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Penzance Heliport under new management

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Penzance Heliport under new management

Old 27th Jun 2022, 14:29
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Penzance Heliport under new management

The Sloane Helicopters operated Penzance Helicopter service to the UK Scilly Isles is now in the transition period to the new operator. Unfortunately the new operator cannot be named officially just yet.
Would anyone like to hazard a guess as to who they may be???
Rumour has it that the service was haemorrhaging cash with the 139 and itís initial problems.
Good luck to the new owners.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 15:32
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Sloanes is an operator, The owner is still the same just removing a under performing operator ( I know its not all their fault)...
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 18:49
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Hopefully it will be BRITISH INTERNATIONAL HELICOPTERS when they bring the S61n’s back from the Falklands
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 19:06
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Originally Posted by luckyrat
Hopefully it will be BRITISH INTERNATIONAL HELICOPTERS when they bring the S61nís back from the Falklands
Not going to happen , Bristow have bought BIH
https://www.bristowgroup.com/news-me...nal-helicopter

Anh Bristow wont be interested in the bucket and spade brigade to the Scillies...
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 19:30
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My money would be on Castle Air.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 20:32
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Originally Posted by lowfat
Not going to happen , Bristow have bought BIH
https://www.bristowgroup.com/news-me...nal-helicopter

Anh Bristow wont be interested in the bucket and spade brigade to the Scillies...
I’m fully aware of that having just retired from BIH after 32 years.

Bristow will not want the S61 in the Falklands. The BIH operation was an outstanding provider on that route for longer than any other commercial helicopter operator, and with the right people could be flying that route again, with the type of helicopter the passengers loved.
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 21:16
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My guess is theyíll pack up for winter and start a fresh next spring (or not at all)
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 23:08
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Could be Castle Air ,who use AW139 or maybe the Island Steamship Company??
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Old 27th Jun 2022, 23:57
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Coping with Covid

The Simple truth is Costs are rising more than fare prices can cope with. having had the mega problem of a new service set up then Covid, with only a small seating capacity that limits earnings I do not think the service stood a chance. Post Covid what is needed is a larger capacity machine that replicates the original BEA/BA/ BIH service and could move 30 at a time. Then there is the 'Issue' of whether it is a truly a Scilly Isles service or a Tresco operation. There is no doubt that the original S61 operation put Scillies on the tourist map and provided a very regular service, however whether it ever really paid its way is debateable. I well remember the times when Penzance had two machines operating flat out with the S61 and the smaller Wesland, and at the same time up to 5 Islanders were also nipping back and forth from Lands End (St Just) plus Plymouth and Exeter,plus the odd Brymon Otter. Since then the Lands End operation has seen large cost increases, and still has to cope with an 'interesting' weather situation, and the Penzance operation must be expensive for the numbers being moved. Of course it is not just the actual flying costs for both operators but the supporting services for dedicated fire and rescue plus at Lands End a lic ATC. The Isles of Scilly has managed to attract enough trade in the past, but the reality of the true cost of operating nowadays is going to be very challenging for the future, and a new faster sea link has been planned to try and attract passengers back to the surface option.
EB still 'hauling' across the pond (now there is a thought) specially modded with hull doors for quick baggage loading, strange colour now.

Last edited by POBJOY; 28th Jun 2022 at 00:26.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 06:41
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Could be SAS they did a helicopter service for the Steamship company a few years ago and should be out of any "no compete" clause.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 06:58
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My money is on Starspeed. Good luck to them.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 09:12
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Weather is the big factor with the mainland to Scillies transfer - Lands End is up on a hill and Penzance has no instrument approach at the mainland end and at St Marys you can't get below 860' QNH on the RNP approaches to an airfield that is 357' amsl.

Tresco at SL would be better but there are no instrument procedures there.

Advection fog is the big enemy in the SW. Holding div fuel just means fewer pax and less revenue.
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Old 28th Jun 2022, 21:24
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AF elevation and NDB

Originally Posted by [email protected]
Weather is the big factor with the mainland to Scillies transfer - Lands End is up on a hill and Penzance has no instrument approach at the mainland end and at St Marys you can't get below 860' QNH on the RNP approaches to an airfield that is 357' amsl.
Tresco at SL would be better but there are no instrument procedures there.
Advection fog is the big enemy in the SW. Holding div fuel just means fewer pax and less revenue.
Both St Marys and PZ used to have an NDB. L-End (400ft) had the Cot Valley and red & white telephone poles for the Rapides !!!
St Marys (116ft) and Tresco PZ (sea level) were not usually the problem and the S61 had a suitable Radar to help. I seem to recall that an NDB app got you down to 600 ft on Scilly so no point in going above 500 on a transit if it was marginal. L-End is not suitable for serious instrument approaches due terrain and lack of approach lighting. The new GPS approaches do not get you down soon enough to see the field in time to land if marginal. BEA could not leave L/End soon enough when the sea level factor and S61 became available. The 'bus like' regular and reliable service this offered changed the way people looked at air travel to Scilly and it certainly set the standards for a 'transport system' coping with the local weather conditions. EB had been designed for quick turnarounds and RR refuelling but was always reliant for Culdrose or St Mawgan for a diversion.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 07:54
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My mistake about St Mary's elevation, should be 121' amsl.

Both St Marys and PZ used to have an NDB. L-End (400ft) had the Cot Valley and red & white telephone poles for the Rapides !!!
St Marys (116ft) and Tresco PZ (sea level) were not usually the problem and the S61 had a suitable Radar to help. I seem to recall that an NDB app got you down to 600 ft on Scilly so no point in going above 500 on a transit if it was marginal. L-End is not suitable for serious instrument approaches due terrain and lack of approach lighting. The new GPS approaches do not get you down soon enough to see the field in time to land if marginal. BEA could not leave L/End soon enough when the sea level factor and S61 became available. The 'bus like' regular and reliable service this offered changed the way people looked at air travel to Scilly and it certainly set the standards for a 'transport system' coping with the local weather conditions. EB had been designed for quick turnarounds and RR refuelling but was always reliant for Culdrose or St Mawgan for a diversion.
Self positioning internal radar letdowns to the Scillies just wouldn't be approved for CAT, the NDB is ancient technology with a high MDA and the advection fog often persists at low levels meaning it is next to impossible to 'snurgle' underneath. Culdrose and St Mawgan have poor weather records. What used to happen with the S-61 won't be repeated - have you forgotten the 1983 crash by the S-61 trying to scud run?
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 09:27
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It doesn't appear that any operator can make a Scilly Isles service work anymore. Probably due to the increased operating costs of modern twins, increased regulation, the weather, and the seasonal nature of the passenger demand.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 09:42
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History repeating itself

Originally Posted by [email protected]
My mistake about St Mary's elevation, should be 121' amsl.

Self positioning internal radar letdowns to the Scillies just wouldn't be approved for CAT, the NDB is ancient technology with a high MDA and the advection fog often persists at low levels meaning it is next to impossible to 'snurgle' underneath. Culdrose and St Mawgan have poor weather records. What used to happen with the S-61 won't be repeated - have you forgotten the 1983 crash by the S-61 trying to scud run?
My points were both confirmation of AF elevations and highlighting that despite 50 years of tech advance nothing has changed. L-end still gets socked in when PZ is flyable, and even PZ is subject to more stringent rules as the surrounding land has been developed. The regrettable 83 incident was in actual fog not low cloud and even that is complicated on the Islands when half the AF can be clamped and the other half clear. The Helicopter service will always win over fixed wing but will it be affordable !!!!

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Old 29th Jun 2022, 09:47
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Agreed H99 - you need a high capacity helicopter to make it viable and they are invariably expensive.

I flew back from there in 2020 in the Sloane 109 and it was already the most expensive commercial flight per mile in the UK, circa £250 for 28 miles. we went out by jet boat as the weather was poor, even in the middle of August.

If they can replace the Scillonian ferry with something faster and less puke-making, that would be the solution.

It's a shame because the 15 min transit in a helicopter is definitely the way to do it.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 17:29
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As I’ve just been forced to retire at 65, and thanks to a government of thieves who are not paying my state pension for another 12 months, I find myself short of cash and with time to spare.
I’m still fit, and have my own pick and shovel. How about we get a team together and dig a tunnel?
It’s not much further than the Channel one, and a sit down job afterwards raking in the cash collecting the fares 😹
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 19:27
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Luckrat - given the amount of mining in Cornwall over the years, there might even be one half dug for you to finish
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 11:58
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PRESS RELEASE - Starspeed helicopter services wins tender to the Isles of Scilly.

Starspeed Ltd, one of the largest VIP helicopter operators worldwide and registered since 1978 as a helicopter company, is proud to announce that it will take over operations of the Penzance Helicopters service to the Isles of Scilly in the very South-West of the United Kingdom, in winter 2022, replacing current operator Sloane Helicopters.

The decision to award the contract was based on the group’s reliability and state-of the art expertise to handle VIP services. Dr Simon Mitchell, Managing Director of Starspeed Ltd, said: “We’re extremely proud to bring our resources, knowledge and experience to this important route between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly. Our unrivalled reputation for safety, service and individual attention – as well as our professional and friendly culture – will help grow Penzance Helicopters to the benefit of the whole Isles of Scilly community.”

Penzance Helicopters flies to the islands of Tresco and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly throughout the year from a purpose-built heliport on the outskirts of Penzance. Since it launched, the service has carried over 50,000 passengers, increasing travel capacity, resilience and ease to the islands.

Robert Dorrien-Smith of Penzance Heliport Ltd said: “I’m delighted to welcome Starspeed onboard as the new operator for Penzance Helicopters from this autumn. “With their knowledge, expertise and attitude, we will deliver on our ambition to enhance the resilience, reliability and capacity of travel to the Isles of Scilly for visitors and islanders alike.”

Starspeed was founded in 1978 and has a proud 45-year history of helicopter operations as the largest, privately owned, corporate VIP helicopter company in Europe. In its history, the company has operated over 22 types and models of helicopters across more than 65 countries. It will start operations to the Isles of Scilly in November 2022.


"Our unrivalled reputation for safety...."
https://assets.publishing.service.go...LAWX_08-21.pdf
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