Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Commercial :: Offshore

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August 1, 2006
Helmet, headset and flight-suit makers are appealing to desires for safe, comfortable, even stylish flights. Helmets or headsets? That is the question for many operators today. As the industry, regulators and aviation investigators focus more and more on the safety of rotorcraft operations, many operators find themselves being prodded by insurers and safety advocates to shift from headsets to helmets for...
July 1, 2006
R&W's Question of the Month: How is the job market in your outfit or region? Is there a shortage of pilots, mechanics and other workers? Let us know, and look for your and others' responses in a future issue. Tell us what you think at rotorandwing@accessintel.com. "Watch This" I want to thank Tim McAdams for a very good article ("Watch This," April 2006, page 62). Those words coming...
July 1, 2006
Russian helicopter operators badly need to modernize their fleet of aging Soviet-built rotorcraft. As domestic oil and gas companies steadily increase exploration and research work, commercial helicopter operators accumulate cash to procure Western equipment. While Russian private and corporate operators are increasing their fleet of Western-built helicopters, domestic commercial operators are still stuck...
July 1, 2006
Sikorsky Taps Schweizer Again, Now to Speed Production Sikorsky Aircraft is turning to its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary to help it speed military aircraft production lines as it prepares to deliver more than 1,700 H-60 Black Hawk and Naval Hawk variants to the U.S. military alone in coming years. The move comes as the Stratford, Conn. helicopter maker is struggling to overcome the effects of a six-week...
July 1, 2006
One Way to Break the Chain Certain she had not exceeded engine or gearbox torque limits, the young flight officer was still concerned she had "pulled too much power" on the heavy, twin helicopter on takeoff from an oil-rig helideck. At home base, she removed the the quick access recorder's memory card, proceeded directly to the Helicopter Operations Monitoring Program (HOMP) manager and asked him...
June 1, 2006
R&W's Question of the Month: Is customer service important or not to manufacturers and suppliers in the helicopter industry? Let us know, and look for your and others' responses in a future issue. Tell us what you think at rotorandwing@accessintel.com. Correction Through an editing error, Barney O'Shea's PacRim Notebook mentioned the Royal Australian Navy's grounded Sea Kings ("Times Are...
May 1, 2006
With the exception of Frank Robinson, a common refrain at Heli-Expo was "I could sell every helicopter I can build. I just can't build them fast enough." Not that anyone's really complaining. Heli-Expo 2006 in some ways felt more like an NBAA Show than the annual rotorcraft gathering. The exhibit floor was packed with attendees and most exhibitors reported a steady stream of high-quality visitors...
May 1, 2006
Last year's crash of an FDR-equipped helicopter has U.S. investigators keen for a closer look at design standards and practices, which could mean major changes down the road for OEMs and operators. Shortly after 1230 local time on Aug. 10, 2005, the crew of a CopterLine S-76+ prepared for their fifth takeoff of the day from the City Hall heliport in the Estonia capital of Tallinn. At 1239, they lifted off...
May 1, 2006
High Times Things do seem to be booming in the offshore sector and promise to keep on doing just that. Utilization of offshore rigs continues to inch up; it was above 83 percent in mid-April, according to the oil and gas industry web site Rigzone.com. More important, according to that source, offshore operators are ordering more rigs to be built in the coming years. Eighty-eight "mobile offshore...
April 1, 2006
In their new seminar for helicopter pilots, "Back to Basics, the Human Factors," Roger Sharkey and Bayard duPont start off recounting the old saw of safety: Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, "I think I'll have an accident today." And, yet, that is just what the unfortunate, the undisciplined and the careless among us do consistently. So consistently, in fact, that the helicopter...
April 1, 2006
MD Adding Safety Features to Fleet, Training As part of her plans to revitalize MD Helicopters, Inc., the new owner plans to make the company "the poster child" for a new international effort to slash helicopter accident rates. That includes fully embracing FAA and other recommendations for improvements to safety-related equipment on its aircraft and flight training. "As part of the promise...
March 1, 2006
The question remains: When will we learn? Two weeks shy of the fourth anniversary of terrorist attacks that had U.S. politicians of every ilk clamoring for greater domestic defense against threats manmade and natural, little more than a year after an emergency-management simulation essentially predicted massive flooding of New Orleans in the wake of a Category 4 hurricane, just eight months after an Indian...
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
Armed with a slew of accident analyses, the oil and gas industry is prodding operators and manufacturers to make helicopter operations as safe as airline travel. Here's why. The International Helicopter Safety Symposium last September in Montreal launched a collaborative effort to reduce the helicopter accident rate. More than 260 international representatives of helicopter manufacturers, military and...
February 1, 2006
Compiled by the R&W Staff Emirates-CAE Ready For Mideast Bell Training Gulf Helicopters plans to begin sending pilots to the Emirates-CAE Flight Training Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates during first quarter of this year. The two-year-old Emirates-CAE center near Dubai International Airport installed a new, CAE-built, Bell 412 full-motion simulator late last year, and expected to gain European JAA...
January 1, 2006
Industry leaders call for an NBAA-like group to speak up for business aviation interests in the burgeoning region. Middle East aviation industry leaders are calling for the formation of a group similar to associations in the United States and Europe to promote the cause of business aviation in the region. The call for the new organization was made during the Middle East Business Aviation Conference held...
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
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...
December 1, 2005
Why I Ain't Rich Early on in my aviation journalism career, an airliner disintegrated over Lockerbie, Scotland. This was just at the beginning of the cable TV news era that brought an incessant demand for "talking heads," so-called experts, to tell viewers what is happening right now and what it means, even if not much of either is known at the moment. On this evening, my boss appeared at my...
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