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Press release Taylor Energy Company LLC purchases American Eurocopter EC145 helicopter

Privately-held oil and gas production company is the first customer to select EC145 for demanding U.S Gulf Coast off-shore operations

New Orleans, Louisiana, March 21, 2006 — American Eurocopter’s EC145 helicopter will be introduced in the Gulf of Mexico’s highly-demanding offshore operating environment by Taylor Energy, a New Orleans-based independent oil and gas production company that already utilizes a fleet of five EC130 and EC135 rotary-wing aircraft. Taylor Energy ordered its initial EC145 for delivery this month, and placed an option on a second helicopter to be delivered in 2007.

The EC145 was chosen for its demonstrated high reliability, proven modern technology, mission flexibility and operational safety, according to Jim Bell, Taylor Energy’s Chief Pilot. Factors in the decision included the EC145’s high-set main and tail rotors, which significantly improve safety during loading and unloading; its large open cabin and cockpit, which facilitate the handling of both passengers and cargo; and the incorporation of modern, proven technology that is the genesis of American Eurocopter’s family of market-leading helicopters.

These features already have made the EC145 a helicopter of choice for a growing number of air medical operators in the U.S., and they fully respond to requirements for the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) mission – for which its UH-145 version is being offered.

Also influencing Taylor Energy’s choice was the quick delivery timetable for the EC145 – the result of an active production line that is in full swing to meet a growing international orderbook for this twin-engine rotary-wing aircraft.

“We are extremely comfortable with the American Eurocopter product line based on our experience, which involves demanding operations that rely on the availability and performance of our company-owned aircraft,” Bell said. “We have been ramping up operations with the existing EC130s and EC135s to the point where we currently average 70 hours per month on each airframe. This is approximately 15 hours more than the average utilization rate for the U.S. Gulf region’s overall helicopter fleet.”

Bell noted that Taylor Energy introduced both the EC130 and EC135 to Gulf of Mexico off-shore service. The company’s fleet of four EC130s and one EC135P2 has been carrying about 3,650 persons every month. Three of the EC130s are located on Taylor Energy’s oil and gas platforms that span the Louisiana coast from east to west, with the fourth helicopter providing additional capacity and serving as a spare. The EC135 is land-based, and is used for the rotation of personnel who work on the platforms.

“The order from Taylor Energy further broadens American Eurocopter’s presence in the Gulf of Mexico’s offshore market, where our AS350, EC120, EC130 and EC155 helicopters already are in service,” said American Eurocopter President Marc Paganini. “We are pleased to expand our relationship with Taylor Energy, and look forward to working with the company as it phases in the EC145.”

Taylor Energy’s EC145 will be certified for single-pilot IFR operations, and will be configured to carry nine passengers. Its range with a full payload allows the helicopter to easily cover the 80-90 mile distances out to the company’s offshore platforms. In addition to providing more lift capacity, the EC145 will be used to recover work crews from platforms ahead of hurricanes and storms. “We carried out seven hurricane evacuations in 2005, and if the forecasters are to be believed, we’ll do a similar number this year,” Bell said. “For these missions, we need a helicopter that we know we can count on.”

About the EC145/UH-145

The technologically-advanced and operationally-proven EC145 is used worldwide for law enforcement, emergency medical transportation, search and rescue, offshore and utility operations, and corporate transport. It leverages the latest in modern and proven technologies to deliver superior performance, outstanding operational reliability, excellent maintainability and safety. The helicopter’s unobstructed main cabin is easily re-configurable for maximum mission flexibility, and the helicopter's sliding side and rear clamshell doors optimize access and effective space utilization. Seating capacity is for up to nine passengers, and two stretchers can be installed for air medical missions. Its UH-145 version offers a commercial, FAA IFR-certified solution for the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter mission.

About American Eurocopter (www.eurocopterusa.com)

American Eurocopter is the American subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and Defense Company in the world. American Eurocopter builds, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large new factory in Columbus, Mississippi.

For more information, please contact: 
Brenda Reuland, VP Communications
American Eurocopter
Tel: (972) 641-3679
E-mail: brenda.reuland@eurocopterusa.com

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