Lawmakers escaped the dog days of August in Washington by taking a vacation and returned the first week of September to face a multitude of concerns, though few involve aviation.
Aviation International News » October 2002
Three aeromedical helicopter accidents claimed three lives in just 12 days in August and September, representing a cluster of successively serious mishaps in what otherwise had been a fairly uneventful year in terms of EMS safety.
With the Italian government still investigating the cause of the April 22 crash of a prototype Bell/Agusta AB139 helicopter near Monteleone, Rimini, in northern Italy, work toward certification is progressing. Unofficial accounts of the accident investigation point to human factors instead of mechanical failure during a high altitude, low airspeed flight.
The chartered Bell JetRanger that crashed into the ice-covered slopes of Mount Rainier last June has slid into a crevasse and seems to be beyond recovery. In so doing, the chartered helicopter joins a half-dozen other out-of-reach aircraft that festoon the slopes of the 14,410-ft peak.
Featuring a modified nose, upgraded avionics and simplified construction, a modernized FH-1100 helicopter should be in production by 2004. Georges Van Nevel, president of the FH-1100 Manufacturing Corp., recently told AIN that he anticipates FAA certification for the upgraded helo by the end of this year, with first deliveries expected within 18 months of production startup.
When it comes to selling helicopters for one of the leading helo makers, it’s difficult to find a job that Jeff Pino hasn’t done. In his 17 years with Bell, he was vice president of sales and marketing, executive director for Europe, director for Latin America and regional manager for South America.
While the immediate effect on the ongoing tests of the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor is questionable, the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) has reportedly awarded Boeing a $10.25 million contract to look into the workability of a reconfigurable rotor-blade design as part of the overall reevaluation of the troubled convertiplane.
Focusing on the needs of the corporate user, Sikorsky Aircraft used last month’s NBAA Convention to outline a series of fresh improvements applicable to its entire S-76 product line, including stainless-steel landing-gear rod ends that eliminate reliance on corrosion preventive compounds, thereby reducing maintenance; a “smart” electrical contactor to better manage electrical system switching; fuzz-burn engine chip detectors for Turbomeca Arri
A Bell 222 operated by Air Methods subsidiary Mercy Air crashed on September 7 at 4:40 a.m. in Baker, Calif., en route to an auto accident. Killed in the crash, Mercy Air’s first, were pilot Marshall Butler, flight nurse Ana Coburn and paramedic Kalaya Jarbsunthie. The three were based at Mercy Air’s Pahrump, Nev. base. The NTSB is conducting an investigation.
Sikorsky’s S-92 medium-twin program has passed another milestone on its way to certification as prototype number four performed two flawless autorotational landings to touchdown recently at the company’s flight development center in West Palm Beach, Fla.