In the German Bight ships above a certain size or carrying particular types of cargo are obliged to take a sea pilot on board to assist the Captain in navigating the respective sea areas, rivers and ports. In addition to pilot transport by boat, WIKINGhelicopters are used to transfer sea pilots. A helicopter is used for this mainly in heavy weather conditions, when the wave height is too high to allow safe transfer of a pilot by boat.
In these conditions the sea pilots are either transferred by hoist onto or from marked positions on the ship, or the helicopter lands directly on the ship.
In more than 40 years of service we have gained a considerable experience base in offshore sea pilot transfers. Since the principal method of transferring the sea pilots on board ship is by hoist, our operational staff in this area are the most experienced in the world. Nonetheless, as part of its quality assurance procedures, WIKINGconstantly endeavors to make improvements to this task, which is predominantly carried out in harsh conditions with strong winds.
WIKINGhas constantly proved its reliability since its foundation in 1975, with over 112,000 accident-free flight hours and almost 55,000 transfers.
WIKINGmaintains its flight service up to wind speed Beaufort 11, 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year.
WIKINGworks in cooperation with Offshore Response Safety GmbH (ORS) to provide emergency medical assistance to employees based at offshore wind farms. For this purpose WIKING always has an helicopter and crew on stand-by. ORS provides the medical personnel and their medical equipment. This service is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a year.
When the alarm is raised, the helicopter flies to the incident site with a crew consisting of an emergency doctor, a paramedic, two pilots and a hoist operator. At the site, the medical crew are dispatched, together with their rescue equipment. This is performed by landing on the platform or on a ship with a helideck. If it is impossible to land, the personnel and equipment are transferred by hoist.
The doctor makes an initial diagnosis and decides on what further procedures and steps are required. As soon as the patient is stable enough to be transported, the helicopter will depart to the nearest suitable medical facility. If the patient has to be transported lying down, they are brought on board the helicopter in an air rescue bag. While the medical crew continue to monitor and treat the incident victim, they are flown to the clinic best suited to treat the medical condition or type of injury in question.
Patient care is delivered in the context of the particular mission profiles involved and in accordance with established standards of emergency medicine and of air rescue in Germany. Given the special nature of the task, dedicated procedures and medical care delivery methods have been developed to reflect the demands of operational situations frequently encountered. Operators of offshore wind farms can therefore call on a comprehensive emergency care service, staffed by highly-qualified personnel, based on years of experience in both companies.
The helicopter alerting service is carried out and coordinated by the ORS and Gesellschaft für Maritimes Notfallmanagement mbH (GMN) a subsidiary of the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger (DGzRS) and the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCC).
In view of GMN's / DGzRS years of experience in coordinating rescue missions for maritime emergencies, WIKING regards them as one of the most experienced authorities capable of undertaking such coordination tasks.
Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (Havariekommando)
WIKINGprovides air support services to the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (Joint Institution for the German Federal Government and the Coastal States) for rescue operations at sea. At our base in Wilhelmshaven, WIKING also trains the Federal Airborne Rescue Services and, together with the ARGE Küstenschutz coastal protection agency, WIKING provides protection along the German coastline in cases of shipping emergencies. On this, safety training designed for these eventualities is conducted for the Fire Department lying along the German coast.
Since its foundation in 1975, WIKING has flown over 114,000 accident-free flight hours, predominantly in operations at sea and in the coastal areas of the North Sea, as well as supplying offshore facilities. Almost 56,000 accident-free sea pilot transfers have been carried out.
Since construction began on the first offshore wind farms, WIKING has been operating supply flights and crew changes to the Jackup Vessels and platforms in the North Sea.
Having started with Alpha Ventus, WIKING currently operates flights to Nordsee Ost and Global Tech 1, as well as to the BorWin, HelWin and DolWin transformer platforms for the following firms: ABB, RWE, HochTief, Siemens and Petrofac. WIKING transports personnel and materials for the operators and the construction companies.
In addition to being a partner for the offshore wind industry, WIKING also operates flights for the oil and gas industry. Customers for which WIKING has flown include Saipem, Maersk, Gaz de France and Conoco Philips.
Safety is always WIKING's highest priority. For this reason, and as a matter of principle, a helicopter crew always consists of two pilots and, depending on the nature of the mission, of a winch operator as well. The minimum requirement for any pilot to fly offshore for WIKING is 1,200 flight hours; to be a captain the pilot must have a minimum of 2,000 operational flight hours. All WIKING`s pilots hold an Airline Transport Pilot's Licence (Helicopters) (ATPL (H)) and are qualified to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).
On average the Captains have more than 5,300 hours of flying experience. All WIKING hoist operators are trained in-house on a training programme approved by the German federal aviation administration. Over the years they have conducted an average of more than 2,300 hoist manoeuvres.
The WIKING Helikopter Service GmbH Maintenance Organisation, with EASA Part 145 authorisation, is located with hangar and workshops at the JadeWeserAirport base and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. WIKING is a CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation), authorised EASA Part M organisation.
Our service teams was deployed all over the world and we are currently working in:
WIKING's Maintenance Organisation carries out the entire range of maintenance tasks on our own aircraft, as well as on the aircraft of national and international customers.
At the JadeWeserAirport base, WIKING has a hangar with a crane system, workshops for engines, electronic equipment and other construction components.
Maintenance includes repairs, modifications and overhaul. WIKING also carries out maintenance on construction components and safety equipment such as life jackets. In addition, WIKING conducts airworthiness testing and other checks prescribed by the aviation authorities.
To be qualified to carry out maintenance and related checks, maintenance personnel undergo company-internal training; attend training courses of external training providers and possess a considerable amount of operational experience.
Company staff tend to have been employed for many years at WIKING Helikopter Service GmbH. Certifying personnel are on staff for Cat B1, B2 & C.
In order to meet the sharply increasing demand for third party maintenance (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO)) for helicopters from south-eastern Europe and Asia, WIKING took over KaleAir in 2011. This aquisition included the base in the centre of Istanbul, together with personnel and the hangar. KaleAir is an accredited Part 145 maintenance organisation approved by the Turkish aviation authorities.
Meanwhile, the company has moved from Istanbul to Busa in order to be more accessible to all Turkish customers.
WIKING is an authorised training organisation - an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) - with type rating and instructor authorisation for the Sikorsky S-76. WIKING offers helicopter training and flight testing of pilots to EASA standards and approvals.