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By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

Founded 2002
Hubs Hernesaari Heliport
Fleet size 9
Destinations 2
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Key people

Copterline Helicopter taking off from Helsinki-Malmi airport
Copterline Helicopter taking off from Helsinki-Malmi airport

Copterline Limited is Finland's largest helicopter airline. In 2004 the company ferried over 75,000 passengers. The company is also operating a number of Eurocopter EC 135 helicopters in the ambulance helicopter and SAR role.


Copterline used to maintain hourly passenger flights across the Gulf of Finland between Helsinki, Finland (Helsinki Hernesaari Heliport) and Tallinn, Estonia (Tallinn Linnahall Heliport) between 07:00-20:00 (14 round trips), 9:00-17:00 on Saturdays (9 round trips) and 10:00-16:00 on Sundays (7 round trips). The trip took 18 minutes, and the helicopters could carry 12 passengers on each flight.

In August 2006, Copterline sold its last remaining S-76 and focused on charter flights. Copterline resumed the route between Helsinki and Tallinn on April 9 2008, with a new AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter. The company was planning a new terminal in Helsinki.

In August 2008, a second AW139 entered into the fleet, and started operating in the same route. Kaj Takolander became CEO of the company.

On the 19th of December, 2008, Copterline confirmed that it had ceased its scheduled service between Helsinki and Tallinn and was now looking at the possibility of alternative uses for its helicopters, otherwise, it will sell or lease its aircraft.

Incidents and accidents

In spring 2004, the company had been restricted from commercial flights in bad weather conditions, due to concerns about pilot qualifications, but the restriction has since been lifted.

On August 10, 2005 Flight 103, a Sikorsky S-76, crashed into the sea near Tallinn, Estonia, three to four minutes after taking off. The craft was carrying 14 people, all of whom were killed: six Finnish, four Estonian and two American passengers, and two Finnish crew members. The disaster was caused by the failure of the power steering system of the American-built helicopter. According to Estonian authorities, no distress signals of any kind were received. However, after examining the helicopter's black box it has been reported that the pilots had attempted sending one, but wasn't received because an air traffic controller in Tallinn Airport was reading back a landing permit. The black box also revealed that the pilots had remained calm and attempted a safe landing in a "by the book" fashion.

The cause of the accident was the failure of the power flying control system. Plasma coating on the pistons of the power flying control system had flaked off and blocked the return valve, causing the aircraft to lose its maneuverability. It was revealed in 2007 that the failed component was inside a system that Copterline did not have the authority to service or even open. A periodic leak test that could have revealed the problem was omitted. Furthermore, the emergency floats failed to operate. The manufacturer, Sikorsky, confirmed that damages have been paid to the families of the casualties, but a court case between Copterline and Sikorsky is still pending.


The Copterline fleet consists of nine helicopters and several rescue craft. The helicopters used on the Helsinki-Tallinn route are AgustaWestland AW139's.

External links

Coordinates: 60°08′52″N 24°55′28″E / 60.14778°N 24.92444°E / 60.14778; 24.92444

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Published - July 2009

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