StandardAero Upgrading Arizona Sheriff’s Helicopter for Hot, High and Heavy Operations

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – March 6, 2023 – StandardAero is actively completing Phase 2 and 3 of a 3 phase program to upgrade the Pinal County Sheriff Office (PCSO), Arizona, Bell UH-1H helicopter for hot, high, and heavy operations in Arizona.  The program called UH-1H3 Hot, High and Heavy, which is underway at StandardAero’s helicopter airframe facility in British Columbia, is expected to be completed in the March 2023.

Included in the modifications are airframe modifications to the lift beam, main beams, and tail boom attach areas, as well as engine mount and main transmission mount areas.  Main transmission, driveshaft assemblies and engine also are upgraded.  Phase 2 modifications are designed for increasing horsepower and torque that is required to improve lift capability to 5,000 pounds of external cargo capacity and a 10,500-pound external gross weight limitation.

Included in Phase 3 is the Bell 212 main rotor hub and blades upgrades to provide a 10,500-pound internal and 11,200-pound external gross weight capacity.  These modifications are in addition to Phase 1 modifications for improved hover-hold, yaw control and reduced torque, tail rotor power requirements, and fuel consumption.  Phase 1 upgrades completed in 2021 also included an upgraded T53-L-703 engine and transmission cooling system.

StandardAero launched the UH-1H airframe upgrade program in 1992 and since then has performed more than 150 upgrades for military and restricted-category operators.

PCSO Chief Pilot, Corbiere Pecora, described the performance of the UH-1H after the completion of the Phase 1 mods and what missions they intend to operate using the UH-1H3 as follows:

“PCSO has been flying our Huey with the standard -13 engine and legacy tail since around 2016.  After Standard Aero upgraded our tail and engine as the first step in a three stage upgrade process we elected to complete the full UH-1H3 mods, pilots saw a dramatic increase in operational capability.  We immediately were able to conduct rescue and border missions in terrain and mission configurations not afforded to us prior to the upgrades.  The increase in power and tail rotor authority is a game changer for those coming from a straight UH-1!  PCSO is eager to take delivery of the final product this March with the completion of Stage 2 and 3 of the upgrade.  Once back in Arizona, we will re-implement our hoist rescue program with our new expanded capabilities.”

Visit StandardAero at the annual 2023 HAI/Heli-Expo event on March 7-9 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  For more information on the UH-1H3 upgrade and other Helicopter Airframe MRO and Mods, ask for John Jongema, Airframe Technical Sales Manager at StandardAero Booth #B4420.


StandardAero is one of the world’s largest independent providers of services including engine and airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul, engine component repair, engineering services, interior completions and paint applications. StandardAero serves a diverse array of customers in business and general aviation, airline, military, helicopter, components and energy markets. StandardAero is owned by global investment firm Carlyle.