This lovely early model Bell 206 Jetranger belongs to a client of ours. He called in to see our chief pilot Andrew Hutchinson to keep his ratings current and last week he called in for some recurrent training. The helicopter is actually, believe it or not, a 1970 model. It’s an original low skid – or standard skid to be technically correct – with an Alison turbine engine. Many people find it quite remarkable how a helicopter more than 45 years old is still flying and in such great shape.
The answer, or course, has something to to with the phrase of the old man and his sweeping brush. “I’ve had this brush for thirty years. It’s had four new heads and two new handles, but it’s still going strong.” That’s not to say that the only part of this Jetranger that’s still original is it’s chassis plate, but for sure it’s had regular care and maintenance throughout it’s life.
A well maintained turbine helicopter can have a long and happy life and is actually very good value for money to a private pilot wishing to use a helicopter for personal use. Bell Jetrangers have one of the best safety records in aviation, plus they are in plentiful supply all over the world. Choose carefully and you’ll have a great helicopter for personal transportation.
This Bell Jetranger was recently repainted in the stylish grey metallic you see in these pictures, plus the interior was refurbished with fresh seat coverings and carpets. It’s in great shape and should be good for quite a few years to come. If you’re a helicopter pilot thinking of moving up to turbine helicopter ownership, it’s not as daunting as you may think. We regularly train pilots moving from piston engined Robinson helicopters to turbines such as the Jetranger. Once they become confident with the engine handling procedures required of turbines, they find the smooth ride and attractive Jet A1 prices great aspects of ownership. And of course, we all love the smell of Jet A1 in the morning, accompanied by the distinctive sound of a turbine winding up to speed.