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Helicopter logging in Malaysia

From 1994 to 1998 Samling Sdn. Bhd. used a heavy lift helicopter to harvest dipterocarps forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. The Boeing 234 Chinook helicopter has a load carrying capability of 12 700 kg. This translates into an annual extraction capacity of about 250 000 m3 however actual production on the Sarawak project was about 100 000 m3 per year. The typical tree produced 7 m3 of merchantable wood. The average payload for each trip to a landing was 5.8 m3. The yarding distances ranged up to 5 km but the average extraction distance was 2 km.

This operation by Columbia Helicopters, Inc. demonstrated the capability of heavy lift helicopters to extract valuable logs in a tropical forest with minimal environmental damage. This one helicopter logging company currently has a logging capacity of about 1.2 million m3 per year.

This long-term Sarawak operation used a 680 kg grapple to grasp the logs for transportation by the Boeing 234 Chinook helicopter for distances of up to five kilometres.


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