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December 1, 2015
Photo courtesy of Bell Bell Helicopter moved the 525 Relentless prototype Dec. 1 from its Amarillo, Texas, assembly site to the XworX research and development facility near the company’s Fort Worth headquarters for the next phase of...
December 1, 2015
The CH-53K on its third flight Nov. 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky Aircraft With the U.S. Marine Corps’ new heavy-lifter finally logging flight test hours, Sikorsky Aircraft hopes that recent advanced ground testing will enable the smooth ongoing development of the CH-53K. The King Stallion prototype had flown a total of 6.7 hr in five flights by press time, including 30 min during its maiden...
December 1, 2015
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Paul Labbe The U.S. Army’s search for a “degraded visual environment” solution is aimed not only at enabling aircrews to take off and land safely in blowing dust, sand, snow...
December 1, 2015
2015 saw both consolidations of medical transport operators and heavy cuts by offshore oil and gas operators, in addition to other shake ups. Image by R&WI, with helicopter courtesy of AgustaWestland Looking back, it’s easy to characterize 2015 as the year of surprises. Many predictions made near the end of 2014 proved drastic understatements, with almost every major segment of the rotorcraft...
December 1, 2015
By James T. McKenna jmckenna@accessintel.com In marching toward the completion of this month’s issue, I was surprised to find myself at the intersection of some sensitive issues. One of our final tasks before shipping the next R&WI off to the printer and publishing it on the website is to cull from the news items for our Rotorcraft Report section. We review items that we found worthy to post in...
December 1, 2015
Most upper-level aviation managers are convinced of a good safety management system’s benefits, as are most operations staffs. Safety officers may find less enthusiasm within maintenance departments. “SMS is a duplication of effort,” goes a frequently heard attitude among maintainers. “We already record maintenance actions.” This may be true, but there is a difference between...
December 1, 2015
By Terry Terrell Watching the television news reports covering the very sad search attempts last July aimed at finding the two teenage boys whose boat capsized off Jupiter, Florida, I was reminded of a sometimes irreplaceable helicopter performance feature that will never appear highlighted in a descriptive reference or sales brochure. U.S. Coast Guard aircraft flew precise search patterns for more than a...
December 1, 2015
U.S. Bank Mobile Payment App for Pilots U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation has launched MSA Pay, the first mobile payment app that allows aviation pilots to pay for fueling and services directly from their phones. The app reduces paper and eliminates having to manage hardcopy receipts and invoices. With the app, pilots can notify a fixed base operator of their arrival details, special needs and service...
December 1, 2015
By Mike Hangge, mjHangge With military transitions come adjustment issues. You, as a former soldier, sailor, Marine or airman, are an anomaly in some civilian communities. So few Americans have ever served in the military that those who have will probably be a minority in most small companies. Many civilian peers have been living this workplace lifestyle for years or even decades longer than you have...
November 1, 2015
In January, there was a noteworthy small drone crash in Washington. I’m not talking about the 3-lb DJI Phantom that flew into the White House lawn Jan. 26. That one garnered plenty of TV time and got the President talking about unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). No, this one occurred Jan. 21 with little attention. But it was telling. This crash occurred in a Capitol Hill hearing room. The chairman of...
November 1, 2015
Disaster Response In regards to your feature on Katrina (“Disaster Response: What’s Changed?“ R&WI, September 2015, page 22), not enough has changed. The article revived a point about the need for hoists on emergency-response helicopters. About two weeks after the disaster, I rode on a U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk that landed at a temporary helipad set up in a parking lot in Bay...
November 1, 2015
You’ve planned dozens of missions and sat through hundreds of briefings. But now, as you ready yourself for the transition into civilian-hood, you will likely ignore your years of training and proceed blissfully unprepared into foreign territory. Whether you’re retiring or simply moving on, you should be proud of the service you’ve given to your nation. That service should pay you back by...
November 1, 2015
Not too long ago, a young pilot was operating an aircraft as an employee of a Part 135 airfreight company. In preparation to land, the pilot experienced mechanical difficulties when trying to extend the landing gear. The nose and right main gear lights were green, but the left main showed red. After several recycling attempts, the pilot succeeded in lowering all wheels, landed uneventfully and went on to...
November 1, 2015
A DJI S800 “Spreading Wings” hexacopter with a GoPro HERO3 camera. Photo by Mark Colborn As small unmanned aircraft systems become more reliable, less expensive and more widely accepted among the populace, organizations that previously could not afford manned aircraft may show interest in drone use. Prospective operators and maintainers will need training. Currently, there are few standards...
November 1, 2015
The NH90 is an asset to Germany’s infantry and helicopter regiments, which are all under one command. Photo by Wim Das The European Defence Agency’s most recent large-scale, multinational helicopter exercise offered aviators and airborne troops the opportunity to hone their joint-operations skills in a range of scenarios, from air assault and close air support to combat search and rescue and...
November 1, 2015
Operator and public expectations are pushing engine makers to explore means of improving powerplant efficiency. Photo courtesy of Turbomeca. Times have changed for helicopter powerplants. Not too long ago, helicopter operators didn’t share the desires of their fixed-wing counterparts for greater and greater engine efficiency. Specific fuel consumption wasn’t a concern and few helicopter...
November 1, 2015
DeSoto Heliport on the southern outskirts of Dallas is a testament to the adage, “If you build it, they will come.” SKY Helicopters developed the facility after a similar effort to the northeast in Garland, Texas, paid off. Now SKY is training FAA inspectors in the R44 at DeSoto.   Kevin Costner, the blackballed Chicago White Sox outfielder “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, the New York...
November 1, 2015
A range of pilots, from leisure and law enforcement ones to students, will realize benefits from the HeliSAS’ ability to reduce workload on Robinson’s R66 and R44. Photo by Frank Lombardi When it comes to flying helicopters, “simpler” does not necessarily mean “easier.” Most of the time it is quite the opposite. As helicopters grow into bigger machines with multiple...
November 1, 2015
 A Cypriot AgustaWestland AW139 departs the guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook during a joint search and rescue exercise Oct. 16-17 off the coast of Cyprus. CYPUSA-02/15 involved a simulated maritime accident that triggered activation of the Cyprus National SAR Plan NEARCHOS. The AW139 is assigned to the Cypriot Joint Rescue Coordination Center. SAR operations were conducted by helicopters of...
November 1, 2015
An aerospace manufacturing expert will take the helm of Bell Helicopter when Mitch Snyder takes over for John Garrison as president and CEO. An 11-year veteran of Bell, Snyder is currently executive vice president of military program. Previously, he served as vice president and program director for the Bell Boeing V-22. For much of his time at the company, Snyder has overseen a range of manufacturing and...
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