Last month the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03) containing “recommendations for rotorcraft during icing conditions.” The SAIB describes “procedures to reduce the probability of an engine in-flight shutdown due to ice and snow ingestion,” including special precautions during winter pre-flights and ground power settings.
Aviation International News » December 2007
CHC Helicopter has ordered 12 Sikorsky S-92s and 13 AgustaWestland AW139s. The contracts are worth nearly $400 million. CHC plans to use the S-92s for offshore support and commercial search-and-rescue operations. Delivery of S-92s under the new order is scheduled to begin in 2009. AgustaWestland values CHC’s latest AW139 order at “approximately $140 million.” CHC plans to use the AW139s for offshore support and EMS missions.
Sikorsky’s Keystone subsidiary will take over final assembly and completion of the S-76C++ and subsequent variants of the twin-turbine helicopter, including the S-76D, at its Coatesville, Pa. “heliplex.” Mick Maurer, Sikorsky’s v-p for operations, said the company relocated the S-76 to make room for increased production of the Black Hawk at the company’s main plant in Stratford, Conn., beginning next year.
Early next year, Helsinki, Finland-based operator Copterline will restart one of the few scheduled public helicopter routes in the world. It discontinued the flight between the neighboring capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia, after the 2005 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76C+ (see AIN, October, page 74).
The Bell 429 can hover out of ground effect (OGE) at 11,000 feet at its maximum takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds. The altitude exceeds Bell’s previous customer commitment of a maximum OGE hover of 9,300 feet.
St. Petersburg, Russia-based engine manufacturer Klimov is offering the VK800, a new turboshaft in the 600- to 1,000-shp range, as a low-cost alternative to Western helicopter engines. The company claims the engine is the first clean-sheet design since the Soviet era. Certification is pegged for 2009.
Archrivals AgustaWestland and Eurocopter will join forces on a major environmental research program that will include integration technology demonstrators (ITDs) for a greener helicopter. The project–part of the larger E1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative–is expected to yield innovations such as smart blades for the main rotor and electric drive for the tail rotor.
The NTSB is calling for stricter FAA en route surveillance of Grand Canyon area air-tour operators based on its findings from two fatal helicopter accidents there in 2001 and 2003 involving Papillon Airways and Sundance Helicopters.
Earlier this year, Bell Helicopter celebrated the 40th anniversary of its popular single-turbine light helicopter, the JetRanger. The Bell JetRanger is the most ubiquitous turbine single-engine civilian helicopter in the world.
At the Air Traffic Control Association’s annual convention this fall, Syracuse, N.Y.-based Sensis announced that its multilateration system will replace the legacy precision runway monitor (PRM) radar used at the Sydney, Australia airport, to monitor aircraft flying simultaneous approaches to its closely spaced parallel runways, 16L and 16R.