R-44 Serial number 0007 was purchased from Robinson Factory in 1993. During the course on the next 6100 hours plus this aircraft flew from the west coast of Canada to the east coast. This aircraft was registered commercially and did most of the work that our turbine fleet does, from pipeline patrol to fighting forest fires from fishing trips to vertical reference work at the end of a 50 foot line. This aircraft worked for the Forestindustry sometimes with Thermal equipment for spotting hot spots, timber management doing volumes, GPS mapping and on fires where the fire bosses loved it because of it’s speed and visibility. Also for the Oil and Gas industry as a Seismic helicopter slinging in bags to record data from small explosions that are set off, to the plotting of remote areas to drill new wells and this ship has also been involved in medical evacuation of injured workers from remote locations. She did this all from temperatures ranging from minus –45 degrees Celsius (-49 degrees F) to +32 degrees Celsius or (90 degrees F) She went through 2 overhauls during this time and brought everyone of her passengers home safe and sound. Even after 10 years of 600 hours + per year she was still one of our best lifting ships and she still gave us great dispatch reliability. Right to the last day April 9 th 2004 when my son Ryan flew it back to the factory in Torrance California.
The Robinson R-44 has earned a place in the helicopter industry not because of her price or operating cost which is a plus but because of her reliability. This industry is rightfully hard on helicopters that are unreliable the mere fact that Robinson outsells all other manufacturers and has for many many years is proof that the dinosaurs who believe piston engines are not reliable are just wrong in Robinson’s case.
March 25, 2010 – Update from Robinson Factory:
“R44 sn 0007 was in such good shape that, upon it’s trade-in for an R44 II, RHC moved it directly into their factory maintenance training course. ‘Triple-oh seven’, as it is known at RHC, continues to be operated several times a month for technician training.”
– Pat Cox
Robinson Helicopter Company, Inc.