HAI Member Spotlight: Westwind Helicopters, Texas, USA

Jen Boyer Top Story

Jan. 19, 2021

A look at an HAI member up close and personal.

Westwind Helicopters of Santa Fe, Texas, is a full-service helicopter operator primarily serving energy companies in the Gulf Coast states. The company offers equipment, personnel, and crew-change transportation for onshore and offshore operations for the oil-and-gas industry from its five bases, located in Santa Fe and Rockport, Texas, and Abbeville, Houma, and Cameron, Louisiana. Its fleet consists of the Bell 407 and Bell 206B-3, 206L-3, and 206L-4 helicopters.

Tanker and Ship Lightering
The company specializes in sling-load operations, as well, which it regularly performs in the ship-to-shore movement of cargo and equipment during offshore operations, the vertical replenishment of ships and tankers, and traditional tanker lightering—the transport of cargo between vessels to lighten the load of the primary vessel.

Although the large-scale transportation of crude oil helps conserve energy and offers cost savings through bulk and distance delivery, many tankers and large ships can’t access certain US ports when the vessels are filled to capacity. Westwind’s lightering service helps these tankers get their product to market.

In addition to offshore sling-load operations, Westwind supports onshore sling-load work and provides equipment and cargo transport when traditional car, truck, or trailer operations can’t meet a customer’s needs.

Power-Line, Pipeline, and Forestry Services
Westwind supports private and public power-line and pipeline patrols as well as many agencies throughout the Gulf Coast states and the Gulf of Mexico, including the US Forest Service, the US Coast Guard, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Railroad Commission of Texas, and the Louisiana Office of Conservation.

Charter, Executive, and VIP Flights
Westwind’s executive, VIP, and corporate charter services supplement the company’s business, providing clients with large, air-conditioned cabins that feature comfortable club seating and concierge services.

Westwind credits its growth and success to its highly skilled team and safety program. The company’s safety management system (SMS) and internal safety culture embrace repercussion-free hazard reporting and extensive safety measures, which the operator packages and shares with its customers as “Safety Driven 365.”

Westwind is owned and operated by its president, Robert (Bob) M. McCoy. The company is built on McCoy’s vast experience in both the aviation and oil-and-gas industries. Prior to starting Westwind Helicopters, McCoy developed his industry business skills as a manager for Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a major independent oil-and-gas company, for 25 years, overseeing multimillion-dollar projects domestically and internationally.

McCoy is a commercial helicopter pilot with instrument and flight instructor ratings, a multi-engine instrument airplane pilot, and a certificated airframe and power plant (A&P) mechanic.

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