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  • AC Replacement Completed Using Helicopter at Local Hotel


    The Energy Air AC replacement team had an unusually exciting morning on April 17 when they completed the change-out of two air handling units at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando. Obviously, changing out commercial HVAC units isn’t an unusual occurrence. But for this job, it was how they got the HVAC units on and off the roof of this 27-story hotel tower – with a helicopter – that made it unique. Since a crane, which would typically be used to set the equipment, couldn’t be used for this project, a helicopter transported the pieces. This required much more upfront coordination and an extremely focused approach once the job started.

    “When a helicopter is used to set equipment, it intensifies the situation greatly,” said Dan Zeak, Energy Air project manager for the job. “We only have a certain amount of time once the helicopter starts flying, so from the moment the first unit is strapped on and secured, it becomes very intense. It’s a fast-paced, methodical process for removing old and placing new subsequent equipment.”

    The only break for the team occurred when the helicopter was grounded to refuel midway through the project.

    This job included removing the old HVAC units and installing two new ones. Since the equipment was so large, it had to be disassembled prior to being transported. Once broken down, the crew was left with 14 difference pieces to be moved to and from the roof.

    Weeks of upfront coordination ensured the job was executed without any conflicts or safety issues. Flight pattern areas had to be cleared when the helicopter was flying over the building. Traffic was also blocked from entering these areas, and in addition to a large area on the ground being evacuated, access was also closed to the top two floors of the hotel as a safety precaution while the units were being moved. A pre-flight safety meeting was held with the entire team – the Energy Air crew working on the ground, the Energy Air crew working on the roof, and the helicopter crew both in the air and on the ground.

    Thanks to the coordination of this expert team, all units were finished being set in less than two hours.

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