The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive for the Bell 212 and adopting requirements for Bell 204B, 205A, 205A-1, 205B and 210 helicopters with certain part-numbered main rotor hub inboard strap fittings. The AD requires magnetic particle inspection of the fittings for a crack, and if a crack exists, replacing the fittings with airworthy fittings.
At the ABACE show last year, potential helicopter exhibitors were told that they had to truck their aircraft into the static display because of a ban on helicopters at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. That policy changed this year.
“On Sunday, a Bell 407 was the first civil helicopter ever to land here in Hongqiao,” said Roger Whyte, NBAA’s special counsel to the president. “It wasn’t easy to get permission, and it’s taken a long time to go through all the authorities to get permission, but we got it.”
India’s yet-to-take off helicopter emergency medical services program (HEMS) received a boost earlier this year with a firm contract for seven Eurocopter EC135s by Bangalore-based Aviators Ltd. signed in the presence of visiting French president François Hollande.
A string of poor decisions by the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350 being flown on an emergency medical mission preceded the Aug. 26, 2011, crash of the aircraft, according to the NTSB’s report on the accident. Four people–the pilot, a patient, flight nurse and paramedic–were killed in the accident at 6.41 p.m. in Mosby, Mo. after the commercial pilot first ran the helicopter out of fuel and then failed to establish an autorotation.
Two German police-operated helicopters returning from a training mission collided near the ground in Berlin while landing on March 21. Both were Eurocopter models, one an AS332L1 Super Puma and the other an EC155B1. The pilot of the Super Puma lost ground reference in blowing snow and struck the smaller helicopter, killing the pilot of the EC155. Seven people on the ground were also injured–four seriously–mostly by flying debris. The two helicopters were participating in a police exercise being held near Berlin’s downtown Olympic Stadium.
Bell Helicopter unveiled its next-generation tiltrotor on April 10 at the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad A) annual convention in Fort Worth, Texas. Bell intends to enter the V-280 Valor in the U.S.
When Bell Helicopter sold its remaining stake in the BA609 civil tiltrotor program to partner AgustaWestland about two years ago, industry analysts figured that Bell was exiting this niche market. But might not be the case, since Bell unveiled a next-generation tiltrotor–the Bell V-280 Valor–yesterday at the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad A) convention in Fort Worth, Texas.
King Schools will release the first-ever online Helicopter Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) by early summer, the company announced yesterday at the Sun ’n Fly-in in Lakeland Fla.
Paris-based helicopter brokerage Heli Asset has launched a free quarterly pricing reporting service on pre-owned rotorcraft. Available on the company’s website, the initial reports for the first quarter of this year provide snapshots of the market for helicopters from the four major OEMs: AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky. The company, a spin-off of aircraft sales firm Regourd Aviation, was launched at last year’s Heli-Expo and operates internationally.
The NTSB will meet in its Washington, D.C., conference center on Tuesday, April 9, to begin the process of determining the probable cause of an August 2011 helicopter accident. The incident involved a Eurocopter AS350B2 that crashed near the Midwest National Air Center in Mosby, Mo. The pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic and patient were killed and the helicopter was destroyed.