As a result of recent engine failures of MD 500 D & E model helicopters with the Rolls Royce C20B engine, PG&E has decided that until the manufacturer can determine the cause of the failures and take corrective action, PG&E is standing down the use of these specific aircraft for all primary contractors and subcontractors performing work for PG&E. This stand down is effective immediately.
This stand down does not include the MD 500’s with the C20R engine, MD 520N or the MD 530F. Any contractor that intends to use a MD 500 D or E with the C20R engine will be required to provide proof to PG&E that the aircraft is powered with the C20R engine. All requests for their use will be submitted and processed by the Manager of Helicopter Operations.
PG&E understands the financial impact that this decision will have on our transmission projects. However, these steps are intended to ensure the greatest level of safety for not only PG&E employees, but also the employees of our contractors.
There will be follow-up communications as additional information becomes available and decisions are made as to the future use of these specific aircraft and engines on PG&E property.
–Richard Lane, IBEW 1245 Safety Rep