When a veteran EMS helicopter pilot, probably thinking he was running out of options, decided to dive under a cloud deck to look for the ground, he crashed his Maryland State Police (MSP) Eurocopter Dauphin into terrain about 3.2 miles north of Andrews Air Force Base (ADW), killing all on board except for one of the two teenage traffic accident victims being transported to a nearby hospital.
Aviation International News » December 2009
Ask people why they finally decided to acquire a business airplane and they inevitably mention speed as the deciding factor. But as Concorde passengers learned over the years, the sensation of speed is quickly forgotten when the cabin is as cramped as it was aboard the SST. Speed may initially attract people to business airplanes, but it’s overall comfort on a long flight that determines the real value of an aircraft.
Poland-based PZL-Swidnik late in October delivered its 1,000th helicopter fuselage–an
Canada-based offshore operator VIH Aviation Group (VIH) and New Zealand-based HNZ Group last month announced the formation of a joint venture to provide offshore helicopter services in Australia and its coastal regions.
Despite the gloomy economy, AgustaWestland disclosed sound financial figures for the first nine months of this year. Revenues totaled E2.5 billion, a 14-percent increase from last year, as a result of a 17-percent increase in production volumes. Deliveries to the governments of Algeria, Japan and the UK were notable contributors. Earnings (Ebitda) increased by 2 percent, to E237 million.
Eurocopter has disclosed some performance numbers for the in-development EC 175 medium twin. The radius of action offshore is 270 nm at ISA+20 degrees C and a speed of about 135 knots. The 16-passenger aircraft is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67E turboshafts. The EC 175/Z15, a 50-50 Euro-Chinese effort, is expected to fly by year-end.
In 2005 the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) was formed with the ambitious goal of reducing helicopter accidents 80 percent by 2016. The group was modeled after the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, which is credited with a significant accident rate reduction among fixed-wing carriers. It now appears the IHST’s work may be having a measurable impact.
Surveyors of used aircraft entered the year with little else to do but cross fingers and hope that the market plunge brought to the doorstep of the New Year would abate. Buyers slowly began to perceive value as prices fell 30 to 50 percent from their previous lofty perches. It seemed that the press–which had for several months filleted business jet ownership–had run out of negative things to say.
Amac Aerospace has delivered its first cabin completion project, a high-end executive outfitting for a Middle East head of state. The A320 is configured with a stateroom and private lavatory/shower and additional staff seating. Entertainment and communications amenities include on-demand audio/video, satcom and wireless local area network.
For Europe, the so-called very light jet (VLJ) revolution has turned out to be more a case of evolution in which only the most financially fit seem destined to survive.