The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is changing its voluntary operational evaluations to mandatory operational suitability (OS) approvals for new aircraft designs. This appears as an extension of type certification, at additional cost to manufacturers. The new rule will take effect in 2012.
Aviation International News » January 2010
At hearings last month members of the Senate Aviation Operations subcommittee pressured FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt to speed the agency’s rewrite of regulations addressing pilot fatigue. The proposed NPRM dealing with that rewrite was expected in September last year, but has now been pushed back to early this year.
Eurocopter is offering a low-cost and lightweight flight data monitoring system for light helicopters. The idea is to record flight parameters, voice and cockpit images to detect possible pilot deviations from procedures and then replay the flight on the ground for debriefing or training.
Donaldson’s Aerospace Filtration Systems (AFS) unit has received supplemental type certificate approval from the FAA for an inlet barrier filter (IBF) system for the AgustaWestland AW139. The new AW139 IBF system features low-profile conformal fore and aft fairings with dual filter assemblies mounted on the existing engine doors, creating a sealed intake plenum and an alternate inlet air bypass system activated by a cockpit switch.
Eurocopter and equipment and service specialist Daher last month broke ground on a logistic center that is to open in the third quarter in Marignane. With other partners, the two companies are investing €68 million (about $100 million) in the MarLog project. MarLog will feature a 500,000-sq-ft warehouse and 71,000 sq ft of offices. Eurocopter is planning a “complete overhaul of the logistic flows,” in and out of the Marignane factory.
Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise, one of the companies in holding firm Russian Helicopters, has completed a phase of tests with a Turbomeca-powered Kamov Ka-226. The aircraft–the Ka-226T–is the first coaxial-rotor helicopter to be fitted with Turbomeca turboshafts, in this case Arrius 2G. Production of the helicopter is expected to start next year.
American Eurocopter recently received level-D certification and is now authorized to repair and overhaul tailbooms and stabilizers for the EC 135. The company can now perform all tailboom repairs for the EC 135, EC 145, BO 105 and BK 117 at its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Russian Helicopters and Uzbekistan’s Uzrosavia last month in Moscow signed an agreement to cooperate on the maintenance of Russian-built rotorcraft. The five-year agreement also covers other countries in central Asia. In Iran, Russian Helicopters and Fanavaran Aseman Giti have signed an agreement to promote Russian rotorcraft in the country. Fanavaran will become the official representative in the Islamic Republic.
Robinson Helicopter vice president Kurt Robinson last month said the market for his company’s piston-engine helicopters has improved substantially from earlier in the year thanks to strong export sales aided by the weak dollar. However, Robinson said it was unlikely that last year’s tally would equal the record 893 helicopters the company sold in 2008.
One year’s end always gets me thinking about the past 12 months and my hopes for the year to come. In my business, one of the things I do is look at the accidents that have occurred, what we can learn from them and how we can prevent future ones. Last year there were two high-profile accidents that have a lot to teach us; unfortunately, the lessons are ones we have already learned but for whatever reasons failed to tackle successfully.