The U.S. Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld the FAA’s right to impose the mandatory overwater North Shore Route on helicopter traffic over New York’s Long Island. Writing for the Court, U.S. circuit judge Richard Roberts rejected a legal challenge (petition for review) to the route filed by the Helicopter Association International to overturn the mandate.
On June 13, Todd Reichert and the AeroVelo team (mostly students at the University of Toronto) entered the history books, winning the American Helicopter Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. The competition requires flying above three meters for at least one minute within a 10- by 10-meter space.
Macquarie Group has launched a new helicopter leasing company, Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing, headquartered in San Francisco. The new company is headed by CEO Jeffrey Pino, formerly president of Sikorsky Aircraft. James Clarke, most recently CFO at Air Lease, is COO of Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing. The leadership team also includes chief marketing officer Steve Estill and chief technical officer Greg A’slinger, former owner of Uniflight. The new company specializes in supplying helicopters for oil and gas, medical transport, search-and-rescue and executive transport.
The EASA has approved the interim solution Eurocopter devised to address concerns about main-gearbox lubrication on the EC225 after two controlled ditchings last year.
The manufacturer is using vibration monitoring, inspections and part modification to prevent the possibility of an undetected crack leading to in-flight rupture of the bevel gear vertical shaft–a part that is critical to main gearbox lubrication.
The FAA proposes a new airworthiness directive for the Eurocopter EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2 and EC135T2+. It requires analyzing the main gearbox (MGB) oil for indications of metal chips or pieces, reviewing the MGB log or equivalent record, and inspecting certain teeth in the MGB after two chip indications.
Nineteen people, including 11 children, were killed when a Russian-built Mi-8 helicopter operated by Polar Airlines crashed July 2 after a hard landing in eastern Siberia. Nine other people aboard survived the accident. The helicopter carried a crew of three. Russian aviation authorizes said the helicopter was performing a regular passenger flight from the town of Deputatsky to Kazachye.
Canadian officials approved certification of Robinson’s turbine single May 31, accepting the U.S. FAA’s equivalent level of safety (ELOS) finding that exempts the helicopter from being equipped with redundant hydraulics. The FAA granted the ELOS in February. Currently 13 N-registered R66s operate in Canada and another 13 are on order for customers there. Almost 400 R66s are operating worldwide.
EADS Cassidian chief executive officer Bernhard Gerwert has defended the company’s credibility as an unmanned airborne systems (UAS) provider, in the wake of the Euro Hawk cancellation. The company was a 50-percent partner in the joint venture with Northrop Grumman that was providing the high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) system to the German air force. The German parliament last week opened an investigation into the Euro Hawk affair and is expected to interview senior executives from both companies, as well as military and government officials, before reporting in early September.
Prague, Czech Republic-based Aviation Service, a Bell Helicopter service facility, has been granted expanded and updated terms of its design organization approval from EASA. The expansion of the DOA certification allows Aviation Service to perform major changes on the primary structure and cabin interior on all Bell helicopter models.
MD Helicopters says it has resolved a reported flexbeam shortage that temporarily grounded a Yorkshire Air Ambulance MD902 in February during an annual inspection. A company spokesman told AIN last month that the supplier of the part, Kaman, had adjusted its production schedule to compensate for an increase in demand for the part over forecast levels and that new flexbeams are now available. MD has had 27 used but serviceable flexbeams available for customers since early this year. MD provided one to Yorkshire in May and that helicopter has been returned to service.