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July 1, 2014
The tip speed of an H-60 tail rotor is nearly 700 fps. Without proper balancing, excessive tail rotor vibrations can insidiously cause equipment damage and airframe fatigue. Photo courtesy PEO Aviation, U.S. Army If you own or operate a helicopter, you’d probably like to boost your company’s profit margin. Right? Wouldn’t hurt to reduce your maintenance expenditures either. It’d be...
July 1, 2014
Lee Benson is the retired senior pilot for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Before he was named senior pilot, Lee ran the aviation section’s safety and training programs, including organizing the section’s yearly safety meeting with other public agencies and the press.   Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief, is a senior defense/aviation journalist with a specialization in...
July 1, 2014
Patrick Coulter FlightSafety International has promoted Patrick Coulter to director of business dev-elopment and commercial training. Coulter joined the company in 1998 as a ground school and simulator instructor at FlightSafety’s Learning Center. Before working for FlightSafety, Coulter was a commercial pilot and flight instructor. He holds an ATP certificate with single and multi-engine ratings...
July 1, 2014
FEC Remote Lighting Controller and Optional Weather Station FEC Heliports’ new Remote Lighting Controller (RLC) integrates both traditional VHF PCL and adds SMS/GSM control and monitoring with the option of automatic weather reporting (wind speed/direction, temperature, dew point and pressure). VHF operation can be remotely enabled/disabled for extra security. Remotely activate Circuits 1, 2 or 3 and...
June 30, 2014
Airbus Helicopters EC225 above an offshore oil rig. Photo by Anthony Pecchi, courtesy of Airbus Helicopters Airbus Helicopters is in discussions with potential customers in the Asia-Pacific region on possible purchases following a recent successful tour of the EC175 and EC145 T2 in the region. Asia is an area where Airbus sees great potential for its products and the manufacturer has been focused on...
June 24, 2014
AgustaWestland AW101 in the Norwegian SAR configuration. Photo courtesy AgustaWestland Your correspondent has battled his way through the corporate jungle that is the Farnborough Air Show for more than a quarter of a century. The show was once a closed showcase for products of a thriving British aerospace manufacturing industry but, as that has declined over the years, the requirement to reach out beyond...
June 13, 2014
It has always been, and will always be, the role of a well-trained U.S. Army helicopter mechanic to take care of Army aircraft. However, the problem over the past several years has been a simple matter of mathematics – too many man-hour requirements, too few man-hours available. Enter the civilian contractor. Civilian maintenance contractors have always been a part of Army Aviation, augmenting the...
June 12, 2014
The success of the United Kingdom’s Military Aviation Authority (MAA) is being regarded as a model for wider application of its principles across all arms of the military with the planned creation of a Defense Safety Authority. “We publish without approval – we don’t let other people mark our homework,” said the director general of the UK’s MAA, Air Marshal Dick Garwood...
June 11, 2014
An Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is simply a device that, when activated in the event of an unplanned landing or accident, sends out a distress signal pinpointing your location. It’s the one device that you hope you never need, but in the event that you do you want it to work perfectly. There are several things to consider when looking at ELTs. Most older ELTs, which were notoriously...
June 11, 2014
There is an impressive variety of tugs and dollies available for every conceivable type of rotary wing operation: wheels, manually controlled dollies, electric and gas-powered tugs, and powered platforms – some with wireless remote control. When maneuvering on a ramp or in and out of a hangar there is equipment that will pull, push, lift and perform the task at hand safely and efficiently. Some units...
June 11, 2014
One of the inevitabilities encountered in gaining rotary-wing aviation experience, when compared to indulgence in the relative orderliness of most fixed-wing flying, is the endless cavalcade of random safety challenges which are absolutely guaranteed to befall the virtuous pilot, however cautious and conservative that individual might aspire to be. Early recollections of Coast Guard operations, as...
June 10, 2014
To virtually no one’s surprise, the upcoming end to a decade of war has resulted in a serious drop in the U.S. President’s fiscal year 2015 military budget, with little hope for increases over the next half-decade or so. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) budget request for FY15 is $495.6 billion, compared to the FY14 budget of $615.10 billion. From that, the Army is asking for $120.5...
June 10, 2014
While contemplating how to encompass several thoughts about recent events into one article, an old English wedding custom came to mind involving old, new, borrow and blue (I got married in December 2013 so some matrimonial themes have still not been swept from my consciousness). Something Old: Continuity with the past. This month I visited Sikorsky in Stratford, Conn. and had the privilege of being showed...
June 9, 2014
The Indonesian Navy has announced its intention to purchase 16 Airbus Helicopters AS565 Panther aircraft for use in anti-submarine warfare. The medium twin-engine helicopter - a militarized version of the AS365 Dauphin - will come equipped with an assortment of specialized technology, including dipping sonar, and will be based aboard the service’s...
June 6, 2014
Bell Helicopters has boosted its presence in the Chinese helicopter market following the recent signing of a purchase agreement with Xinjang Tianyun General Aviation Company for a new Bell 407GX. As the company’s first helicopter, it will be used for sightseeing, VIP transport and agriculture support. The latest sale in China follows a number announced by Bell this year, including two 407GXs to...
June 5, 2014
New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority is reviewing safety awareness training involving Robinson helicopters in the country over the next 12 to 15 months after a recently-released final report into a fatal accident involving a R22 in April 2011 raised safety concerns. On April 27, 2011, an instructor and a student died when an R22 crashed during a cross-country training flight in the Southern Alps...
June 4, 2014
Australia Helicopters’ Ambulance Victoria operation. Photo courtesy Australian Helicopters Australian Helicopters has won a 10-year contract from the Victorian Government and Ambulance Victoria to supply and operate a new fleet of six AgustaWestland AW139s for the state’s ambulance service from January 2016. Australian Helicopters currently operates two of the five helicopters used by...
June 4, 2014
Leading speakers on the opening day of Quad-A 2014, this year named as the Army Aviation Missions Solutions Summit, ground down the message about the impact on sequestration and how the Army had to change during the new format and shorter two-day summit. Speaking during the first session on the opening day, Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), made the point...
June 3, 2014
The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) uses AgustaWestland AW139s for search and rescue operations. Photo courtesy of SMA, by Patrik Nilsson Back in November 2011, the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) decided that it would replace its Sikorsky S-76 search and rescue (SAR) helicopters with new AgustaWestland AW139 twin-engine helicopters. Furthermore, at a time when it seems that SAR provision is...
June 3, 2014
Inside the cockpit of an LAPD EC135 over Hollywood. Photos courtesy of Henry Perritt and Eliot Sprague When Jeff Bezos went on 60 Minutes in December and told Charlie Rose about Amazon’s dream of using small drones to deliver packages, half the world started looking out their windows. Helicopter pilots are starting to look over their shoulders. How much longer can they expect to be in a cockpit as...
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