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Which Helicopter to use in Mali, Africa?


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Hello to everybody!!


###Attention: very long post, but i hope it will be fun and stimulating


I am a student of Industrial Engineering and Management in Italy. Recently an accointance asked me to make a consultancy for him. He wants to start an Aerial Transport company in Mali, Africa, and asked me to advise him on which aircraft is better. I don't know much about the topic so I am requesting your expertise. Here are some informations about the company and the environment.


Some info about the operations:

-Most of the operations will consist in transporting gold (maximum 10-20kg) to the Bamako, the country's capital

-Other activities could include passenger transport

-In the future there could be possibility to do also aerial work

-The mines where the gold is extracted are located between 200 and 450 km from the capital.

-There will be a maintenance base located close to the mines (20 km from bamako and 50-150 km from each mine)


Some information about Mali.

-Very poor developing African country

-Almost no paved roads

-All the mines are managed by foreign companies, which pay royalties to the Malian government


I have thought about three options


-Option 1: Turbine Aircrafts:


Eurocopter AS-350 B3

Eurocopter AS-350 B2

Agusta A-119 Koala

Aerospatiale SA-315B "Lama"


These are very performing machines, they fly long distances (up to 670km - 360nm), are suitable for aerial work, but they are extremely expensive (1.8-2.2M€), which then could impact the cost of aerial work (in italy, using these helicopters costs around 25-30€/minute). The lama is a cheaper options but offers also lower performances.


-Option 2: Piston Aircrafts


Robinson B44


Not suitable for aerial work, but much cheaper. In Mali though, not all the gasoline is of good quality, and this could create problem with the pistons.


-Option 3: Ex Military


I know that in Europe is not possible to use ex-military aircrafts for aerial transport or work. In africa though they are sold at very cheap price but i don't know whether the regulations allows it or not.


First of all, thank you for arriving until here. In case you need more information i will be happy to provide it to you. Which are your suggestions and why?


Thanks a lot





I will not make any money from this consultancy. I am doing it for a paper in my university. I will be happy to appreciate you by quoting you in my work!



English is not my first language, so I apologize for any grammatical mistakes

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Sending you a PM regarding a a great contact in Italy (To) who may provide you with a wealth of information.



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