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    Customer: Reality TV show
    Reason for charter: To film an episode of the reality TV show
    Aircraft: Five Agusta A109 Grand helicopters

    Background

    A TV production company needed to record an episode of their popular reality show in the UK. The episode was to start at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, with a helicopter flight to Dover Castle and then to London Vanguard. The producers wanted to film four teams competing in identical tasks. ACC Aviation was appointed to charter five helicopters of the same type to ensure that the teams competed under the same conditions. One helicopter was to be used for aerial filming. The helicopters had to land close to Dover Castle, where tasks were to take place.

    Challenge

    Chartering five helicopters of the same type is a challenge as the pool of potential operators is limited. Flying from the Gatwick Aviation Museum to Dover Castle required special permission due to a low flyover across the busy Gatwick runway. As there is no heliport near Dover Castle, ACC secured a safe alternative that could accommodate five helicopters at once. With each team competing at a different pace, the take-off and landing of each helicopter was carefully managed.

    Solution

    Leveraging its partner network, ACC worked with a local helicopter operator that had five suitable Agusta A109 helicopters available for charter. In addition to the helicopters for the contestants, ACC ensured that one helicopter was equipped for aerial filming. ACC liaised with the operator to ensure that the relevant permissions were obtained for the entire operation. Thanks to its proximity to Dover Castle, a farmer’s field was arranged as a landing site for all five helicopters, with fire crew and safety teams on hand. ACC team members were positioned on-site at all landing destinations throughout the operation, rapidly mitigating any potential delays and ensuring the flight program ran smoothly.

    Outcome

    ACC Aviation simultaneously chartered five helicopters of the same type for a reality TV show in the UK. The charter team arranged and coordinated a smooth operation, enabling the show to run as planned. 

    Key achievements

    • Five helicopters of the same type chartered simultaneously
    • Landing at Gatwick Aviation Museum arranged
    • Flying permissions arranged
    • Safe landing and take off at a non-standard site arranged
    • Helicopter suitable for aerial filming secured
    • Smooth coordination of landings and take-offs across multiple destinations