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September 5, 2014
German Bell UH-1D Hueys leaving the Ovar Portuguese airbase in northern Portugal. Photo by Andrew Drwiega “We train up to 700 students a year and we have somewhere around 27 training schools - and that doesn’t make sense,” said Andrew Gray, the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Hot Blade Helicopter Exercise Program (HEP) manager. “There is no harmonization of flying...
September 5, 2014
Helicopters are a serious business; lives are often at stake in one way or another. Usually the lives at risk are those of the flight crew or a critically injured individual that the aircrew has been dispatched to save. Today however, the focus is on ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. As the viral firestorm has raged...
September 4, 2014
Nibbio aircraft by Politecnico di Milano The winners of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International 31st Student Design Competition were St. Louis University (SLU) in the undergraduate category and Georgia Institute of Technology in the graduate category. The challenge set by AHS for the 2014 Student Design Competition was to design an experimental Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft...
September 4, 2014
Reuters is reporting that India is nearing a deal to acquire AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters from Boeing. The deal, believed to be worth $2.5 billion, will give Prime Minister Narendra Modi more military resources to "...meet the challenges posed by China and Pakistan." The 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift tandem rotorcraft listed in the...
September 4, 2014
Mesa, Ariz.-based MD Helicopters (MD) is one step closer to its planned production of the MD530G scout attack helicopter. The light, single-engine aircraft built on the same general airframe as the OH-6 and AH/MH-6 Little Bird completed live fire testing of its missile, rocket and gun systems at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground last month...
September 3, 2014
Here we go again. Another crisis in the Middle East with the U.S. and the Great Britain among the first to react with military assistance to protect and resupply civilians freeing from the surprisingly well organized and equally well armed forces of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). News of the Iraqi Air Force and Army, the force that took over from American and allied forces when they exited the country...
September 3, 2014
At this year’s Quad-A convention, held in Nashville, Tenn. in May, Bell Helicopter displayed a full scale mock-up of its V-280 Valor, a third-generation tiltrotor aircraft. Photo by Andrew Drwiega The most unsurprising announcement of the year so far is the U.S. Army Aviation Technology Directorate’s (AATD) decision revealed on August 12 that the Boeing/Sikorsky partnership and Bell Helicopter...
September 3, 2014
The information found in a pilot’s logbook and FAA records may not be an accurate reflection their proficiency and work history. Does PRIA see through the smoke and mirrors? Photo by Ernie Stephens In August 2010, the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Extension Act changed the way the Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA) works and how the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) handles an airman’s...
September 3, 2014
Resources companies Senex Energy and Drillsearch Energy are sponsoring a Bell 206 Longranger to operate 24 hour medical air ambulance services in the Cooper Basin in South Australia/Queensland in the Australian Outback. The service is the first for the remote region which is a significant onshore oil and gas exploration site, where 4,000-5,000 people can be working on oil and gas...
September 1, 2014
This X4 UAV is equipped with position lights for added safety. Photo courtesy of Draganfly Innovations Pilots and operators of manned aircraft are under a significant threat as inexpensive microdrones proliferate, while the FAA drags its heels in crafting a regulatory framework that will reduce risks, and permit drones and manned aircraft to peacefully and safely to coexist. The core of the problem is that...
September 1, 2014
Rapco, Inc. of Hartland, Wis., is a manufacturer and distributor of PMA parts for both helicopters and airplanes. Photo courtesy of Rapco A helicopter is, in fact, a very large collection of parts, most of which operate in an extremely violent fashion. Which means, of course, that they have to be replaced on a regular basis – normally during a pre-determined period based on flight time or flight...
September 1, 2014
Aero Dynamix Achieves QPL Certification Aero Dynamix, Inc. has now been approved by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for addition to the qualified products list (QPL) for MIL-DTL-7788 integrally illuminated panels. Aero Dynamix’s proprietary, in-house panel design and production capabilities include: state-of-the-art illumination design and testing technologies essential for effective light...
September 1, 2014
Fully integrated flight data recording is now affordable for the light single and twin engine fleet. PHI is outfitting their Bell 407s with NORTH FDS HUMS/HFDM recorders. Photo courtesy PHI Health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) and helicopter flight data management (HFDM) systems are powerful aviation tools. Their capabilities will eventually make them mandatory and will prove indispensible to the...
September 1, 2014
FFL’s aft cabins, equipped with the latest technology, are accessible by sliding side doors and rear-mounted clamshell doors. Photo by Ernie Stephens If you are in portions of Wisconsin or Illinois, and your life is in immediate danger from illness or accident, you won’t just expect a ride from Flight For Life... you’ll want it! Flight For Life (FFL) was the first air medical program in...
August 27, 2014
The Russian operator of a United Nations chartered Mi-8 helicopter that crashed on August 26 in South Sudan has been claimed to have been brought down by rebel ground fire, possibly a rocket-propelled-grenade (RPG). There were three fatalities among the Russian...
August 27, 2014
Although still conducting its investigation into whether senior managers from Finmeccanica’s subsidiary AgustaWestland paid bribes to win a defense contract for 12 AW101 Merlin VIP helicopters, Reuters news agency reports that the Indian Ministry of Defence has banned the Italian defense group from bidding for future defense contracts in...
August 27, 2014
The Pegasus series is a new line of helicopter landing platforms from All Metal MS. The company states that the ‘dollie’ can be maneuvered by one person. There are four dollies in the series, ranging in capacity from 3,800 lbs to 15,000 lbs Deck dimensions begin at 12ft wide x 14ft...
August 26, 2014
The New Zealand Helicopter Association (NZHA) has launched a new initiative designed to further improve flight safety after the country’s helicopter accident rate has plateaued. NZHA chief executive officer John Sinclair notes that the country’s helicopter accident is very good – at around 20 accidents each year – but that figure has plateaued over the last 14 years. The latest...
August 26, 2014
The August edition of the United Kingdom’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) bulletin included a correction to its report on EC155 B1 (OY-HJJ) which had a loss of control in the North Sea, November 6, 2013. The summary of the incident from the AAIB is as follows: “Shortly after takeoff from an off-shore platform at night, the...
August 26, 2014
Helicopter operator PHI has achieved Level 4 (the highest level) of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) voluntary Safety Management System (SMS) pilot program.  PHI has used an integrated SMS for over a decade which enabled it to enter the...
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