After less than three years as a stand-alone company, MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) has doubled its workforce to more than 400 and expects revenues of at least $150 million this year.
Aviation International News » October 2001
For those toiling for oil on the roiling North Sea, the stormy nature of that piece of water keeps the possibility of rescue constantly in mind. Traditionally that role has been filled by stationing formidably equipped rescue boats called emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRV) with each group of oil platforms.
Bell Helicopter Textron last month announced plans to lay off 270 workers at its Fort Worth-area plants. The job cuts will affect both union-represented hourly workers and salaried employees. A spokesman for the rotorcraft builder said further cutbacks were possible as the company reevaluated its position in the slumping world helicopter market and as the effects of investigations and slowdowns in the U.S.
A Boeing Vertol BV-107 operated by Columbia Helicopters of Portland, Ore., crashed in August during a maintenance check flight in southern Montana, killing all three men aboard. Dead are pilot Rich Hernandez, 37; copilot Santi Arovitx, 28; and crew chief Kip Krigbaum, 45. The big twin-rotor helo, a civil derivative of the military’s CH-46, went down for as yet unexplained reasons about 9:30 a.m.
An era has ended in the helicopter offshore oil-support business with Carroll Suggs, wife of Petroleum Helicopters Inc. founder Robert Suggs, selling her family’s majority interest in the company to Louisiana businessman Al Gonsoulin. A resident of Houston with 35 years of experience in the oil- and gas-service industry, Gonsoulin took over as chairman of the PHI board in early September.
A little known FAA policy statement, dated June 1 of this year, stands to dramatically change the helicopter industry as we know it. Helicopter pilots and manufacturers have long known the unique capabilities of rotorcraft, but have always been obligated to follow regulations and policies set forth and to operate in airspace designed for the much more prevalent fixed-wing aircraft.
Honeywell is on the verge of gaining FAA certification approval for retrofit versions of its Primus Epic integrated avionics suite. Targeting older medium and heavy business jets, Primus Epic CDS/R (control display system/retrofit) has been developed to transform steam-gauge-driven dinosaurs into state-of-the-art hot rods capable of meeting airspace operating requirements for the next decade or more.
Honeywell is now demonstrating its Inflightmail airborne e-mail service aboard the company’s Citation V. As configured, the system transmits data through the Iridium low-earth-orbit satellite network using an Airsat 1 satphone and onboard computer server.
Baker Electronics has introduced a miniature multi-region DVD player that measures 2.5 in. high, 7.25 in. wide and 8 in. deep. Multi-region means that the unit can play DVDs from all parts of the world, as well as audio CDs, video CDs, so-called super video CDs and MP3 CDs. Dubbed the Mini-MRDVD-DB, the unit has been “ruggedized” for durability in aircraft cabins, according to Baker.
Innovative Solutions & Support continues its aggressive certification schedule for RVSM equipment for business aircraft.