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September 5, 2014
German Bell UH-1D Hueys leaving the Ovar Portuguese airbase in northern Portugal. Photo by Andrew Drwiega “We train up to 700 students a year and we have somewhere around 27 training schools - and that doesn’t make sense,” said Andrew Gray, the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Hot Blade Helicopter Exercise Program (HEP) manager. “There is no harmonization of flying...
September 5, 2014
We have all seen the statistics concerning laser strikes versus aircraft over the last few years. Reported laser strikes on aircraft in the U.S. have increased from 300 in 2005 to 3,900 in 2013. These strikes can range in severity from a significant distraction, to a safety hazard which could cause an accident or temporary to permanent damage to the flight crews’ eyes. I recently attended...
September 4, 2014
Nibbio aircraft by Politecnico di Milano The winners of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International 31st Student Design Competition were St. Louis University (SLU) in the undergraduate category and Georgia Institute of Technology in the graduate category. The challenge set by AHS for the 2014 Student Design Competition was to design an experimental Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft...
September 3, 2014
While truth is no doubt the first casualty of war, I am relatively sure that the Internet is the number one killer. OK – That is not an entirely fair statement, because truth on the Internet is not entirely dead, but there are times that it seems to have gone into deep hiding. How is it that something that holds such promise as the great equalizer of knowledge, has instead become the greatest source...
September 3, 2014
The information found in a pilot’s logbook and FAA records may not be an accurate reflection their proficiency and work history. Does PRIA see through the smoke and mirrors? Photo by Ernie Stephens In August 2010, the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Extension Act changed the way the Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA) works and how the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) handles an airman’s...
September 3, 2014
At this year’s Quad-A convention, held in Nashville, Tenn. in May, Bell Helicopter displayed a full scale mock-up of its V-280 Valor, a third-generation tiltrotor aircraft. Photo by Andrew Drwiega The most unsurprising announcement of the year so far is the U.S. Army Aviation Technology Directorate’s (AATD) decision revealed on August 12 that the Boeing/Sikorsky partnership and Bell Helicopter...
September 3, 2014
Here we go again. Another crisis in the Middle East with the U.S. and the Great Britain among the first to react with military assistance to protect and resupply civilians freeing from the surprisingly well organized and equally well armed forces of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). News of the Iraqi Air Force and Army, the force that took over from American and allied forces when they exited the country...
September 1, 2014
This X4 UAV is equipped with position lights for added safety. Photo courtesy of Draganfly Innovations Pilots and operators of manned aircraft are under a significant threat as inexpensive microdrones proliferate, while the FAA drags its heels in crafting a regulatory framework that will reduce risks, and permit drones and manned aircraft to peacefully and safely to coexist. The core of the problem is that...
September 1, 2014
Rapco, Inc. of Hartland, Wis., is a manufacturer and distributor of PMA parts for both helicopters and airplanes. Photo courtesy of Rapco A helicopter is, in fact, a very large collection of parts, most of which operate in an extremely violent fashion. Which means, of course, that they have to be replaced on a regular basis – normally during a pre-determined period based on flight time or flight...
September 1, 2014
Fully integrated flight data recording is now affordable for the light single and twin engine fleet. PHI is outfitting their Bell 407s with NORTH FDS HUMS/HFDM recorders. Photo courtesy PHI Health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) and helicopter flight data management (HFDM) systems are powerful aviation tools. Their capabilities will eventually make them mandatory and will prove indispensible to the...
September 1, 2014
FFL’s aft cabins, equipped with the latest technology, are accessible by sliding side doors and rear-mounted clamshell doors. Photo by Ernie Stephens If you are in portions of Wisconsin or Illinois, and your life is in immediate danger from illness or accident, you won’t just expect a ride from Flight For Life... you’ll want it! Flight For Life (FFL) was the first air medical program in...
September 1, 2014
Aero Dynamix Achieves QPL Certification Aero Dynamix, Inc. has now been approved by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for addition to the qualified products list (QPL) for MIL-DTL-7788 integrally illuminated panels. Aero Dynamix’s proprietary, in-house panel design and production capabilities include: state-of-the-art illumination design and testing technologies essential for effective light...
August 12, 2014
The Scorpion helmet mounted sight and display (HMSD) system from Thales provides color symbology and video for both day and night missions, improving situational awareness among crews aboard armed helicopters. Photo courtesy Thales The military began using night vision technology as early as the 1950s. When decreasing size and increasing performance finally put night vision technology in the hands –...
August 12, 2014
Australian helicopter charter operator Air Melbourne has launched a Heli-Express service linking Melbourne’s general aviation airport, Moorabbin Airport (MBW), with the central business district and the city’s international airport. The company operates three twin-engine, eight-seat AgustaWestland AW109s seven days a week. The flight between Moorabbin and...
August 12, 2014
The U.S. National Park Service has put a policy memorandum into effect that prohibits the use of unmanned aircraft in all of the country’s national parks. Following noise, nuisance and safety complaints from park visitors and staff, NPS enacted a policy requiring UAV operators to obtain special permission to use any kind of unmanned aircraft in the parks. Jeffrey Olson, spokesman for the National...
August 11, 2014
Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief, is a senior defense/aviation journalist with a specialization in international military rotorcraft. Based in London, he has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan on numerous occasions on attachment with American and British helicopter forces. Andrew is a member of the Army Aviation Association of America, the Royal United Services Institute, the Air Power...
August 11, 2014
Direction Finding SAR from Techtest Ltd. Mission-critical factors for life saving SAR operations include: maximum detection range of emergency beacon transmissions, flight time to locate the beacon(s), available time at the rescue site. These parameters are addressed by the Techest DF SAR. 121.5 MHz, 156.8 MHz, 243 MHz and 406 MHz are cyclically scanned providing 360 degrees DF bearing. The system is...
August 11, 2014
Revolution’s R44 with the Hummingbird UAV. Photo courtesy Revolution Aviation Revolution Aviation, a flight training school based at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, Calif., claims to be the first flight school in the United States to offer instruction on helicopters, fixed-wing platforms, and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), more commonly known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones...
August 8, 2014
CH-47. Photo courtesy Boeing From Boeing’s facility in St. Louis—“Customers need innovation, ideas and affordability. They want more capability at the right time and the right price,” said Chris Chadwick, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, speaking as Boeing was preparing to attend the Farnborough Airshow in July. He stated that the company’s general...
August 8, 2014
Looking at a panel full of instruments is like looking at the heartbeat of your aircraft. Thinking back to primary flight training brings up basic images of how they work, such as the altimeter with its expandable bellows that moves a dial; or the attitude indicator, with a gyro inside that looks like the one on the shelf in science class. Those simple pictures help bring understanding and may aid in...
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