Robinson Helicopter issued a Service Bulletin (SB-109) requiring retrofit installation of fuel bladders in all R22s through S/N 4620 “as soon as practical,” but no later than the next 2,200-hour overhaul or 12-year inspection. It began installing fuel bladders in new-production R22s early last year beginning with S/N 4622.
Conklin & de Decker released the 2014 version of its Life Cycle Cost aircraft budgeting and financial analysis tool, which includes ownership and operating cost data for more than 400 business jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston aircraft. Specifically, it shows aircraft acquisition costs, operating costs, taxes and final residual values. According to Conklin, database prices are $795 for jets, $625 for turboprops or helicopters and $475 for pistons. A single-aircraft version is also available for $250 per aircraft.
The FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) that establishes a new life limit based on a prorated formula for some Sikorsky S-70, S-70A and S-70C components that were previously installed on military helicopters. Some of the parts, including the main rotor hub, main rotor shaft, main rotor spindle nut, rotating swashplate and main rotor gearbox, have been interchanged with military helicopter models with life limits different from those of the civilian version.
Legislation that could mandate noise-abatement helicopter routes in the Los Angeles basin was inserted last-minute into the 1,582-page, $1 trillion federal spending bill signed by President Obama late last week. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, both California Democrats, sponsored a rider that calls on the FAA to develop mandatory helicopter noise-abatement regulations and routes within one year if voluntary measures fail to quell citizen complaints.
The U.S. lags other countries in allowing commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), delaying a substantial economic opportunity, witnesses told a Senate hearing on January 15. Some senators questioned the reasons behind the delay; others expressed concern over privacy rights at the hearing, which was held to consider both safety and privacy issues.
The May 2013 yaw-induced control incident aboard a Sikorsky S-76 at the London-area Denham airfield was caused by the failure of a metal sealing ball inside the pedal damper trim actuator, according to a UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch report issued last week. During arrival, the Sikorsky’s autopilot disconnected on its own and caused the helicopter to begin yawing to the right, which the pilot attempted to correct before ultimately making a safe landing.
The pilot of a Eurocopter EC130 helicopter said she was on day-visual approach to Nevada’s Boulder City Municipal Airport when the engine flamed out on a post-maintenance flight. In the January 1 incident, the aircraft was still 200 feet in the air when a “low fuel pressure” indicator light illuminated followed by the engine shutting down. The pilot attempted an autorotation but didn’t have enough forward speed to complete the maneuver. The tailboom hit the ground first followed by the main skids, which quickly separated from the airframe, resulting in substantial damage.
China’s newest military helicopter made its first flight on December 23 at a location in “northeastern China,” a site presumed to be the Harbin facility. The aircraft, believed to be designated Z-20, is in the “10-tonne” class, and is thought to be a collaborative effort among Harbin, Changhe and the 602 Institute.
In an end-of-year statement, Russian Helicopters confirmed that the Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter has finally been accepted into service. The company also listed deliveries for 2013.
Sikorsky announced yesterday that it delivered the first two examples of the S-76D, an upgraded version of the medium twin helicopter, to the Bristow Group late last month. The helicopters are equipped for offshore oil and gas operations, a configuration certified by the FAA in October 2012, and are to fly in the Gulf of Mexico.