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March 1, 2006
Pilots of news helicopters have seen more than their share of death and destruction, but Katrina's aftermath even took members of that hard-bitten corps by surprise. Not the least surprising was the sheer number of helicopters in the skies over New Orleans. Ken Pyatt is president of SKY Helicopters, based at the Garland, Texas Heliport. His company is a Part 135 operator and helicopter flight school and...
March 1, 2006
Holland is aviation director for the southeast region for LifeNet Air Medical Services, a division of Air Methods Corp. With other LifeNet crews, he flew three aircraft from Alabama, Florida and Georgia to New Orleans to aid in rescue and recovery operations. A retired U.S. Army aviator who flew OH-13s and Apaches, he is a religious man. When he arrived in New Orleans, it was apparent to him that he had...
March 1, 2006
In an attempt to apply the lessons of disasters like September 11th, the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake late last year, HAI is compiling a comprehensive database of helicopter resources available to emergency response managers around the world. This is an issue that has been discussed since 9/11, since post-Katrina. What do we have as resource database information?" said...
March 1, 2006
Johnny Delgado closed out last August with four of the most frustrating days of his career. As head of a "strike team" of five emergency medical services (EMS) helicopters based in Florida, Delgado and 50 other volunteers to support those helicopters--pilots, nurses, medics, mechanics-- were prepped and ready to fly within 24 hr. to the Mississippi Delta to rescue victims of Hurricane Katrina...
March 1, 2006
After he'd checked that his Jackson, Miss. Mercury Aviation had survived Katrina, Coyt Bailey grabbed a cameraman and set off Aug. 30 in the R44 WLBT-TV charters from him to survey the storm damage. He'd covered six or eight hurricanes. The cameraman had covered more, including Hurricane Camille in 1969--the Big Storm before Katrina. "We'd never seen anything like this, either of us," Bailey...
March 1, 2006
Within 12 hr. of Katrina passing the Gulf Coast, U.S. Coast Guard aircraft began to converge on the devastated region from all over the country, with units from Cape Cod, Mass.; Atlantic City, N.J., Elizabeth City, N.C. and Clearwater, Fla. among the first to arrive. They supplemented HH-60s and HH-65s and fixed-wing HU-25s from the Mississippi coastal areas and New Orleans. For two weeks, the Coast Guard...
March 1, 2006
'Revitalization Project' Aims to Boost Military Helo Safety, Survivability A new U.S. rotorcraft industry task force is seeking measures to improve the survivability of helicopters in combat in the near term and increase the safety and reliability of all helicopters in the long term. Dubbed the Rotary-Wing Revitalization Project, the effort aims to overcome the main impediments to broader use--and...
February 1, 2006
With activity up in major sectors like offshore energy, EMS and law enforcement, manufacturers and operators are enjoying good times and ready to tackle safety and security challenges facing the industry. Matthew Zuccaro, the newly minted president of the Helicopter Assn. International, can't think of anything negative to say about the state of the industry going into this year's Heli-Expo. "There's a...
February 1, 2006
Vendors to Line Up for Slice of USMC Heavy-Lift Pie Sikorsky is focused on nailing down by June its strategy for choosing key subcontractors to build a new U.S. Marine Corps heavy-lift helicopter, having secured contracts for that potential $18.8-billion aircraft development and production program. Approved by the Pentagon Dec. 22, 2005, development of the Heavy Lift Replacement successor to the CH-53E...
February 1, 2006
Border Patrolling By Sgt. Ernie Stephens Last year, I ran across the June 13, 2005 issue of the Arizona Daily Star, with the front-page story entitled, "Border Patrol Chopper Flights Perilous." I think there's a law that says you have to buy a paper if you want to read more than the top half of the front page, so I forked over my 50 cents. The article cited (and editorialized about) seven U.S...
February 1, 2006
At the helicopter industry's premier event, manufacturers and vendors parade their newest and best. Here's a sampling of what's on the convention center floor. As the premier gathering of the helicopter industry, Heli-Expo is a showcase for companies offering their products and services to rotorcraft owners, operators, pilots and aficionados. The event is so big that some companies can get lost in the...
January 1, 2006
Best Kept Secret in Helicopters Sixty years ago, Michigan lumberman and mechanic Rudy Enstrom dreamt of manufacturing his own helicopter. Aided by experienced aircraft designers and backed by local business people, Enstrom realized his dream in the 1960s when the R.J. Enstrom Corp. (established in 1959, and renamed the Enstrom Helicopter Corp. in 1971) began building and selling the F-28 light helicopter...
January 1, 2006
These are times of unexpected change, unusual partnerships and high demand for helicopters and those who make them, support them and fly them. To decipher what all this means for the Industry going forward, we asked top Industry executives the following question: "What specific trends to you anticipate In the helicopter Industry In 2006, and what effects will they have on the Industry?" Precision...
January 1, 2006
Eurocopter has finally moved to plug a long-standing gap in its product line, signing a pact to develop its next helicopter, the 7-9-ton EC175, with Chinese industry. This EC175 will compete head on with the AgustaWestland/Bell Helicopter AB139. Both its launch and AgustaWestland's November buyout of Bell's stake in the AB139 confirm that the 6-8 tonne market segment is widely seen as a highly profitable...
January 1, 2006
Delays in fielding the BA609 civil tilt-rotor was one reason AgustaWestland ended its partnership with Bell Helicopter on the AB139 medium-twin. "When we started, we were thinking to go into the market with the 609 and 139 together" and the joint Bell/Agusta Aerospace Co. selling both made sense, AgustaWestland CEO Guiseppe Orsi said. With the BA609's service entry delayed until...
January 1, 2006
MD Helicopters' new owner is moving quickly to patch up the company's relations with customers and suppliers as part of her plan to make the Mesa, Ariz. company viable. According to Lynn Tilton, founder of the New York distressed-debt investment firm Patriach Partners, which bought MD in July, she has spent millions of dollars above the purchase price to pay debts to suppliers, stock spares and restart the...
January 1, 2006
The Helicopter Assn. International is honoring "all companies, organizations and individuals" who participated in the relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina with this year's Igor I. Sikorsky Award for Humanitarian Service. The award is traditionally given to an individual or individuals "who best demonstrates the value of civil rotorcraft to society by saving lives, protecting property...
January 1, 2006
Ever-Expanding Line of Helicopter Mission Equipment 60 Years of Excellence Now entering our 60th year of business, generations of operators have expanded their fleet utilization with our well designed, high-quality, and easily maintained equipment. Simplex designs and manufactures a range of helicopter systems and accessories for fire fighting, agricultural spraying, and oil spill response, all of it...
January 1, 2006
CIVIL Bell's Eagle Eye Gets First FAA Vertical Lift Experimental Airworthiness Certificate The Bell Eagle Eye TR918 Unmanned Aircraft System has received the FAA's first airworthiness certificate issued for experimental flight testing of a UAV. The TR918 was developed by Bell's XworX facility at...
December 1, 2005
In March to Efficiency, Sikorsky Buys Keystone and CTI Sikorsky Aircraft is looking for buyout candidate that can help it streamline military aircraft production in the same way it hopes to boost the efficiency of its commercial aircraft lines with the acquisition of Keystone Ranger Holdings. Sikorsky on Nov. 1 said it would buy the $225-million-revenue Keystone Ranger, which controls Keystone Helicopter...
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