For the fifth year running, Heli-Expo “appears to be setting records” for attendance and exhibitors, Matthew Zuccaro, president of show organizer Helicopter Association International (HAI) told AIN on the eve of Heli-Expo ‘13 here in Las Vegas. “We anticipate more than 23,000 attendees, we have approximately 750 exhibitors and 60 helicopters on display,” Zuccaro said.
Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI, Booth No. N5704), provider of hourly cost maintenance programs for the business aviation industry, announced its new airframe programs for the Eurocopter EC135 and EC145 series at Heli-Expo ’13.
“We are excited about providing the option for additional airframe coverage this year, just two years after providing engine coverage for the Eurocopters,” said Walter Given, 16-year JSSI veteran and helicopter program manager for the company.
Upgrading the panelware on its H-60 and S-70i helicopter platforms, Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. C5028) has selected a trio of L-3 Aviation Products (Booth No. C5901) as standard equipment: the GH-3001 electronic standby instrument system (ESIS), Stormscope WX-500 lightning detection system and PS-855 emergency power supply (EPS).
Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 3718) plans to offer its flight data acquisition storage and transmission system (FAST) for helicopter engines. In addition, it has launched an automatic power assurance check project to run on the system. A power assurance check is a test run to determine the way the engine performance compares with its output when it was new.
Helicopter appraisal firm HeliValue$ has laid bare the market so that visitors to this year’s Heli-Expo can get an idea of what is actually going on in the market, based on prices. “At HeliValue$, our most-asked question of the past quarter has been ‘What’s going on with the helicopter market?’” said Sharon Desfor, president of the Wauconda, Ill.-based company.
The Bell 525 is flying off the coast of California en route to the main runway at Camp Pendleton. I beep the fingertip switch on the sidestick collective to slow for a smooth landing, thanks to the new helicopter’s coupled fly-by-wire (FBW) controls.
Following recent crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa in December last year and this January, the FAA issued a revised Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions.
Less than two months after two possible weather-related fatal crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R3) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight-into-icing conditions.
In a market forecast released this week in Shanghai, consulting firm Avia-Tek is predicting 65 civil helicopter deliveries in China this year, which should bring the fleet to 435. The growth in 2012 was “ 3.7 percent higher than the most-probable scenario of the previous year’s edition.” As a result, the fleet stood at 370 as of Dec. 31, 2012, compared to 305 one year earlier. The most urgent need to be filled is now for “intermediate, twin-turbine, and heavy lift helicopters,” Matthieu Devoisselle, one of Avia-Tek’s founding partners, added.
Hillsboro Aviation has come a long way since it opened in 1980 as a helicopter training school. Today, the Oregon-based company offers aviation services ranging from charter and maintenance to aircraft sales and FBO operations. Headquartered at Portland-Hillsboro Airport, the company, which has a staff of 225 employees, operates a satellite facility in Portland as well as two flight-training centers–one in Troutdale and another in Prineville, Ore., as well as a seasonal helicopter tour operation at Mount St.