New data released by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) shows that the total number of civil helicopter accidents in the U.S. has declined since 2009. During the three-year period from 2007 to 2009, there were 466 helicopter accidents in the country. For the past three years, from 2010 through 2012, there were 411 U.S. accidents. However, the data also shows that the number of helicopter accidents involving personal/private flying increased during the same time period. Within the 2007-09 span, 21 percent of total U.S.
Bell Helicopter (Booth No. N5612) comes to Heli-Expo ’13 bolstered by additional shipments and certifications for the Bell 429 program, as well as two new deliveries for the Bell 407GX.
Universal Helicopters (UHI, Booth No. C1211) is putting its money on safety in 2013, in a way that could benefit one lucky Heli-Expo attendee. The company has five training outlets in three states in the U.S., and is the exclusive provider of helicopter flight training to students at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona campus. At Heli-Expo 2013 UHI is offering its Vision Award, a full scholarship valued at up to $12,000 for night-vision goggle (NVG) certification in the Robinson R44 at the Prescott campus and in conjunction with Embry-Riddle and Night Flight Concepts.
The Flight Safety Foundation is highlighting rotorcraft topics at Heli-Expo. “Our mission is to be advocates of the best aviation safety practices in the world,” said president and CEO Kevin Hiatt. “Based on what we’re observing at the foundation, we need to understand more about helicopter operations as a whole and to foster a safety-centric culture.”
Van Horn Aviation (VHA) of Tempe, Ariz., wants to put more life into legacy helicopters by developing products that increase performance and lower direct operating costs by focusing on composite main and tail-rotor blades. At Heli-Expo’13, VHA is showing five examples of its work, all with different stories: tail-rotor blades for the Bell 206, UH-1 and 212/214; and main rotor blades for the MD Helicopters MD530F and Bell 206B.
A Europe-wide proposed regulation, combined with a lack of response from national authorities, will have a serious impact on the financial viability of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in France, according to Union Française de l’Hélicoptère (UFH). The lobbying association warns that the likely requirement for a second flight crewmember would create a costly burden and do nothing to benefit the missions French HEMS operators are allowed to perform.
The rotorcraft world is preparing to alight at the Las Vegas Convention Center next week for the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo 2013. The conference opens on Monday with safety seminars and media conferences, while the 1.5-million-sq-ft exhibit space and indoor static display opens at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, following the annual membership meeting and breakfast.
Bell Helicopter announced today that the Bell 429 has earned Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) type acceptance to operate in Israel, as well as approval to fly at an increased maximum gross weight of 7,500 pounds. Israel is the 16th country to approve the increased maximum gross weight for the light twin helicopter.
The FAA is proposing to supersede an existing airworthiness directive for the Agusta A109E that requires reducing the tail rotor (T/R) blade life limit, modifying a T/R hub and grip assembly, re-identifying two T/R assemblies, clarifying the never-exceed speed (Vne) limitation and reducing the inspection interval. The OEM has since redesigned a T/R grip bushing that reduces the loads, which caused cracking on the T/R blades.
The FAA has begun the process that could lead to rewriting the standards for normal- and transport-category helicopters certified under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs. On Friday, the agency formally issued a request for public comment due on or before May 23. Specifically, the FAA is seeking comments on whether it should revise the maximum weight and passenger-seat capacity for helicopters in both categories and make airworthiness standards “more efficient and adaptable to future technology.”