Customer Picks Up Bell 407GXi In Canada, Flies Home To Ukraine


While it’s not uncommon for Bell Textron to deliver its helicopters to customers around the world, it is unusual for a buyer from Ukraine to pick one up at the factory in Mirabel, Canada, and fly it home. But that’s exactly what an unnamed customer did last week.

After taking delivery of a Bell 407GXi, equipped for IFR flight, the customer rode along with pilot Maksym Lunov, the owner of Ukraine-based Heliclub, one of Bell’s independent representatives in the country. The light single will be used for corporate transportation.

The flight included stops in 13 different countries. “I’ve been a pilot for 13 years,” said Lunov, “and a transatlantic flight is something I’ve always wanted to do. It would not have been easily done without the IFR kit. We had no weather limitations and it allowed us to proceed with the planned route without any delays.”

“This Bell aircraft … enabled us to have a unique travel experience that most people don’t get the opportunity to do,” the customer added. “There were many highlights on the trip, but some of the most memorable were seeing the icebergs in Greenland, volcanoes and waterfalls in Iceland, and the Alps in Switzerland.”

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Helicopters are great for hovering. Not so great for traveling. A trip that long in one might be punishment. Same kind of thing goes for aerobatic airplanes. Not great for flying in a straight line for hours on end.

  2. Neat.

    There are routes, remnants of Bluie and Crimson from delivering airplanes to WWII.

    Greenland to Iceland and Iceland to the Faroe Islands are very long legs, must have had ferry tank.

    (Unless there are islets with fuel along the way, even ones called ‘barge’.
    I worked with old timer pilots who claimed to have flown Empire Flying Boats across the north Atlantic, landing beside barges if necessary.
    My reading today suggests those were ‘connect the empire’ fights, few pax, not viable so only a few flights made.

    The Faroe Islands being the closest runways to Iceland on Great
    Circle routing.)