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July 1, 2015
Arthur J. Negrette Operational control. Ask five aviation managers (be they chief pilots, operations directors or business owners) and you will get 10 different definitions of the term within the context of flight operations. Though the concept of operational control has been embedded in the FARs for decades, the FAA’s recent interest in it can be traced to high-profile investigations. One set...
July 1, 2015
Ernie Stephens Let’s start with Col. Harland Sanders, the late, white-haired gentleman whose likeness has appeared on every bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for decades. Did you notice when his former enterprise shortened its name to KFC? Did you catch the change from “fries” to “potato wedges”? In the 1980s, Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, went...
July 1, 2015
Mike Hangge This month, Rotor & Wing International is introducing a column to discuss the issues military veterans face when transitioning to the civilian work force. This topic is important to us because we recognize the needs of our heroic veterans, and understand the difficulties of finding quality employees for great civilian companies. Each year, more than a quarter of a million veterans depart...
July 1, 2015
A DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter. Photo from ThinkStock Advocates for greater use of unmanned aerial systems in the U.S. insist that UASs can perform the same missions as aircraft with pilots aboard just as safely and reliably, but at much lower costs. They argue that UASs often can be safer by sparing pilots from risking their lives unnecessarily in dangerous missions that might be better conducted...
July 1, 2015
An R66 Turbine Marine. Photo courtesy of Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopter operators, manufacturers and university researchers are collaborating in an FAA-sponsored project to lay a foundation for broader use of flight data monitoring (FDM)—and the safety management systems it supports—to improve rotorcraft safety. I belong to a university research team from The Florida Institute of...
July 1, 2015
Question of the Month: What do you consider to be the last successful commercial helicopter put into service by Bell? Let us know, and look for responses in a future issue. You’ll find contact information below.   The Weak Link: I enjoyed your article and the history behind the single-engine instrument flight rules (IFR) helicopter (“Whither the Single-Engine IFR Helo?,” R&WI...
July 1, 2015
James T. McKenna An aviation journalist for more than 25 years, James T. McKenna served as R&WI’s editor-in-chief from 2003 to 2008. He then worked on communications projects for Bell Helicopter and numerous consulting clients, including the Aerospace Industries Association, Helicopter Association International and AHS International. He has completed aircraft accident investigator courses of the...
July 1, 2015
  When it comes to establishing a heliport in the U.S., many people will tell you that the FAA advisory circular covering its design is just that: advisory. In fact, some local and state governments may consider that “advisory” document a regulation, depending on how each applies a web of national and international standards for building and fire safety and aeromedical operations. The FAA...
July 1, 2015
Though many police units have recently been buying new, an increase in available surplus helicopters may change that. Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters Airborne law enforcement in the U.S. has made some gains in the last year or so. A number of police agencies have been cleared by their government overseers to purchase new helicopters instead of acquiring used or surplus ones. The Airborne Law...
July 1, 2015
Police aviation accreditation standards have gained backing from an insurer, an SMS specialist and the Pentagon. Photo courtesy of the Huntington Beach Parade It has taken the better part of a decade, but the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s vision for establishing common standards for police aviation units is being fulfilled. In the last year, the work of the Public Safety Aviation...
July 1, 2015
Two former Carson Helicopters executives have been sentenced to U.S. prison for their role in the fatal 2008 crash of a firefighting S-61N. Steven Metheny, Carson’s vice president at its Grants Pass, Ore. site at the time of the crash, was sentenced to 12.5 years by U.S. Chief District Court Judge Ann Aiken in Medford, Ore., June 16. Levi Phillips, Carson’s maintenance director at the time...
July 1, 2015
Metro Aviation has begun initial flight testing of IRIS, a comprehensive flight data monitoring, tracking and communications system that promises to improve the safety of helicopter missions. Using the ViaSat network of geosynchronous satellites, IRIS is designed with push-to-talk, uninterrupted voice communications and flight tracking in 10-second intervals. Metro proposes to harness the excess available...
July 1, 2015
Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters Airbus Helicopters has concluded a three-month-long tour of offshore oil and gas support locations to demonstrate its super-medium class H175 to operators, with visits to...
July 1, 2015
Airbus Helicopters and Bell Helicopter each said at the Paris Air Show that they had booked orders for super-medium-lift aircraft despite the current downturn in the offshore oil and gas support market. Airbus said Milestone Aviation Group had increased its combined orders and options for its H175 to 28, which it said is the largest order for the super-medium-lift twin. Bell also said it had signed letters...
July 1, 2015
Photo courtesy of AgustaWestland Falcon Aviation Services has taken delivery of two AW189s, according to AgustaWestland, which says they are the first of the super-medium...
July 1, 2015
Level D full flight simulators provide the highest level of realism available on the civilian market. Photo courtesy of CAE Energy production companies serving Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador are investing approximately $16 million in a new training, research and development center to benefit their local offshore businesses. The Hibernia Management and Development Company, Ltd. (HMBC), and the...
July 1, 2015
Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 5 return from familiarizing themselves with the downward thrust of a Kaman K-1200, or “K-MAX,” unmanned helicopter during initial testing in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 22. Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2 pioneered the first unmanned, mid-flight external cargo hookups, and delivered approximately 6,000 pounds of gear on their first day of...
July 1, 2015
Across the western United States, aerial firefighting crews are making aggressive preparations for what looks to be a busy fire season. A report by the National Interagency Fire Center has predicted above normal potential for fires for much of the northwestern United States from June through September. In Montana, U.S. Forest Service helitack teams recently...
July 1, 2015
An artist’s rendering of the X6 points to the use of a five-bladed main rotor with low-noise blade technology. Image courtesy of Airbus Helicopters     Airbus Helicopters plans to spend the next two years defining the specifications for a low-noise, high fuel-efficiency successor to its heavy-lift H225 Super Puma family, President/CEO Guillaume Faury said June 16. The “concept...
July 1, 2015
The fifth annual Great American Safety Drive (GASD) began June 10. Two cars donated by Metro Aviation and Air Methods Corp., respectively, are being driven along separate routes across the continental United States, together making more than 60 “safety stops,” where attendees will be educated about the...
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