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Information about 04061
Last update: 2 Mar 2013
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Aircraft Data
Reg: 04061
S/N: 501
Year: 1963
Last known operator:
04061 (Y-61), or "Mona II" as she was called, was the first Vertol 107 to be delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces. It came in boxes by boat to Ostermans Aero's maintenance facilities in Stockholm in the autumn of 1963. The assembly was carried out quite fast and the machine was delivered to the Swedish Navy on 1 October 1963.

Together with its 13 sisters the aircraft is mainly used for anti-submarine-warfare, radar surveillance and rescue operations. It belonged to the Swedish Navy until a new united helicopter organization, the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing, was established in 1998-1999. Y-61 was based at the Berga helicopter base for more than 40 years, but as the base was closed in mid-2005 the helicopter moved to the naval Kallinge base in southern Sweden.

Gradual withdrawal
In September 2000 the Swedish Armed Forces formally decided that the its 14 Vertol 107s were to be withdrawn, starting from January 2005 to December 2009. In the next year, 2001, the Armed Forces ordered two new helicopter systems that were intended to replace numerous military helicopter types, including the HKP 3 “Huey”, the HKP 4 and the HKP 6 Jet Ranger. The new helicopters, 20 Agusta 109 LUH (“HKP 15”) and 18 NHindustries NH90 (“HKP 14”), were scheduled to arrive between 2003 and 2009.

The Vertol 107s had been stationed at three bases throughout Sweden – Berga Heliport in Stockholm, Säve Airport in Gothenburg and Kallinge Air Force Base in Ronneby. However, in 2005-2006 both the Berga base and the Säve base were closed and the Vertols were moved to Kallinge and Linköping (Malmen).

Awaiting the verdict
By now the fleet of HKP 4s was closing in on its retirement. In all, the helicopters flew approximately 1 200 hours annually in 2005 and 2006, and roughly 500 hours annually in 2007 and 2008. The deliveries of new HKP 14s were heavily delayed and the permanent decommission of the Vertol 107s was briefly postponed due to the lack of military helicopters. Eight HKP 4s were maintained in an airworthy condition.

Four of these were extensively customized for tactical troop transports in Nordic Battlegroup ’08, but the resource was never used. The helicopters were put in standby for a potential participation in the International Security Assistance Force’s operation in Afghanistan, but they were never deployed for that task either.

The modified helicopters were 04065, 04068, 04070 and 04071. They were stored in Ronneby together with five other Vertol 107s. The remaining helicopters were stored in Linköping.

On April 9, 2010, Sweden's Secretary of Defense, Sten Tolgfors, announced the retirement of the Vertol fleet. The helicopter type was considered to be too expensive to upgrade, despite the heavy delays in the deliveries of HKP 14. A year later, in April 2011, the Secretary of Defence announced the purchase of 15 new Black Hawk helicopters. HKP 4 was retired after 48 years in faithful service.

The last flight of a HKP 4 in the Swedish Armed Forces took place on 1 March 2011, as Y-70 (04070) was flown from its former base in Ronneby to Säve Airport in Gothenburg. The helicopter was donated to the Aeroseum Aviation Museum at Säve, which will operate and display Y-70 as a flying exhibit as a part of the Swedish Air Force Historical Flight.

Y-61 was retired after a total of 8662 hours in the air.

For sale
Y-61 was included in a survey performed by the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) in mid-2011, concerning potential customer's interest for buying the HKP 4 helicopter system as a whole, or in parts. The only catch was that the helicopters had been maintained according to Swedish Military Authority Regulations, not EASA or equivalent. Nine HKP 4s were included: 04061, 04063, 04065, 04067, 04068, 04069, 04071, 04073 and 04076. The two remaining helicopters, 04074 and 04075, were planned to be kept in Sweden and mounted as gate guards in Ronneby and Linköping.

Columbia Helicopters
In December 2012 the large American operator and manufacturer Columbia Helicopters Inc (CHI) purchased ten of the retired HKP 4s and spare parts through FXM. The deal included 04061, 04063, 04065, 04067, 04068, 04071, 04073, 04074, 04075, and 04076. In contrast to the 2011 survey, the acquisition did not involve 04069, but it did include Y-74 and Y-75 instead. The airframe of Y-69 was kept in Sweden with the intention to be mounted as a gateguard at the Aeroseum Museum in Gothenburg.

The first three helicopters to leave Sweden were 04061, 04074 and 04076. They were transported from Linköping to the Port of Tacoma, United States, in February-March 2013. The remaining seven helicopters were to be shipped from Ronneby.

CHI is the world’s only commercial operator of these tandem-rotor aircraft. It has its main office in Aurora, Oregon, United States, but operates in various parts of the world, including Canada (through Helifor), Alaska, Papua New Guinea and Peru. The company is well known for its logging, firefighting and sling load operations with Chinooks and Vertol 107s.

In 1991 CHI had purchased four retired Swedish Air Force HKP 4s (04452, 04454, 04456 and 04457). Two of them are still flying today. In 2005 CHI purchased eight retired CH-113 Labradors (Vertol 107s) from the Royal Canadian Air Force. A year later, in 2006, Columbia Helicopters purchased the type certificate for the Boeing-Vertol 107.
This page was last modified on 2 March 2013 | click here to edit the page
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