Onboard Systems International, LLC, a leading provider of innovative helicopter cargo hook equipment, announced that Blackcomb Helicopters LP of British Columbia, Canada, has committed to purchase four Medium Bell HEC Dual Cargo Hook Systems at the 2024 HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California. Onboard's Medium Bell HEC Dual Cargo Hook System is in development and is expected to receive FAA and Transport Canada STC certification by the end of 2024.

"In addition to the recently developed Bell 429 HEC system, we've had numerous operators request a medium Bell dual cargo hook HEC system," said Mike Fox, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Onboard Systems. "As we wrap up our Bell 429 HEC certification, we're turning our focus to this program in order to meet the strong, existing demand for an Onboard solution."

According to Chris Haslock, Director of Operations for Blackcomb Helicopters, "We have a number of medium Bells in our fleet, and we're looking forward to expanding our mission capabilities with Onboard's new HEC system. We especially appreciate that Onboard's new system works in conjunction with our existing cargo hook, greatly minimizing the cost and installation effort to retrofit our fleet."

Onboard's new medium Bell HEC Dual Cargo Hook System will be certified to meet the requirements of 14 CFR 29.865 for Human External Cargo (HEC) for the Bell 204B, Bell 205A, Bell 212, Bell 412, and UH-1 models. The dedicated HEC module will be attached to the airframe in very close proximity to the primary (non-HEC) cargo hook, simplifying installation and removal for mission-specific configurations. Its location minimizes the impact on aircraft balance during normal operation and in event of a load transfer between hooks.

The HEC system features Onboard's acclaimed TALON® LC Hydraulic Cargo Hook. The hook's keeperless design eliminates dynamic rollout risk, a critical safety factor considering the nature of HEC missions. The HEC hook will be rated for lifting 1,300 lb. (590 kg), which will be the highest HEC capacity on the market for this aircraft. Options for adding an Onboard Weighing System will also be available.

Onboard Systems looks forward to welcoming visitors at the Signia Aerospace Heli-Expo booth (1631) to answer questions about all of their external load mission equipment, including cargo hooks, load weigh systems, and HEC-specific equipment.