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November 1, 2015
  Carol Busch, as an associate appraiser with HeliValue$, has been elected secretary of the Wisconsin chapter of the American Society of Appraisers. Busch has been with HeliValue$ for 28 years. Branding Iron Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations promoted Sheila Reed to director of trade shows and events. Reed previously interned and also was a marketing coordinator at the company. Alain Gourven...
November 1, 2015
    Aero Dynamix receives STC for the S-76D Aero Dynamix now has STC approval (SR09650RC) for the Sikorsky S-76D. The NVG STC encompasses internal NVIS avionics modifications, edge-lit panels, overlays and all other aircraft illuminated components. These upgrades are designed to achieve a balanced cockpit that is optimized for both NVIS and daylight readability performance. Aero Dynamix is the...
October 19, 2015
A U.S. plan to require registration of “hobby” 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 today said he had set up an industry/government task force to advise him by Nov. 20 on how to set up the registry...
October 1, 2015
FARs not the Problem I have been a designated engineering representative (DER) for U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 27 and 29 (mechanical systems and powerplant) since 1980. In my experiences, I have seen many of the problems you described in your August editorial (“Getting the Rules Right,” R&WI, August 2015, page 4). For instance, you write of modified aircraft kept out of...
October 1, 2015
  A transposed rendering of helmets, from left to right: Gentex Corp.'s ALPHA Eagle, Evolution Helmets' EVO 252 and Gentex's HGU-56. Photos courtesy of Gentex Corp. and Helicopter Helmet, LLC In April 2015, personnel from the FAA’s Rotorcraft Directorate and its Civil Aerospace Medical Institute discussed the results of their analysis into the effects of post-crash fires during 125 fatal...
October 1, 2015
A Bell206 configured for air-medical transport. Photo courtesy of Metro Aviation Thirteen years. That is how long U.S. aeromedical industry advocates say it has been since air ambulance operators have been working under the current regime for cost reimbursement. In 2002, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services set the schedule of fees it would pay for ambulance transportation by ground or air...
October 1, 2015
A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew member adjusts his night vision goggles. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Most military, emergency medical service, search and rescue, law enforcement and firefighting aviation crewmembers today would never consider flying without night vision goggles (NVGs). As with any technological advancement, however, we must be on guard for unintended consequences of NVG use. One such...
October 1, 2015
  CHC Group has sent out the call for industry leaders interested in presenting at its prestigious Safety & Quality Summit next April in Vancouver, British Columbia. The annual event has become world renowned as a venue to forward-thinking safety professionals to share their victories and challenges in enhancing helicopter and industrial safety. Last year’s event—hosted by CHC...
October 1, 2015
Necessary items to include in a survival kit vary from person to person, but keep in mind the basics, especially warmth. Photos by Mike Hangge. Imagine flying north up the coastline of Washington State with nothing but a carpet of green hills off your right wing and a sea of blue off the left when suddenly the aircraft stops. Scrambling to make a mayday call, you pull the nose for your first water landing...
October 1, 2015
  I once had the honor of talking to a former World War II fighter pilot assigned to the famous 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the only unit that never lost an escorted aircraft to enemy attack. The gentleman regaled me with the story of one of his most memorable missions. He said he and his group were homebound with a flight of bombers under escort when a speck was spotted...
October 1, 2015
  Vibration analysis on rotorcraft blades isn’t easy. Helicopter engineers go through great lengths to ensure each blade is nearly identical in shape, weight distribution and stiffness. Although they seem to whiz around rigidly, blades actually are quite flexible. It’s important that none of their frequencies are in resonance with airframe components. This is a difficult task since each...
October 1, 2015
  A moderately wise helicopter pilot once proclaimed that it is better to dress to avoid an accident than to survive one. This postulation brings to mind a rough approximation of a quandary I originally appreciated in the 1970s as Ralph Nader declared Chevrolet’s Corvair unsafe at any speed. He suggested that cars from that time forward be made crashworthy, rather than have designers plan...
September 23, 2015
  In the late 1990s, I had an unusual opportunity. I was invited—as the safety reporter for a major aerospace trade magazine—to shadow the FAA administrator. For five days, from shortly after the administrator, Jane Garvey, left her Washington, D.C., apartment for the early-morning, four-block trip to 800 Independence Avenue until the day’s end, I was at her side. I sat in on...
September 1, 2015
The worst of Katrina’s effects hit on the hurricane’s east side, along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts. Much of the damage in New Orleans came from surging waters pushed by Katrina and floods from failed levees. Photo courtesy of U.S. Defense Dept. You can’t say no one saw it one coming. Even as the tropical depression passed over the southern Bahamas Islands on Aug. 23, 2005, more...
September 1, 2015
The number of rotor blades, rotor rpm and rotor diameter have little effect on formation of the vortex ring state, but aircraft with higher disk loading and increased blade twist are more susceptible to it. Photos courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps, Airbus Helicopters (below, top) and Robinson Helicopter (below, bottom). On Aug. 23, 2013, a Eurocopter AS332 with 18 persons on board was on the final stage of...
September 1, 2015
Modern avionics like the Garmin G1000H flight deck in Bell Helicopter’s 407GXP are designed to provide a pilot with critical flight information at a glance for greater situational awareness and safety. Photo courtesy of Bell The desire for safety enhancements and consumer electronics-like capabilities in aircraft is what will drive helicopter owners and operators to buy new avionics in the near...
September 1, 2015
A camera mounted on a DJI Phantom (superimposed here) took this nighttime photo from a height of 150 ft. Such small UAS capabilities concern privacy advocates. Photos by Mark Colborn When a vacationing 39-year-old California man flew a Parrot Bebop Drone 100 ft above Washington’s Lafayette Park May 14, the U.S. capital took notice. The park, a popular spot for protesters, is directly across...
September 1, 2015
An AgustaWestland AW101 (VVIP) outside London ExCeL on display in 2013. Photo courtesy of Reed Exhibitions Helitech International will return to its ExCeL London venue in October with exhibitors from 20-plus countries and a conference and seminar program that will explore the prospects for growth in new technology and ongoing efforts to improve the safety of global rotorcraft operations. Organized by Reed...
September 1, 2015
A donated Agusta A109 GdiF variant, previously operated by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza. Photos courtesy of The Helicopter Museum The rotorcraft industry is, like all of aviation, forward-looking. Unless you count the early days of Chinese bamboo-copters and Leonardo da Vinci’s “aerial screw,” it’s also fairly young. But a lot has happened since Igor Sikorsky first coaxed the...
September 1, 2015
Airbus Helicopters’ EC145/H145 has proven itself a successful multi-mission competitor in both civil and military applications. Photo courtesy of Airbus Uncertain economic and political times like those that persist around the world today have many effects. When it comes to helicopters, such times sharpen the interest of operators—whether commercial firms, military services or public...
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