AGUSTA A109E, DALLAS, TEXAS, SEPT. 3, 2003–The Agusta twin-engine helicopter (N143CF) was substantially damaged at approximately 7:50 p.m. CDT during an aborted takeoff from the Methodist Dallas Medical Center helipad. The commercial pilot received minor injuries and the flight paramedic and flight nurse were uninjured.
Two European helicopter manufacturers, Eurocopter and AgustaWestland, are the coleaders of the Green Rotorcraft research program in the European Commission’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative, which was launched in Brussels on February 5. The aim of Green Rotorcraft is to reduce the impact on the environment in all phases of the lifecycle of a rotorcraft, from manufacturing to operation and eventually disposal.
Yesterday at Heli-Expo in Houston, MD Helicopters CEO Lynn Tilton told the aviation press that she is “probably going to buy a very light jet”–not just an airplane, but an entire company. Tilton added that she has been negotiating with a composites production firm in Italy.
Debi Irby always had a tough time finding new employees when she was chief pilot for various helicopter operators. The inquiries that did come to her attention were either random résumés from unqualified people or former military pilots asking how they could get into the civil market. It didn’t help that even within the aviation industry, helicopter people were thought of as a wild bunch, she said, “but we are professionals.”
CybAero president Peter Muhlrad said users can pack the Vantage unmanned helicopter in a Chevy Suburban and have it aloft in 20 minutes with no specialized pilot training. Swing open its detachable nose and swap out the payload, and the three-blade unmanned helicopter can accept hardware for missions ranging from aerial mapping to search and rescue.
Bell Helicopter named Greg Williams president and general manager of Edwards & Associates, Bell’s helicopter completion and maintenance center. Williams, most recently Bell’s executive director of integrated support solutions, succeeds Phil Dieterich, who retired. Edwards & Associates includes two facilities in Tennessee and Florida and subsidiaries Aeronautical Accessories and Rotor Blades, Inc.
GKN Aerospace (Booth No. 4123) has a better idea, and it floats. The UK-based company has created a new helicopter emergency flotation system that it says offers a 50-percent saving in volume and a 25-percent weight reduction. It is an adaptation of technology applied in European Space Agency programs and uses cool gas generator (CGG) technology.
Sandel Avionics received FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification of its new vibration-resistant SG102 attitude- and heading-reference system (AHRS) for helicopter applications. The SG102 is certified for primary heading reference and offers helicopter operators a solid-state replacement for electromechanical directional gyros. When packaged with Sandel’s SN3500 or SN4500 displays, it offers a complete compass system upgrade.
Flight testing of BLR Aerospace’s Bell 212 FastFin modification has demonstrated improved performance that will allow the 212 to carry more weight to higher altitudes than standard 212s, according to BLR. The Everett, Wash. company conducted the flight tests at the 9,927-foot airport in Leadville, Colo., late last year.
An airworthiness directive issued by the FAA on Thursday warns of tightening torque loss on the main-rotor-hub (MRH) to main-rotor-mast attachment bolts on Eurocopter AS 365 and SA 365 helicopters, which could lead to an in-flight loss of the main rotor head. The AD, which affects 36 U.S.-registered AS 365N/N1/N2/N3 and SA 365C/C1/C2 helicopters, becomes effective March 6, but the FAA is accepting comments on AD 2008-04-03 until April 21.