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May 1, 2014
Lee Benson is a retired helicopter pilot who’s flying career started in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and concluded as Chief Pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Lee’s 15,500 hours of flying and 40 years of military, commercial and government flying operations afford him a very broad background in the helicopter world. In 2008 he started a consulting company and is contracted to...
May 1, 2014
Victor Novikov Russian Helicopters has made numerous announcements and appointments in recent weeks.Victor Novikov is now managing director for Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, which is part of Russian Helicopters. Kumertau produces co-axial helicopters including Ka-27, Ka-31 and Ka-226s. Novikov was previously with DBA Engineering as deputy CEO. He replaces Sergei Mikryukov who had been in the...
May 1, 2014
Another Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook pilot, Flight Lt. Charlie Lockyear, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for operations in Afghanistan with Master Aircrew (MACR) Bob Sunderland receiving a Mention in Dispatches during the same action. While on a mission in May 2013 to...
April 30, 2014
Synthetic vision systems, such Rockwell Collins’ Helisure, can be an invaluable feature for pilots who must fly in mountainous terrain where visibility can be reduced by clouds and precipitation with little advanced warning. Photo courtesy of Rockwell Collins Helicopter avionics have changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Technology that was once reserved for military fighters, corporate jets and...
April 30, 2014
Elsewhere in this issue of Rotor & Wing you may have read my piece on synthetic vision systems (SVS). As I was compiling it, the point was driven home that glass cockpits rule the day. Sure, they all have a primary display containing basic flight instrumentation, such as an airspeed indicator and altimeter. But it’s the other portions of the system that can be tailored to the needs of the...
April 29, 2014
Loading the Seahawk in preparation for MH370 search The Royal Australian Navy Sikorsky S-70B2 Seahawk joined the international search mission for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia. On March 28, a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster transported the Seahawk from HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW, to RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia, from where the...
April 29, 2014
One of six Sea Kings in transit through Nowra. Photo courtesy Australian Navy The Royal Australian Navy’s last six Westland Sea Kings have been removed from storage at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW, and transported to Port Kembla for export to the UK, where they will be broken up for parts by Aerospace Logistics (ASL). The Sea Kings were withdrawn from RAN service in December 2011 and replaced by the MRH-90...
April 28, 2014
AW609 rotors tilting. Photo by Ernie Stephens The idea of a flying machine that will take off and land vertically, then achieve airplane speeds, has been around since the development of engine-driven aircraft. Several designs have been toyed with, but arguably the most successful have fallen into one of two categories: a hybrid using a main rotor and propellers, or vectored thrust (i.e., a tilting rotor)...
April 28, 2014
Airbus Helicopters has reached a framework agreement with Avicopter covering a thousand EC175. Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters Airbus Helicopters has reached an agreement with China’s Avicopter to jointly produce 1,000 new...
April 28, 2014
With an increase in the number of vessels entering the polar circle in the Arctic, most search and rescue (SAR) specialists agree it is a matter of when, not if, an accident happens that will put many lives in grave danger. The point was made by several speakers at the start of IQPC’s Search and Rescue Europe conference (April 8-9) held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Maj. Gen. Stig Nielsen, commander...
April 25, 2014
Mark Gassaway, founder and president of Aerocomputers, passed away on Monday, March 17. He will be missed by his many friends in the aviation community. Mark was both a pilot and an engineer. These combined interests led to the foundation of Aerocomputers...
April 24, 2014
S-70B Seahawk launches as a refueling probe is transferred while both ships are deployed in search of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Photo courtesy of RAN Two recent tragic incidents have revealed the challenges of searching for, and rescuing people from, aircraft or vessels that get into difficulties in the maritime environment. In the case of Malaysian Airlines MH370, the challenge was actually tracking...
April 9, 2014
With an increase in the number of vessels entering the polar circle in the Arctic, most search and rescue (SAR) specialists agree it is a matter of when, not if, an accident happens then many lives will be in grave danger. The point was being made by several speakers at the start of IQPC’s Search and Rescue Europe conference (April 8-9) held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Maj. Gen. Stig Nielsen, commander...
April 2, 2014
With the presentation of the first prototype of the SKYe SH09 at Heli-Expo 2014, Marenco Swisshelicopter confirmed interest...
April 1, 2014
AW109 Trakker at Heli-Expo. By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief During Heli-Expo AgustaWestland introduced what CEO Daniele Romiti called the new member of the AW109 family, the light twin AW109 Trekker. Performers, whose representation of...
April 1, 2014
The North Sea, in many respects, is the epicenter of civil helicopter operations in the world. Since the ignition of the oil exploration boom in the area a half-century ago, Norway and the UK have become the primary users of helicopters, operating nearly 70 percent of the total fleet in Europe and 95 percent of airframes with more than 18 passenger seats. In the Norwegian and UK Continental Shelf sectors...
April 1, 2014
AgustaWestland’s booth at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti wants to “keep the speed of the company at the highest value possible but like when you drive a car, if you start exceeding its performance, then there must be a safety device to ensure you do not lose control. We have to ensure that we have the ability to keep the company safe.” Romiti...
April 1, 2014
Garmin booth at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi Peek into the cockpit of any aircraft on the ramp today, and you will be hard-pressed to find one whose panel does not contain a GPS, the common reference to global positioning system. At a time seemingly not long ago, GPS was a new device that, to the pilots on the front end, was not much different than the terrestrial-based LORAN navigation systems...
April 1, 2014
CAE 3000 Series. Photo courtesy of CAE After a long lean period when high-end Level D full-flight simulators were out of reach of most operators’ budgets and low-end “broomstick and a bucket” limited-capability flight training devices seemed the norm, helicopter training equipment is now every bit as sophisticated as that used for airline pilot training, if not moreso, particularly the...
April 1, 2014
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University booth at Heli-Expo 2014. Photo by Frank Lombardi Safety Management System (SMS) is the new standard of safety management programs that has officially been approved by the FAA for use in aviation operations. Right now, its use is mandatory for Part 121 air carriers but for the rotary wing community it is voluntary and recommended but not mandatory. FAA Advisory Circular...
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