How Much Luggage Can You Take On A Helicopter?
This question is the helicopter operator’s equivalent to “how long is a piece of string?”
It crops up in a variety of charters, from families and couples going on holiday to golfers and their bags of clubs.
The answer depends on a variety of factors: the number of people in the party, the combined weight, the distance to be travelled and the type of aircraft you want to charter.
Once those facts have been confirmed calculations can be made for your baggage allowance.
AS355 Twin Squirrel V Agusta 109 Power
Both of these great aircraft are perfect for luxury, executive travel but if you have a reasonably sized party, with luggage or items to carry, then the Agusta 109 will easily suit your needs.
The aircraft can accommodate 6 passengers with a single crew, 5 with twin crew and its external baggage compartment has a 0.95 cubic metres capacity.
That is enough room for 7 soft bags or 4 suitcases.
The smaller AS355 Twin Squirrel is ideal for passenger charter flights and aerial filming and has a more compact cargo area.
The cabin is spacious and comfortable and easily seats up to 5 passengers with a single crew, or 4 with twin crew.
However, even though the Twin Squirrel’s capacity (0.99 cubic metres / 300 Kgs) is larger than the Agusta, it has a cargo area split across three compartments, so when it comes to luggage we ask passengers to carry one, medium-sized, soft sports holdall that can be squashed into the small luggage compartments.
From Sparkling Wine to Music Festival Acts.
We’ve carried a variety of passengers and cargo over the years. Our discreet service requires that most of these transports are not discussed.
However, we have used the Twin Squirrel to transport our supplies of English sparkling wine from Hambledon vineyard to our Hampshire base. In these images, you can see us loading 12 cases into the hold and cabin.
On that flight, there was only room for the pilot and one passenger. In a 109A you could have doubled the number of people, but sadly not the amount of sparkling wine, another 6 cases would have been the limit.
In the above photograph, this collection of luggage and guitar was enough for two people to spend a weekend at a festival. The Twin Squirrel could have carried more people but the amount of luggage would have had to been reduced.
If the whole band wanted to fly, then an Agusta 109A would have been ideal. A couple of extra guitars, stage gear, and tents if not glamping, but sadly not enough room for a drum kit.
Distance V Weight
Possibly the most delicate question our friendly Operations Team have to ask is the weight of the passengers.
No problem if jockeys or models are on the charter but when it comes to business trips, or golf parties of four wanting to fly to a famous course, then the weight is a factor, especially if they are all carrying golf clubs.
Each golf bag can weigh up to 12kg and four combined is the equivalent of adding half a person to the flight.
No problem if you are flying from London to a golf course within 60 minutes(?), but should the distance be further then a refueling might have to be scheduled in.
That will depend on your needs, time constraints and aircraft you want to charter. The difference between the Twin Squirrel and 109A is the amount of fuel they can carry and distance they can fly without stopping.
As you can imagine the Operations Team take all of this in their stride, they are dedicated to detail and the best advice is to ask the question and your needs will be accommodated as best as possible.
Size Is No Object
So what happens if a case it too big? As you can see above this very large case didn’t fit in any of the baggage compartments so it was ‘delicately’ placed in the cabin between the seats. Luckily there was enough room for the number of passengers!