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January 9, 2015
So the troops are coming back from Afghanistan and the mission is over. Really? Haven’t we heard this somewhere before? On Aug. 31, 2010, President Obama announced the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) confirming: “We’ve removed nearly 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq. We’ve closed or transferred to the Iraqis hundreds of bases. And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out...
January 9, 2015
Photo courtesy VDOS Global The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded five regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations to four companies in various industries. Trimble Navigation Limited, VDOS Global, and Clayco all received one exemption, and Woolpert received two. These companies will use UAS to aid in aerial...
January 8, 2015
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded Able Aerospace with the parts manufacturer approval (PMA) of a new tail rotor fan shaft replacement part for the Bell 407...
January 8, 2015
Following an agreement signed on Dec. 29, AgustaWestland will provide 160 AW189 civil helicopters to the oil company Rosneft by 2025. The supply will be provided mainly through HeliVert, a joint venture between Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland and Russian Helicopters (a subsidiary of the corporation Rostec).   Photo courtesy AgustaWestland HeliVert will be responsible for the final assembly of the...
January 8, 2015
Originally designed for use by military forces, SEI Industries’ High-Pressure Aviation Refueling System (HPARS) is now available for civilian commercial use.   Photo courtesy SEI Industries   Best defined as a durable, portable method of fueling and de-fueling jet fuel to and from aircraft and fuel tanker trucks, the HPARS uses a self-priming centrifugal pump...
January 7, 2015
I once enjoyed the privilege of spending the cold, dark midwinter months in Deadhorse on Alaska’s North Slope, qualifying for civilian IFR competency in Bell 212s, and proving along the way that unexpected safety challenges await in all environments. This exercise was accomplished as a byproduct of participation in one of the most interesting rotory-wing operations imaginable, wherein Alaska’s...
January 7, 2015
Bell Helicopter has appointed Matthew J. Hasik to the position of executive vice president, commercial business, succeeding Danny Maldonado who has been selected as president and CEO of Textron Financial.   Barry Kohler, president of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada since 2009, is now executive vice president, customer service and support, replacing Eric Cardinali who has been selected to lead global...
January 7, 2015
Less than two weeks after receiving its Transport Canada certification, Eagle Copters Ltd. has received Federal Aviation Administration certification for its Eagle 407HP program. Eagle Copters specializes in sales, leasing, product development and engineering, and is a Bell Platinum Customer Service provider. Its Eagle 407HP is a conversion...
January 7, 2015
Thales-owned company LiveTV Satellite Communications and distributor Greenwich AeroGroup have achieved another joint milestone in in-flight integration by demonstrating their LiveAero connectivity solution on a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter in flight. Sikorsky chose the two companies to install and deliver LiveAero to Sikorsky S-92 custom-equipped helicopters for use primarily in search and rescue missions...
January 7, 2015
Avionics producer Garmin has unveiled Night Vision Goggles (NVG) capable versions of its GTR 225 COM and GNC 255 NAV/COM radios, as well as the new GWX 70H solid-state weather radar, all of which are optimized for helicopter operations. The NVG capable GTR 225 and GNC 255 radios offer an internal frequency database, which makes it simple to find frequencies associated with an airport or facility. By...
January 6, 2015
Bell Long Ranger used for utility work. Photo by Dennis Pierce After writing several articles on SMS and as a member of the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) SMS Committee, I set out to find out which operators and flight schools are actually using SMS in their daily operations. I know that most of the larger operators have a formal safety management system, or SMS, but it’s the smaller...
January 6, 2015
Airbus Helicopters X4. Graphic courtesy Airbus Helicopters While most major players in the helicopter industry are keeping their powder dry before revealing their future plans at the world’s largest helicopter convention, Heli-Expo (March 2-5, Orlando, Fla.), there are a number of trends that are worth watching in the year ahead. In particular, there is still a need to drive new helicopter platforms...
January 6, 2015
Photo courtesy ING Robotic Aviation The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) has selected ING Robotic Aviation’s Responder rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system to aid with research into systems integration and specific UAV applications. ING Robotic...
January 5, 2015
  Image courtesy CAE CAE launched its next-generation Medallion-6000 image generator at this year’s Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Florida. It supports the Common Database (CDB) and is also designed to be part of CAE’s Dynamic Synthetic Environment (DSE), which improves real-world simulation. According to CAE, the latest version has a...
January 5, 2015
The University of Maryland (UMD) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site, located in California, Md., has received a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) from the FAA to fly the Talon 240, designed...
January 5, 2015
Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron conducting simulated exercises. Photo by USAF Staff Sergeant Caleb Pierce With the reduction in general defense spending now slicing capability from virtually every area across the military spectrum, the skills and dedicated assets of personnel recovery (PR) and combat search and rescue (CSAR) forces appear to be easy pickings when it comes to saving money...
December 31, 2014
Three companies have signed a tripartite agreement on strategic partnership: state corporation Rostec, Italian industrial group Finmeccanica and the Rosneft oil company. Under the agreement, the HeliVert plant near Moscow, a joint enterprise between Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland and Rostec’s Russian Helicopters, will begin producing medium commercial AW189 helicopters for Russia and the...
December 31, 2014
The FAA has released Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) SW-15-07, alerting owners and operators of specific Airbus Helicopters models to several reports of Shur-Lok nuts suffering loss of tightening torque. Airbus Helicopters uses the Shur-Lok nut as a retainer of the tail rotor...
December 31, 2014
On Dec. 16, the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman successfully flew an MQ-8C Fire Scout for the first time from the guided-missile destroyer, USS Jason Dunham, off the Virginia coast. After more than a year of land-based testing at Point Mugu, California, the MQ-8C Fire Scout grew its sea legs, making 22 takeoffs and 22 precision landings while operated from the ship's ground control station.  ...
December 30, 2014
On Dec. 23, the Texas Game Wardens unveiled their new Airbus AS350 B3e helicopter. The aircraft will enhance the department’s statewide law enforcement apparatus and assist with its search and rescue and disaster response efforts.   Photo by Chase Fountain, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department 2014 The new AS350 B3e is outfitted with the latest law enforcement technology and emergency response...
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