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March 1, 2016
Plans to restructure the U.S. Army’s aviation operations would keep AH-64 Apaches in the National Guard. Photo courtesy of Boeing The National Commission on the Future of the Army has proposed an aviation restructure solution that would keep AH-64 Apaches in the U.S. Army National Guard, but it would cost an extra $165 million a year, on top of a $420 million upfront cost. The commission, in its...
March 1, 2016
Robinson Deliveries Rise; Dollar Slows Growth Photo courtesy of Robinson Helicopter Robinson Helicopter delivered 347 aircraft in 2015, a modest 5.5% increase from the 329 it delivered in 2014, the company said last month. The turbine-powered R66 led all models in delivery value with 117 delivered, up from 101 in 2014. The remaining deliveries were divided among Robinson’s piston models: 152 R44...
March 1, 2016
Bristow Group Inc. has invested $4.2 million in Sky-Futures, a leading provider of drone inspection data services for the oil and gas industry. The investment gives Bristow entry to the fast-growing unmanned aircraft system services business. It includes an exclusive partnership agreement, the helicopter firm said, and gives Bristow access to Sky-Futures drone inspection operational expertise, data...
March 1, 2016
Airbus Helicopters donated H225 simulator time for the study. Photo courtesy of HeliOffshore The offshore helicopter industry’s latest safety effort includes collaborative research to enhance pilot performance in the cockpit by studying how aviators monitor instruments in flight. HeliOffshore, the not-for-profit organization set up in 2014 to improve flight safety and advance technical competence...
March 1, 2016
  Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics appointed Marc Medeiros as director of sales. Medeiros will lead the company’s sales strategy and manage its sales team. He has 20 years experience in the industry and previously held the same position at Rockwell Collins since 2012.   CybAero board member Claes Drougge has been appointed chairman again after its previous chairman, Anna Öhrwall...
March 1, 2016
Transport Canada’s drone regulations proposed to go into effect this year would vary based on the risks of operating in a given location and will not distinguish between recreational and commercial operators, according to the agency. The new rules would retain the Special Flight Operations Certificate process for operators of drones weighing more than 55 lb (25 kg). But operators of drones weighing...
March 1, 2016
The U.S. Navy wants to replace its TH-57 Sea Rangers, shown on the runway at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida, in 2014, with IFR-certificated aircraft that are part of an Advanced Helicopter Training System. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 1st Class Karlton Rebenstorf The U.S. Navy expects to issue a request for proposals by the year’s end to provide an Advanced Helicopter...
February 1, 2016
The Dec. 15, 2015, crash of an Air Methods/Native Air Ambulance AS350 is among the latest examples of accidents that taint the public’s image of the helicopter industry Photo courtesy of the Associated Press The helicopter industry presents several faces to the public. There is the dramatic and heroic rescue following a natural disaster or man-made catastrophe. A serious highway crash may trigger...
February 1, 2016
  I previously have discussed the FAA’s Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program, asking whether it protects you. Because of shortcomings in that program and the application of rules and procedures related to it, I encouraged individual airmen to immediately file a report with NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (using Form ARC 277B) in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulation 91.25...
February 1, 2016
The Alouette III had been in service for more than 50 years with the Dutch air force until its retirement in December. The Aérospatiale Alouette III served more than 50 years with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, demonstrating the helicopter’s reliability and versatility. The aircraft’s operational capabilities by the time it was introduced were many times greater than the available...
February 1, 2016
Unplanned landings in isolated areas could quickly become critical survival situations (opposite, left; bottom, right). Photo by Mike Hangge Smoke from survival signal fires (opposite, right) can be seen from miles away and might attract the attention of fire and rescue personnel. Photo courtesy of Randall’s Adventure and Training Pack your survival kit (left) smartly, and keep it with you on every...
February 1, 2016
There are various heliport insurance options that appropriately cover each unique heliport operation. Photos courtesy of Iridescent/Wikicommons, Forest and Kim Starr, Andy C/Wikicommons Heliports face a range of risks and liability exposures in their daily operations, not all of which might be apparent at first. This information is intended to serve as an introduction to help facilitate discussions between...
February 1, 2016
The U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B’s ability to deploy swiftly over great distances is providing solid examples of speed’s value in Pentagon future-aircraft discussions. Some operators want incremental speed gains, while Bristow (below) and others are investigating bigger speed advantages.   Images courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps / Cpl. Ryan C. Mains, Airbus Helicopters and...
February 1, 2016
A 737 MAX 8 in CIT livery. Photo courtesy of Boeing If we take popular news coverage at its face, it may seem like dodging quadcopters and laser pointers is the primary concern of public service helicopter pilots in the U.S. But let’s not forget flight data analysis—an issue far less likely to drum up images of a summer blockbuster, but still of great relevance to air ambulance operations as we...
February 1, 2016
  As part of the centennial celebration of U.S. Coast Guard aviation this year, the service has painted a Sikorsky Aircraft MH-60 Jayhawk bright yellow, the paint scheme used in the late 1940s and early 1950s for both Coast Guard and the U.S...
February 1, 2016
  There are several clarifications regarding the U.S. Army’s program to offer surplus Black Hawks for sale to the civil market. It was previously unclear who would actually show up with a checkbook. Now, several operators, including Northwest Helicopters, Arista Aviation, P.J. Helicopters, Brainerd Helicopters, Brown Helicopters, Timberline Helicopters and Unical Aviation, have all taken...
February 1, 2016
  Without a doubt, the explosion in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology brought consumer-level drones to many homes across the globe this past holiday season. So when my nephew was excited to show me his, I realized I had control of one for the very first time. The experience confirmed my mixed feelings about whether drones, their technology and their potential for technology have a positive or...
December 11, 2015
The pilot of a Scottish police helicopter flew for 10 minutes after two low-fuel warnings before both engines on his Eurcopter EC135 flamed out and the aircraft plunged through the roof of a downtown Glasgow, killing the pilot, two others onboard and seven people in the bar. The aircraft’s main fuel tank contained about 160 lb of usable fuel at the time of the crash.   Those were among the...
December 1, 2015
If there’s one thing industry experts at R&WI’s inaugural Rotorcraft Certification Summit could agree on about the certification process, it’s that there are severe inefficiencies. With new FAA safety mandates in effect or imminent and prospective revisions to Federal Aviation Regulations Part/EASA Certification Specifications 27 and 29 approaching, the summit provided a dialogue...
December 1, 2015
(From left to right) Metro ‘s Milton Geltz, Bell’s Tom Brooks, AgustaWestland’s Fabio Nannoni and the FAA’s Lee Roskop discuss mandates and the challenges of meeting them. AgustaWestland’s vice president of engineering captured the sense of many at R&WI’s Rotorcraft Certification Summit when he observed that today’s certification processes pose a significant...
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