The FAA is proposing to adopt a new airworthiness directive for Eurocopter France SA365N, SA365N1, SA366G1, AS365N2, AS365N3, EC155B and EC155B1 helicopters. It was prompted by the discovery of a cracked main-rotor mast nut that, if not replaced, could lead to complete failure of the mast nut, failure of the rotor mast and loss of control of the helicopter. The proposed AD would require replacing the main-rotor mast nut with an airworthy main-rotor mast nut.
Composite Technology, a Sikorsky Aerospace Services company based at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, has opened a $15 million structure to dynamically balance helicopter main rotor blades. It can test main rotor blades that rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise, and its two 3,000-shp, variable-frequency drive motors make it suitable for light to heavy helicopters. A test involves three blades: a precision-balanced master blade and two test blades. One blade can weigh up to 500 pounds.
Bell Helicopter is now using Blue Sky Network’s Hawkeye PT Iridium for tracking and communications during delivery flights of helicopters flying to customer sites from Bell’s Piney Flats, Tenn. service and support division. The Hawkeye PT weighs 6.5 ounces and runs on battery, ship or AC power. Iridium messaging is via short-burst data, allowing transmission of helicopter location and short messages over the narrowband Iridium network.
Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), a Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary specializing in S-76 operations on the East Coast, has marked “40,000 hours of safe flying” in 17 years. AAG president Scott Ashton emphasized that his company has implemented a safety management system “that encompasses a comprehensive culture of risk management and safety promotion and policies.”
AAG lays claim to being the only executive helicopter company to own and operate an FAA Part 145 maintenance facility.
The EASA has issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) calling for inspections of all Eurocopter EC135s after a crack was discovered on the lower hub-shaft flange of a main rotor hub shaft on one of the light twin-engine helicopters. In issuing the emergency order, the agency wants to avoid crack propagation, which could cause hub failure.
Sikorsky Innovations launched its third Entrepreneurial Challenge on Wednesday at Heli-Expo ’13. The competition is designed to identify and accelerate growth for companies in the rotorcraft segment with revenues under $5 million, including newly formed and pre-revenue entities.
A House/Senate conference committee removed language inserted by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in the final FAA re-authorization bill that would have mandated helicopters transiting parts of Long Island to fly off its North Shore at a minimum altitude of 2,500 feet.
The German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) has brought 25 companies to the Singapore Airshow (Booth K93), while another 10 BDLI member companies are exhibiting on their separate stands. The German contingent comprises several mid-sized companies and suppliers, covering an extensive range of skills, products and services.
After a sluggish period in the global market, the BDLI says it expects the show to “prove decisive for the sales of new aircraft and helicopter systems as well as commercial and defense-related services.”
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) has reached a tentative agreement of cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to enhance the safety of helicopter operations in nine countries that make up the commonwealth.