Helijet S-76s

Despite its age, the Sikorsky S-76 is still a sleek and modern looking helicopter. It has undergone progressive updates throughout its life (the most recent of which took an inordinately long time to achieve certification) but the basic shape is pretty much unchanged. When I worked in London, I sued to regularly see the Royal Flight S-76s dropping in to the back garden at Buck House. I remember chatting with the pilot of one in the 80s as he sat on the sports fields of my high school in between shuttling people to the mainland from Cowes Week.

They have been a regular feature in British Columbia for years with Helijet running a service between Vancouver Harbour and Victoria. I understand that recent years have seen competition resulting in a bit of a reduced service but they are still operating a pretty busy schedule. I have seen them from a distance before but, as we walked out along the harbor, we made a detour to the heliport in Victoria so I could catch an arrival. One helicopter was parked on a pad. A groundcrew member came out to remove all of the covers but it didn’t show any further sign of moving while we were there. The scheduled arrival came in on time so I got some shots of it landing. The schedule is spaced out so no rapid turnaround. It was going to be on the ground for an hour so we continued on our way.

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