The HAI Heli-Expo '99 show in Dallas, Texas became the unlikely venue for an announcement that Kamov's KA-32A-11BC heavy lift helicopter has just received certification by Canada. The event marks the first time that a modern Russian helicopter has received Transport Category aircraft certification in the West.
The Type Approval was received by VIH Logging of Sidney, BC, Canada and the Kamov Company of Russia, which launched a joint initiative in 1993 to obtain Canadian certification of the twin-engine, co-axial rotor helicopter.
VIH began logging with the helicopter in fall of 1991, after learning about the KA-32 at a Russian Helicopter Symposium at the 1991 HAI convention. Trial logging was conducted under a 90-day permit after the prototype KA-32A was airlifted to Canada in a Russian IL-76. The first helicopter was Soviet registered and flown by a mixed crew of Russian and Canadian pilots. VIH and Kamov then turned their attention to achieving Canadian certification for the KA-32.
VIH received its current two KA-32As in May 1997 and they have been logging in the coastal mountains of the British Columbia province under a temporary permit, pending the completion of Canadian certification.
Most of the requirements for Canadian certification were completed in mid-May of last year, including certification of the Klimov engines.
VIH also operates a Sikorsky S-61N and the new Helipro S-61 Short.