For those toiling for oil on the roiling North Sea, the stormy nature of that piece of water keeps the possibility of rescue constantly in mind. Traditionally that role has been filled by stationing formidably equipped rescue boats called emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRV) with each group of oil platforms.
Eurocopter now targets late next year as the new certification date for the EC 225. A derivative of the Super Puma, the new medium twin helicopter was originally set to be certified late this year. Major cockpit and autopilot design changes after the program started have lengthened the program by six months.
Amid feverish speculation that the 2005 show might be rattling around the mighty Excel exhibition centre in London’s docklands, this year’s Helitech, held in late September, rolled back its sleeves and got on with the job in hand. During a week of beautiful late-summer weather, the biennial event attracted more than 6,500 trade visitors and some 300 helicopters to Duxford Airfield.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force has begun a three-year research program with three EADS departments to develop advanced capabilities in the field of maintenance for the RSAF’s fleet of AS332 Super Pumas. The RSAF is working with Eurocopter, EADS Singapore Research and Technology Centre, and Eurocopter Southeast Asia.
Helicopter services firm CHC Helicopter has stated that third-quarter profit rose nearly 40 percent as higher contract rates and lower interest costs offset reduced activity in its European operations. For the quarter ended January 31, St. John’s-based CHC posted net earnings of $15.6 million, or 70 cents a share, up 39.3 percent from last year’s $11.2 million, or 62 cents a share.
A well known name is returning to British skies with creation of a new rotorcraft operation to support North Sea oil and gas exploration and production activity. The name is Bond, Bond Offshore Helicopters (BOH), and it will be licensed to fly.
A story in AIN’s opening edition at the Dubai Air Show [DEAL FOR RUSSIAN HELOS A BLOW TO FRANCE] suggested that Russian defense export agency Rosboronexport would announce a $2.2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for 150 Mi-17 transport and Mi-35 attack helicopters at the show.
After a government-appointed arbitrator stopped discussions on May 9, mechanics at Norwegian offshore operator Norsk Helikopter went on strike, curtailing most
of the company’s operations. Disagreement over pay increases and other contract items led to the labor walkout.
Sometimes all it takes is a reassuring voice on the radio and a heartfelt “follow me” to spell the difference between life and death in a tight aeronautical spot. That’s what happened to American long-distance ferry pilot Allen Wall, who was flying a Cessna 182 on a transatlantic ferry flight on April 27 when he reported heavy icing and fuel problems during a leg from Keflavik, Iceland, to Wick, Scotland.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is generally seen as the next big market for the helicopter industry–OEMs, operators, training schools and maintenance operations alike. But can we expect the skies over China to be black with whirling blades any time soon?