Two Bond Offshore Helicopters search-and-rescue crewmen, winch operators Paul Walters and Andrew Cowx, have been awarded the 2012 Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy, in recognition of their role in a dramatic North Sea rescue last December. Their Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma was first to reach the rig standby vessel Vos Sailor, which had lost power in darkness and poor sea conditions. Despite an injured foot, Cowx volunteered to remain on the deck of the stricken vessel for an hour. There, he managed the rescue of three remaining members of the ship’s crew.
News and issues regarding all manner of civil and military rotorcraft and their powerplants, including helicopters, tiltrotors and unmanned air vehicles.
Bell Helicopter is growing its own. The Textron subsidiary is using its innovative “boot camp” for college engineering majors to keep its talent pipeline full and to promote aerospace careers.
This year’s Heli-Expo continued the show’s record run, exceeding the number of attendees at the Helicopter Association International’s annual convention for the sixth year in a row. The final numbers included 20,393 attendees, 60 helicopters and 736 exhibitors, according to HAI president Matt Zuccaro.
Russian Helicopters experienced a 10.7-percent increase in helicopter deliveries last year, shipping 28 more than in 2011, the Moscow-based company announced today. “Last year, we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” CEO Dmitry Petrov said.
UK-based Bristow Helicopters, an affiliate of the Texas-based Bristow Group, today announced a 10-year contract with the UK’s Department for Transport for search-and-rescue (SAR) services for all of the country. The $2.5 billion agreement has a phased-in transition period beginning in April 2015 and continuing until July 2017.
Under the contract, Bristow will provide 11 Sikorsky S-92s and 11 AgustaWestland AW189 medium-twin helicopters across 10 UK bases. Each SAR base will operate either two S-92s or two AW189s. In addition, there will be two training aircraft.
Erickson Air Crane is buying Evergreen Helicopters for $250 million, as well as Air Amazonia from Brazilian oil and gas exploration company HRT for $65 to $75 million. Both deals are expected to close in the second quarter and will boost Erickson’s current $180 million annual revenues to a projected $430 million.
Two helicopters, understood to be a Eurocopter EC155 and a Eurocopter Super Puma, crashed after a midair during windy snowfall today near the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. One pilot was killed and four people were severely injured, according to local news reports. The two helicopters, along with a third that was not involved in the accident, were participating in a crowd-control training exercise. Accident investigators were on scene at press time.
Russian Helicopters delivered two Mi-171 medium-twin helicopters to Siberian operator Skol Airline. They are fitted with special lifting and transport equipment, including an on-board boom and winch able to lift loads of 330 pounds and an external hoist rated for 8,800 pounds. The new helicopters will “help Skol strengthen its position in the international air-freight market,” it said.
Two gunmen attempted a daring daylight helicopter prison break from a maximum-security prison in Saint-Jerome, Quebec, on Sunday.
The Robinson R44 Raven I, owned by Heli-Tremblant and operated by Quebec Helicopters, was hijacked by two gunmen during a sightseeing flight shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and directed to fly to the prison. There, a rope line was lowered for the escapees, who were then flown to a getaway car near Mont-Tremblant, where the helicopter and pilot were located by police.
Sikorsky disclosed its 2012 performance last week, and it appears the U.S. helicopter manufacturer has a $2.2 billion backlog for commercial helicopters. The released charts lack precision, but AIN estimates civil sales totaled approximately $800 million last year and are forecast to increase to around $1.3 billion this year. A major geographical shift is under way, as developing markets are seen accounting for approximately half of Sikorsky’s civil helicopter deliveries in 2020.