Hello all. We have arrived in Managua Nicaragua to begin a new adventure in Central America. CHC has been awarded a new contract to provide offshore helicopter transport services for an oil company and very fortunately for us, I have been assigned to the base in Managua and a remote sub-base on the island of El Bluff on the Carribean coast of Nicaragua. One of the first orders of business was to welcome our first S76 helicopter as it flew down from Vancouver to Managua. The next day a Boeing 747 that we chartered arrived carrying 2 S76’s from our base in West Africa. Now it was time to unload them and what a day that was. It’s hard to beleive that 2 S76 aircraft will not only fit inside a 747, but will actually fit through the rear cargo door. They didn’t fit by very much extra space as you can see from the photos of the aircraft passing through the door but if they got in, they must come out. The 747 floor is equipped with hundreds of rollers and a few electrically driven rubber wheels that are operated by switches on the wall of the airplane and will move the freight but mostly we had to use good old fashioned manpower to move the helicopters. Once we finally got them out onto the local airport unloading equipment, they did not have a trailer large enough to move the aircraft so we ended up moving them to our hangar on the forklift. A little dodgy but not alot of choice. Finally, we managed to get all 3 into our newly leased hangar. Now if we could just get them out of customs bond perhaps we could start reassembling them. That’s another story.
So far we love Managua. the people are great and everything is much cheaper than home. That’s important. The hotel is great and the mall next door has everything you could want. Managua, at least in the area we are in, does not want for anything. We will get out over the next few weeks and get some photos of the town and post them when we can.