Den Helder, Netherlands

Nice report on the bulb flights of Berend Jan Floor

Den Helder, April 22, 2023 – On the weekends of April 15-16 and April 22-23, 2023, the Colorful Julianadorp Foundation organized sightseeing flights with a helicopter above the blooming bulb fields around Julianadorp, in the north of North Holland. Colorful Julianadorp is specially aimed at promoting Julianadorp and its surroundings during the period when the flower bulb fields are in bloom. This includes a walking day, concerts in various bulb barns, painting, flower arranging, photography and dining between the flower fields is also possible.

Colorful Juliana village

sightseeing flights

But the best view of the colorful bulb fields can be seen from above, which is why helicopter sightseeing flights were also organized. For € 90.00 per person, you can register the weeks in advance. When booking, a day and a part of the day could be indicated on which one would like to fly.

Den Helder Airport as a departure point for sightseeing flights

The scenic flights were provided by CHC Helicopter. Or is it Helicopters with an “s”? On the flags, etc. it says without an “s”, but the BV is called CHC Helicopters… This company is located at Den Helder Airport (EHKD) and normally carries out flights to the gas and oil drilling platforms in the North Sea. Two types of helicopters were available for the sightseeing flights, an AgustaWestland AW139 (with twelve seats) and a Leonardo AW189 (with sixteen seats).

Team outing

“Team” had registered for a scenic flight on Saturday morning, April 22. After we had reported at the check-in desk, we received our “golden” boarding passes.

Our golden boarding passes

After this we were able to go straight to the security check. Next stop was the flight briefing. Here was a brief explanation of how the aircraft was arranged, what to do and what not to do when getting in and out of a rotating helicopter, how to fasten the four-point seat belts and how - in case of emergency - you can quickly leave the aircraft. In principle, all windows of the AgustaWestland AW139 (which we flew with) are emergency exits. The window can be removed by simply pulling out the window rubbers.

Team in the helicopter

15 minutes

We had brought our own earplugs, but earplugs were also available. These are definitely recommended on board, a helicopter makes quite a bit of noise.

The passengers disembark after their scenic flight with the PH-EUF AgustaWestland AW139

Under escort, the twelve passengers went to the waiting PH-EUF. After everyone was strapped in, the helicopter taxied out to runway 21. Calmly and cautiously, the aircraft took off in the direction of Julianadorp.

The next group is helped to board

Almost immediately after the start, the colorful bulb fields around Julianadorp were visible. They climbed out to 1,200ft and with a few wide turns the area could be viewed.

The bulb fields around Julianadorp
Bulb fields with beautiful lines in the plots
Some fields were a bit late this year, not everything was still in bloom while other fields were already topped

After a flight time of about ten minutes, the landing was started. The flight was short-lived. With taxiing in and out, we were together on board the AW139 for about fifteen minutes. Short, but still fascinating!

The flown route of the PH-EUF during our scenic flight
The PH-EUF AgustaWestland AW139 during landing

After landing, the Leonardo AW189 of CHC Helicopters could be viewed. This was on standby on the platform. Of course we wanted to take a look in the cockpit, that was no problem. We noticed that this modern heli has a "mixing board" with many buttons as a center console with four large screens that would make many TV directors jealous! 🙂

Have a look at the PH-EUL Leonardo AW189
Many buttons in the PH-EUL Leonardo AW189
Large screens in the digital cockpit of the PH-EUL
PH-EUL Leonardo AW189


The PH-EUF, which we flew with, was built in 2012 and bears construction number 31406. It is an AW139 and at the time of construction the factory was called AgustaWestland (after the collaboration between the Italian helicopter builder Agusta and the British Westland). From 2016, the devices have been referred to as Leonardo AW139. This is comparable to the name change from Eurocopter to Airbus Helicopters in 2014.

PH-EUF AgustaWestland AW139

Since 12 February 2012, the PH-EUF has been registered in the Netherlands with CHC Helicopters Netherlands BV as holder. The owner is the American TVPX Aircraft Solutions Inc. A temporary Italian test registration of this device is not known.

PH-EUF AgustaWestland AW139

CHC Helicopters

CHC Helicopters is a Canadian aviation company founded in 1947. The letters CHC stand for Canadian Holding Company. Today CHC Helicopters is active in about thirty countries with a fleet of about 250 aircraft.
CHC Helicopters gained a foothold in the Netherlands by taking over the Schreiner Luchtvaartgroep in 2004. The Schreiner Luchtvaartgroep in turn had become the owner of KLM (North Sea) Helicopters since 1997. This wholly owned KLM subsidiary has been flying helicopters to drilling platforms in the North Sea since October 1965 and has been working closely with Schreiner since 1995, who used helicopters to set up pilots on ships, especially in the port of Rotterdam and the Botlek area. At the time, Schreiner Noordzee Helicopters continued its activities above the North Sea, with Den Helder Airport as its home base. This has remained the case after the takeover by CHC Helicopters.

The PH-SSN Aerospatiale Dauphin 2 SA365C-3 in the colors of Schreiner (Rotterdam, 1986)
The PH-NZL Sikorsky S-61N in the colors of KLM Helicopters (Texel, 1986)
The PH-NZW Sikorsky S-76B is a former KLM helicopter in the colors of CHC Helicopters (Den Helder, September 15, 2012)

Fleet overview

The current Dutch registered fleet of CHC Helicopters consists of five Agusta/AgustaWestland AW139s, each of which can transport twelve passengers. The flagship of the fleet is the sixteen-person PH-EUL Leonardo AW189.

Dutch fleet of CHC Helicopters
Registration Type C/N Construction year Particularities
PH-EUA Augusta AW139 31072 2007 ex G-CHCW,C-GNDG, C-FNFZ, 5N-BJD, 5H-MXQ
PH-EUE AgustaWestland AW139 31387 2011
PH-EUF AgustaWestland AW139 31406 2012
PH-EUK AgustaWestland AW139 31474 2013 ex G-SNSH, VP-CHF, G-LLOV
PH-EUL Leonardo AW189 89011 2018 ex G-ERBA, I-EASN
PH-SHP Augusta AW139 31099 2007


Missed the helicopter tours above Julianadorp this year? Please check in time for next year website of Colorful Julianadorp to see if they happen again in 2024!

Bulb fields
Bulb fields

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