Helicopter External Load Operation – Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the research centers for ocean and earth science that has been active most years, as well as it a center for undergraduate and graduate education and oceanographical training. It is also one of the largest institutes in the world of its kind.

The institution is doing research in many different areas connected to marine biology and oceanography, and the geographical research area does not only include the coast in the Pacific Ocean close to the base in La Jolla in California. In fact, the research vessels The Scripps Institution of Oceanographyhave been used in operations from the very north in the Arctic Circle to the very south, such as the Southern Ocean.

Primarily the transport is by sea, not surprisingly being an oceanographical institute, and the institutes owns several vessels and platforms such as the R/V Melville. Melville was a vessel from 1969 active until very recently, originally funded by the U.A. Navy. All vessels at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have different equipment and specialties, and Melville has, for example, recovered core and dredge samples from really deep trenches, down to 8,000 meters and has really helped humanity with a deeper knowledge of the ocean.

Nevertheless, sometimes there is a need for fast transport of research equipment and the helicopter comes in handy. In the end of year 2014 Chief Pilot Gary Roesink and his crew flew equipment to the Coronado Islands in Mexico from the Border State Park, a total of 5 times traveling from the mainland to the islands being situated 10 miles from the coast. This operation was successful and the research could be executed as planned. Scripps does not have their own helicopters and the helicopter load operation was done by an external company with experience and license in airborne load operations from helicopters.