Aviation International News Monthly

Mark Phelps, July 1, 2014

Asked to describe what he thought of the Citation Special Olympics Airlift (CSOA), Pete Bunce started to speak, but nothing came out of his mouth. The president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association looked around the ramp, waved a hand in the direction of all the tents, tugs, fuel trucks, hundreds of volunteers and, of course, a procession of Citation jets, but the words just weren’t there.

Chad Trautvetter

Bombardier Aerospace announced on June 12 that the Challenger 350 received Transport Canada approval, with FAA certification expected “shortly.” An upgrade of the Challenger 300, the 350 has a new wing with canted winglets, a higher mtow of 40,600 pounds and greater fuel capacity for an NBAA IFR range of 3,200 nm versus its predecessor’s 3,065nm.

John Sheridan

A June 11 Congressional House hearing on the FAA’s “2020 NextGen Mandate: Benefits and Challenges for General Aviation” reviewed the agency’s requirement that all U.S. civil aircraft carry ADS-B out units by Jan. 1, 2020, along with the vexing–to the FAA, at least–issue that aircraft owners are not rushing out to install them.

Mark Huber

The AgustaWestland AW609 civil tiltrotor passed another milestone on the road to certification by completing autorotation testing at AgustaWestland’s Arlington, Texas facility over the course of 10 flight hours in March and early April. Test aircraft Number 1 made more than 70 power-off conversions from airplane to helicopter mode.

Click a heading below to see the stories in that channel.

Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
Robert P. Mark, July 3, 2014

Preliminary Report: GIV Crashes on Takeoff at Bedford

Thierry Dubois, July 7, 2014

Infinity Support Services (ISS) has announced plans to install a level-D flight simulator for the Sikorsky S-92 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. FlightSafety International will design, manufacture and support the training device. For the ISS Academy, FlightSafety will also supply training programs and supporting documents. FlightSafety will operate the S-92 simulator for two years and provide training for ISS simulator technicians. The simulator is expected to enter service by year-end and will be the first S-92 simulator installed in the Middle East.

Matt Thurber, July 6, 2014

CitationJet training company ProFlight added a tool to its online distance learning system, an annunciator trainer that will help new pilots breeze through the cockpit preflight and save hours of simulator time.

Curt Epstein, July 4, 2014

Web Manuals, a Swedish company that offers digital operational manual creation, publication, distribution and maintenance services, is set to expand its sphere of operations and open a U.S. office in Boston later this year. The Malmö-based firm streamlines the task of maintaining and sharing up-to-date company operational or maintenance manuals, which are becoming ever more crucial in the current safety management system climate.

Robert P. Mark, July 1, 2014

Unwritten rules of professionalism demand that pilots and responsible media do not launch into publicly discussing suspected but unproven factors in an aircraft accident until the NTSB has issued its verdict on the probable cause.

Thierry Dubois, July 2, 2014

Helicopter EMS operator Mont-Blanc Hélicoptères (MBH), a defeated bidder in a recent tender by a group of hospitals in central France, is suing the group on technical grounds, alleging some of the requirements are irrelevant. In particular, the stipulation for an autopilot compromises safety, according to MBH managing director Yannick Métairie, who dismisses the autopilot as a “hazardous” system.

Mark Huber, July 4, 2014

Ontario’s Ornge air ambulance system remains under government scrutiny. In testimony before the Provincial Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee March 6, the then-head of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Chris Lewis, said its anti-rackets branch is expanding its investigation to include interviewing witnesses in the U.S. and Italy and seeking documents from those jurisdictions.

Aerospace Industry
Curt Epstein, July 6, 2014

After five harsh years, the business aviation market is indeed showing signs worthy of optimism, according to responses from JetNet IQ’s most recent industry survey, released last month at the company’s fourth annual summit in New York City. Each quarter the company polls hundreds of business jet owners and operators to read the business climate they are facing, and in the latest round, 54 percent overall (and 59 percent of U.S.

Air Transport and Cargo
Neelam Mathews, July 1, 2014

Sri Lankan regional airline Cinnamon Air expects a significant boost from traffic resulting from the recent move by its codeshare partner, SriLankan Airlines, to join the Oneworld alliance. Owned by the Saffron Aviation joint venture among John Keels Holdings, MMBL Leisure Holdings and Phoenix Ventures, Cinnamon operates scheduled domestic services in the South Asian country, as well as charter flights.

Airports, Heliports and FBOs
Curt Epstein, July 4, 2014

At most FBOs, as the snow falls, so does traffic. But not at Vail Valley Jet Center in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains: the falling powder is the siren’s song for legions of skiers and snowboarders.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

Kubick Aviation has purchased its larger competitor, Superior Aviation, at Ford Airport in Northern Michigan, to become the sole aviation services provider on the field, which sees approximately 20 operations a day. Kubick moved from its 4,700-sq-ft facility (which was since sold to an aeromedical provider) to the former Superior location, which has a 3,000-sq-ft terminal and 22,000 sq ft of hangar space capable of sheltering aircraft up to the size of a Citation Sovereign.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

Connecticut-based Volo Aviation has been chosen to manage the FBO at Tampa Executive Airport (VDF) in Florida and brand it as the latest facility in the growing chain. Formerly Leading Edge Aviation Services, the FBO services at the location (Leading Edge still operates an aircraft dealership and maintenance shop at the site) were purchased by Skyport Holdings, an investment company affiliated with Volo. “We see a strong local demand for services in the Tampa area,” said Brian Ciambra, Skyport president and CEO and Volo senior vice president for FBO operations.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

Avfuel has added three new branded FBOs to its international portfolio: Rizon Jet, Air Service Basel and Million Air Calgary. Rizon Jet is located at London Biggin Hill Airport. The terminal features lounges and business suites equipped with the latest technology, as well as aircrew facilities and aircraft handling, maintenance and catering. “Rizon Jet’s extremely desirable location combined with an acute attention to detail results in an unparalleled experience for guests,” said Marci Ammerman, vice president of marketing for the Michigan-based fuel provider.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

In an effort to make its airport more attractive to business jet users, authorities at the Avoyelles Parish Airport Authority in central Louisiana have approved a five-year improvement plan for Marksville Municipal Airport, the cornerstone of which is a $2 million extension to the runway. Currently at 3,800 feet, the runway at the propeller-only airport is unusable by all but the smallest private jets, even if jet fuel were available; the proposed 1,200-foot addition would provide midsize jets a comfortable length for takeoffs and landings.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

Universal Weather & Aviation has raised its presence in France, as airport-owned FBO Le Castellet Airport becomes a co-branded member of Universal’s FBO network. Under the terms of the deal, Universal will partner with the airport to operate the FBO to provide standards, training and procedures consistent with the company’s other locations.

Matt Thurber, July 2, 2014

In the ongoing battle to keep Santa Monica Airport from closing, on June 10 a group delivered more than 15,000 signatures to city hall to place a vote about the airport on the ballot later this year.

Matt Thurber, July 5, 2014

Emissions from turbine aircraft are one of the main objections held by those who want southern California’s busy Santa Monica Airport closed, yet in a recently released study, emissions from nearly Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) suggest an unexpectedly severe impact on residents downwind of major airports.

Mark Huber, July 6, 2014

Airport noise can be an emotionally volatile issue in municipal politics. However, Robert Grotell thinks data, not emotion, should drive decisions about airport and air route noise abatement.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

Private charter operator Qatar Executive–a subsidiary of Qatar Airways–is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The airport, which opened earlier this year after a series of delays, is scheduled to replace Doha International Airport as the Gulf nation’s primary international gateway. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, according to executive vice president David Edwards.

Curt Epstein, July 5, 2014

The Jet Assist-Business Jet Centre made its debut last month as a new service provider at Belfast International Airport. The spacious facility, located next to the GA ramp, has its own security screening, lounge seating for up to 25 passengers and a crew lounge, among other amenities. The Ascent-branded FBO is a member of the World Fuel Services network. The main runway at Belfast International, a 24-hour airport with no night-time curfew, is 9,100 feet long.

Avionics and ATC
Matt Thurber, July 6, 2014

Twin Commander service center Eagle Creek Aviation Services was issued an STC for a Garmin G950 upgrade on Twin Commander turboprops. The STC replaces the existing avionics and instruments with a 12.4-inch MFD and two 10.4-inch PFDs, subtracting approximately 150 pounds from the airplane’s empty weight. The S-Tec 2100 digital autopilot has been a popular upgrade in the Twin Commander series and that system couples with the G950, or the autopilot can be installed during the upgrade. Engine instrumentation is displayed on the MFD.

Matt Thurber, July 6, 2014

The FAA approved an STC developed by AeroMech for a Garmin G950 upgrade to the Beechcraft 1900D. AeroMech subsidiary AMI Aviation Services will install the upgraded avionics, or it can be accomplished by qualified Garmin dealers. The G950 system replaces the 1900D’s original Rockwell Collins EFIS 84 avionics and other instruments with the three-display G950 (one 15-inch MFD and two 10.4-inch PFDs), removing about 270 pounds from the airplane’s empty weight.

Matt Thurber, July 6, 2014

Brunswick, Maine-based Tempus Jets is offering a Fans 1/A and ADS-B out solution for the Bombardier Global Express. The package is priced at $455,000, depending on the existing configuration of the jet, and includes engineering, installation, certification, equipment and return to service. The upgrade uses ICG’s ICS-220A Iridium satcom if the existing satcom doesn’t meet interface and Fans and ADS-B requirements.

Matt Thurber, July 6, 2014

The FAA has issued technical standard order (TSO) approval to ACSS for its NXT-600 mode-S transponder, which is designed to meet ADS-B out mandates that are already in effect and planned for implementation. The NXT-600 is “ideal for regional and business aircraft, including helicopters,” according to ACSS, and complies with DO-260B and DO-181E standards required by Australia’s CASA, Eurocontrol and the FAA for ADS-B out. The NXT-600 has already been selected for and installed in Bombardier Q400s and it also works with the ACSS Tcas 3000SP surveillance processor.

Matt Thurber, July 6, 2014

The FAA recently issued an STC for the Astronics Max-Viz 1500 enhanced vision system (EVS) on Pilatus PC-12s equipped with video-capable multifunction displays. The STC kit includes the Max-Viz 1500 sensor, power supply and unpainted fairing; the STC data package costs $80,000 plus labor. Installation is said to take between 16 and 30 hours, depending on the airplane. According to the company, operators of legacy PC-12s also get a monitor as part of the STC kit at no additional cost. The price does not include any hardware or software upgrades needed to display video on existing avionics.

John Sheridan, July 3, 2014

In the four months since the March 8 disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the consensus on what happened appears to have boiled down to one basic view, simply stated by International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Taylor at the association’s annual meeting in Doha, Qatar, on June 2. “The loss of MH370 continues to be on everybody’s mind. I have no idea what happened to that aircraft,” he said. “I don’t think anyone else has, either.”

John Sheridan, July 1, 2014

A June 11 Congressional House hearing on the FAA’s “2020 NextGen Mandate: Benefits and Challenges for General Aviation” reviewed the agency’s requirement that all U.S. civil aircraft carry ADS-B out units by Jan. 1, 2020, along with the vexing–to the FAA, at least–issue that aircraft owners are not rushing out to install them.

Business Aviation
Bryan A. Comstock, July 4, 2014

Buyers continue to make their collective presence felt in the pre-owned market, pushing worldwide inventory to multiyear lows following a consistent contraction since last year’s NBAA Convention. Since that time, the market outflow of choices has exceeded the inflow and levels have dipped from 2,600 then to about 2,335 today, a level not seen since the summer of 2008. There are likely a number of factors affecting the depletion, including the perception of an improved U.S. economy, which has stimulated sales activity.

Chad Trautvetter, July 1, 2014

Bombardier Aerospace announced on June 12 that the Challenger 350 received Transport Canada approval, with FAA certification expected “shortly.” An upgrade of the Challenger 300, the 350 has a new wing with canted winglets, a higher mtow of 40,600 pounds and greater fuel capacity for an NBAA IFR range of 3,200 nm versus its predecessor’s 3,065nm.

Anonymous, July 3, 2014

Organizers of the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) are working fast to put together this year’s show, to be staged at São Paulo Congonhas Airport (August 12-14). Exhibit space sales opened on May 27, and the drawing to assign specific booth locations to exhibiting companies followed on June 10. Last year’s event drew 180 exhibitors, with 68 aircraft on static display.

Chad Trautvetter, July 5, 2014

John Bingham, who has been president and CEO of Piaggio America and chief marketing officer at parent company Piaggio Aero Industries since 2009, left the company on May 30. The company said the move was a planned departure, but was delayed until after it had announced the upgraded Avanti Evo at EBACE in mid-May. Giuliano Felten, Piaggio Aero’s executive senior vice president of civil sales, took over as president and CEO of Piaggio America early last month.

Matt Thurber, July 1, 2014

From the standpoint of aerodynamics, there aren’t many ways to make a modern airplane a lot better in a single bound, but as computers gain power smart designers can eke out subtle gains and combine them to extract more performance, which is what the engineering team at Daher-Socata has done with the already successful TBM single-engine turboprop line.

Mark Phelps, July 1, 2014

Asked to describe what he thought of the Citation Special Olympics Airlift (CSOA), Pete Bunce started to speak, but nothing came out of his mouth. The president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association looked around the ramp, waved a hand in the direction of all the tents, tugs, fuel trucks, hundreds of volunteers and, of course, a procession of Citation jets, but the words just weren’t there.

Cabin Interior and Electronics
James Wynbrandt, July 16, 2014

When Daher-Socata of Tarbes, France, embarked on developing the TBM 900 single-engine turboprop as an update of the TBM 850), it took the opportunity to restore some of the sports-car swagger of the TBM 700, progenitor of the TBM turboprop line.

James Wynbrandt, July 16, 2014

When Gulfstream Aerospace of Savannah, Ga., unveiled the G650ER at EBACE, the company focused on the aircraft’s extended range of 7,500 nm, which makes it the world’s longest-range business jet (not including private airliners).

James Wynbrandt, July 16, 2014

Airbus Helicopters has added personalization options for its EC135 l’Helicoptere par Hermes, which made its debut in 2007. At EBACE Airbus displayed an EC135T2e with an interior by the high-fashion and leather-goods manufacturer, and announced that the enhanced personalization will be available on the upgraded EC135T3/P3 variant.

James Wynbrandt, July 16, 2014

Performance gains over the predecessor Avanti II attracted much of the attention when Italy’s Piaggio Aero introduced the Avanti Evo at EBACE, but the distinctive twin turboprop also sports a totally new interior. New seats from Iacobucci HF, new lighting and air conditioning system and a finish provided by luxury outfitters Poltron Frau help enhance the passenger experience.

James Wynbrandt, July 16, 2014

In a deal announced this June, Cessna Aircraft is providing factory custom refurbishment for 10 Citation Excels and XLSes for Wheels Up, the New York City-based aircraft access membership program established by Marquis Jet Card founder Kenny Dichter. Wheels Up debuted one of the Citations at New York Westchester County Airport in June.

James Wynbrandt, July 16, 2014

Rockwell Collins unveiled two key cabin systems retrofit programs at EBACE: an expansion of the capabilities of the Tailwind 550 direct broadcast satellite TV system and a Venue HD retrofit for Bombardier Globals. The Tailwind 550 upgrade provides replacement of the fuselage-mounted antenna for better satcom connectivity over Europe and the Middle East, improved coverage and reliability, and the live streaming of high-definition (HD) MPEG-4 content, said Greg Irmen, v-p and general manager of flight controls and information systems. The new Tailwind 550 antenna is priced at about $740,000.

Charter and Fractional
Curt Epstein, July 4, 2014

A new seaplane service connecting New York City with Boston and Washington, D.C., will make its debut this month. Tailwind Air Service has partnered with established New England seaplane operator and charter provider Fly the Whale and will conduct morning flights aimed at business travelers, using amphibious Cessna 208 Caravans departing 23rd Street on Manhattan’s East River.

Maintenance and Modifications
Matt Thurber, July 2, 2014

The plan announced last year by The Aviation Alliance to remanufacture Cessna 421Cs and Gulfstream IIIs is moving forward, according to company founder and managing director Geoff Miller, despite setbacks that have caused some delays. The California-based company is currently focusing on the Excalibur 421 turboprop conversion and hopes to have one completed in time for this year’s NBAA show in Orlando in October.

David A. Lombardo, July 5, 2014

West Star Aviation’s East Alton location was founded in 1947 and was originally named Walston Aviation. It changed ownership in 1986 and was renamed Premier Air Center. In 2004, the principals of Premier Air Center acquired West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., and operated under the dual name Premier Air Center/West Star Aviation until September 2007, when the company was rebranded West Star Aviation.

Nigel Moll, July 1, 2014

One option for an aircraft technician faced with a thorny mechanical at home base or stranded far from the home hangar would be to take photos with a smartphone and send them to a source of help such as the manufacturer’s tech support team.

People
Jane Campbell, July 5, 2014

Patrick de Castelbajac was named CEO of Avions de Transport Regional (ATR). He was previously head of contract negotiations for Airbus.

James Colleary was named president of Associated Air Center. He was previously COO and replaces Jack Lawless, who left the company.

The Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association appointed Benoit Defforge, managing director of Airbus Corporate Jets, and Renaud Cloatre, international sales director for Dassault Aviation, to its board of directors.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

The ATR Assembly of Members has appointed Patrick de Castelbajac, 43, CEO of ATR. He succeeds Filippo Bagnato, whose four-year mandate according to ATR’s statutes expired at the end of May.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

Mitsubishi Aircraft took delivery early last month of its first Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1200G geared turbofan at the Mitsubishi Regional Jet’s (MRJ) final-assembly factory in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Delivery of the engine from Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Quebec marks a major milestone toward final assembly of the first MRJ90 flight-test aircraft, which Mitsubishi expects to fly during next year’s second quarter.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

Flybe Finland has agreed to open new routes this summer from Helsinki to the Russian destinations of Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Kazan on behalf of Finnair with Embraer E190s. Service to Nizhny Novgorod International Airport begins on July 25, flights to Samara’s Kurumoch International Airport start on August 7 and operations to Kazan International Airport commence on August 18. Plans call for flights to run three times per week on all three routes.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

Bombardier Aerospace delivered the first “enhanced” CRJ900 to American Airlines regional subsidiary PSA Airlines on June 5. Based in Dayton, Ohio, PSA plans to start operating the jet under the American Eagle brand “later this summer.” Formerly a US Airways Express subsidiary, it now flies 35 CRJ200s and 14 CRJ700s primarily out of Charlotte, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127N turboprop to power the ATR 72-600. The PW127N offers 4.5 percent more takeoff power for better hot-and-high performance. Plans call for the PW127N to progressively roll into Avianca’s ATR fleet throughout this year and next. ATR expects to deliver the first Avianca ATR 72-600 equipped with the new engines “in the coming weeks,” allowing the airline to benefit from better takeoff performance at high-altitude airports such as its hub in Bogota, Colombia.

Chad Trautvetter, July 5, 2014

John Bingham, who has been president and CEO of Piaggio America and chief marketing officer at parent company Piaggio Aero Industries since 2009, left the company on May 30. The company said the move was a planned departure, but was delayed until after it had announced the upgraded Avanti Evo at EBACE in mid-May. Giuliano Felten, Piaggio Aero’s executive senior vice president of civil sales, took over as president and CEO of Piaggio America early last month.

Mark Huber, July 4, 2014

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday on June 12 by making a tandem parachute jump from a Bell 429 light twin near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush and tandem partner Mike Elliott, a former member of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute squad and current president of the All Veteran Parachute Team, departed the 429 from 6,300 feet msl and landed uneventfully on the grounds of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, where Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush were married almost 70 years ago. Mrs.

Regional Airlines
Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

The ATR Assembly of Members has appointed Patrick de Castelbajac, 43, CEO of ATR. He succeeds Filippo Bagnato, whose four-year mandate according to ATR’s statutes expired at the end of May.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

Mitsubishi Aircraft took delivery early last month of its first Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1200G geared turbofan at the Mitsubishi Regional Jet’s (MRJ) final-assembly factory in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Delivery of the engine from Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Quebec marks a major milestone toward final assembly of the first MRJ90 flight-test aircraft, which Mitsubishi expects to fly during next year’s second quarter.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

Flybe Finland has agreed to open new routes this summer from Helsinki to the Russian destinations of Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Kazan on behalf of Finnair with Embraer E190s. Service to Nizhny Novgorod International Airport begins on July 25, flights to Samara’s Kurumoch International Airport start on August 7 and operations to Kazan International Airport commence on August 18. Plans call for flights to run three times per week on all three routes.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

Bombardier Aerospace delivered the first “enhanced” CRJ900 to American Airlines regional subsidiary PSA Airlines on June 5. Based in Dayton, Ohio, PSA plans to start operating the jet under the American Eagle brand “later this summer.” Formerly a US Airways Express subsidiary, it now flies 35 CRJ200s and 14 CRJ700s primarily out of Charlotte, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127N turboprop to power the ATR 72-600. The PW127N offers 4.5 percent more takeoff power for better hot-and-high performance. Plans call for the PW127N to progressively roll into Avianca’s ATR fleet throughout this year and next. ATR expects to deliver the first Avianca ATR 72-600 equipped with the new engines “in the coming weeks,” allowing the airline to benefit from better takeoff performance at high-altitude airports such as its hub in Bogota, Colombia.

Gregory Polek, July 6, 2014

The first Sukhoi Superjet 100 destined for the new regional division of Russia’s UTair rolled out of its paint hangar at Spektr-Avia in Ulyanovsk, Russia, on May 29. Scheduled for delivery to UTair Express by early this month, the airplane features a special livery developed by UTair Group and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Featuring bright folk patterns in the traditional Russian style, the paint job took more than 120 gallons of enamel and 3,600 feet of stencil to complete.

Regulations and Government
Curt Epstein, July 4, 2014

Web Manuals, a Swedish company that offers digital operational manual creation, publication, distribution and maintenance services, is set to expand its sphere of operations and open a U.S. office in Boston later this year. The Malmö-based firm streamlines the task of maintaining and sharing up-to-date company operational or maintenance manuals, which are becoming ever more crucial in the current safety management system climate.

Bill Carey, July 4, 2014

The FAA’s Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) have a backlog of applications for certificates that concerns the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s Office. As of last October, 1,029 new air operator, flight school and repair station applicants awaited certificates from FSDOs across all eight FAA regions, with 138 applications delayed longer than three years, the IG reported to Congress on June 12.

Paul Lowe, July 6, 2014

Within Six Months

July 4, 2014:

Taws Equipage for Canadian Aircraft with Six or More Passenger Seats

Rotorcraft
Thierry Dubois, July 7, 2014

Russian Helicopters has taken over the management of five aircraft repair plants formerly owned by Russia’s ministry of defense. The plants are located in Khabarovsk, Svetly (Kaliningrad Region), Engels (Saratov Region), St. Petersburg and Chita. They will “significantly strengthen” after-sales service for Russian commercial and military helicopters, according to the manufacturer. Managers from the plants met with Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev on May 21.

Mark Huber, July 7, 2014

The companies have walked away from an agreement announced last year to partner on a new 5,000-pound helicopter. They continue to operate the HeliVert joint venture that produces AW139s for the Russian and CIS markets.

Thierry Dubois, July 7, 2014

Infinity Support Services (ISS) has announced plans to install a level-D flight simulator for the Sikorsky S-92 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. FlightSafety International will design, manufacture and support the training device. For the ISS Academy, FlightSafety will also supply training programs and supporting documents. FlightSafety will operate the S-92 simulator for two years and provide training for ISS simulator technicians. The simulator is expected to enter service by year-end and will be the first S-92 simulator installed in the Middle East.

Thierry Dubois, July 2, 2014

Certification in hand, Airbus Helicopters is endeavoring to ensure a faultless entry into service of the EC175 medium twin, a critical product for the company in the highly competitive offshore oil-and-gas market. The first delivery, to Belgium-based operator NHV, is slated for the second half of this year, almost five years after the type first flew.

Thierry Dubois, July 2, 2014

Helicopter EMS operator Mont-Blanc Hélicoptères (MBH), a defeated bidder in a recent tender by a group of hospitals in central France, is suing the group on technical grounds, alleging some of the requirements are irrelevant. In particular, the stipulation for an autopilot compromises safety, according to MBH managing director Yannick Métairie, who dismisses the autopilot as a “hazardous” system.

Thierry Dubois, July 2, 2014

Sikorsky and Lord have completed the flight demonstration of a hub-mounted vibration suppressor (HMVS) intended to address crew fatigue and reduced equipment reliability caused by helicopter vibration. Eventually, the HMVS could be part of a larger system integrated into all Sikorsky helicopters.

Mark Huber, June 2, 2014

The AgustaWestland AW609 civil tiltrotor passed another milestone on the road to certification by completing autorotation testing at AgustaWestland’s Arlington, Texas facility over the course of 10 flight hours in March and early April. Test aircraft Number 1 made more than 70 power-off conversions from airplane to helicopter mode.

Mark Huber, July 3, 2014

For a minute, I think I am in the wrong place.

The Enstrom Helicopter headquarters I visited in Menominee, Mich., more than a decade ago was a ramshackle collection of small, rundown hangars and older low-ceiling buildings. The dated offices had furnishings stuck in the 1960s. There were plenty of empty parking spaces, few employees and the company was perennially beset by rumors of its impending demise.

Mark Huber, July 4, 2014

Ontario’s Ornge air ambulance system remains under government scrutiny. In testimony before the Provincial Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee March 6, the then-head of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Chris Lewis, said its anti-rackets branch is expanding its investigation to include interviewing witnesses in the U.S. and Italy and seeking documents from those jurisdictions.

Mark Huber, July 4, 2014

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday on June 12 by making a tandem parachute jump from a Bell 429 light twin near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush and tandem partner Mike Elliott, a former member of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute squad and current president of the All Veteran Parachute Team, departed the 429 from 6,300 feet msl and landed uneventfully on the grounds of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, where Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush were married almost 70 years ago. Mrs.

Rotorcraft Aircraft
Thierry Dubois, July 7, 2014

Airbus Helicopters recently exhibited some new EMS equipment for the just-certified EC145T2 light twin. Developed with Mecaer, the new cabin installation is available with an “EMS fixed provisions” option. This provides standardized interfaces for customized hardware, thus reducing the outfitting lead time of an interior for medical operations.

July 2014

This Month's Top Stories

Airports, Heliports and FBOs

In the ongoing battle to keep Santa Monica Airport from closing, on June 10 a group delivered more than 15,000 signatures to city hall to place a vote about the airport on the ballot later this year.

Business Aviation

Organizers of the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) are working fast to put together this year’s show, to be staged at São Paulo Congonhas Airport (August 12-14). Exhibit space sales opened on May 27, and the drawing to assign specific booth locations to exhibiting companies followed on June 10. Last year’s event drew 180 exhibitors, with 68 aircraft on static display.

Business Aviation

From the standpoint of aerodynamics, there aren’t many ways to make a modern airplane a lot better in a single bound, but as computers gain power smart designers can eke out subtle gains and combine them to extract more performance, which is what the engineering team at Daher-Socata has done with the already successful TBM single-engine turboprop line.

X