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December 1, 2013
Zero Accidents This is in response to the Question of the Month in the October 2013 issue (page 8): “What more needs to be done to improve the safety record of the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) community? We all have opinions on how to reduce the helicopter accident rate, not just HEMS. We hold NTSB hearings, form Safety Analysis Teams and workgroups. Organizations publish surveys...
December 1, 2013
Lee Benson is a 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 the section’s yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press.     Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief, is a senior defense/aviation journalist with a specialization in...
December 1, 2013
aparker@accessintel.com Three of the larger stories involving the helicopter industry in 2013 have ties to Eurocopter. The first is something Eurocopter didn’t do in relation to arguably the biggest story of the year, as the manufacturer dropped out of U.S. Army Aviation’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) competition, which leads to Future Vertical Lift (FVL), first with the medium variant. Army Aviation...
December 1, 2013
My mind seems to wander more at this time of year than when I plunder about the routine happenings here along the U.S. Gulf Coast during the spring and summer months. Having just attended our year-ending premier safety event, I think a summary of the discussions and actions brought forth by the Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference (HSAC) would be useful. After all, a meeting of the most prominent players...
December 1, 2013
It can be assured that the life of today’s helicopter pilot will take many interesting turns over the course of operational time, and that some of the inevitable convolutions will depart from familiar aviation disciplines in wildly diverging ways. Take, for example, the case of the helicopter situated outside normal aviation environments. It has long been enjoyed, sometimes positively and sometimes...
December 1, 2013
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) is heavily promoting its UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Air Force as a safeguard against cuts to the U.S. Army budget that would seriously impact UH-72 production. Proposed budget cuts for the 2014 fiscal year could reduce acquisition of the U.S. Army’s planned UH-72A fleet by 31 aircraft—which could effectively end Lakota production by early...
December 1, 2013
MQ-8C initial flight. Northrop Grumman has carried out the maiden flight of the unmanned MQ-8C. A ground-based group consisting of representatives from the U.S. Navy and North- rop Grumman flew the aircraft on Oct. 31 from Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, Calif. The initial...
December 1, 2013
Offshore, EMS, firefighting and SAR operator Era Helicopters has reached a five-year agreement with Canada-based Vector...
December 1, 2013
The U.S. Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) has moved a major step forward with the first run of the competing engines now complete. ITEP was created to find replacement engines for the General Electric T-700s that power the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. The new engines will provide power in the 3,000 SHP range compared to the 2,000 SHP range of the T-700 they will...
December 1, 2013
Eurocopter and AeroVironment signed a cooperative agreement during the AUSA annual meeting in late October to begin exploring new collaborative opportunities. The teaming agreement will focus on...
December 1, 2013
CH-53K blade. Sikorsky Aircraft has gone through the initial testing phase of the 35-foot main and 10-foot tail rotor blades for the CH-53K, the heavy lift helicopter being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. The blades are designed to meet USMC requirements for the CH-53K’s maximum gross weight of 88,000 lbs. Mike Torok, CH-53K vice president at Sikorsky...
December 1, 2013
Landing on a U.S. Navy ship. The U.S. Army is expanding its capabilities to protect the Persian Gulf region through joint training exercises with the U.S. Navy and friendly Middle East countries. Particular emphasis is being placed on working with the Navy to develop tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) for littoral (close to shore) operations in the region, to include over-water survival training and...
December 1, 2013
SkyCannon. Simplex Aerospace is adding the Max-Viz enhanced vision system as standard equipment on its SkyCannon helicopter-mounted firefighting system. The Astronics-produced Max-Viz EVS gives...
December 1, 2013
Ron Pratte’s EC145 at NBAA. Exhibit hall at NBAA 2013. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 66th annual Conference and Exposition in late October drew thousands of attendees, more than 1,000 exhibitors and 97 display aircraft. Rotorcraft OEMs and systems providers represented at the show included Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter, Honeywell, Kaman Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney Canada...
December 1, 2013
FlightSafety International (FSI) has promoted Ron Ladnier (left)to vice president of FlightSafety Services Corp., replacing Mike Sangster, who will continue to serve as a consultant through 2013. From 2011 Ladnier had been director of Military Business Development with responsibility for working with government and military agencies worldwide to identify and provide training and simulation equipment...
December 1, 2013
Techtest 500-32 Speech Enabled PLB Re-introducing the 500-32 Series Personal Locator Beacons; now available with full speech capability on the standard frequency of 121.5 MHz. The 500-32 retains its simple, compact 132mm x 72mm x 34mm lightweight form weighing in at less than 370 grams, making it one of the smallest and most effective beacons on the market. The PLBs are compatible with the majority of...
December 1, 2013
Max-Viz EVS System Available from Astronics An Astronics Max-Viz EVS system can increase safety and mission success in both rotary and fixed-wing EMS fleets for approximately half the cost of night vision goggles (NVGs) with no need for costly flight deck lighting modifications and hours of expensive initial and recurrent flight crew training and currency. Max-Viz EVS can give your pilots and aircraft...
December 1, 2013
After many hours in the cockpit, it’s not uncommon for a good helicopter pilot to become very in-tune with their machine and its abilities. Getting to know your aircraft to this level and being able to operate it safely at or near its limits is commendable evidence of countless hours of flying. But don’t ever use it as a substitute for computing the required performance, weight, and balance...
December 1, 2013
Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) slammed into the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 8 and brought havoc to the lives of millions of people as its 200-mph-plus winds and associated tidal surge blasted away buildings, villages, towns and people. It was already expected to be the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines – and it lived up to expectations as one of the worst storms to hit land ever...
December 1, 2013
All work done on Huffman’s helicopters is accomplished in this hangar by company personnel. Pick a tourist destination anywhere in the world, and you might find a helicopter operation selling aerial tours. From the serene beauty of the Grand Canyon, to the glistening skyscrapers in Dubai, there’s nothing like sightseeing from the air. Huffman Helicopters – along with its parent company...
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