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October 15, 2014
Boeing AH-64. Photo by Ernie Stephens Reuters is reporting that India is nearing a deal to acquire AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters from Boeing. The deal, believed to be worth $2.5 billion, will give Prime Minister Narendra Modi more military resources to “meet the challenges posed by China and Pakistan." The 22...
October 15, 2014
Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) has presented One Atmosphere with its 2014 Eureka award in support of outstanding science for safeguarding Australia for its Pegasus helicopter emergency buoyancy system. The system is a lightweight, bolt-on/bolt-off buoyancy system – like an air bag – that inflates automatically when the helicopter impacts water. It is...
October 10, 2014
ADAC helicopters receive service at the operation’s maintenance facility. Photos by Andrew Drwiega Thomas Gassmann, director of business development and sales at the ADAC HEMS Academy at Bonn airport in Germany, runs ADAC’s annual international networking event for EC135/EC145 operators, now in its third year. The HEMS Academy provides what it claims is the world’s first civilian...
October 10, 2014
Legend has it that I showed up for my interview at the police aviation unit wearing a pocket protector. I categorically deny this. At that time, there existed a crusty, weathered Vietnam-Era instructor pilot who was heard to say, “I don’t care where you put that dweeb, just don’t put him on my team.” Well, you know how that request was answered. He had to live with me for years. I...
October 9, 2014
Well, friends, I saw something that confused me so much I had to read it three times to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood. But I hadn’t. There was actually an article in the August 31 edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that said several politicians are “pushing to scale back the 1033 program.” The Defense 1033 Excess Property program puts surplus military equipment into the...
October 9, 2014
Helicopter operator PHI has achieved Level 4 (the highest level) of the FAA’s voluntary Safety Management System (SMS) pilot program. PHI has used an integrated SMS for over a decade which enabled it to enter the FAA’s voluntary program...
October 9, 2014
Life Air Rescue, an air medical service located in Shreveport, La., has received an Airbus Helicopters EC135 from Metro Aviation. The rescue service was formed in 1993 when Life Air 1 and Air...
October 8, 2014
Puma HC2 on the tarmac in Portugal. Photos by Andrew Drwiega Three of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) new Puma HC2 helicopters from 230 Squadron flew to the Ovar airbase in Portugal during July to take part in their first major foreign exercise since being upgraded by manufacturer Airbus Helicopters. The occasion was the annual European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Hot Blade Exercise that was taking...
October 8, 2014
I had the opportunity to do something truly unique this past month. I attended the opening of a new heliport. How unique is that, you might ask? Allow me to add some perspective. My name has been on the masthead of this magazine in some capacity for 25 years. In that time, I can recall the opening of only three heliports in the United States. I have attended exactly two grand openings of new heliports...
October 8, 2014
As the last quarter of 2014 begins, those who work and play with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - often referred to by the less technical term “drones” - continue watching for more FAA guidance regarding their remotely operated vehicles. To date, the agency has been moving slowly and uncharacteristically quietly towards establishing regulations that will allow UAVs to safely share the National...
October 8, 2014
Igor Sikorsky aboard an early version of his VS-300. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky Does the truth matter in defense reporting – or does it get in the way of a good story? While most observers would immediately think of an eager journalist trying to file a story, it can equally be attributed to the ‘good news’ centric defense establishment. The fear factor within the ranks of the United...
October 7, 2014
Airbus Helicopters UK has appointed Alvaro Beteta Meredith as the head of communications. Based at the company’s headquarters in the UK, Meredith will report to Airbus Helicopters UK Managing Director Colin James. Meredith comes from his previous role as communications and PR manager at Airbus Group UK, and...
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...
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