The crew of a forward fire controller aircraft orbiting the recent Dog Rock fire in Yosemite National Park said the Cal Fire-operated S-2F3AT tanker that crashed October 7 might have collided with a tree before it struck the ground, according to the NTSB preliminary accident report. The accident killed the pilot, and post-impact fire destroyed the aircraft.
The Helicopter Association International will look at operational and flight safety issues faced by aerial firefighters and provide an overview of the upcoming 2015 fire season next month (November 17 to 19) at its firefighting safety conference in Boise, Idaho. The conference includes an interagency briefing with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. Attendance is free but advanced registration is required.
Cal Fire’s fleet of 22 converted Grumman S-2T firefighting tankers received a structural clean bill of health from the NTSB that allowed the aircraft to return to normal flight status, the company announced last week. The approval came four days after a pilot was killed when his aircraft crashed in steep terrain near Yosemite National Park. Cal Fire immediately grounded the fleet of S-2Ts to safeguard crews until structural and aging-aircraft issues could be addressed.
The maintenance and logistics behind keeping big helicopters such as the tandem-rotor Columbia Helicopters 234 and the Erickson Aviation S-64 Air Crane flying can seem downright daunting.
Bombardier delivered the first Q400 in a new extra-capacity seating configuration to Thailand’s Nok Air, the companies announced in late August. The milestone 86-seat aircraft arrived in Bangkok under the terms of a purchase agreement signed in November last year for up to eight Q400s. The airline now holds firm orders for six of the big turboprops and retains purchase rights on another two.
British air-to-air refueling service provider AirTanker has provided, on time, all nine Voyagers (Airbus A330MRTTs) that make up the “core” fleet providing service to the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). They have replaced the RAF’s aging VC10 and TriStar tankers. One of them is now engaged on the type’s first “no-notice” operation—the refueling of RAF Tornados flying strike missions over Iraq.
India on August 29 approved industrial offset proposals to acquire 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters for the Indian Air Force, a transaction valued at $2.5 billion.
Highland Integrated Surveillance Systems (HISS) announced this week that it has secured its first sale outside North America for its Sabir (special airborne mission installation and response) system. The company secured the deal in June with an undisclosed European operator of a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Chalet C26) is developing an external auxiliary fuel tank for the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, providing an extra 10,000 pounds of fuel in two external pannier tanks. This extra capacity raises the Q400’s endurance up to 12 hours, which could be useful for a range of missions.
Bombardier will offer the tanks as an official option on the Q400, which has been selected as the platform for a number of maritime patrol and other special-mission proposals.
Bombardier Aerospace (Chalet C1-3) announced here at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday that it received purchase orders and conditional commitments which push it past the 500-order milestone for both its Q400 and CSeries programs.
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