Northern Exposure

19 October 2015

Cairns, 19 October 2015 – The versatility of Airbus Helicopters’ multi-mission workhorse, the H125 (formerly AS350 B3e), will be put to the test as the latest member of Nautilus Aviation’s expanding fleet in North Queensland.
Northern Exposure
The company plans to use the versatile Squirrel for everything from luxury charters to popular helicopter tourism experiences like heli fishing and adrenaline tours, through to heavy-duty aerial work, ranging from surveys and sling operations to search and rescue, firefighting, mining support and emergency services.

“Nautilus Aviation looks forward to the arrival of its latest acquisition, the H125,” said Tony West, Senior Base Pilot at Nautilus Aviation. “The H125 brings unrivalled performance and capabilities to our fleet in our region.

“We’ve already been receiving enquiries from our long term clients and new clients who are keen to utilise the H125 for their upcoming projects as our operations expand across Australia.”

Since its beginning in 1988, the company has expanded to operate out of Cairns, Townsville, Horn Island and Weipa. Its acquisition of an H125 comes just 14 months after it purchased an EC130 T2. It also operates three Airbus Helicopters EC120s and one EC130 B4.

For the high passage of tourists to North Queensland, the fleet of helicopters offers optimal aerial viewing platforms of some of the Earth’s natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and island idylls that are otherwise difficult to reach.

Commenting on the 1 October delivery, Cedric Bessette, Director Civil Helicopters, Airbus in Australia Pacific, said the H125 was a perfect fit for Nautilus Aviation and its increasingly diverse operational requirements.

Renowned for excelling in extreme conditions – notably including North Queensland’s hot and humid tropical climate – the H125 single-engine helicopter offers exceptional performance, agility, safety, low maintenance and low acquisition costs.

In 2005, its predecessor, the AS350 B3, broke the world record for the highest-altitude landing and take-off, performed on Mount Everest at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet).

“The H125 and other aircraft in Airbus Helicopters’ Squirrel (Écureuil) family are among our most popular,” Mr Bessette said.

“To date, in excess of 5,000 have been delivered in more than 100 countries for some 1,600 operators – in total, clocking up more than 23 million flight hours.

“And, for Australian customers, who face some of the world’s most extreme conditions, they are the perfect fit, without losing any of our signature comfort and class.”

The H125 boasts a wide, spacious, air-conditioned cabin that is easily accessed through two large sliding doors, promising low vibration levels for maximum passenger comfort.

Further, its high cruising speed, range and payload means it can carry more passengers on more roundtrip flights per day than any other helicopter in its class and, due to its versatile flat floor, can be quickly and easily reconfigured for all types of roles.

The H125 is equipped with a Turbomeca Arriel 2D turboshaft engine, including an upgraded triple engine control thanks to a dual-channel FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) unit, plus a third independent and automatic back-up channel for automatic start-up.

About Airbus in Australia Pacific (

Airbus in Australia Pacific is a part of Airbus, a global pioneer in aerospace and defence related services whose companies include Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space.

Wholly owned by Airbus Helicopters, Airbus in Australia Pacific represents Airbus in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific and is the region’s largest helicopter manufacturer, employing more than 1700 people across 19 sites in Australia and New Zealand. With the largest market share in civilian and military helicopters, the company supports more than 500 Airbus Helicopters and is well recognised as a leading Through-Life-Support provider in military fixed wing and helicopter platforms.

About Airbus Helicopters (
Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.


For more information please contact:

Nathan Pick
Tel.: + 61 (0)7 3637 3906
Mob.: + 61 (0)439 676 909