The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the 2011 crash of a Eurocopter AS355F2 cites spatial disorientation as one of the reasons the pilot lost control of the helicopter and crashed into terrain, killing all three people aboard. The helicopter was being operated under visual flight rules in an area east of Lake Eyre in South Australia, the lowest point in the country at 50 feet below sea level.
The FAA has issued a safety alert for operators (SAFO)–13010–to outline current guidance and best practices for Part 133 external load operators using non-human external cargo (NHEC).
Quest Aviation Solutions has put plans to develop the Gulf region’s first locally-produced helicopter on ice to take up an opportunity to become sales distributor for MD Helicopters. In a deal announced here at the Dubai Airshow this week, Quest will be appointed as the U.S. manufacturer’s representative in the UAE. It is reviewing a project launched two years ago to begin local production of a Ukrainian-designed helicopter called AVQ.
Military cooperation between Russia and Middle East will certainly be boosted with the recent appointment of Alexander Mikheyev, formerly deputy general manager at arms vendor Rosoboronexport, as the general manager at the Russian Helicopters holding company (Chalet C9). The decision was made on September 24, and is understood to be a move aimed at boosting sales of Russian military helicopters in the global market.
King Schools rolled out its new online, helicopter flight instructor refresher course (FIRC). “Helicopter flying has risks unique to helicopters, but until now flight instructors have not been given a refresher course that helps them coach their clients to manage those risks,” noted John King. HAI has partnered with King to provide scenario-based videos to illustrate key elements of helicopter risk management as part of the course.
Helicopter MRO Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (HSNA), a subsidiary of Vector Aerospace, has signed a five-year agreement with Era Helicopters to repair and overhaul dynamic components for Era’s Sikorsky S-76 and Eurocopter AS350 fleets.
Under the terms of the five-year agreement, HSNA will provide Era with inspection, repair, overhaul, testing, modification and other services, including on-site rental assets for Era’s S-76 and AS350 fleets.
An airworthiness directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2 and EC225LP requires inspecting the intermediate gearbox (IGB) fairing for a crack and inspecting the IGB fairing gutter for a crack, separation or interference. The AD was prompted by reports of cracks, separation of the IGB fairing from the gutter and attachment supports, and subsequent interference with the tail-rotor inclined drive shaft, which could result in subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Deliveries of civil turbine helicopters will recover slowly until they exceed their 2008 peak in 2018 and then reach a demand plateau, according to the Teal Group’s rotorcraft market forecast covering 2013 through 2022. The study predicts that 10,300 civil turbine helicopters worth $60.3 billion will enter service during that period.
The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring the 73 U.S.-based AgustaWestland AW139s to refrain from flying into known icing and to leave the helicopter’s electrothermal rotorcraft icing protection system (Rips) switched off. The limitation stems from a fire on one AW139 believed to have started with a malfunction caused by improper insulation on a rotor electrical cable. The system was certified by Goodrich (now United Technologies Aerospace Services) in 2010. The AD became effective on October 16.
ExecuJet Europe has plans to launch commercial helicopter charter operations from the company’s London Cambridge FBO later this year, the company announced at Helitech in September. ExecuJet Europe expects to receive a helicopter air operator certificate (AOC) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority next month.
It will not operate its own helicopters but rather use those it has under management contracts. The company’s managed fleet already includes two Eurocopter EC155s based at Cambridge Airport, with another two contracts in the final stages of negotiation.