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Bell Helicopter User Report 

Courier Helicopter Saves Valuable Management Hours 

Report on: North American Aviation, Inc. 
Los Angeles, California
As Appeared in October 5, 1959 

NORTH American Aviation, Inc., finds that use of a company-owned light helicopter is saving many costly executives and engineering hours in connecting its general offices with outlying plants and also serves in emergencies for rushing high-priority parts shipment from its plants to outbound airplanes. 

In the 12-month period from August 1958, when it put its Bell 47J Ranger helicopter in operation, through July, 1959, the four-place Ranger has logged close to 600 flight hours, made more than, 1,770 trips and carried approximately 1,800 passengers. 

Company considered the time-saving feature of the rotary-wing courier aircraft important enough to build a heliport atop the roof of its general offices building across from Los Angeles International Airport. 

North American Pilot Melvin C. Nowack flies no set schedule, is on alert for service as needed. Since the start of operations from the general offices' roof top heliport last March, Nowack has been averaging between 60 and 70 hr. a month carrying approximately 200 passengers on a like number of trips. North American estimates that since it got the Ranger it has saved key company and government personnel more than 1,200 working hours. Approximately 45 min. are saved using the air craft from the heliport to visit North American's Canoga Park Rocketdyne facility or Autonetic or Missile Divisions at Downey. Trip can take approximately an hour by car through heavy traffic areas. 

Once, when Nowack was en route from Canoga Park to his home base he received a call that an urgently needed part for a ballistic missile had to make a Douglas DC-6 bound for Cape Canaveral leaving the International Airport in a few minutes. Only 15 min. after a call to Rocketdyne to have the material ready, it was airborne in the Ranger and heading for the airport. 

Cutting hours from transporting vital interplant mail is another important function of the helicopter's courier duties. 

Nowack reports that there have been few times that weather has kept the helicopter grounded and that it has never been down for unscheduled maintenance. He also notes that he has not yet made an unscheduled autorotation landing. 

Douglas, Northrop, and Hughes also are among the West Coast aviation companies using helicopters for courier duty and as air-rescue standby vehicles when they have aircraft on flight test over water areas. 


[[caption]]Bell 47J helicopter arrives at North American Aviation's field propulsion laboratory, where rocket engines are tested. In first year NAA's Ranger carried 1800 persons.[[/caption]]
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