Five days before the 2010 Ryder Cup golf tournament began on October 1 in Newport, South Wales, UK-based charter operator PremiAir announced that its helicopter transfer services were “fully booked” for the event. Dedicated to these flights were a four-seat Eurocopter AS355 Twin Squirrel and an eight-seat Sikorsky S-76. Among other starting points, services were offered from London heliport for a 50-minute journey.
Aviation International News » November 2010
The helicopter group of the Sécurité Civile, France’s emergency preparedness organization, has logged 200,000 hours of operation with the Arriel 1E2 turboshafts that power its Eurocopter EC145s. The group has taken delivery of 34 EC145s since 2002.
Eurocopter expects to book approximately $67 million in orders in Southern African countries this year, a 35-percent increase over 2009’s orders. The company attributes this increase to growth in parapublic markets. Regional turnover for this year is expected to be close to $56 million. The company’s training center near Johannesburg, South Africa, is planning to add one instructor to its staff in 2011.
Russian operator UTair has ordered 20 Eurocopter AS350B3/AS355NP Ecureuils. Deliveries will begin next summer and continue through 2013.
The 117-strong fleet of Sikorsky S-92s has surpassed 250,000 flight hours. The medium twin entered service in 2004 and offshore operations have accounted for 90 percent of the air time since. The U.S. manufacturer claims mission reliability stands at 94 percent, while the fleet leader has logged 9,000 hours with Bristow. Eight offshore oil and gas transport companies fly 75 of the in-service S-92s.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has completed its draft report of the March 2009 fatal crash of a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A off Newfoundland that killed 17. The final report likely will be released next year.
Sikorsky Innovations has completed rig testing of a hub-mounted vibration suppression system. The effort is jointly funded by Sikorsky and the U.S. Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. North Carolina-based Lord was also involved in the project. Sikorsky plans to test the technology on one of its helicopters in the next 12 months.
Robinson’s long-awaited R66 turbine single was scheduled to receive FAA type certification on October 25. The price has increased to $790,000 and the company says it has firm orders for approximately 100 of the helicopters.
Despite the best efforts of numerous aviation groups and a small army of lobbyists, Congress adjourned early last month without enacting an FAA reauthorization bill. Before the rush to get out of Washington began in earnest, lawmakers passed a 16th short-term extension of FAA programs and funding, which President Obama signed into law.
At the first-ever second NBAA membership general session on October 20 there were few dry eyes as a video played across multiple screens showing the role of business aviation in providing humanitarian relief to victims of the January earthquake that hit the impoverished nation of Haiti.