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March 1, 2015
Many of you are reading these words at HAI Heli-Expo 2015, the annual focal point of excitement, change and new product rollouts within our market, and that is entirely fitting on a number of levels. On Feb. 15, the FAA finally issued the long-anticipated NPRM on commercial use of UAV’s within U.S. airspace. I did not have a great deal of time to dig into the details of the NPRM. But rest...
March 1, 2015
Arrano engine. Photo courtesy Turbomeca The long-term engine of choice for X4, the prototype of Airbus Helicopters’ new medium class twin-engine rotorcraft, will be an uprated Turbomeca Arrano engine. Airbus Helicopters has been running with two turboshaft engine options, Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW210E and Turbomeca’s Arrano, since the first design concept in 2012. However following...
February 12, 2015
I told a story about one of my past chief pilots in my last article. His opinion, as it related to training on light turbine helicopters, was as follows: point the thing in the middle where you want to go, push the thing on the left down to make the houses bigger, pull up to make them smaller and adjust the pedals accordingly. In a moment of deadline-induced hysteria, I said push down or pull up on the...
February 11, 2015
Plenty of chatter this past year was devoted to the clear uprising of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. This tech is now within the purchasable grasp of the general public. It has spread, almost virally, and as a result has outpaced much of the development of rules for use in the National Airspace System. The FAA is scrambling to implement some sort of legal control over the use of...
February 9, 2015
As we were going to press with this issue, I happened to notice two different stories in the mainstream media, both about new startup companies offering helicopter shuttle services. One story was from the Jan. 20 edition of the New York Post, and you can access it from our website at Why take a taxi to the airport when you can take a helicopter? The other was posted the very next day on the Wall Street...
February 9, 2015
Several times over the past couple of months, I was told horror stories about how great candidates for police pilot jobs were disqualified for employment by the polygraph during the application process. And the story was always the same: If it wasn’t because the applicant revealed that they had sampled a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) too many times or too recently, it was because they had lied...
February 9, 2015
The Sikorsky S-70i is manufactured by PZL Mielec in Poland. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky Contrary to the end-of-year rumblings that Sikorsky would withdraw its bid for the Polish military’s requirement for 70 medium-lift utility helicopters, when the announcement of the bidders was made by the Polish Armament Inspectorate on Dec. 30, 2014, Sikorsky’s name was present through subsidiary PZL...
February 6, 2015
Dr. Roman Sperl and Thomas Hütsch confirming the agreement for both companies to cooperate over the development of training systems and programs. Photo courtesy ADAC A new long-term partnership has been formed to develop synthetic training systems and training programs for helicopter operators in Germany and internationally. ADAC HEMS Academy and Reiser Simulation and Training will cooperate in...
February 6, 2015
PrecisionHawk, UAV manufacturer and Aerial Data Processing and Analysis Company, recently released its Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System (LATAS) to aid...
February 6, 2015
Metro Aviation recently obtained a supplemental type certificate (STC) for Airbus Helicopters’ AS350 B3 with Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) capability, meeting the FAA’s 2020 deadline. “Metro had the opportunity to obtain the ADS-B STC in conjunction with a fleet order of AS350 B3s. Not only will future aircraft installations benefit from the STC, but we will be able...
February 6, 2015
Book your travel plans now (hopefully, you already have), because HAI Heli-Expo 2015 is almost upon us. This year, the event will be held from March 2 - 5 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and more than 20,000 attendees are expected. It will feature professional educational courses, exhibitors, events and seminars that cover all aspects of the helicopter community including military...
February 5, 2015
Inside the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Center. Photos by Andrew Drwiega The Bavarian Mountain Rescue Center in Bad Tolz, southern Germany, is one of the world’s leading full-scale helicopter rescue training centers. Called the Center for Safeness and Training, it has been purposely built to provide the most challenging rescue environments – all from the comparative luxury of an indoor center where...
February 5, 2015
CNN has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) with the FAA to advance efforts to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into newsgathering and reporting. The arrangement will integrate efforts from...
February 5, 2015
Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) teams face daily challenges when it comes to safely and efficiently doing their jobs. There are several companies that design, manufacture and sell items such as hoists, harnesses and cargo hooks that help make the jobs a bit easier. Listed here are just a few of those companies and items available today. Aerial Aerial’s Spider is a six-person extraction device...
February 4, 2015
Digital night vision capability is now in the hands of Apache helicopter pilots. Following a $27 million contract signed in June 2013, the U.S. Army has begun equipping its Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet with a state-of-the-art digital night vision systems provided by Intevac. Designated the M611 camera, this system was designed as part of the U.S. Army’s Apache Modernized Target Acquisition...
February 4, 2015
The rear guard action being fought to keep Boeing’s AH-64 Apaches in the National Guard instead of transferring them all into the regular Army has been bolstered following the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by Congress last December. The legislation includes $1.25 billion for the National Guard and Reserve to address modernization shortfalls (not requested by President...
February 3, 2015
Last year, Revolution Aviation became the first private helicopter flight school to offer instruction in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). There was plenty of new ground to cover at the time; only the military and select colleges were training UAV pilots, no certification standards existed, and commercial unmanned flights were still banned by the FAA. Revolution joined dozens of other industry...
February 3, 2015
The United Nations is requesting the return of approximately 24 Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters to the peace keeping mission in Congo. This comes three years after New Delhi recalled them to address its own country’s domestic needs. The Deccan Herald, an English-language daily newspaper in the Indian state of Karnataka, reports that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Indian External Affairs...
February 3, 2015
Over the past few months, the FAA has granted several exemptions to UAV operators in the commercial market. To date, the FAA has given 14 exemptions to 13 companies in various industries. Most recently, the administration granted the first exemption for the use of UAVs for photography in the real estate...
February 2, 2015
This year, Bristow Helicopters will become the first civilian operator to provide all of the United Kingdom’s (UK) search and rescue (SAR) helicopters after being appointed by the Department of Transport on March 25, 2013. The task will be to provide SAR coverage around 10,500 miles of coastline, onshore and further offshore. The contract, worth $2.4 billion (£1.6 billion), was announced by...
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