The Aircraft and Owner

A private individual upgraded from a Robinson R44 helicopter to this sleek modern looking Eurocopter EC130B4. One significant feature of the EC130 is that it has a very large cockpit with excellent visibility for all 6 passengers.

  • The aircraft was previously used for law enforcement in LAX
  • It was then sold to the current owner who privately operates the aircraft in and around Penticton, BC.
  • This is the 2nd EC130 G500H install we have done; the first was for a separate aircraft which the owner’s friend had purchased at the same time.

The Need

  • The instrument panel was equipped with mostly legacy equipment and needed an update.
  • The owner was concerned about the high volume of traffic in the Okanagan valley
  • A number of misc. items needed to be fixed such as issues with headset jack wiring, map lights which weren’t working, and audio warning problems

The Maxcraft Solution

Supply a complete new panel with full EFIS display and associated systems for better situational awareness and intuitive operation.

Main System installed:

  • G500H EFIS PFD/MFD – with synthetic vision technology & external camera
  • GTS 800 Traffic System
  • RA 4500 Rad Alt
  • GTN 750 GPS/Nav/Com
  • Latitude S100 Satellite tracking system
  • GMA35 blind mounted 3D audio panel
  • GTX32 blind mounted transponder
  • New coated instrument panel

Supplementary Work:

  • 2 1/4″ backup instruments
  • GNS 430 WAAS upgrade
  • Pulse Light
  • Paint (interior, exterior, trim)
  • Mirror kit

The Story

The aircraft was flown down from Penticton during one of the few clear days this winter. Our customer’s primary wish list item was a glass panel installation, but he also had a significant number of “while you’re in there” list items.

First task was to carefully remove the components and cowlings and safely store them on racks and in the loft until required for re-assembly. We removed the interior so that Port Interiors could fabricate and install new interior pieces where needed. The instrument panel was completely removed and the re-build project began.

The Garmin G500 glass panel went in quickly as we know our way around the product having installed more than anyone else in Canada. The instrument panel was laser cut and went out for our proprietary “Duracoat” technology and laser engraving. While that was happening we installed the new GTN750 GPS/Nav/Com and installed remote mounted GMA35 audio panel and GTX32 transponder that are both controlled by the touch screen on the GTN750. Very cool! Antennas were installed for the GPS, Satellite tracking system, radar altimeter and traffic system and the appropriate hardware was mounted in the avionics bay.

Also on the list was to repair and paint door panels, repaint crew seats, add pilot and co-pilot shoulder belts, upgrade the GNS430 to WAAS, fabricate cowling maintenance steps, install pulse lights, external mirror kit, 12 volt power sockets, digital clock, etc.

The customer had one more thing on his wish list. We ended up with something unique to this aircraft but we think it will become popular for many future installs; it is an external camera system. We had to do some significant research to find the right product but the system is most impressive. The need was to be able to see the skids while landing. A camera on the tail with the video displayed on the G500H solved that problem. An additional benefit is having great in-flight footage and an extra camera shows the cockpit view. These can be combined and recorded onto a SD data card that can be simply taken away after the flight and displayed on any computer. See the video below for footage from the external camera displayed on the G500H.