The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429, Bell Helicopter announced today at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. This approval makes China the 12thcountry to endorse the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 based on Transport Canada’s certification. Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg) in January after an extensive technical evaluation.
Bell Helicopter has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SAIT Polytechnic to make its classrooms and labs at SAIT’s Art Smith Aero Centre in Calgary, Alberta, available for Bell Helicopter to use in the delivery of approved maintenance, repair training and certification programs.
Russian Helicopters is introducing an “advanced after-sales service system” through subsidiary Helicopter Service Company. The “new approach” is built on “integrated logistic support” and uses new procedures to certify service centers. Russian Helicopters pledges maintenance will be easier thanks to the widespread introduction of information technology. Parts will be available for order online and aircraft documentation will become electronic.
Lease Corporation International (LCI) has assigned several of the new-generation AgustaWestland helicopters that it ordered in February this year and expects initial deliveries to begin early next year. The company, which already has a diverse airliner leasing portofolio, is planning to place fresh orders with other rotorcraft manufacturers, according to CEO Mike Platt.
The U.S. Air Force issued a request for proposals (RFP) for its “high priority” combat rescue helicopter (CRH) acquisition on October 19. The RFP begins a second campaign to replace the service’s HH-60G Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters. In 2009 the Pentagon cancelled the original replacement program, which had been awarded three years earlier to Boeing for the HH-47 Chinook, after successive contractor protests and delays.
Preliminary Report: Turboprop Single Crashes from High Altitude
Daher-Socata TBM 850, 75 miles west of Ottawa, Canada, Oct. 8, 2012–A TBM 850 spiraled from FL270 and struck the ground near the Canadian city of Calabogie, Ontario. The 26,000-hour pilot, also a flight instructor and the only occupant, was killed in the crash. The aircraft was brand new and registered on Sept. 18, 2012. The reason for the spiral has not yet been determined.
Preliminary Report: Twin-Turboprop Crash Kills 19 in Nepal
Helicopter service provider Associated Air Group is launching a new customer referral program. Existing clients can earn flight refers by introducing new clients to AAG.
AAG has more than 20 years experience providing helicopter and fixed-wing charter flights, fractional ownership programs and helicopter maintenance services for locations at Teterboro, New York and Philadelphia, and it operates and owns a Part 145-approved Sikorsky certified repair center at Dutchess County Airport, New York.
The FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) aimed at reducing noise generated by new helicopters and supplemental type certificate (STC) modifications for new helicopters certified under Part 36 (noise standards) of the federal aviation regulations (FARs).
The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive for the Eurocopter AS332C, L and L1 to require initial and repetitive inspections of the outer skin, butt strap and fuselage frame for a crack and modification of the helicopter. The proposed AD is prompted by an AD issued by the EASA that states a crack was discovered in a fuselage frame during a daily check.
Bell Helicopter has delivered two Bell 407GXs, the first of that model operated in a sightseeing capacity, to Helicopter Flight Services, a New York-based operator. Helicopter Flight Services flies a fleet of five Bell 407s and the two new 407GXs, offering tours, charters, aerial photography, lift work and custom projects.