson


Leonardo is #1 in aftersale product support for 4 consecutive years. Robinson is #1 in piston for 19 years in a row. Results based on a 16.7% return with 554 line evaluations.

Pro Pilot staff Report
Compiled by Conklin & de Decker

overallTurbine

Leonardo wins 1st spot in the turbine helicopter category for the 4th year in a row in the PP Helicopter Manufacturers Product Support Survey, receiving an overall score of 8.49 – down from 8.64 earned in 2021.

It places 1st in all categories of this survey. Leonardo Product Support Engineering (PSE) team and Customer Support Team and Services provide customers with engineering services and technical support. Its Fleet Operations Centers are available 24/7, ensuring immediate worldwide service.

Bell keeps 2nd place for the 4th consecutive year, with an overall score of 7.91 – down slightly from 7.99 earned last year. Bell ranks 2nd in spares availability, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, and service satisfaction, and is 3rd in company response time and tech reps categories.

Best category score improvement was in cost of parts, with 7.18 this year – up from 7.04 in 2021. Bell’s Customer Service and Product Support Teams are available worldwide and around the clock. They are ready to provide services, from technical information to aircraft maintenance and sales, making sure that operators can reach their goals.

Sikorsky retains 3rd place for the 4th year in succession, earning an overall score of 7.70 this year – down from last year’s 7.87. Sikorsky takes 2nd spot in company response time and tech reps categories, and 3rd in spares availability, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, and service satisfaction.

Its biggest category increase was in tech manuals, with a score of 8.13 this year, compared to 8.00 last year. Its Customer Care Center, based in Trumbull CT, and its team of experts work together 24/7 to solve customers’ needs, providing longer-term availability and reliability improvements. Its Customer Support team includes FSRs, Technical Product Support, and Field Repair teams that are ready to provide product and engineering assistance through its 22 Customer Support Centers around the world.

Airbus rounds out the turbine helicopter category, and has ranked 4th for 4 years in a row, with 7.36 – up from 7.07 in 2021 – the greatest overall score improvement in the survey. Airbus improved all category scores this year.

The biggest growth was in tech reps category, with a score of 8.03 this year, compared to 7.48 last year – an improvement of 0.55. This is the largest category score advancement in the entire survey. Airbus HCare is accessible 24/7 to provide worldwide customer support. Operators can rely on the manufacturer’s support and resources to find tech assistance, expertise, and data, plus continuing airworthiness management services and FlyScan – a proactive and predictive maintenance service that helps with analyzing helicopter health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) data. Aside from this, aircraft companies generally conduct reverse engineering processes to uncover defects in machines and software loopholes.

Piston

Robinson retains its crown in the piston helicopter category. It has been number 1 for 19 years in a row. Overall score is 8.07 this year – down from 8.39 earned in 2021. Best category improvement is in tech reps, with 8.38 in 2022. Robinson’s Technical Support and Customer Support team is ready to assist its operators and solve their issues and inquiries.

Research and development are important factors to Robinson, so it makes constant improvements to offer new technology to its customers. It also manufactures, assembles, inspects, and flight tests all of its helicopters at its Torrance CA factory. Its worldwide network of more than 400 service centers and dealer is well organized to provide service and support for its R22, R44, and R66 helicopters.


LEONARDO

MaurizioLeonardo Helicopters Philadelphia VP Customer Support & Training Maurizio D’Angelo can be reached by phone at 215-268-0513 or on his mobile at 215-602-9044. Send e-mails to maurizio.dangelo@leonardocompany.us.


Leonardo’s customer service and engineer service departments have improved greatly in the past couple of years. They are now proactively reaching out to operators to prevent any problems, and help us keep our helicopters safe and sound. Due to Covid-19, tech reps weren’t able to travel around. However, our tech rep is helping us by means of mobile messaging, and we share lots of pictures and videos. We have an FSR and a tech rep from the engineering department, and both always provide answers or solutions within a couple of hours. Customer service reps are friendly and always reach out to us for news, updates, and solutions regarding parts and logistics, and also manage our aircraft maintenance schedules in advance to prevent time being lost on logistics.

Brad Lee Operator.
Leonardo AW169
Executive Director
Emerald Pacific Airline
Taichung, Taiwan

 

timeOnsite support from Leonardo works very well for us. The company sends its CSM and FSR to us on site, connecting the operator and OEM closely. We greatly appreciate the support received from Lorry Wang and Mr Biato, our regional representatives.

Wang Shengsheng
ATP/Helo. Leonardo AW109E, Airbus AS350 & Bell 407
Captain
Offshore Helicopter General Aviation
Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

 

I‘d like to congratulate Leonardo for maintaining its customer service availability during these difficult times. I’d also like to congratulate the parts sales department, which is always available. My greatest acknowledgement goes out to the technical department, Customer Support Project Mgr Javier Matos, FSR Said Torres, and Tech Reps Roman Carreto and Marcos Espejos. This group of titanic workers is always available 24/7. Their enthusiasm, work ethics, continuous support, and respect facilitate an excellent work environment. I’d like to thank Leonardo for the level of professionalism of its employees.

Ramón Abréu
A&P. Leonardo AW109/119/139
Maintenance Mgr
Auto Europa
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

 

sparesWe’re very pleased with Leonardo. It has improved its product support here in Brazil. I feel the AW169 is now one mature project.

Gilberto Miranda
ATP. Leonardo AW169
Chief Pilot
Boat & Plane Time Sharing do Brasil
São Paulo SP, Brazil

 

Have been operating our Leonardo AW139 out of Trinidad and Tobago for the past 11 years. Service support from the OEM has been excellent. We’ve received phenomenal support from Tech Rep Michael Sheppard, who has always been willing, able, and ready to support our operations throughout the country, regardless of which operator it was.

Treverson Adams
ATP/Helo. Leonardo AW139
Pilot
Bristow Group
Piarco, Trinidad and Tobago

 

Quality products and exceptional customer support are what Leonardo continues to provide. We have recently logged 5000 hrs on 3 helicopters in 18 months with Leonardo’s help!

Michael Richmond
Operator. Leonardo AW139 & Bell 412EP
Technical Director
LifeFlight Australia
Brisbane QLD, Australia

 

In my opinion, Leonardo makes one of the finest helicopters I’ve ever flown. It performs safely and reliably. The OEM’s technical support staff is top-notch!

Bill Faulkner
ATP/Helo. Leonardo AW139 & GV
Helicopter Pilot
Flight Management Corp
Sarasota FL

 

costCustomer Support Mgr Kerry Kinek and Tech Rep Don Brown have always been excellent. They’re always there for us whenever we call. Leonardo is making great strides, and its effort is much appreciated.

Michael Sides
ATP. Leonardo AW139 & G650
Client Aviation Mgr
Solairus Aviation
West Palm Beach FL

 

Reliability of the AW119, coupled with the dedication of Leonardo’s support chain, provides an outstanding readiness rate.

Jude Richard
A&P. Leonardo AW119 Mk II
Dir of Aviation
Kinetica
Patterson LA

 

Splendid is how I define Leonardo. Everything that we need is just a click away.

Reuben Espinosa
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Leonardo AW139
Pilot & Ops Officer
Misibis Aviation & Development
Pasig NCR, Philippines


 

BELL

Bell Executive VP of Innovation & Commercial Business Michael Thacker can be reached at 817-280-2011.

 


Bell Helicopter is gaining popularity in the Philippines due to the superb product support it provides to its operators. I’ve seen 2 operators who migrated to Bell due to the poor support received from their former provider.

Wilfredo Rebibis
ATP. Bell 429, Leonardo AW139 & King Air 300
Flight Ops Officer
Pacific Global One Aviation
Pranaque NCR, Philippines

 

speedI think Bell has always been very responsive and able to get parts very quickly.

Frank Peck
Helo. Bell 206B3/407GX/505
Chief Pilot
Omaha Police Dept
Omaha NE

 

I bought rotor blades from Bell and they were installed by Century Helicopters in Fort Collins CO. Very pleased with the excellent service and price at Century.

John Campbell
ATP. Bell 206
Chief Pilot
True Drilling
Caper WY

 

For years I’ve flown Bell and MD Helicopter products. Both have treated me well and gotten me home at the end of the day. Bell Training Academy in Fort Worth TX has always been the best. Also, big shout out to Century Helicopters. They’re a great service center, second to none!

Walter Putnam
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/CFII. Bell 407
Line Captain
Business Aviators
Casper WY

 

techPleased with Bell aftersale product support. They’ve always been ahead of this pack! Ken Johnson Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 407/205A1 & Airbus AS350 Dir of Ops Guardian Helicopters Fillmore CA Outstanding tech support is what we receive from Bell for our legacy aircraft systems.

Alan Wilcoxson
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell UH-1H/OH-58A
Aviation Unit Commander
New Milford Police Dept
New Milford CT

 

Bell has been excellent with its service time and answering any questions we may have.

Garry Rozier
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 407/206
Helicopter Pilot
Nephron
Prosperity SC


SIKORSKY

Sikorsky Director for Global Commercial & Military Systems Leon Silva manages Sikorsky’s S-92, S-76, and S-70i aftermarket services. Silva and his team are in Trumbull CT. Call him at 203-683- 2156 or e-mail at leon.m.silva@lmco.com. Sikorsky’s support team can be contacted at 1-800-WINGED-S (intl dial +1 203-386-3029) or by e-mail at sikorsky.aog@lmco.com.


Very satisfied with our Sikorsky S-76D’s reliability and our tech reps who help us to accomplish our missions.

Steve Pacifico
A&P. Sikorsky S-76D
Aircraft Maintenance Technician
Weatherstone Air
Teterboro NJ

 

repsMy first working experience in helicopters is with the Sikorsky S-76 series. I must say it’s reliable and the best helicopter in medium class, especially for offshore services.

Ahmad Azhari
A&P. Sikorsky S-76 & Leonardo AW139
Engineer
Premi Air East
Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Sikorsky S-92 is a great multi-mission helicopter. However, parts availability and support need to be improved by this OEM.

Gregory Jones
ATP/Helo. Sikorsky S-92
Instructor Pilot
ISS
Fort Pierce FL

 

We’re trying to obtain parts to continue to operate our Sikorsky S-61.

Robert Eby
ATP/A&P. Sikorsky S-61 & Boeing 747
CEO
Puma Aero Marine
Ormond Beach FL

 

Operating our S-76C+ has been a nice experience. Sikorsky continues to provide great product support.

James Moore
ATP. Sikorsky S-76C+
Former SVP & Dir of Ops
Citi Aviation
Moneta VA


AIRBUS HELICOPTERS

NicoAirbus VP of Support and Services North America region Niko Szodruch is responsible for supporting the company’s 800-plus customers across the region, analyzing and understanding the service needs of current and potential customers, and proposing the right level of solutions. He can be reached at 214-980-6809 or by e-mail at niko.szodruch@airbus.com.


We operate Airbus helicopters on our Part 135 air carrier certification. Product support is important to our VIP operations. Airbus technical support is second to none! We’ve always had excellent service from the factory. Spares availability is good, and response times are great. Therefore, I give Airbus an A.

Randy Sharkey
ATP/Helo/CFII. Airbus H130 & Leonardo AW109S
Dir of Ops
Sweet Helicopters
Syracuse IN

 

serviceVery pleased with the service received from Airbus. Tech rep availability and response have always been excellent.

Dan Dudeck
ATP/Helo/CFI. Airbus EC145
EMS IFR Helicopter Pilot
Sanford Health
Fargo ND

 

Most AOG requests to Airbus are answered immediately. Every once in a while, parts like rotor blades are not available, and this can keep an aircraft on the ground for several days. Other than that, we are pleased with the service we’ve received from Airbus.

Rick Kenin
ATP. Airbus H145
COO
Boston MedFlight
Bedford MA

 

Product support received from Airbus has been satisfactory. However, I gave them a score of 7 in the spares availability and cost of parts categories, because several items we are ordering are either backordered with the vendor, or are not available at all. Also, costs for many of these parts have risen incredibly. The score of 8 I gave for speed in AOG service reflects these same issues. Instead of the usual 24 to 48 hrs, AOG is taking 96 hrs, and sometimes even longer. The tech manuals category received a 9 since the components maintenance manuals are only available for subscription, and a 3-year subscription is costly. Company response time and tech reps deserve a 10. The overall initial response and the tech reps have been exceptional.

Michael Lammlein
A&P. Airbus AS350B2/B3
Dir of Maintenance
NorthStar Helicopters
Juneau AK

 

Currently, I fly an Airbus AS350B2 on an ENG contract. I feel the AStar is an outstanding platform for ENG operations. The ability to have OGE at a scene with several other ENG helicopters allows us to maintain a consistent image to the news agency while ensuring transmission signal integrity. The AStar is an extraordinary aircraft.

Charles Atchison
ATP/Helo. Airbus AS350B2 & Bell 206B
Line Pilot
Angel City Air
Mansfield MA

 

pieAirbus reliability on a lot of components is very good. However, some particular components have a low mean time between unscheduled removal (MTBUR), and availability could be better. I feel there is room for improvement on certain parts reliability, such as Helionix trim actuators. With improved reliability, the unavailability becomes less of a problem. In my opinion, the H135 remains the best choice in its class.

Timon Kruisman
Helo. Airbus H135/H145
Technical Director
NWB Medical Air Assistance
Lelystad, The Netherlands

 

Airbus Helicopters representatives are always a pleasure to work with and are quick to reply with an answer to any questions we may have. There have been some delays on part deliveries as of late. However, I’m sure the pandemic is partly to blame. Overall, we’re very satisfied with the customer service that Airbus provides.

Jason Seal
Helo. Airbus H125
Director & Captain
Mississippi Highway Patrol DPS
Air Operations
Bolton MS


ROBINSON

Robinson Helicopter Technical Support Representative Dan Rugenstein may be contacted by phone at 310-539-0508, ext 425, or by e-mail at ts4@robinsonheli.com.

 


Many thanks to Robinson Helicopter technical support specialists for the good job done maintaining our R44 and R66.

Nikolay Vorozhko
Helo. Robinson R44/R66, Airbus H125/H130, Bell 407 & Leonardo AW109E/S/SP/AW139
Lead Engineer
Citicopter
Moscow, Russia


Helicopter OEMs not scored
Of those manufacturers that were not ranked, MD Helicopters obtained the largest number of line evaluations (19). For this reason, the company’s customer support contact information is provided here.

MD HELICOPTERS

VP of Aftermarket and Customer Support for MDHI Nick Nenadovic is responsible for customer service, spares sales, MRO, field operations, technical publications, and training for MDHI’s global fleet. Nenadovic can be reached via the contact form on the MD Helicopters website.


We operate the MD 902 in an EMS environment, and crews love it. Notar is awesome around ground people and scene landings. It’s a great aircraft to fly and has lots of room for the patient and medical personnel.

Dan Cronican
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/A&P. MD 900/530/500, Airbus EC135 & Bell 206/407
President
Cronican Enterprises
Council Bluffs IA