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August 1, 2015
By James T. McKenna jmckenna@accessintel.com The rules and procedures that the FAA uses to approve rotorcraft and new equipment that improves their safety and utility need overhauling. This fact is not news to many readers. Those of you who operate helicopters, build them, modify and complete them and support them—which is to say most of you—know this all too well. You deal again and again with...
August 1, 2015
Question of the Month: What parts of today’s certification rules and procedures need to be reformed? Let us know, and look for responses in a future issue. You’ll find contact information below. Regarding your new column for military veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce (“Cleared for Transition, Part 1: Introduction,” R&WI July 2015, page 50), I have some thoughts...
August 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...
August 1, 2015
A soldier from 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, braces himself against the downwash from a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey during Talisman Sabre 2015. Photo courtesy of Royal Australian Army/Lance Cpl. Kyle Genner Australia’s defense helicopter fleet was put through its paces July 4-18 during Talisman Sabre 2015, a combined Australian/U.S. training exercise held in the...
August 1, 2015
Era Group has opened a 35-acre “super base” in Houma, La., serving offshore oil and gas helicopter transport companies operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company said June 25. The base consists of a passenger terminal that will allow transit of...
August 1, 2015
The FAA’s streamlined process for approving unmanned aerial system (UAS) permits is clearly working, if Bloomberg News’ analysis is to be believed. Using a database it compiled from federal data, the news service said, it found the aviation agency is approving about 250 UAS operating permits each month by way...
August 1, 2015
An Italian army AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta flies cover for paratroopers during Italian Blade. Photo courtesy of Kees Otten and Wim Das/Dutch Aviation Media   The European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) on July 3 concluded a two-week multinational exercise in which more than 1,000...
August 1, 2015
An air traffic controller’s use of a non-standard phrase contributed to a June 2014 runway incursion when an aeromedical AW139 crossed in front of a landing Airbus A300 in Ottawa. The incident, in which no one was hurt, occurred June 5, 2014 at Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier International...
August 1, 2015
Italy’s air force has begun the entry into service of its HH-101A “Caesar” special operations helicopter. Service leaders introduced dignitaries and the media to the Caesar in ceremonies June 19 at Cervia Air Force Base, about 40 miles south of Venice. AgustaWestland customized the Caesar, which is based on its AW101, to air force specifications for a multi-mission, medium-lift platform...
August 1, 2015
The U.S. Navy has ordered the first V-22s for Japan, finalizing the first international sale of the Osprey. Bell Boeing, the strategic alliance of Bell Helicopter and Boeing that builds the tiltrotor, said July 14 that the Navy had awarded it a...
August 1, 2015
Prince William has begun his career as a medical transport helicopter pilot. The Duke of Cambridge completed civilian training with the East Anglian Air Ambulance, headquartered in Norwich, about 120 miles northeast of London. His first day of work was July 13. East Anglian Air Ambulance is a charity that provides critical...
August 1, 2015
Airbus unveiled a technology demonstrator July 7 in Donauwörth, Germany, to showcase its innovations in “ecologically friendly” helicopter design. The Bluecopter demonstrator is based on the company’s light, twin-engine H135. Program...
August 1, 2015
Airmen assigned to the 41st Expeditionary Helicopter Maintenance Unit work to complete a 50-hour inspection on...
August 1, 2015
Bell 525 Relentless makes its first flight July 1 in Amarillo, Texas. Photo courtesy of Bell Supply chain challenges and FAA inspection requirements slowed the maiden flight of Bell Helicopter’s 525 Relentless, the manufacturer says. The super-medium twin 525 flew for the first time July 1 at Bell’s Amarillo, Texas facility. Senior...
August 1, 2015
Vatican Radio reported on July 17 that critical care transport now is possible using a heliport located in the Vatican Gardens. An accord announced jointly by Bambino Gesù children’s hospital of Rome and the Vatican...
August 1, 2015
The Army is transferring Apaches from the National Guard to active duty units under the aviation restructure initiative (ARI), replacing them with Black Hawks under a plan to save about $12 billion. But in the past five years, only 10 Apache pilots have transferred to the Guard, said NCFA Commissioner Robert Hale...
August 1, 2015
The U.S. Army is searching for contractors interested in working on a four-year project (starting during the current fiscal year) to develop and demonstrate a multi-spectral sensor to help its helicopter pilots fly safely in degraded visual environments (DVE). The service posted a request for information July 8 on sources capable of crafting an integrated system that fuses a “forward-looking sensor...
August 1, 2015
Sikorsky Aircraft has pushed back the CH-53K‘s first flight to finish testing a redesign of the next-generation heavy-lifter’s main gearbox. The King Stallion, a replacement for aging U.S...
August 1, 2015
By Pat Host U.S. Army helicopter aviators phased out as part of the service’s massive Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) could have new careers piloting unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The head of Army Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. David Perkins, said June 30 the service is moving some aviators to UAS billets (depending on where they are in their careers) because their skill sets are...
August 1, 2015
The European Aviation Safety Agency issued AgustaWestland a type certificate for its AW169 July 15, less than five years after the Pratt & Whitney PW210A-powered light intermediate...
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