Helicopter Safety & Awards
Corporate Culture and Commitment to Safety:
At Sundance Helicopters, safety is and always will be the cornerstone of our corporate culture. We continuously evaluate policies, improve procedures, and establish ways to ensure our objectives are consistently achieved. Going well beyond Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, the following examples demonstrate our commitment to the safety of our employees, guests, and valued business partners.
- Implementation of a formal Safety Management System (SMS): Sundance Helicopters was among the first in the industry to adopt the new global standard in aviation safety with its helicopter specific Safety Management System. For more information, please visit: FAA.gov.
- Management of the SMS at the Director level: Along with implementation of our SMS, Sundance is also the first in its industry to elevate the management of System Safety to the Director level. In this elevated position, the Director of Safety reports directly to the CEO. This strategic move clearly indicates a commitment to safety by Sundance Helicopters.
- Satellite tracking of aircraft: Sundance Helicopters has the ability to constantly monitor and pinpoint the location of our helicopters 24/7 through its dedicated aircraft satellite tracking system.
- Training, testing and monitoring: Sundance Helicopters provides Pilots and Maintenance Technicians with extensive education and training well beyond FAA requirements. The quality of training is verified through rigorous testing, and followed up with performance monitoring systems.
- Aircraft Maintenance Quality Assurance: Again, going well beyond any FAA requirement for our type of operation, Sundance Helicopters has implemented a formal Maintenance Quality Assurance program. The function of this dedicated QA program is to ensure that all critical aircraft maintenance tasks are thoroughly checked, double-checked, and properly documented.
- IS-BAO Certification: Sundance Helicopters are currently engaged in the highly regarded IS-BAO certification process. IS-BAO, International Standards for Business Operations, has long been the global "gold standard" for international fixed-wing business aviation operations. The IS-BAO organization has recently developed stringent standards specifically designed to bring helicopter operations to the same level of sophistication, and is deeply rooted in the Safety Management System philosophy. To learn more, please visit ibac.org.
Note: Stage 1 audit successfully completed in August 2013!
- DOD Approved: For more than 20 years, Sundance Helicopters has been an approved U.S Department of Defense (DOD) service provider. As a prerequisite to doing business in support of the United States military, the DOD Commercial Airlift Review Board rigorously examines, and continuously monitors flight operations, maintenance, quality assurance, and safety. In each instance, Sundance Helicopters has successfully demonstrated its ability to conduct safe and reliable operations. To learn more, please visit the Department of Defense website.
- TOPS (Tour Operators Program of Safety): Sundance has been a longstanding member of the TOPS organization for more than 10 years. TOPS members put safety as their number one priority with the mission of making helicopter sightseeing tours among the safest type of flying today. To learn more, please visit TopSafety.org.
TOPS goes beyond the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration Regulations for Part 91 and Part 135 operations, under which most tours are conducted. The following table lists some of the TOPS safety requirement that exceed FAA regulations.
|Element||Required by FAA
under FAR Part 135
|Required by FAA
under FAR Part 91
|Required Safety program||NO||NO|
|Annual Safety Audits||NO||NO|
|Designated Safety Manager||NO||NO|
|Human Factors & Aeronautical Decision Making Training||NO||NO|
|Ongoing Safety Training||NO||NO|
|Pilot Requirements of 1,000 hours of flight time & typical terrain experience||NO||NO|
|Minimum en route altitude of at least 500ft. above ground level||NO||NO|
|Minimum of 1 mile visibility||NO||NO|
|Maximum angle of bank 30° & pitch 10° with smooth transitions||NO||NO|
|Avoidance of height-velocity curve||NO||NO|
|3 year experience requirement for A&P (maintenance) Technicians||NO||NO|
|Maintenance factory training requirement||NO||NO|
|Annual training requirement for Maintenance Technicians||NO||NO|
|Aircraft equipped with ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter)||NO||NO|
|Aircraft equipped with high-visibility rotor blades and flashing landing lights||NO||NO|
|Aircraft instrumentation required to night visual rule standard||NO||NO|
|Specialized ground support personnel training||NO||NO|