Sikorsky has introduced a new platform approach system for its S-92 helicopters that reduces cockpit workload and improves safety during bad weather.

The new platform-finding system provides a fully coupled and automated approach capability for a higher safety margin compared to current offshore approach procedures, which can require as many as 14 pilot actions to approach an oil platform.

Sikorsky project pilot on the S-92 helicopter programme Ron Doeppner said that with the platform-finding system, the pilot programmes the approach into the autopilot and the aircraft flies the approach.

“This allows the pilots to spend less time concentrating inside the cockpit and more time looking outside for visual cues,” Doeppner said.

The system is also useful in night and low-visibility conditions.

The system is being flight tested and will go for FAA certification by the end of 2009.