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Sikorsky celebrates sale to South Korean Coast Guard

Asian nation buys a second S-92 helicopter, citing successful missions it conducted with the first

By Brian McCullough,, @wcdailylocal on Twitter

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

SADSBURY >> Sikorsky’s Coatesville area assembly plant recently celebrated the delivery of a second S-92 helicopter in three years to the South Korean Coast Guard.

Since March 2014, the first aircraft has flown more than 850 flight hours and was instrumental in saving more than 30 lives during search and rescue and emergency medical transport missions, the South Korean Coast Guard said.

Most recently, on June 2, a 50-year-old man was rescued from a ship by the South Korean Coast Guard’s S-92 helicopter. A dispatched crew responded to the distress call, reached the victim, and safely transported him to a hospital for care in just 30 minutes, Sikorsky noted in announcing the second sale. The victim is recovering.

“The safety and performance of our current S-92 aircraft has truly provided reliability when it comes to the time-sensitive mission of saving lives,” said Kim Youngmo, South Korean Coast Guard’s senior superintendent and factory acceptance test inspection team lead. “We look forward to putting this new aircraft into operations to continue performing our mission.”

Other lifesaving situations also were cited by officials as reasons to purchase a second S-92, according to Sikorsky.

On Feb. 27, the South Korean Coast Guard performed a daytime mission five miles off the coast of South Korea. A crane accident caused severe injury and head trauma to a crew member on board a fishing boat. Two security patrol boats, a marine rescue team and an S-92 helicopter were dispatched. At the scene, rescuers determined that the S-92 helicopter would provide the most efficient lifesaving transportation for the struggling victim. The patient was hoisted into the aircraft and transported to a nearby hospital where he is now recovering.

In a nighttime environment on June 29, 2015, an S-92 helicopter and Coast Guard crew rescued an injured fisherman who had severely lacerated a hand while hauling in his net. After evaluating its aerial fleet, the Coast Guard determined the S-92 was the most capable aircraft for the mission. It subsequently launched the S-92 helicopter, retrieved the wounded fisherman, and flew him to a hospital in time to save a nearly amputated extremity.

“We are honored by your trust in Sikorsky and in our S-92 helicopter when performing these critical missions,” Audrey Brady, general manager of Sikorsky Coatesville Operations, said at the recent ceremony announcing the sale. “We look forward to continuing our relationship and, as always, we are committed to providing world class support to your fleet.”

Since 2004, Sikorsky has delivered more than 275 S-92 helicopters, predominantly to operators serving the worldwide offshore oil and gas industry, and for civil search and rescue operations. Eleven nations fly the S-92 helicopter for their head of state missions. In May 2014, Sikorsky was selected to build the next U.S. Presidential Helicopter Fleet, the world’s most advanced executive transport helicopter, using the S-92 platform, the company said in announcing its latest sale.

Following the aircraft’s shipment to South Korea, aircrews will conduct training in-country. The aircraft is expected to enter service by year-end.

In a story in March, Brady told the Daily Local News that Sikorsky employs more than 500 at its Coatesville plant. She said the sale of the company to Lockheed Martin in 2015 has helped to reinvigorate the operation, which concentrates on the commercial side of the business.

Sikorsky is headquartered in Stratford, Connecticut, where the military side of the business is based.

– To contact Business Editor Brian McCullough, call 610-235-2655 or send an email to