Russian Helicopters has received an order for 18 Ka-226TG light twins from NefteGazAeroCosmos, a “research and production center” linked to Russian oil and gas giant Gazprom. Six helicopters are scheduled for delivery next year and the remaining dozen in 2014.
Russian Helicopters, the company that parents Russia’s two helicopter design bureaus and five helicopter-manufacturing plants, is moving forward with a new-generation helicopter that is intended to replace the hugely successful Mil Mi-8/17 series. The new project, dubbed Rachel (Russian advanced commercial helicopter), clearly has many military applications.
Cadorath Group and Meridian Aviation Consulting have joined forces to establish Meridian Helicopters. The company will focus on providing reworked parts distribution support as well as consulting, brokering and technical support for the global Bell Helicopter network.
The FAA is proposing an airworthiness directive for MD Helicopters 369Ds, 369Es, 369Fs and 369FFs with specific serial-numbered tailboom assemblies. The AD was prompted by the discovery of short-edge margin conditions on two tailboom assemblies.
Erickson Air-Crane posted a 10.9-percent drop to $37.9 million in second-quarter revenue from the same period in 2011, but said it still had a $228.1 million backlog. The company holds the TC for the S-64 Aircrane. It builds, services and sells the heavy-lift helicopter to third parties, and also operates its own fleet of 17. Erickson reported strong revenues from fire-fighting and construction activities but noted a drop-off in logging operations.
Houston Police officer Ray Hunt thinks a department helicopter saved his life. He was chasing a parole violator into the woods at night. A police helicopter kept the suspect, armed with a TEC-9 submachine pistol, pinned down and lit up until Hunt and fellow officers could subdue and disarm him. Without the helicopter “he would have killed us when we walked into those woods,” Hunt said.
At a public hearing August 6 in Sherman Oaks, Calif., citizens of the Los Angeles metro area took to the microphone to complain to FAA Western-Pacific regional administrator Bill Withycombe about noise caused by low-flying helicopters.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Crashes in Brazil
American Eurocopter’s blade shop in Grand Prairie, Texas, is a busy place. The 20 craftsmen repair and refurbish 1,000 helicopter main and tail rotor blades every year. That translates into 95 percent of all Eurocopter blade work in the U.S.
Much of the work is done by hand. “It is a slow process,” acknowledges shop manager Jim Tully. “It would be nice if we could find a way to go faster, but it has to be done the same way. With fiberglass, it wouldn’t take long to scrap out a blade completely” if a mistake were made.
“Decision errors in aviation are typically not slips or lapses, but mistakes,” concludes the introduction to the European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team’s new guide to rotorcraft decision making. “In other words, the problem doesn’t lie with a failure to execute a correct decision, but with making a poor decision in the first instance.”