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Advice on Bell 206L4


Arkin
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Hi Guys,

 

Could you give me some advice please ?

 

I am looking for a (max 15 years old) Bell 206L4 with maximum 7000 hours for corporate use + air taxi purposes. I have limited knowledge on helis and will get expert technical support to evaluate the aircraft. My question is would you recommend a 206L4 for the above mentioned use ?

 

We estimate annually, minimum 200 hours corporate use, 50-100 hours personal use and minimum 100 hours air taxiing. So we could say a very minimum of 400 hours, more likely 500+. There is also the hidden plus of increased efficiency in our plants as more often visits means more careful local plant management. So we would like to go ahead and get a heli.

 

Regarding no of pax, the average will be over 2.5 as we will usually visit several plants in one day and these trips will include return and also one way passangers.

 

And I think a L4 is more attractive for air taxi customers than a B3.

 

Can I get your opinions if 206L4 is suitable for us and also if 10-15 year old 206's are respected in the industry ? A friend told me that for example in certain cessna's some years should be avoided as they had the x brand of engine.

 

There is also one ex-EMS heli we are considering. Do you recommend ex-EMS helis ? Do they more often suffer from rough use and hard landings ?

 

Many Thanks

 

Arkin

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Arkin- there really is a lot more that comes into play. The L4 is a perfectly fine ship, but its good for 6 or 7 passengers, and you state your average would be 2.5? At 500 hours of flight time a year, this ship would cost you approximately 400,000.00 to operate( thats for the ship, not all the other expenses that come along, like fuel, insurance, hangar, etc.). Thats a big expense and a lot of ship for the money. Whats wrong with the 206B3 ? If one of you fly it, you can take 4 total comfortably, and up to five depending on size of the people and how much fuel you need. A JetRanger would cost less, maybe 300K for 500 hours. You could also fly the R44RavenII for around 150K a year, about half of what the 206 would cost....but you are limited to four total people, and not a lot of baggage area.

 

Again, how much do you want to spend plays a big factor in it. An S76 would be nice, but might be a bit out of budget!

 

Set up a budget first, then make a list of ships within that range, and then the fun begins cause you can go pick one out !

 

Good luck to you, let me know if you ever need 240 pounds of ballast in a front seat !

 

Goldy

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The L4 only has 6 passenger seats, and you can't carry that many pax more than a few miles, under most conditions. The L4 is a good enough aircraft, and is as reliable as you'll find in a single-engine aircraft. It's not fast, and it's not the most comfortable, but it will get you there. Whether it's the best choice for you depends on a lot of factors. How far apart are the plants? The L4 does fine on legs of less than 100 miles, but further than that and you'll have to reduce the load somewhat, depending on how far away you have to go to get fuel. It can only carry about 2.5 hours of fuel, with a reduced load, and it only goes maybe 120 knots, if that, so you need to plan accordingly. I wouldn't be worried about an EMS ship, they don't fly that much, and have no greater danger of hard landings than anything else.

 

As for a B3 carrying 5, I wouldn't bet on it. Most of the ones I've flown have about 400 lbs payload available with full fuel. That's two pax, max. You have to reduce fuel accordingly if you want to carry more.

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Gomer- I assume one of them will also be the pilot. Maybe they only hire really skinny people??

If I had an open checkbook, I would probably be snooping around a EC model ..

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Hi Guys,

 

Could you give me some advice please ?

 

I am looking for a (max 15 years old) Bell 206L4 with maximum 7000 hours for corporate use + air taxi purposes. I have limited knowledge on helis and will get expert technical support to evaluate the aircraft. My question is would you recommend a 206L4 for the above mentioned use ?

 

We estimate annually, minimum 200 hours corporate use, 50-100 hours personal use and minimum 100 hours air taxiing. So we could say a very minimum of 400 hours, more likely 500+. There is also the hidden plus of increased efficiency in our plants as more often visits means more careful local plant management. So we would like to go ahead and get a heli.

 

Regarding no of pax, the average will be over 2.5 as we will usually visit several plants in one day and these trips will include return and also one way passangers.

 

And I think a L4 is more attractive for air taxi customers than a B3.

 

Can I get your opinions if 206L4 is suitable for us and also if 10-15 year old 206's are respected in the industry ? A friend told me that for example in certain cessna's some years should be avoided as they had the x brand of engine.

 

There is also one ex-EMS heli we are considering. Do you recommend ex-EMS helis ? Do they more often suffer from rough use and hard landings ?

 

Many Thanks

 

Arkin

 

As to ex-EMS helos, they're as good as any Part 135 operator's equipment, which is to say widely variable. Some will have been very well maintained, others not so much. The EMS crew's job description varies somewhat from regular air taxi, but the bird will likely have been exposed to the exact same work profile, probably much fewer "hard landings". I'd wonder why they're selling the airframe and the cost, useful EMS birds are at a premium.

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