A Robinson R44 light single is undergoing heavy repairs at UTair-Engineering’s facility in Tyumen, Russia. The complete “inspection and refitting” is expected to take three months, ending next month. In 2012, UTair-Engineering passed the Robinson Helicopter and Russian Aviation Authority performance audits for maintenance, repair and overhaul operations. The company is thus now an authorized service center for Robinson in Russia.
An ATR 72-201 operated by Russian regional airline UTair crashed this morning shortly after taking off from Tyumen in Western Siberia, killing at least 31 of the 43 occupants, including the entire four-person crew. Flight 120 came down in a snow-covered field near the town of Korkovka at around 7:50 a.m. local time, minutes after taking off for a 400-mile flight to the oil town of Surgut.
Russia-based operator UTair has received a certificate of conformity to Eurocopter training standards, thus becoming the first Eurocopter training center without the manufacturer being a shareholder in the company. UTair’s Tyumen center is now approved for type-rating training of pilots and mechanics on the AS350 and AS355, in Russian, under Eurocopter programs.
Surgut, Siberia-based TyumenAviaTrans (TAT) is scheduled to take delivery of a Gulfstream IV-SP in August and operate it on behalf of the owner, “one of the oil companies based in Tyumen,” according to the airline. The airline said it will become the first of its type to operate in Russia.
A mystery buyer has bought nearly half the shares in one of the world’s biggest helicopter operators, Russia’s UTair Aviation. UTair, heavily involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations from East Timor to Iraq, has worked with the UN since the collapse of the Soviet Union and, with a fleet of nearly 200 rotorcraft, is one of its biggest helicopter service providers.