Several European helicopter pilots recently formed the Flying Bulls, the only civil helicopter aerobatic team in Europe. The team uses the BO 105 for its performances, the most recent of which took place in Kitzbuhel, Austria, on January 27.
At 6:34 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2006, while attempting to land on an oil platform, a CHC-operated Eurocopter SA 365N Dauphin 2 crashed into the Irish Sea. During the later stages of the approach to the Morecambe platform, the crew decided to go around.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is drafting new rules for heliport layout and construction in a revised Annex 14. The new rules propose changes to the size of the final approach and takeoff (FATO) area, visual cues and surrounding airspace.
Agusta S.p.A., the Italian element of AgustaWestland, is suing the French procurement agency, the DGA, claiming that an unfair tender essentially eliminated the Milan-based company from the competition for helicopters for the French state.
The FAA on February 9 released its final rule on proposed changes to the rules governing air-tour operators, who must demonstrate compliance within six months. Operators of helicopter air tours will have 18 months to outfit their aircraft with floats, if required.
AgustaWestland last month announced that its sales in India are growing, with seven deliveries last year (not all new rotorcraft), four planned this year and another 12 over the 2008-2009 period. In addition, Hindustan Construction has ordered a second Bell/Agusta BA609 Tiltrotor.
Turbomeca and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will soon be flight testing their codeveloped 1,200-shp Ardiden 1H (or Shakti, under its Indian designation) turboshaft engine, the French partner announced last month.
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