A year after training school Silver State Helicopters shut its doors and declared bankruptcy–leaving 2,400 students deep in debt with their professional pilot training incomplete–helicopter flight schools are facing the double burden of tight credit and suspicion by lenders about students’ ability to repay loans.
AINalerts » February 23, 2009
A group of industry representatives from helicopter OEMs, training companies and operators is close to submitting to the International Civil Aviation Organization a formal framework of recommendations aimed at standardizing flight training devices. The work began three years ago and will eventually consume 80,000 man hours and cost between $5 million and $8 million.
RotorWay, the company behind the piston-powered A600 Talon two-seat kit-built helicopter, is taking a major step up market with plans for an FAA-certified, two-seat turbine helicopter that it hopes to have flying in time for EAA’s AirVenture this July. Paving the way for the project was RotorWay’s recent acquisition of PMC Machining and Manufacturing based in Phoenix.
Sikorsky yesterday announced the formation of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a new umbrella business unit for the manufacturer’s commercial helicopters, including the S-76, S-92, H-92 and the Schweizer helicopter line. As part of the rebranding, the S-300c, S-300CBi, S-333 and S-434 will be marketed as Sikorsky helicopters. “The Schweizer name will disappear,” said Marc Poland, executive vice president of the new business unit.
Executives at two of the world’s largest helicopter makers insisted at Heli-Expo that the industry can continue to flourish even in the face of a severe economic downturn.