This aircraft left the Hughes factory in March 1980. It operated in the US for 16 years before it was exported to Canada in 1996. The helicopter spent some time as C-GRJR
in British Columbia (operated by Lakelse Air), before it was sold to Germany in ~2011, where it was operated by Nordcopters GmbH in Hamburg.
The helicopter, now registered D-HARY
("Dirty Harry"), was imported to Sweden by Malmskogens Aeroservice in May 2012, purchased by the computer company Visimind AB. The aircraft got its Swedish registration (SE-JVI
) in July the same year. It would soon enter service with the Finnish company Heliwest Oy, which operated the helicopter for Visimind.
Visimind is a large entrepreneur in power line inspections throughout Scandinavia, Poland and various parts of the rest of Europe. The company is focused in the acquisition of data through two/three dimensional imaging systems, based on the use of satellite positioning systems, and it uses helicopter companies to operate its range of airborne solutions.
Visimind changed operator of its power line documentation operations in the spring of 2017, and starting from January 2017 the company First European Aviation Company Sp. z o.o. took over after Heliwest. The company soon added another Hughes 500 to its fleet, bosting the total number of Swedish helicopters to three (SE-JVI
On 26th of September 2017 SE-JVI
was destroyed in a tragic accident south of Älvsbyn, northern Sweden. There were two people on board at the time of the accident, and one was confirmed dead on scene. The other one was transported to hospital.
The helicopter's Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) was picked up by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) at 13:52. Several helicopters and rescue units were dispatched to the scene, and the wreck was located near Högheden at 15:32. According to JRCC the helicopter was involved in power line inspections and it had just departed after refuelling at a local airfield. The cause of the accident is unknown, but it is being examined by the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (SHK).