Standard-setting organization RTCA has released minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) for helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems (HTAWS). The recommendations are the result of the FAA’s request for input about minimum performance as it was studying implementing an NTSB recommendation for installing TAWS in helicopters.
Aviation International News » June 2008
On May 10 at 10:40 p.m. local time, a Eurocopter EC 135T2+ crashed in an area of rapidly rising terrain six minutes after taking off from La Crosse, Wis. Municipal Airport. The three occupants, an instrument- rated pilot and the two-man medical crew, aboard the VFR Part 91 positioning flight were killed. It was the first crash in the 23-year history of the program.
A Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma, operated by Bristow in offshore oil transport in the North Sea, on April 9 became the first helicopter to be fitted with a second-generation Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II). The operator worked closely with equipment manufacturer Rockwell Collins to install the safety system aboard the 21-seat aircraft, with the assistance of Shell Aircraft.
Consolidation among European helicopter operators continues, with Heliportugal joining forces with French operator SAF Helicap, creating a fleet of nearly 50 aircraft.
With its acquisition of Italian counterpart Elilario, Spanish operator Grupo Inaer has become one of Europe’s largest helicopter operators, with a fleet of nearly 220 rotorcraft. The deal is valued at ?60.8 million ($91 million). Whether the new entity will be called Elilario or Inaer Italy has yet to be decided.
Oregon-based Erickson Air-Crane recently signed an 8.5-year, e200 million deal covering the continued operation of four S-64F Aircranes flown in support of Italy’s Department of Civil Protection for fire protection and disaster relief through 2016. Erickson has leased S-64 Aircrane Helitankers to the agency since 1999. Days before the deal was made public, Erickson announced substantial layoffs at its Central Point, Ore.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America has received Transport Canada STC approval for installation of the Sagem Avionics integrated cockpit display system 8 (ICDS-8) for the Bell 206. The system uses two eight-inch color monitors and a solid-state AHRS system. It can be interfaced to GPS, TCAS, TCAD, Stormscope, FLIR and Max-Viz.
The Alerts (aircraft logging and event recording for training and safety) system developed by Appareo Systems and the Bristow Group received the American Helicopter Society’s Harry T. Jensen Award at the AHS Forum 64 conference in Montreal last month.
Bristow Helicopters has taken delivery of all six Sikorsky S-92s it had on order. The 26,500-pound-mtow twins will fly to offshore oil and gas installations from Scatsta Airport in Shetland. The £70 million ($140 million) investment includes the helicopters, training, tools and equipment. The S-92 fleet will support the integrated aviation consortium, the partners of which are Shell, BP, CNR, BP and Petrofac.
Spanish engine company ITP has taken over Italy’s Aeromaritime, adding three new centers to its helicopter turboshaft maintenance network. These are, under their new names, Aeromaritime America in Mesa, Ariz.; Aeromaritime Malta; and CPR in Portsmouth, England. All specialize in Rolls-Royce 250 maintenance.