It was an unusual report that swiftly sent the Grand Canyon National Park Helitack–this year’s winner of the Igor I. Sikorsky Humanitarian Service Award–into action last August 17. “In the early morning we got a report that there were five boats floating down river with no passengers on board,” said Jay Lusher, helicopter program manager for Grand Canyon National Park.
HAI Convention News » February 22, 2009
Last year, Bell Helicopter president and CEO Richard Millman surprised the helicopter world with the announcement that the company planned to shut down production of the 206B3, 210, 427 and 430 by 2010. The move allows Bell to focus on more profitable and popular models like the 206L4, 407, 412 and soon-to-be-certified 429. At the same time, it can apply resources to its growing backlog, which is now at $6.2 billion.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new 1,000-shp-class PW210S turboshaft engine, which has been developed to power the Sikorsky S-76D and is on offer to other manufacturers for new-build and retrofit applications, is “on track and meeting performance.” The Montreal manufacturer told HAI Convention News that key performance tests had been “successfully completed” as it continues to optimize the engine.
Lynn Tilton runs Patriarch Partners, a New York equity company that specializes in buying and turning around distressed companies. In 2005 Patriarch acquired MD Helicopters. Tilton described MD as “long broken” when she personally took charge of it, bringing suppliers current, reestablishing customer support and restarting aircraft production.
Sikorsky’s S-76D, the latest S-76 medium twin variant, made its first flight February 7 at the company’s West Palm Beach, Fla. test facility. The flight came a few months behind schedule and Sikorsky blamed the delay on “supply chain and some resulting rework issues.” Two other prototypes are currently under construction at Keystone. Sikorsky says it has “more than 100” orders for the
Dec. 3, 2007–Eurocopter BK 117C1 operated by Evergreen Alaska Helicopters crashes into the ocean on a VFR flight in IMC near Whittier, Alaska, killing all four aboard.
One week before the crash, an EMT complained to hospital management that the program’s pilots were overworked and that, “losing pilots to burn out is the best-case scenario.”
Choices that air medical operators will make about investing limited resources in safety equipment are price-sensitive. For this reason, enhanced-vision systems without night-vision goggles’ expensive recurrent training requirements may be seen as a more viable alternative by many EMS operators. However, in addition to choosing NVG or EVS, some HEMS operators are flying with both.
Sikorsky Aircraft has completed the first round of flight tests of the new X2 demonstrator and is on target to reach 250 knots by year-end, according to Jim Kagdis, Sikorsky’s manager of advanced programs.
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