The European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA)–which operates and maintains Egnos, Europe’s Waas equivalent–and Eurocontrol signed a new cooperation agreement yesterday under which they will jointly implement European satellite navigation policies in the aviation sector. The move will set the stage for the EU to evolve its air traffic management infrastructure from one based primarily on ground-based systems to a more satellite-based system, improving accessibility, efficiency and safety for European operators, pilots and airports.
The NTSB is calling on the U.S. Coast Guard to work with the Interior Department to mitigate methane discharges from offshore energy platforms in the Gulf of Mexico when helicopters are present. The recommendation follows two power-loss incidents in helicopters that led to accidents, one in 2011 and the other last year, on or near offshore oil platforms.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes methane gas expelled from an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused the partial power failure on a Bell 206-L3 helicopter departing the MP61A platform on March 24, 2011. The pilot experienced the power failure at about 4:55 p.m., shortly after liftoff. The NTSB attributed the power loss to an engine compressor stall after it ingested methane gas during takeoff.
Oceania Aviation’s Airborne Systems subsidiary has received an STC from New Zealand’s CAA for its bike rack on the Airbus Helicopters AS350 Ecureuil. Made of aluminum alloy, the device can hold up to six bicycles (three on each side). The system weighs 120 pounds and trained ground crew can load the bikes in 20 seconds, according to the company. An AS355 STC addition was planned for last month.
Stevens Aviation has a long history as a privately held, local business. It began in 1950 as the J.P. Stevens Aviation Department, which operated a small piston-powered aircraft to support the large textile company in Greenville, S.C. The company and its flight department were integral members of the local community, and long-time Greenville residents and employees of Stevens Aviation still talk about the gentle manners and southern hospitality of Ralph Cuthbertson Sr., Stevens’ first pilot and president.
Rolls-Royce is making progress in the development of its next generation of Trent engines with the completion of testing of the composite carbon/titanium (CTi) fan systems for its Advance and Ultrafan turbofan designs. The CTi was tested at the engine maker’s John C.
Operators for the first time successfully launched and recovered a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, the service said. They achieved the feat on August 18, launching an AeroVironment Puma AE from the flight deck of the Coast Guard cutter Healy, under way in the Arctic Ocean.
Addison, Texas-based aircraft maintenance and charter company Baker Aviation is now the exclusive distributor for the Hot-Stop L fire containment bag. To mark the occasion, Baker is offering a $100 surrender rebate for competing fire containment bags at time of purchase of a new Hot-Stop L lithium-ion fire containment bag. Last year, Baker Aviation announced the free replacement of any Hot-Stop L bag that has been deployed to contain thermal runaway of lithium ion-powered devices aboard an aircraft.
The FAA is moving ahead with a plan to expand the services offered by Houston Center in the Gulf of Mexico by September 2016. As part of the plan, the FAA will install three more ADS-B radios in Mexico to enhance surveillance over the Gulf with a 60- to 80-nm coverage overlap between Houston Flight Information Region and Merida and Monterrey ACC airspace.
Ostend, Belgium-based helicopter operator NHV will take over Norwegian competitor Blueway, the two firms announced today. The merger will create a 650-employee group, operating 59 helicopters and generating $270 million in annual revenues.
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