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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Civil Contracts

Carson Helicopters’ firefighting contract with the U.S. Forest Service has been temporarily suspended by the USFS due to an aircraft weight issue. The contract requires the company to declare the weight of each helicopter to help project payload capabilities. But during an investigation into the fatal crash of a CH helicopter on Aug. 5, one of CH’s other 12,000-lb S-61s was found to be 400 lb overweight. CH said it reweighed all of its helicopters and found each to be well within contract and OEM weight limits. CH’s Andy Mills said a third party associated with the investigation improperly weighed the aircraft, which resulted in a higher reading. Mills said the suspension should be lifted soon.

Flight Safety International has partnered with flight simulator manufacturer Frasca to place light turbine simulators in many of FSI’s training centers. Attendees at the Air Medical Transport Conference in Minneapolis held Oct 20-22 were able to test drive a non-motion, full-visual, AS350 simulator configurable for hundreds of in-flight situations, such as inadvertent IMC, instrument landings and systems failures.

Gulf Helicopters in Qatar has signed a helicopter service agreement with Talisman Energy. It gives TE one Bell 412 for its sole use in support of its offshore drilling operations for 40 days beginning last month. GH also penned agreements with Total E&P Libye and Al Maha Co for Aviation Transport to use a Bell 412 for four months in support of its offshore drilling operations.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp used the Air Medical Transport conference in Minneapolis as the backdrop for an October 22, 2008 announcement that it has a contract with Boston MedFlight to provide the air transport company with an S-76C++ configured for critical care air medical work in the northeast U.S. It will be Sikorsky’s first critical care S-76C++ that is night vision compatible.

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