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March 1, 2016
  Last year, my wife and I were among the first responders to a helicopter crash. Although we couldn’t do much to help at the scene, our conversation afterward prompted me to help in another way. I would like to speak plainly about a topic many of us prefer to avoid – death. It’s no secret death will eventually come for us all. If you know a way around that, please call and...
March 1, 2016
Photo courtesy of Metro Aviation If you travel by air enough, you have probably had the pleasure of experiencing a maintenance delay with an airline. Even though the largest global carriers have factory-supported service centers and back-up aircraft at their disposal, a break-down or unscheduled maintenance need can wreak havoc in operational schedules and inconvenience hundreds or even thousands of...
March 1, 2016
  By Pat Host The U.S. Army would take an important step forward with its Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative if its fiscal year 2017 budget request were enacted into law. American Helicopter Society International’s executive director, Mike Hirschberg, said the $10 million request by the Army, if granted, would mark the start of the process of defining FVL requirements and be the first funding...
March 1, 2016
A U.S. bill to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system, passed Feb. 11 by a House of Representatives committee, has received alternating support and criticism from aviation associations as it makes its way through the legislative process. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the bill, H.R. 4441, on Feb. 3. Called...
March 1, 2016
Jeff Pino, former president of Sikorsky Aircraft and vice chairman of XTI Aircraft, died Feb. 5. Photo courtesy of XTI Aircraft Company A legend in aviation, Jeff Pino, was killed Feb. 5 when his P-51D crashed in Maricopa, Arizona. Pino had a long and distinguished aerospace career that began in the early 1980s when, as a young captain, he began U.S. Army flight training. As few years earlier, he was a...
March 1, 2016
Bell Helicopter is targeting the 505 JetRanger X for certification later this year. Photos courtesy of Textron Inc. Bell Helicopter is stepping up marketing of its newest civil aircraft as testing progresses on the super-medium twin 525 Relentless and the light single 505 JetRanger X. Both helicopters are to be featured at Bell’s exhibit at Heli-Expo early this month in Louisville, Kentucky. The...
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...
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