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2021 Helicopter Mfrs 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 3 consecutive years. Robinson continues to be 1st in piston for 18 years in a row. Survey results based on 549 line evaluations – a 13.2% return.


Pro Pilot staff Report
Compiled by Conklin & de Decker

Turbine

Leonardo clinches the #1 spot in the turbine category for the 3rd consecutive year in our PP Helicopter Manufacturers Product Support Survey, with an overall score of 8.64 – a 0.36 increase compared to 8.28 in 2020. This is the biggest overall score increase in the survey.

Leonardo takes 1st place in all categories, and earns its biggest improvement in cost of parts with a score of 7.69 in 2021 – up 0.52 from 7.17 last year. Leonardo’s Fleet Operations Centres provide assistance 24/7 worldwide. Its team of experienced logistic and technical personnel provides operators with AOG support solutions, spare parts, and technical and maintenance requirements.

Bell retains 2nd place for the third year in a row with an overall score of 7.99 this year – up 0.13 from 7.86 in 2020. Bell was 1st for 24 consecutive years up to 2018. This OEM places 2nd in spares availability, cost of parts, speed in AOG service, tech manuals, and service satisfaction.

Its best category score increase is in cost of parts, with 7.04 this year – up from 6.60 in 2020. Bell’s Customer Service and Product Support Teams work 24/7 around the world to provide technical information and aircraft maintenance, ensuring solutions to helicopter operators.

Sikorsky remains 3rd for the third consecutive year, with an overall score of 7.87 in 2021 – an improvement of 0.34 from 2020. Sikorsky ranks 2nd in company response time and tech reps. This OEM improved the most in cost of parts, with a score of 6.79 this year – an improvement of 0.59 from last year’s 6.20.

It also had a considerable improvement in spares availability, with 7.61 in 2021 – a 0.54 increase from 7.07 last year. Sikorsky’s Customer Care Center, based in Trumbull CT, is available 24/7 with a team of experts working to improve aircraft availability and customer satisfaction.

Sikorsky has 22 Customer Support Centers worldwide that give operators access to Sikorsky’s logistics and spare parts inventory, and provide advanced service capabilities.

Airbus rounds out the turbine helicopter category by placing 4th for the third year in a row. Overall score obtained this year is 7.07. Airbus HCare is available 24/7 worldwide and makes sure to provide operators with the customer support needed, from dispatching representatives to customer locations for technical assistance, to having technical experts available constantly through its 3 worldwide tech support hubs specialized in all Airbus Helicopter products.

This OEM provides customers with complete and accurate technical data such as flight manuals, airworthiness manuals, maintenance manuals, and procurement and identification manuals for parts and tools catalogues.


Piston

Robinson continues to lead the industry in the piston helicopter category. It’s been #1 for 18 consecutive years. Overall score is 8.39 this year – down slightly from the 8.48 score earned in 2020. Best category increase this year is in company response time, with a score of 8.70 – up from 8.52 last year.

Robinson manufactures, assembles, inspects, and flight tests all its helicopters at its Torrance CA factory. This OEM ensures that operators have access to its Technical Support & Customer Support program to solve any inquiries or provide solutions.

A worldwide network of more than 400 service centers and dealers offers support for the company’s popular R22, R44, and R66 helicopters.


Leonardo

Leonardo Helicopters Philadelphia VP of Customer Support and Training Michael Hotze can be reached by phone at 215-281-1490 or on his mobile at 215-300-7015. Send e-mails to michael.hotze@leonardocompany.us.

 


We’re very pleased with Leonardo’s service. Customer Support Mgr Vanessa Erthal provides us with nice feedback and exceptional support.

Cassio Rothschild de Souza
Helo. Leonardo AW109C
CEO
CRS Business Corp
Miami FL

 

In my opinion, Leonardo has been providing better product support. They’ve improved in response time and AOG service.

Michael O’Brien
ATP. Leonardo AW139
AW139 Captain
PHI
Cantonment FL

 

Leonardo’s AOG response is currently second to none in the helicopter industry!

Dylan Thomas
ATP/Helo. Leonardo AW139
President & COO
London Air Services
Richmond BC, Canada

 

Very pleased with the excellent support received from Customer Support Project Mgr Javier Matos. He’s always making sure that our flight operations are successful. Thanks, Javier!

Edras Barrera
ATP. Leonardo AW109C
PIC
La Paneria
Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Operating a Leonardo AW139 in Japan, and I think the manufacturer did a great job during 2020, considering the difficult situation caused by Covid-19.

Kana Matsumoto
Operator. Leonardo AW139
Asst Gen Mgr
Mitsui Bussan Aerospace
Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

 

Product support from Leonardo has improved over the years. And we at Caverton Helicopters are happy with the level of service delivered to us. The Leonardo team is excellent and available 24/7. We’re also very pleased with the tech reps here in Africa. They have provided professional support for us all the time.

Ibrahim Bello
ATP. Leonardo AW139
Dir of Ops
Caverton Helicopters
Lagos, Nigeria

 

Michael Sheppard, our Leonardo tech rep, is one of the most reliable workers with whom I’ve been in contact in my 30 yrs in the business. He’s extremely approachable and knowledgeable. He’s a good man to have on your team.

Indarjit Singh
ATP. Leonardo AW139 & Sikorsky S-92
Check Airman
Bristow Caribbean
Lange Park, Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago

 

Based on my experience operating an AW169, I must say that Leonardo has improved its aftersale product support here in Brazil during the past 2 years.

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

 

At the Maryland State Police Aviation Command we’re very happy with the service received from Leonardo. Its tech reps are very responsive and spare parts are received quickly. In my opinion, Leonardo’s overall company response is rated as a 10!

Lance Wood
ATP/Helo/CFII. Leonardo AW139
Deputy, Dir of Aviation
Maryland State Police
Baltimore MD

 

Leonardo has been consistent at providing great customer support, especially during the incredibly challenging year 2020. They produce exceptional helicopters and have extraordinary people backing them up. Our local Technical & FSR Mitch Stewart’s support is absolutely world class. 

Fraser Burt
A&P. Leonardo AW169
Mx Controller & Engineer
Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust
Ardmore, Auckland, New Zealand

 

Although we haven’t had tech rep visits in almost a year due to Covid-19, we’ve been able to use messaging as a way to show pictures and videos to tech reps to solve most of our issues. Leonardo’s AOG response should be done in a faster manner, and decision-making should be direct when there are minor issues with the aircraft. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for engineers to follow the directions provided by Leonardo, with the result that we can solve the issue easily by replacing the components. I’d suggest Leonardo place more experienced line maintenance personnel in its tech departments for faster response, especially if they’ve had experience in specific types of helos.

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

 

If Philadelphia doesn’t have a part in stock and you are AOG, it’ll take 3 days to get the part from Italy. But Philadelphia has most of the parts in stock now. After maintaining a Leonardo product for 5 years, the company’s service seems to be consistent.

Ashleigh Babiarz
A&P. Leonardo AW139
Aviation Maintenance Tech
MassMutual Flight Dept
Windsor Locks CT

 

Mgr Customer Orders Frank Ralph and Customer Support Mgr Mehran Jafari from Leonardo are outstanding. They’re always a pleasure to work with. They’re available all the time for a call or to handle any issues that may arise.

George Grimm
A&P. Leonardo AW109E & Airbus AS365 N1/N2
Dir of Maintenance
St Vincent Mercy Medical Center
Toledo OH

 

Despite the travel restrictions due to Covid-19, Leonardo Tech Rep Terry Ward has been able to stay in contact with us.

Rene Navarre
A&P. Leonardo AW139, Bell 407 & Sikorsky S-92A
Inspector Supervisor
Chevron USA
Picayune MS

 


Bell

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

 


Bell has great support for both technical and replacement parts, considering we are far from CONUS. We operate a Bell 429 and are very pleased with the service received from the manufacturer.

Wilfredo Rebibis
ATP. Bell 429 & King Air 350
Flight Ops Officer
Pacific Global One Aviation Co
Pasay NCR, Philippines

 

Aftersale product support provided by Bell is excellent. In my opinion, Bell is solid in all respects. 

Billy Harwell
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 206/206L
COO
Clinical Aviation
Erie CO

 

We operate various Bell helicopters. We’ve noticed that spares availability has slipped, and that policies change continually.

Ray Newcomb
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 429/407/206
CEO
JBI Helicopter Services
Pembroke NH

 

Bell is the best! Product support we receive from the company is outstanding.

Jason Tarbox
A&P. Bell 407/206L4
Mechanic
Tampa Police Dept Aviation Unit
Tampa FL

 

Just once had a customer service representative come to our department after we received an almost new Bell 505.

Donald McLean
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 505/206
Deputy Sheriff
Butte Co
Oroville CA

 

In my opinion, Bell is a great company and it supports our Bell 206 and 407 nicely. However, Bell is not supporting its previous flagship, the Bell 430, the way it used to. We hope they improve spares availability for this helicopter.

William Stricker
ATP/Helo. Bell 430
CEO
Ozark Management
Columbia MO

 

Bell helicopters continue to be superior products. We’re also pleased with the product support received for our fleet. 

Ken Johnson
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo. Bell 407/206/205
Dir of Ops
Guardian Helicopters
Fillmore CA

 

Our Bell Customer Service Engineer Karel Vostal is available 24/7 to answer any queries that arise concerning our massive Bell 505 operations. He’s awesome! Bell’s logistic centre in Amsterdam provides great service too. We appreciate Bell striving to improve even further its well-known top-quality service.

Cristian Forghieri
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/CFII. Bell 505/430/427/407/206
Flight Ops Mgr
Elicompany
Carpi, Modena, Italy


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. Website: https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/commercial-aircraft.html


This past 2020 has been a challenging year, especially in the logistics area. Nevertheless, Sikorsky has been providing continuous support during AOG situations and have been making sure parts are delivered in a timely manner.

Mohammad Zainie
Operator. Sikorsky S-92A & Leonardo AW139
Head of CAMO
Brunei Shell Petroleum
Seria, Belait, Brunei

 

We operate a Schweizer 269D in our flight department. Product support delivered by Sikorsky has been good. However, I wish small operators would be remembered more often by manufacturers.

Eugenius Piechoczek
ATP/Helo. Sikorsky 269D & Airbus AS355
Gen Mgr
Aircom
Warsaw, Mazovia, Poland


Airbus Helicopters

Anthony Baker is VP of customer support for Airbus Helicopters North America based in Grand Prairie TX. Baker oversees all customer support efforts for Airbus Helicopters in North America, including civil/commercial aircraft spares support, logistics, customer training, and technical services. Baker can be reached at 972-641-3624 or by e-mail at anthony.baker@airbus.com.


Airbus Regional Technical Representative John Hubbell is amazing. Sweet Helicopters owns and flies 4 Airbus helicopters because of Jon. We consider him part of our team!

Chuck Surack
Helo. Airbus H130 & Leonardo AW109
President & CEO
Sweet Helicopters
Fort Wayne IN

 

I fly the Airbus AS350 B2/SD2 for an ENG operator. It’s an excellent platform for ENG missions. This aircraft has exceptional OGE capability, which allows the camera operator to capture great images, while also reducing their workload. It’s a great stable platform!

Charles Atchinson
ATP/Helo/CFII. Airbus AS350 B2/SD2
Line Pilot
Angel City Air
Mansfield MA

 

Our company operates a BK117C2 and a BK117C1. However, Airbus does not support parts as fully for the C1 model. We experience long out-of-service times while waiting for parts to be shipped from overseas.

Terry Hawes
ATP/CFI. Airbus BK117C1/C2
Pilot
Metro Aviation
Merchantville NJ

 

Great customer service is what Airbus continues to deliver for us. We receive it from sales representatives, training, and every service Airbus delivers. Their helicopters are state of the art, and always advancing in technology and improving in every aspect. Airbus is clearly a step above all the rest!

Joe Drummelsmith
ATP/Helo/CFI. Airbus AS365 N3
Chief Helicopter Pilot
Drummelsmith Aquistions
Maineville OH

 

I believe that the Airbus AS350 B3 AStar is about the best single-engine turbine helicopter available. And it’s backed up with good product support.

Wayne Kaler
Comm-Multi-Inst/A&P. Airbus AS350 B3
Dir of Maintenance
Eastway Aviation
Sayville NY


Robinson

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

 


Robinson has been great to deal with over 30 years.

Richard Clemence
Pvt-Inst/Helo. Robinson R44 Raven II
Chairman
The Hyde Group
Southbridge MA

 

To be fair, spares from all helicopter companies are expensive, except from Robinson Helicopter. In my opinion, their spares costs are in line with the pricing of their helicopters.

James Lee
ATP/A&P. Robinson R66/R44/R22 & Bell 429/407GX/206L4/505
Owner
Rocky Mountain Rotors
Belgrade MT

 

Robinson Technical Support Supervisor Pat Cox is the best! We’re very pleased with all aspects of product support received for our R44. 

Philip Greenspun
ATP/CFII. Robinson R44
Chief Pilot
Fair Weather Flying
Lincoln MA

 

In my opinion, RHC has a good technical support team. Spare parts are always available, and the company strives to reduce AOG times. Finally, these helicopters have low operational cost, following Robinson factoring standards.

Antonio Costa
Comm-Multi-Inst/Helo/A&P. Robinson R44 & Airbus AS355
Helicopter Pilot & Engineer
Sunflower Aviation
Nadi, Fiji 


Helicopter OEMs not scored

Of those manufacturers that were not ranked, MD Helicopters obtained the largest number of line evaluations (12). For this reason, the company’s customer support contact information is provided here.


MD Helicopters

Nick Nenadovic is the vp of aftermarket and customer support for MDHI. He is responsible for customer service, spares sales, MRO, field operations, technical publication, and training for MDHI’s global fleet. Nenadovic can be reached via the contact form on the MD Helicopters website.

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