FTLComm - Melfort - May 22, 1999
Because of their cost of operation and amount of maintenance required helicopters are extremely rare at rural airports in Saskatchewan. This Enstrom is listed by Transport Canada as being owned by E. M. Heli-Logistics Ltd. of Langley B.C. but oddly enough is registered as a private helicopter. Though the aircraft is plainly labeled as an Enstrom it is registered as being manufactured by McDonnell Douglas which of course was in turn sold to Boeing who sold off its helicopter commercial division to a Dutch company. To make it even more confusing the Enstrom is made in three versions, the military 28H, the 280 C which is a turbocharged fuel injected gasoline powered machine and the 480 which is an Allison turbine powered helicopter.
This helicopter is registered as having been made in 1989 and imported into Canada this year and has a Turbo-shaft Allison engine. The aircraft has an empty weight of 1,406 kilograms.

The Enstrom 480 is designed to provide seating for a pilot and four passengers but in minutes can be reconfigured to handle instructor and pilot trainee.

Piston versions of this aircraft can sell used from $100,000(US) and less to the turbine versions going for about $300,000 (US). New aircraft are about 1/2 million.
I wish I could tell you more about what this machine is doing in Saskatchewan and in Melfort in particular, but that is all I can tell you right now. This aircraft has been in Canada only for a little over a month since being imported.

The piston version does about 115 mph while the turbo version gets along at 145 mph and can stay in the air for 4.5 hours.

Compared with other commercial helicopters this is a low cost machine and many law enforcement agencies are using these for observation work and reducing the dangers of high speed chases.
The direct competitor in low cost helicopters is the Hughes 300. If you would like to find out more about the Enstrom take a quick look at some of the references below.
Easter Atlantic Helicopters pictures and specifications
Galaxie Helicopters Ltd of Vancouver has a complete web site with information about these machines
Here are some used ones and their prices in Florida.
A 280C for $100,000 with picture.