Thursday, May 05, 2016

Columbia Helicopters (PNG) Boeing-Vertol 107 II P2-CHE ferries along Queensland coast

Planespotters along the Queensland coast enjoyed an opportunity to photograph a rare helicopter this week when Papua New Guinea (PNG) registered Columbia Helicopters (USA) Boeing-Vertol 107 II  P2-CHE ferried from the northern parts of the state to Brisbane.

The journey commenced on Monday, May 02, when P2-CHE made the short hop from Cooktown to Cairns where it remained overnight before continuing to Townsville on Tuesday, May 03. 
However, the Boeing-Vertol 107 stretched it legs on Wednesday, May 04, when it ferried to Bundaberg (pictured) via Mackay and Rockhampton. At the time of writing, it appears the chopper will continue further south to Brisbane on Thursday, May 05.
Of interest, Columbia Helicopters (PNG) is a subsidiary of Columbia Helicopters Inc. (USA) and operate a small fleet of Boeing-Vertol 107 and Boeing 234 helicopters in support of rig moving operations for petroleum exploration company's. Given the size and weight of drilling rigs and supporting infrastructure, these are broken down to smaller, more manageable sizes and re-assembled after transportation.
Founded in 1957 and headquarted in Aurora, Oregon, USA - Columbia Helicopters Inc. (USA) is an aircraft manufacturing and operator company known for operating heavy-lift choppers. At present, CHI exclusively maintains a fleet Boeing-Vertol 107 and Boeing 234 helicopters.
These machines are predominately used in stream restoration and forestry including heli-logging, oil exploration, fire suppression, construction, government support, film production and disaster response among other operations. Additionally, CHI operates a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Repair Station in support of customers around the world.

The Boeing-Vertol 107 and Boeing 234 are both tandem-rotor (twin-engined) helicopters making them ideal platforms for transporting heavy loads / components to hard to access locations.

A military derivative of the Boeing-Vertol 107 is known as the CH-46 Sea Knight while the Boeing 234 is a civilian model of the venerable CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

All photo's contributed by Micah S.