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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...
November 1, 2015
Lockheed Martin and United Technologies Corp said last month they expect to close by the end of the year on a $9 billion deal for the former to buy Sikorsky Aircraft from the latter, but the sale could be done any day now. S-97 Experimental Test Pilot Bill Fell briefs attendees of the Assn. of the U.S. Army annual convention in Washington Oct. 13 on the...
November 1, 2015
Afghan military leaders and MD Helicopters swapped claims last month about the performance of newly delivered armed MD-530F’s. A U.S. trooper provides security while an MD-530F takes off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan with an all-Afghan crew for a combat mission Sept. 27. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch They are not effective combat weapons in...
November 1, 2015
A U.S. plan to require registration of all unmanned aircraft systems, including small drones, offers the federal government better options for educating drone operators about their responsibilities in the air and enforcing their compliance with flight and airspace rules. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Oct. 19 said he had set up an industry/government task force to advise him by Nov. 20 on...
November 1, 2015
Alpine Helicopters co-founder Ted Jansen died at the age of 86 on Sep. 21. He also was an avid agricultural philanthropist. Jansen’s heavy involvement in agriculture and aviation stemmed from having been raised on a farm in Canada’s Porteeve area. In 1949, he moved to Alberta, where he worked on oil rigs, eventually becoming a head driller. He received a professional pilot’s license there...
November 1, 2015
S-76 operators inspected their aircraft after preliminary findings pointed toward a flight control failure in the Aug. 12 crash of a Bristow Group S-76...
November 1, 2015
Companies exhibiting at Helitech International 2015 in London logged some major orders at the Oct. 6-8 show. Airbus’ H160 full-scale mockup made its British debut at Helitech, where the manufacturer said the aircraft’s flight test program is proceeding, with the prototype having reached 175 kt and an altitude of 10,000 ft. The second prototype is planned to fly before year’s end. Photo...
November 1, 2015
An industry proposal for the U.S. FAA to streamline certification of single-engine instrument flight rule helicopters is stuck in a trade association review process. Four U.S. aviation associations spent much of the last year drafting the proposal. The groups—the General Aircraft Manufacturers Assn., AHS International, the Aircraft Electronics Assn. and Helicopter Assn. International—published the...
November 1, 2015
The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team wants to examine how heliports, weather reporting and low-level IFR infrastructure could be improved to better reduce rotorcraft accidents. It is working with FAA officials to organize a one-and-a-half-day meeting in Washington in mid-to-late February 2016 for high-level discussions of those issues and how to prioritize and pursue improvements. Like counterparts in Europe...
November 1, 2015
A highly respected international safety organization is expanding its focus on rotorcraft operations and reaching out to operators and associations to discuss areas of common interest and concern. The Flight Safety Foundation is refining a proven risk-standard set to make it particularly useful to companies that work in the offshore environment and the aviation operators that support them. It also is...
November 1, 2015
With the uncertainty of stopgap funding that could expire by year’s end and draconian budget cuts on the horizon, the U.S. Army is operating on the “ragged edge” of its capability, the service’s outgoing civilian chief said Oct. 12. In the six years John McHugh has served as Army secretary–the second longest tenure in the service’s history–he has not received a...
November 1, 2015
Airbus Helicopters offered an all-new design for Japan’s new UH-X utility military helicopter and has not given up on taking over development of that 150-aircraft program from the selected contractors. Airbus aims to convince Japan that its bid with Kawasaki to replace Bell/Fuji UH-1Js is still the best one, despite a contract award to competitors. Photo courtesy of Los688, Wikimedia Commons Japan...
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