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April 10, 2013
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that a private text conversation was one of the factors that contributed to a series of poor decisions resulting in the August 2011 crash of an Air Methods Eurocopter AS350 B2 in Mosby, Mo. Four people died as a result of the accident, including the pilot, James Freudenberg. According to NTSB, in addition to being distracted from...
April 8, 2013
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday at age 87, may be remembered militarily for leading the United Kingdom in the campaign to retake the Falkland Islands in 1982, which had been invaded by Argentina’s forces in a surprise attack. She served three terms in office and her defining moment could be said to have been during the Falklands War. Her close relationship with...
April 4, 2013
The helicopter industry lost a pioneer last week, as former Canadian Air Force pilot Osvil “Ozzie” York died following a brief illness. Ozzie York. Photo courtesy of Twirly Birds...
April 1, 2013
With helicopter numbers expected to multiply rapidly in India over the next few years, both in the civil sector and the military, there is a corresponding rise for synthetic training, something that is just now coming to the fore. A joint venture organization established in January 2008 between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and CAE, the Canadian simulation and integrated training provider, now seems...
April 1, 2013
Bristow EC175 at the Eurocopter booth.   HAI’s Heli-Expo played host to 60 helicopters and 736 exhibitors in Las Vegas while attracting 20,393 visitors during the three-day event in early March. The oil and gas sector was a principle beneficiary of many of the orders signed with the major OEMs during this year’s show. The first official customer for Eurocopter’s new EC175 helicopter...
April 1, 2013
When you first arrive at the Daytona Beach or Prescott campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), it does not take long to see that everyone there is well aware of safety management as they “Live the Safety Culture” every day. Dan McCune, vice president of safety, orchestrated the visit. I met McCune at a U.S. Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) safety management systems (SMS)...
April 1, 2013
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched its VTOL X-Plane program to challenge industry engineers to dream up “novel concepts” for the next generation of vertical lift.     During a conference call with reporters, VTOL X-Plane Program Manager Ashish Bagai said that one of the main objectives is to “not just revisit existing methods or approaches...
April 1, 2013
During an exclusive interview with Rotor & Wing on March 6, Bell Helicopter President & CEO John Garrison detailed the manufacturer’s plans for the future of tiltrotor technology. Bell has submitted its own proposal for the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate’s (AATD) Joint Multi Role (JMR) technology demonstrator (TD). All proposals had to be received in early March. Bell...
April 1, 2013
With the threat of sequestration in the air, a question mark against the numbers of military that would attend, and a gloomy presence by an industry reluctant to take part in a gathering that has seemingly got progressively smaller both in exhibitors and visitors, the annual winter AUSA ILW Aviation went ahead in January 2013 at National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. But speakers there...
April 1, 2013
Bell 206 Track Record   I’d like to comment on the well-written column by Lee Benson in the March issue of Rotor & Wing. He makes many good points about the Bell 206, and it's proven track record—both from a cost/simplicity standpoint, and its docile autorotational characteristics. Also, it truly is a very easy helicopter to fly… but that’s one of the issues I’d like...
April 1, 2013
Eurocopter anticipates that a fix to the main gearbox issues with the EC225 will be available in April. The model was temporarily grounded after two ditching incidents in the UK’s North Sea during 2012. “We have to fix the technical issues which we are currently facing with the 225. No doubt,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling during a March 5 press briefing at Heli-Expo...
April 1, 2013
Most things that happen in helicopter aviation can be viewed from more than one perspective, and sometimes achieving access to the correct viewpoint can end up feeling like a matter of life and death. During the 1970s, out of Borinquen, Puerto Rico, we enjoyed not only the pleasure of covering the largest search and rescue sector in all of U.S. Coast Guard operations with the exquisitely capable Sikorsky...
April 1, 2013
MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton through the cockpit of the MD540F.    At HAI Lynn Tilton, owner of MD Helicopters, said she was scarred, but stronger for it, in her efforts to turn MD Helicopters around since buying the company in 2005. “I can feel the Howard Hughes legacy on my shoulders.” The latest MD product, the MD540F, is on many military wish lists, she said. “We have...
April 1, 2013
Turbomeca uncovered its TM800 during an unveiling ceremony at Heli-Expo, giving it the name Arrano.    In an unveiling that featured an almost Cirque de Soleil-style introduction with acrobats fitting for Las Vegas and CEO Olivier Andries perched above a crowd gathered around the company’s booth, Turbomeca took the wraps off its latest engine on March 5...
April 1, 2013
Lockheed Martin/Kaman unmaned cargo K-Max.    Gary Tenison, vice president of business development and marketing for Kaman Aerospace, told Rotor & Wing that the company’s recent restructuring is part of a strategy to focus on operators. “One Kaman is about consolidating the Kaman business,” he said. “Helicopters were once apart and are now within the Aerosystems group...
April 1, 2013
As Marenco Swisshelicopter’s SKYe SH09 progresses into prototype development and first flight during 2013, the manufacturer has chosen Heliflite to serve as a distributor in...
April 1, 2013
Bell engineers use the 525 Relentless simulator to test the ergonomics and flight characteristics of the “super medium” helicopter design. Note the side-stick configuration of the fly-by-wire controls.   Last year, Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter unveiled the mock-up of its model 525 “Relentless,” the aircraft its designers call a “super medium” twin...
April 1, 2013
Roberto Garavaglia and new AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti during the company’s Heli-Expo press conference.    The expectation of a battle royale between the press and the management team from AgustaWestland at the company’s press conference on the eve of the opening of Heli-Expo in Las Vegas over the alleged Indian AW101 scandal in India did not materialize. Instead, newly...
April 1, 2013
Enstrom CEO Jerry Mullins and Guo Huaqiang, an official with parent company CQHIC.   Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Mich. used Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas as a backdrop for the introduction of a Garmin G1000H flight control option for its 480B light turbine aircraft. The fully integrated system is primarily a flight information source that provides terrain avoidance, collision awareness, weather and...
April 1, 2013
Walking through the long hallways of the Las Vegas Convention Center during HAI’s Heli-Expo in early March, I didn’t have to go far to see some sort of ongoing safety event. Whether it was a class on accident prevention, HFACS or safety management systems (SMS), the show was overwhelmingly conspicuous with safety awareness. I was impressed with the number of members who wanted to learn more...
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