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Onboard Systems International Announces FAA Certification For MD500 Cargo Hook Kits with Surefire Release Technology

Onboard Systems Surefire Hook MD500


Onboard Systems International, Inc. has recently announced that it has obtained FAA STC certification for several new cargo hook kits for the MD 500 aircraft that incorporates their Surefire release technology. The Surefire release is unique as it requires a firm, half second press against the hook release button to activate the release. This helps prevent inadvertent releases caused by accidental contact with the release button during flight. Onboard Systems has also submitted these systems to Transport Canada for certification, although no timeframe has been specified.

“We first introduced the Surefire release technology on our non-rotating medium Bell cargo hook kits, and then rolled it out to some of our Airbus Helicopter kits last year,” said Karsten Lemmon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Onboard Systems. “Customer requests for the Surefire release option continue to come in for other aircraft, so we are in the process of rolling out this technology to more and more cargo hook kits.”

The newly certified cargo hook kits for the MD 500 are featured on the Talon LC Hydraulic Hook Kit line and are offered as a basic kit (P/N 200-378-10), with an Onboard Weighing System (P/N 200-379-10) and with the Onboard Weighing System with the added NVG compliant backlight for the convenience of night operations (P/N 200-379-11). Apart from offering these new kits, Onboard Systems is also capable of upgrading existing equipment for select models of certified cargo hooks at the factory during overhauls or upon request. The kits will also be offered for operators with the capabilities to preform the upgrade in house or through a local service facility.

As of April 22, the hook kits were listed on Onboard Systems website starting at $9,230 for the basic kit, with prices ranging up to $14,100 with the weighing system and NVG comparability.

Colt is a writer and photographer in the emergency services field. Colt is also the editorial director of a website dedicated to first responder news around the country and is the primary correspondent for coverage of helicopter aviation relating to helicopter air ambulance services and aerial firefighting. You can reach Colt via email at

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