Bell 407, Decatur, Texas, Dec. 25, 2009–The medevac helicopter was departing on a Part 91 positioning flight to pick up a patient when it lost all engine power at a height of about 100 feet, according to the pilot, who autorotated the helicopter back to the original helipad. The 407 sustained structural damage to its lower fuselage as it landed hard in an upright position.
Calling 2009 a “rough year,” MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton admitted during a press conference yesterday at Heli-Expo that the company had fallen down on customer support, left some vendors unpaid and sold about 40 helicopters rather than the 70 projected.
Heli-Mart (Booth No. 949) has nearly doubled its MD 500 parts inventory and its affiliate Phoenix Heliparts, a Part 145 repair station, has moved into a new 40,000-sq-ft facility in Mesa, Ariz. Phoenix Heliparts is part of the MD 500 Total Support Group, which includes Heli-Mart and California Aero Components.
In response to the rash of helicopter accidents experienced over the past few years by the medical transport industry, the National Emergency Medical Services Pilots Association (Nemspa) has rolled out a new safety/risk assessment plan known as the “No Pressure Initiative.”
AAR has been selected by Cobham Aviation Services UK to provide repair management and overhaul services in support of Cobham’s maintenance facility in Bournemouth, England. AAR’s Defense Systems & Logistics operating unit will manage the program. AAR will provide a single point of contact for the repair of components that Cobham previously serviced internally or outsourced to multiple vendors.
Aircraft charter and management firm Solairus Aviation launched a program to help fund the Corporate Angel Network’s (CAN) continued efforts to provide cancer patients with free flights aboard corporate aircraft to treatment. Under the program, Solairus will support CAN with a cash contribution equal to 1 percent of the first year’s management fees for each new aircraft management client it signs up this year.
More than 60 percent of business jet pilots do not use oxygen masks when required to by FAA regulations, according to a survey conducted by corporate pilot Chris Shaver for his master’s thesis at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Limited funding for the Lockheed Martin/AgustaWestland VH-71 presidential helicopter, which is based on the triple-engine AgustaWestland AW101, made it into the final FY2010 U.S. defense appropriations bill, reviving the model’s chances of one day flying U.S. presidents. At direction of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the Pentagon had terminated the program on May 15 last year.
The Wings Club presented a $25,000 donation to the Corporate Angel Network (CAN) at the club’s 67th annual dinner dance on October 23 at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The award was to recognize CAN’s service helping cancer patients fly to treatment centers in empty business aircraft seats. CAN has arranged more than 32,000 free flights for cancer patients.