-T / T / +T | Comment(s)

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Rotorcraft Report

July Conference to Target Civil Use of NVGs

The Assn. of Air Medical Services is working with operators, federal regulators and safety investigators, aircraft makers and equipment vendors to organize a one-day conference in July on avoiding pitfalls in the operational introduction of night-vision goggles for helicopter emergency medical services.

NVGs are growing in popularity among civil operators and gaining passionate advocates for broader use of the devices as more and more operators put them to use. But any technology that is put into use without adequate preparation, training and support can create operational and safety problems as serious as the ones it is intended to solve, said Tom Judge, executive director of Lifeflight Maine and AAMS president. Those concerns are echoed by a new report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, "Night Vision Goggles in Civil Helicopter Operations." In that report, the bureau notes that the introduction of any new technology has inherent risks, including the possibility that "pilots can overestimate the capabilities of the technology and fly into inappropriate conditions for safe flight."

Conference organizers want to ensure that doesn't happen with NVGs, which are "very clearly an enhancement" to safety and situational awareness, Judge said.

The conference is intended to help civil operators avoid the problems encountered by military services in their introduction of night-vision systems for aircrews, Judge said. When the U.S. Army first put NVGs into the field, "they learned a lot of hard lessons. Then the Air Force fielded them, and then the Navy, and they each learned the same hard lessons, because they didn't talk with each other." At the conference, military operators will be able to share those lessons with civil operators.

The matter of how to best introduce night-vision devices in civil helicopters will become a more pressing one for operators, and not only because more and more of their competitors may be benefiting from NVGs' capabilities. "There is going to be a big push from the FAA and the NTSB" for broader use of NVGs, Judge said. Both the aviation agency and the National Transportation Safety Board have been examining the causes of a rash of EMS accidents in the last three years, each with an eye toward recommendations for measures to head off future accidents. That trend is an international one. In 2003, the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch, reporting on the crash of a contracted police helicopter in marginal weather, recommended much broader use of NVGs by police air units in that nation. In December, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority adopted procedures for approving NVG helicopter operations. (In Switzerland, pilots for the Rega air rescue service have been flying with NVGs for nearly 17 years.)

The initiative to head off problems in the introduction and use of NVGs in civil operations gained some impetus in January, after what specialists consider to have been the first U.S. civil accident involving NVGs.

On Jan. 29, a Eurocopter AS350B3 operated by a Petroleum Helicopters Inc. aeromedical unit on a VFR positioning flight crashed at about 8:05 p.m. local time in Pilar, N.M. The preliminary investigation indicates the lone pilot was wearing NVGs while flying from Espinola to Taos, N.M. and became disoriented. The pilot removed his goggles and the helicopter struck a mesa. Weather at Taos, 15 nm. northwest of the accident site, was reported at 8:25 p.m. to be winds from 220 degrees at 6 kt., with visibility of 3/4 of a mile, an overcast sky at 200 ft., temperature of 0C, dew point 0C and an altimeter of 30.00 in.

The aircraft was substantially damaged, but the pilot was uninjured. The pilot reportedly had been trained in NVG use by a reputable specialist organization and was using the latest generation goggles.

At press time, no date or location for the NVG conference had been finalized. Check the association's website, www.aams.org, for updates and details.

MILITARY

Coast Guard Boots AB139, A109s From Deepwater

Riding high from its late 2004 FAA certification of the AB139 and record orders for that aircraft at Heli-Expo 2005, Bell/Agusta Aerospace Co. was brought down to Earth in late March by word that the new medium twin has been dropped from the U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater modernizations plans.

In addition, one of Bell/Agusta's parents, AgustaWestland, stands to lose its job as provider of airborne-use-of-force helicopters for armed interdiction of drug smugglers and suspected terrorists (see item above).

The AB139 had been selected in 2002 by Integrated Coast Guard Systems, the joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman overseeing the $17-billion Deepwater program, to replace the HH-60J as the Coast Guard's medium-range recovery and surveillance helicopter. (Deepwater is a planned three-decade long program to recapitalize and modernize the Coast Guard's fleets of rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, ships, and command and control and logistics systems.)

But in the latest revision of Deepwater implementation plans, approved by the U.S. Homeland Security Dept. and sent to Congress March 25, the medium-range recovery job would go to upgraded and modernized Jayhawks. Sikorsky stands to get a contract to rework the 40 HH-60Js for their extended mission, which are to be redesignated MH-60Ts. The upgraded Jayhawks are to be fitted with a new cockpit, new search/weather radar and electro-optics/infrared units, as well as upgraded General Electric T700 engines, an upgraded airframe and an airborne-use-of-force package. In addition to being able to launch from a cutter and prosecute targets 400 nm. away, the MH-60Ts are to be able to deliver and insert six-person interagency counter-terrorism or response teams 200 nm., from shore or a cutter.

According to the revised Deepwater plan, the AB139 "was determined to be unsuitable to meet the post 9/11 airborne-use-of-force and vertical insertion/vertical delivery missions." The plan projects that retention of the Jayhawks will save the Coast Guard $500 million.

MILITARY

U.S. Coast Guard Helos to Go All-Airborne Use of Force by 2009

After years of dabbling in airborne use of force with a single dedicated unit of eight aircraft, the U.S. Coast Guard is fully embracing that mission and plans to upgrade all of its helicopters to perform it.

Capt. William W. Peterson, the Coast Guard's chief of aviation forces, told the Federal Chapter of the American Helicopter Society International in Washington that the service will replace the eight MH-68A Sting Rays (a version of the A109 Power) leased from AgustaWestland and by Fiscal 2009 will fit all of its HH-60J Jayhawks and re-engined Eurocopter HH-65s with M240 .50-caliber machine guns and Robar precision rifles, the latter for use in shooting out engine blocks. President Bush's proposed budget for Fiscal 2006 includes $20 million to start the conversions. While the Jayhawks will be re-designated MH-60Ts, the refitted Dolphins will be called MH-65Cs. The Sting Rays are operated by the service's CGAS Jacksonville, Fla.-based Hitron squadron.

"We want to be able to perform organic aviation use of force" at each of the Coast Guard's 24 air stations and five air facilities," Peterson said.

Interestingly, the MH-60Ts and MH-65Cs will also carry precision anti-personnel weapons derived from the 7.62mm M14 rifle. Officials associated with Hitron take pains to stress that their weapons are specifically not used against people. This is because the unit's aircraft operate mainly over international waters, and international law has detailed and specific restrictions on when and how weapons can be fired at people from aircraft. The armed Jayhawks and Dolphins often will operate within the domestic U.S., where legal restrictions are less stringent.

Since 2001, Hitron has tested and proven the ability to employ force from airborne helicopters. That unit deploys throughout the Caribbean and the United States, mainly to assist in interdicting illegal drug shipments on "go fast" boats. In the 2003 and 2004 period, Coast Guard-assisted seizures of illegal drug shipments reached records levels, "primarily because of the Sting Rays," Peterson said.

The A109 Power was selected in part because the Coast Guard's HH-65s lacked the power to carry the armament and perform the maneuvers required by the airborne-use-of-force mission. The Dolphins' LTS101 engines are being replaced with Turbomeca Arriel 2C2-CG engines, whose additional power should allow the aircraft to fly airborne-use-of-force missions.

CIVIL

Italian Aircrane Pilots Ready For Fire Season

Erickson Air-Crane, Inc. has completed training for the first group of Italian pilots who will fly four S-64 Helitankers ordered by Italy's Corpo Forestale Dello Stato (State Forestry Corps). The pilots received general operational flight training and specialized training in fighting wildfires.

The State Forestry Corps started leasing Aircranes since 1999 for firefighting throughout Italy. In 2003, it placed a $95-million order for four S-64Fs, which include an extensive avionics and flight control system upgrade. The agency accepted the second of the aircraft at Heli-Expo 2005 in February and will take the third aircraft next month in time for this year's wildfire season in Italy. Erickson pilots will fly as pilots-in-command with the Italian pilots on their first firefighting missions in Italy to get them qualified for operational duty.

Under the contract, the pilots' initial training is in an S-64 configured as a helitanker, or fire fighter. However, there is funding for future training for long line work such as logging, according to Erickson.

Initially, four groups of two to four pilots will be receive ground school and flight training at Erickson's headquarters in Central Point, Ore. The first through were two line pilots and two instructor pilots. Erickson is also training the forestry corps' mechanics.

Erickson's assistant chief pilot and chief flight instructor, Randy Erwin, said the training includes ground-school instruction on operating the Aircrane's fire tank system and 2 hr. of flight training on how to pick up water using the aircraft's snorkel. The ground school also includes classes on how to fight fires, contracts and paperwork requirements and coordination of radio communications with other elements involved in fighting the fire, he said. Firefighting training includes operation of the snorkel and a ram scoop hydrofoil used to fill the 2,650-gal. water tank while flying at about 30 kt. 18 ft. above the surface.

Mechanics will receive 240 hr.--about 10 weeks--of maintenance and repair training under the manufacturer's procedures. The training is not FAA-certificated. However, Erickson is working on getting certification from Italy's civil aviation authorities.

All training for the Italian pilots and mechanics is conducted in English.

MILITARY

Israelis Get First Three Longbow Apaches

The Israeli Air Force last month received its first AH-64D Longbows from the United States. Called in Israel "Seraf," the Hebrew word for a fiery angel that guards the throne of God, the gunships are equipped with the Longbow millimeter-wave fire-control radar and Longbow Hellfire missiles. The specific number of AH-64Ds to be delivered to Israel has not been released officially, but The Jerusalem Post quoted air force officials as saying the contract is for 18 aircraft and is valued at $640 million. The Israeli Air Force has been operating AH-64As since the early 1990s and is modernizing those aircraft in addition to acquiring the new -64Ds. While the new deliveries are under a U.S. foreign military sales agreement, some of the -64A upgrades are being done through a direct commercial sale signed in 2000. According to Boeing, this allows it to make several changes directly with the Israeli Air Force. The first three Longbow Apaches, designated AH-64D-1s, are to become operational by about October. The remaining aircraft are scheduled for delivery next year.

CIVIL

FDC Gets FAA Approval For Snow Filter

FDC/aerofilter has obtained FAA approval for unrestricted flight in falling and blowing snow for Eurocopter AS350Bs, BAs, B2s, B3s, B4s and EC130s with its engine-inlet barrier filter system installed. Flight tests were conducted in cooperation with Eurocopter in February in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe, Calif. to show operational capability in the types of snow required by the FAA and Transport Canada.

Prior snow tests on other aircraft, conducted in natural conditions and in the wind tunnel, provided the basis to remove the restriction without the aid of diverters or baffles.

The AS350 kit has flown in falling and blowing snow, but carried the standard aircraft flight manual restriction limiting flight to 10 min. in visibility of less than 0.9 mi. (1,500 m.). Previously the only option for unrestricted flight in snow was to install the optional factory snow kit, a particle separator panel with no bleed air-driven ejectors or a particle separator.

BOOK REVIEW

Simple Rules For Flying

There is quite likely nothing scarier than some idiot flying around in uncontrolled airspace--but nonetheless, there is now a book titled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sport Flying." And it's really quite excellent. Although primarily aimed at fixed-wing sport flyers, "The Idiot's Guide" provides simple, easily understood guidelines to the rules and regulations of flying, principles of aerodynamics, training, how to get a license and a myriad of subjects common to both fixed- and rotary-wing general aviation flying. It is also an excellent refresher manual for pilots needing a quick review or training guide for instructors looking for the simplest way to impart knowledge to those students who are, shall we say, not quite as quick at picking up the necessary aviation knowledge needed to get a pilot's license. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sport Flying" is written by Dan Ramsey, a veteran author of flying books and Earl Downs, an 11,000-hr. pilot and highly experienced flight instructor, with a forward by Tom Poberezny, president of the Experimental Aircraft Assn. The book is published by The Penguin Group. Cost is US$18.95.

CIVIL

India To Toughen Air Regulations

Civil aviation officials in India plan to tighten airworthiness rules following recent fatal crashes, according to the Business Standard of India. The latest involved the crash of an EC120 in which two government ministers from the Haryana state were killed. An earlier helicopter crash, in 2002, killed the speaker of the lower house of India's parliament, the Sansad. The Business Standard quoted a civil aviation official as saying, "Analysis of earlier accidents associated with small aircraft operations from improvised airstrips revealed that laid-down instructions were violated time and again, and safety was jeopardized."

MILITARY

Testing For VXX To Run Concurrent

The U.S. Navy's Naval Air Systems Command plans to conduct all testing of the VXX presidential helicopter concurrently to cut the time required to put that aircraft into operation as Marine One.

Concurrent testing will support initial delivery of the first four new presidential helicopters to the U.S. Marine Corps' HMX-1 squadron at MCAS Quantico, Va. by late 2009. The full complement of 23 helicopters is due to be in operation by 2015.

The VXX contract was awarded Jan. 28 to the US101 team of Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland (on whose EH1011 the successful bid was based) and Bell Helicopter. Lockheed Martin is the lead partner on the VXX program. The first test aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to NAS Patuxent River, Md. later this year.

Testing is to be done in two increments, with the first involving 10 aircraft--five test vehicles and five as pilot production aircraft. The fifth pilot production aircraft (PP5) will be the first airframe assembled in Bell Helicopter plant in Amarillo, Texas, although Bell personnel will be working with AgustaWestland on the first four pilot production aircraft, which will come from the Westland plant in Yeovil, England. Of the five test vehicles, two are to be provided by Lockheed Martin and returned to it following the testing. The remaining three will be purchased by NavAir and remain at Pax River.

The first increment of aircraft will be powered by the 2,500-shp. GE CT7-8E engine. The second increment will get several upgrades, including the 3,000-shp GE CT7-8C-E1.

Increment Two is to consist of two test vehicles, both supplied by the contractor team, plus 10 aircraft produced during low-rate production phases 1 through 3, and two production lots of four aircraft each. Following the introduction of the Increment Two aircraft, the five pilot production aircraft and three test vehicles acquired by NavAir will be upgraded from Increment One to Increment Two standards.

The first test aircraft already built will be designated US101s. The new-build aircraft introduced in the actual configuration of the president's helicopter will be called VXX. No official designation has been given the aircraft eventually going to HMX-1 for use as the president's flight detachment, although they are expected to be either the VH-70 or VH-71.

The first flight of the first new-build test VXX helicopters is scheduled for early 2007. Operational testing is scheduled for late 2008, with HMX-1 doing the operational testing.

CIVIL

Blue Hawaiian Expands To Third Island

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, a tour helicopter operator based at Kahului, Maui, has added Kauai island (the western-most of the Hawaii's large islands) to its network of bases at Maui and Hawaii. The company said this makes it the only tour operator to serve all three islands. The company will fly out of Lihue Airport, with a showroom and reception area at Harbor Mall in Nawiliwili. Blue Hawaiian is the largest of the Hawaiian helicopter tour operators, with operations at Kahului Heliport on Maui, Hilo International Airport and Waikoloa on Hawaii island and at Lihue Airport. It flies a fleet of AS350s and EC120s.

CIVIL

Agencies Gird for Tough U.S. Fire Season

The U.S. Forest Service and other members of the National Interagency Fire Center are preparing for what could be a particularly nasty fire season.

The danger has been created by opposite problems--a dry, warm winter across the northwestern United States and record winter rainfall in the Southwest and Florida.

In parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, the snow pack is one quarter to half of normal. The U.S. Drought Monitor, which tracks conditions across the country, rates vast tracts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho as "exceptional drought," the worst of its five drought categories. In some areas, water levels and rainfall are reported to be the lowest on record. The fire season in the Northwest could start as soon as late this month.

Heavy rains that created lush crops of grass and brush have left areas of the Southwest and lower Florida under serious threats of grass fires. Southern California had its second wettest rainy season on record and rainfall in Arizona was well above normal. The snow pack in California's southern Sierra Nevada was 53 percent above average.

Press reports said federal funding for the fire season has been cut seriously. However, a Forest Service official said that agency has been allocated an initial $650 million, which is more than the 2004 season's allocation, plus "a supplemental budget if we need it."

Whether or not that will cover the cost of fighting the fires "is a concern, but we've implemented a significant number of cost management measures with our incident management teams and folks out there on the fire line looking at what we can do to cut our costs," Alice Forbes, the Forest Service's assistant director of operations for at the interagency center in Boise, Idaho, told the Associated Press.

MILITARY

Combat Helicopter Pilot Group Formed

A new pilot group has been set up to "forge links among past, present and future rated U.S. military helicopter aviators and to celebrate their unique, common and evolving combat heritage." The new Combat Helicopter Pilot Assn., incorporated in Washington, "extends across duty status, rank and branches of service" and is open to all combat helicopter pilots, as well as crew chiefs and door gunners, said Steve Reilly, a Vietnam-era helicopter pilot, member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn. and the new group's first president. A goal of the new group, which is set up as a not-for-profit veterans organization, is to "solidify, commemorate and maintain the history of U.S. military rotary-wing warriors who flew combat missions" during any war, conflict or other action as directed by the U.S.government. For information, visit www.CHPA-US.org or contact Reilly at president@chpa-us.org or 800-832-5144.

MILITARY

MH-60R Cleared For OpEval

The U.S. Navy successfully completed the technical evaluation phase of the MH-60R program on Feb. 15, clearing the way for the helicopter to enter the final, operational evaluation phase this month. The OpEval phase is to run through September. Successful completion of it should be followed by initial delivery of the first four aircraft to the fleet in December.

Full-rate production is expected to begin early next year, with an initial production run of 254 aircraft. The MH-60R has been developed to be the Navy's sub-surface and surface warfare helicopter, replacing its SH-60B and SH-60F helicopters. The MH-60R and the MH-60S, already in service and designed for vertical replenishment, will replace a total of seven helicopter models now in service with the Navy. Operational evaluation of the MH-60R will be done by the VX-1 squadron, testing the entire systems integration package.

MILITARY

New Zealand Opts for NH90s

New Zealand has selected the NH90 to replace its air force's fleet of 14 aging UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. Defense Minister Mark Burton said officials are still finalizing details on the final cost, number of aircraft and delivery dates, but the government will spend up to NZ$550 million ($389 million) for both the NH90 and a light utility helicopter to replace the Bell OH-13 Sioux.

Air Vice-Marshal John Hamilton, chief of the Air Force, said the NH90's selection "will step us into the next generation of helicopter" and provide "huge performance gains over the Iroquois that will enable greater weights carried further and much improved night and poor weather capabilities." The Air Force must continue supporting the Iroquois fleet for several years until the NH90s enter service." New Zealand is still working on the selection of a helicopter to replace the Sioux.

CIVIL

MD's 100th MD520 Heads to Moscow, Siberia

MD Helicopters has delivered the 100th MD520 NOTAR helicopter, about 13.5 years after the first such aircraft was delivered on Oct. 1, 1991. The 100th aircraft went in March to MD's Russian distributor, Moscow-based GALS Russian Helicopter Co., which will use it as a demonstrator in and around Moscow before delivering it to a private customer in Siberia. GALS has two MD600s and an MD500E, according to MD.

There are 247 NOTAR helicopters in operation around the world, with an accumulation of nearly 600,000 flight hours, according to the company.

Contracts

Honeywell will analyze the differences between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Micro Air Vehicle and the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system. Honeywell developed the Micro Air Vehicle for Darpa's Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program. It is a backpack-sized unmanned aerial vehicle with forward- and downward-looking video cameras that relay information to a remote ground station video terminal to provide soldiers under cover with information on the battlefield without exposing them to enemy fire. It is also designed to link soldiers to manned and unmanned ground and air platforms and sensors.

American Eurocopter has hired Lauckgroup, Inc. to renovate 12,000 sq. ft. of executive and administrative offices at its Grand Prairie, Texas headquarters, providing more of the brand image of an international helicopter manufacturer and "reflect their cutting-edge identity," according to Lauckgroup President Anne Kniffen.

Bell has won a $104-million addition to a previously awarded firm, fixed-price, low-rate initial production contract to begin producing the second batch of UH-1Ys (shown above during recent final phase of rocket ingestion and accuracy testing) and AH-1Zs for the U.S. Marine Corps. The second batch, LRIP 2, includes four UH-1Ys and three AH-1Zs. Bell plans to begin production immediately at its Amarillo, Texas production facility. The seven aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2007. The first LRIP batch of six UH-1Y and three AH-1Z aircraft are already in production in Amarillo. A total of 100 UH-1Y Hueys and 180 AH-1Z Cobras are scheduled to be in the USMC fleet by 2014.

CIVIL

Eurocopter To Expand Malaysia Operations

Eurocopter Malaysia will double its investment in that country over the next three years, from 20 million Malaysian ringgits (roughly $5.25 million) to RM40 million ($10.5 million). The additional funding will go into training facilities, equipment and inventories to support a growing aviation industry, according to Malaysian news reports. Philippe Lubrano, Eurocopter managing director, said the company expects to earn more than $52 million in revenues this year, up from approximately $17.9 million last year. Of that, roughly 60 percent would come from Malaysian Helicopter Service, a provider of helicopter services to the oil and gas industry. The remaining 40 percent would come from exports throughout Southeast Asia. Eurocopter's most recent efforts in Malaysia was the delivery of an EC120B to Integrated Training and Services, a Subang-based helicopter training school.

PEOPLE

Stephen Lawrence has received the Distinguished Service Cross, the U.S.' second highest award for valor in war, 33 years after the action in Vietnam that earned the pilot the commendation. He is shown next to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody, who presented the medal March 25 at the Pentagon. As a CWO2 on Oct. 5, 1971, Lawrence was ordered to support a medevac extraction. He flew the lead of a two-ship UH-1M gunship formation that was to link up with medevac helicopters. The extraction at the first firebase went smoothly, but at the second the medevac helicopters drew fire upon arrival. Lawrence's formation provided covering fire, the second ship soon taking a hit and forced to land. Lawrence exhausted his ammunition covering the second crew's extraction until he was relieved by additional gunships. When one of those ships was forced down, Lawrence returned to the area and realized his gunship would have to evacuate that downed crew. He did so after one aborted attempt. Lawrence's commanders recommended him for the Medal of Honor. His crewmembers all received Silver Stars for their bravery, but Lawrence left the Army 28 days after the mission and didn't learn of his award until this March.

H.C. "Pete" Brown, a former president of the Helicopter Association of America, now HAI, passed away on March 16. He had spent 13 years with Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., retiring on Jan. 30, 1989.

EADS North America has elected Les Brownlee, former acting secretary of the Army, to its Board of Directors.

CHC Helicopter Corp. has named Guylaine Saucier to its Board of Directors. Ms Saucier served as president and CEO of Le Groupe Gerard Saucier Ltee, a company specializing in forest products, from 1975 to 1989, and was Chair of Board of Directors of CBC/Radio Canada and of CICA.

NHI Industries has named Gala Goncalves to be general manager, replacing Gerard Maitrepierre, who will take up new duties with Eurocopter. Goncalves previously served as general secretary and president's cabinet manager at Eurocopter's headquarters in Marignane.

EADS North America has elected Les Brownlee, former Acting Secretary of the Army, to its Board of Directors. The Board is led by EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph D. Crosby. Jr.

Events

May 2-5--Offshore Technology Conference, Reliant Center, Houston, Texas. Contact: Joan Payne, (972) 952-9356; E-mail: jpayne@otcnet.org; Website: www.otcnet.org.

May 3-5--Canadian Business Aviation Assn., 44th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Westin Bayshore Hotel & Piedmont Hawthorne. Contact: Beverly Bonnell, (613) 236-5611; E-mail: bbonnell@cbaa.ca; Website: convention@cbaa.ca

May 5--FlightSafety International, Air Medical Operator's Forum, Flight Safety DFW Center, DFW Airport, Texas. Contact: Terry Palmer, (972) 242-1605; E-mail: terry.palmer@flightsafety.com

May 5-11--Army Aviation Assn of America (Quad-A) Annual Convention, Disney Springs Coronado Resort, Orlando, Fla. Contact: Bob Lachowski, Monroe, Conn. (203) 268-2450; fax: (203) 268-5870; Website: www.quad-a.org; E-mail: aaaa@quad-a.org.

May 10-11--U.K. Airborne Response Conference, Oxford Airport, England. Contact: Moira Edwards, 44 (0)20 8822 6919; E-mail: info@airborneresponse.com; Website: www.airborneresponse.com.

May 16-17--Penn State Flight Simulation and Avionics, Days Inn Penn State, State College, Pa. Contact: Dr. Edward C. Smith (814) 863-0966; E-mail: ecs5@psu.edu; Website: www.outreach.psu.edu/C&I/rotaryWing.

May 18-20--5th Annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE), Palexpo Conference Center, Geneva, Switzerland. Contact: Kathleen Blouin (NBAA) (202) 783-9364; E-mail: kblouin@nbaa.com. Website: www.ebace.aero.

June 1-3--American Helicopter Society International Forum 61, Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine, Texas. Contact: David Renzi, (703) 684-6777; E-mail: davidr@vtol.org; Website: www.vtol.org.

June 12-14--46th International Paris Air Show, Le Bourget Airport, France. Contact: Salons International de l'Aeronautique et de l'Espace, Paris, France, +33-(1)-53-23-33-33; fax +33-(1) 47-20-00-86; E-mail: info@hfusa.com or siae@salon-du-bourget.fr; Website: www.paris-air-show.com.

July 20-23--Airborne Law Enforcement Assn. Annual Conference, John Ascuaga's Nugget Resort Hotel, Reno, Nev. Contact: Sherry Hadley, (918) 599-0705; E-mail: shadley@alea.org; Website: www.alea.org.

July 26-31--EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2005, Oshkosh, Wis. Contact: (920) 426-4800; Website: www.eaa.org.

July 29-31--15th International Helidays, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. Contact: 44-1934-822524; E-mail: westonsuper@helidays.freeserve.co.uk; Website: www.helidays.freeserve.co.uk.

Sept. 26-29--International Helicopter Safety Symposium, presented by AHS International and the AHS International Montreal/Ottawa Chapter. Contact: Kim Smith, 703-684-6777; Email: kim@vtol.org; Website: www.ihss2005.com.

Live chat by BoldChat