After a protracted and controversial procurement process, the Maryland State Police signed a deal last month to purchase six new AgustaWestland AW139s.
One of the few public scheduled helicopter routes in the world, linking Helsinki, Finland to Tallin, Estonia, has been discontinued. Finnish operator Copterline has ceased flying over the Baltic Sea between the two capital cities. In April, it contracted UK-based International Bureau of Aviation (IBA) for the remarketing of two AgustaWestland AW139s. Last month, IBA announced the medium twins had been sold to U.S.-based operator PHI.
In a ceremony held yesterday afternoon, AgustaWestland delivered a new AW139 equipped with a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite to Honeywell aviation services chief pilot Ed Newton, Jr. Honeywell will base the new helicopter at its flight department headquarters at Morristown Airport in New Jersey and will use it to fly customers and employees and to demonstrate the company’s products, according to Newton.
Early next year, Helsinki, Finland-based operator Copterline will restart one of the few scheduled public helicopter routes in the world. It discontinued the flight between the neighboring capitals of Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia, after the 2005 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76C+ (see AIN, October, page 74).
A malfunction of the flight-control system played a role in the 2005 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-76 in Estonia, according to an interim report issued by Estonian investigators. The final report is scheduled to be released next spring.
Helsinki, Finland-based operator Copterline in late December filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Sikorsky, accusing the Stratford, Conn.-based helicopter manufacturer of negligence. Copterline alleges Sikorsky knew that the design of the main rotor servo actuator of the S-76 was unsafe but did not take proper action. The lawsuit further alleges “breaches of warranties, negligence, gross negligence and failure to warn.
Sikorsky S-76, Tallinn, Estonia, Aug. 10, 2005– After taking off from Tallinn, en route to Helsinki, Finland, the Copterline S-76, with two crewmembers and carrying 12 passengers, crashed into the Baltic Sea approximately three miles off the coast. All aboard were killed and the helicopter was destroyed. Gusty conditions were reported.