Sandel Delivers First HeliTAWS™ Fleet Unit to MSP Aero

Posted Tuesday, September 21 2010 as Company News

Sandel Avionics has announced the delivery of its first HeliTAWS helicopter terrain safety system to MSP Aero of Minneapolis, MN, for installation in a fleet of Agusta A109 helicopters operated by North Memorial Medical Center (NMMC) of Robbinsdale, MN. Incorporating such features as Sandel's proprietary TrueAlert™ nuisance-alert elimination technology, off-airport landing capability, high-resolution 3-D terrain display and Class A HTAWS functions, Sandel HeliTAWS is expected to significantly increase the safety margins of NMMC's HEMS (helicopter emergency medical services) operations. HeliTAWS is also ideally suited for such other demanding helicopter missions as offshore oil rig operations, tactical military support, search and rescue, and airborne law enforcement. Sandel recently announced it had received TSO approval for HeliTAWS, followed almost immediately by a Part 27 STC.

The 3-ATI HeliTAWS is a ruggedized, self-contained system with a high-resolution display that retrofits by simply removing and replacing an existing Radar Altimeter indicator. Typically, this eliminates panel modification and simplifies installation. In addition, Sandel's TrueAlert™ technology increases pilot confidence by eliminating nuisance alerts, a significant problem with existing terrain warning products that limits their usefulness in helicopter operations. With TrueAlert, pilots can safely take off, cruise, hover and land at off-airport locations without triggering nuisance alerts, while still receiving the established benefits of Class-A terrain and obstacle warnings during the entire flight. The system is completely automatic and does not require pilot management of the phase of flight. When required, the ST3400H can also serve as a Primary Traffic display with interface to virtually any TCAS, TAS or TCAD system currently produced.

"In early September, MSP Aero successfully completed the HTAWS test flight on NMMC's Agusta A109C," said Aaron Sylvester, MSP Aero's co-owner. "The crew was impressed with the quality, display graphics and ease of operation, as well as the excellent tech support we received from Sandel," he noted.

Added Mark Taverna, another of MSP Aero's co-owners, "In addition to the system's outstanding performance, we assisted NMMC in selecting Sandel HeliTAWS because of its ease of installation and use, and also because we were familiar with Sandel's reliable ST3400 fixed-wing TAWS."

The NVIS-compatible HeliTAWS meets DO-160F helicopter vibration standards and has an MTBF of more than 10,000 hours. The retail price is $18,950.

Sandel Avionics, located in Vista, California, is a privately held company that provides compact integrated display systems for business aviation, air transport and regional, and rotary-wing aircraft. Recent successes include the company’s best-selling, turbine-class ST3400 TAWS and its 4-ATI retrofit primary flight displays, and its new HeliTAWS is the helicopter industry’s first complete helicopter safety solution. Additional information can be found at www.sandel.com.