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October 3, 2014
The United Kingdom’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has added corrected its report on EC155 B1 (OY-HJJ) which lost control in the North Sea, November 6, 2013. The AAIB summary is as follows: “Shortly after takeoff from an off-shore platform at night, the helicopter entered a...
October 3, 2014
AH-6I flying in the desert near Boeing’s Mesa, Ariz. facility. Photo supplied by Andrew Drwiega A Saudi Arabian contract for 24 AH-6Is has been confirmed to Boeing through a Foreign Military Sales agreement via the U.S. Army’s contracting command at Redstone Arsenal. The contract, valued at $234 million, authorized the company to procure long lead items for the production and delivery of 24...
October 3, 2014
A Puma Mk2 of the Royal Air Force on exercise in Portugal. Photo courtesy Airbus Helicopters Following the successful delivery of the first Puma Mk2s to the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) in connection with a 2012 contract with the Ministry of Defence, Airbus Helicopters has now signed a...
October 2, 2014
Sikorsky's CH-53K at the rollout ceremony on May 4, 2014 at the company's facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. Photo by Andrew Parker  Combat unit training scenarios must include a continuum of threat levels designed to train students to avoid, degrade, defeat or destroy threat systems in order to survive. Man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs), present one of the most lethal threats to helicopters...
October 2, 2014
AgustaWestland AW 149. Photo by Andrew Drwiega In early September, all three OEM competitors for the Polish military’s multirole helicopter requirement were able to present their offerings for review one last time at the Polish defense exhibition, MSPO, held in Kielce, Poland. Sikorsky’s S-70i, which is already manufactured in Poland for international customers including the militaries of...
October 1, 2014
Helitech International 2014, organized by Reed Exhibitions and run in association with the European Helicopter Association, will take place for the first time in Amsterdam at the RAI Convention Centre from Oct. 14 to 16. Amsterdam is an ideal location with exceptional links to Europe and farther afield, reinforcing the once again strong international dimension of the event. Exhibitors from more than 20...
October 1, 2014
Panel of an NVG modified Bell 407 operated by ALERT Air Ambulance, Kalispell, Montana. Photo by R&W You’ve done your research. You’ve spoken to other operators, attended conferences, and read plenty of articles. You’ve even gotten upper management sold on the implementation of a night vision goggle (NVG) program for your operation. Now what? If you are like everyone else, you’ve...
October 1, 2014
An Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) EC225 Super Puma operated by Vancouver-based CHC Helicopter heads outbound from a platform. Photo by Anthony Pecchi, Provided by CHC   Aircraft leasing was, for years, the sole province of the fixed-wing, commercial airline world. But, in the last few years, rotorcraft leasing has gone from being a niche player to a multi-million dollar, highly competitive...
October 1, 2014
The Northrop Grumman upgrade UH-60V glass cockpit that will be installed into U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks. Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman Redstone Defense Systems has selected Northrop Grumman to supply its integrated...
October 1, 2014
FEC Helideck Casualty Response Kit Helideck operations present risks that include major or minor injury to personnel. FEC’s new Helideck Casualty Response Kit, designed with an in-depth understanding of casualty treatment following a helideck accident, is presented in a robust Pilgrim hard case to ensure the contents remain in prime condition. Equipment is organized to enable a first-responder to...
September 12, 2014
LEE BENSON is the retired senior pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Before he was named senior pilot, Lee ran the aviation section’s safety and training programs, including organizing yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press.   Keith Cianfrani is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, master aviator and Army instructor pilot, rated in both helicopters and...
September 12, 2014
The Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG) used a Bell 429 to debut its VVIP MAGnificent luxury cabin interior design at the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On show for the first time in Latin America, Armando Sassoli, co-general manager...
September 10, 2014
Some years ago, I believe it was 2009, I had written an article about safety in our offshore environment and how some of our flying activities were a bit out of the norm for everyday helicopter operations. I’m not going to rehash all of the daily problems we face operating in our hostile environment such as bird strikes, communications, blowouts, poison gas and crowded airspace, to name a few. One...
September 10, 2014
Australian aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, has responded to the Australian Helicopter Industry Association’s (AHIA) criticisms of the proposed Part 61 (flight crew licensing) regulations, accusing the AHIA of being “wide of the mark” in a number of its claims. The new regulations are designed to bring Australia’s rules in line with International Civil...
September 9, 2014
The Maltese armed forces (AFM) have taken delivery of their first AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter destined for maritime border control missions. At the acceptance ceremony, Maltese Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia praised the aircraft and said that it was...
September 8, 2014
The Cargo on/off Loading System (COOL) from Boeing CH-47 allows the rapid configuration of the helicopter floor between cargo and other missions. Photo courtesy Boeing On July 22, Bell-Boeing was awarded a $69.6 million cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order in support of the V-22 for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. The order relates to the...
September 8, 2014
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services-North America has added the AS223L1 model to its FAA certified cockpit voice and flight-data recording (CVFDR) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). It joins the...
September 8, 2014
David Rogers David Rogers has joined Elbit Systems of America, subsidiary of Elbit Systems, Ltd., as the company’s senior vice president of operations. Rogers has a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Industrial Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology as well as an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University. He brings more than 20 years of experience in management, operations, engineering, and...
September 5, 2014
Last time in this column, a description of an oddball surprise which could conceivably befall any unsuspecting helicopter pilot was presented, and it implied that experiences which crop up in the environment inhabited by Coast Guard operators represent only a single category in an almost infinite variety of obstacles to safety unavoidable across the composite spectrum of rotary wing aviation. Being...
September 5, 2014
German Bell UH-1D Hueys leaving the Ovar Portuguese airbase in northern Portugal. Photo by Andrew Drwiega “We train up to 700 students a year and we have somewhere around 27 training schools - and that doesn’t make sense,” said Andrew Gray, the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Hot Blade Helicopter Exercise Program (HEP) manager. “There is no harmonization of flying...
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