On March 23, 2004, an Era Aviation Sikorsky S-76A transporting eight oil workers crashed in the Gulf of Mexico at night, killing the passengers along with the two pilots.
HAI Convention News » March 1, 2007
For many residents of the Gulf Coast stretching between the Florida Panhandle and Galveston, Texas, the sound of helicopter rotors overhead serve as a frequent reminder of the importance of oil exploration to the region’s ecomony.
Columbia Helicopters is celebrating two anniversaries and is honoring four employees here at Heli-Expo’07.
Despite the Navy’s decision to scale back initial funding for the program, Lockheed Martin continues to ready a new facility opened last year in Owego, N.Y., that will integrate systems and outfit cabins on the VH-71, the much-anticipated replacement for the U.S. Presidential helicopter fleet. The popular name Kestrel has been suggested for the VH-71, but remains to be officially adopted by the Navy.
The helicopter industry as a whole is as healthy as it has ever been, at a time when the retirements of Vietnam-era pilots and mechanics are causing a shortage of qualified personnel.
HAI president Matt Zuccaro said the situation has not reached the crisis level yet, but he added that the shortage is being felt by operators who are having trouble filling the seats of their helicopters with qualified pilots.
AgustaWestland often is overshadowed by that “other” major European helicopter manufacturer, cross-continent rival Eurocopter. But while Eurocopter outsells AgustaWestland (Booth No. 529) by a wide margin, it has yet to come up with an answer to the AW139 (although it hopes its new EC 175 will be a strong competitor) and has nothing like the BA609 tiltrotor on its drawing board–as far as we know.
On Tuesday, the NTSB issued a full dozen safety recommendations (A-07-18 to -29) to the FAA directed at air-tour operations, most of them specifically addressing such operations in Hawaii.
The general recommendations for all commercial air-tour operations include the requirement that all helicopters flying tours over water (regardless of the length of time) be amphibious or equipped with fixed or inflatable floats.
Sky Connect (Booth No. 1110) arrived in Orlando celebrating what it calls “the industry’s largest ever tracker product sale,” 125 Iridium-based satellite tracking and phone systems to offshore oil operator Air Logistics.
Jet-Care International of Cedar Knolls, N.J., and its sister company Spectro of the UK and Switzerland, have won multi-year contracts to analyze engine oil and debris. The companies are exhibiting in Heli-Expo Booth No. 709.
SkyTrac Systems of Kelowna, British Columbia, has won a contract from AirDat, a U.S. company, to provide Iridium ISAT-100 satellite system hardware as an upgrade to AirDat’s airborne meteorological data reporting system.