Underslung Operations

In remote areas it is becoming increasingly cost effective to move drill rigs and other large geological gear by helicopter. Access is often difficult by road plus security concerns and inclement weather can hamper conventional drilling programs causing costly down time.

The AS350B2 and AS350B3 helicopters are increasingly being utilized for the heavy sling work associated with drilling programs. The drill rigs are adapted to break into 650 kg sections. These sections and the associated drilling gear are moved using specially adapted harnesses and nets.

These helicopters are fitted with vertical reference windows, mirrors and slings. The load on the sling can be monitored by a digital gauge in the cabin. VHF radios are used to ensure constant communication with the pilot and ground crew.

The pilots doing underslung operations all have valid sling ratings.