in General Aviation / Features

African ‘first’ as Caverton operates the Helibus

Posted 9 September 2021 · Add Comment

The first Sikorsky S-92 Helibus to be operated by a wholly locally owned African company is now working in Nigeria, writes Jon Lake.

A new home: 5N-LEE at the Caverton maintenance facility in Lagos. Picture: Caverton Helicopters.

Although Bristow Helicopters has operated S-92s in the west African country for some years, Caverton Helicopters is the first African operator to fly the Sikorsky S-92 Helibus.

The aircraft has been leased to Lagos-based Caverton by the Milestone Aviation Group, part of the GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) portfolio. Milestone already leases three AW139s and two S-76C++ helicopters to Caverton.

Michael York, Milestone’s head of emerging markets, said: “The S-92 continues to be the workhorse of the offshore sector and, through this transaction, we are not only cultivating a new operator for this aircraft type but expanding its footprint, which is critical for the industry.”

Previously N299VT on the US civil register, the helicopter was parked up and waiting for a suitable lessor, having been successively owned by the Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA, and then by the Bank of Utah.

Unusually, the helicopter was shipped into the Nigerian Port Authority’s Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) in Lagos on board the Grimaldi Group ship, Grande Marocco, with other components arriving separately. The aircraft had the local registration 5N-LEE applied after arriving in Nigeria.

Instead of being transported out by road for a first in-country flight from an airport, 5N-LEE was assembled and flown from inside the Port and Terminal Multi-Services Limited (PTML) terminal, after obtaining the necessary approvals from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority.

The airframe and all the imported components were brought together and assembled within the terminal by a team from Caverton, led by chief engineer Sani Amodu.

Caverton will use the helicopter to support an offshore crew change contract.

However, MD, Rotimi Makanjuola, said that the S-92 would also “enable the company to expand into service provision for clients that require additional payload and extended range for their missions, which the S-92 efficiently and safely provides”.


Other Stories
Latest News

Niger drones aims high

Lifetime aerospace enthusiast, Abdoulaziz Kountché, runs Drone Africa Service, providing vital missions for NGOs and also for Niger’s companies and authorities, writes Vincent Chappard.

Kenya Airways enters partnership with

Kenya Airways has entered a unilateral intermodal interline agreement with one of the fastest growing multimodal mobility platforms in Europe

Rolls-Royce’s all electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ takes to the skies

Rolls-Royce has completed the first flight of its all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft.

ACIA Aero Leasing acquires its first Embraer E190

ACIA Aero Leasing (ACIA), a provider of regional aircraft leasing and lease management services which has multiple customers in the Middle East and Africa, announced today the acquisition of its first Embraer E190.

Bombardier introduces new Challenger 3500 aircraft

Bombardier has introduced its latest mid-size business jet, the new sustainably designed Challenger 3500 aircraft.

Seychelles borders open up to South Africa

Air Seychelles has confirmed that the national flag carrier will reinstate commercial passenger services between Johannesburg and the Seychelles effective 26 September, 2021.

WDS SK2601090322
See us at
DIACC BT0809131121WDS BT1202090322DAS21_BTAviation MENA 2022