The probable cause of the December 2011 crash of an AS350B2 operated by Las Vegas, Nev.-based Sundance Helicopters near the Hoover Dam was the result of faulty maintenance, according to the NTSB. The helicopter had been returned to service earlier on the day of the crash following major maintenance that included an engine change and replacement of main- and tail-rotor actuators.
In just over a month, more than 20,000 rotorcraft enthusiasts will fill the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center for four days of networking, learning and, every business hopes, buying of services, parts, accessories and helicopters. While the exhibit halls open on a Tuesday this year (10:30 a.m. on March 5), early activities begin with professional education courses starting on February 28.
Several helicopter EMS accidents occurred over the last couple of months in the U.S.
Oregon-based Columbia Helicopters lost one of its Boeing-Vertol 234 tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopters–the civil version of the Chinook–in Peru last month. The helicopter (N241CH) crashed on January 7, shortly after takeoff from FAP Captain David Abenzur Rengifo International Airport, Pucallpa, Peru, en route to Tarapoto, Peru. All seven people aboard the aircraft, including five Americans, were killed. The helicopter was contracted to Talisman Energy of Canada and was headed for a drilling site 180 miles away carrying a sling load of drilling equipment.
While the U.S. Congress has averted mandatory budget sequestration until March, including anticipated defense spending cuts, Pentagon watchers have been predicting a new austerity one way or the other for months.
Bell Helicopter is preparing to start assembling the first prototype of the 525 Relentless super-medium twin later this year at its facility in Amarillo, Texas. Four more prototypes are expected to join the test program before certification in 2015. Bell and its suppliers have begun manufacturing parts for the helicopter, which was announced in February last year and is slated to fly for the first time next year.
On Tuesday, the NTSB faulted maintenance performance and procedures at Las Vegas, Nev.-based air-tour operator Sundance Helicopters as the probable cause of the Dec. 7, 2011 crash of an AS350B2 that killed the pilot and four passengers near the Hoover Dam in Nevada. The 1988 helicopter was originally manufactured as an AS350B and had accumulated 25,216 hours since new.
Winnipeg, Canada-based Cadorath Aerospace has expanded its engineering department to broaden its offerings for Bell helicopter repairs. Last year, Cadorath’s engineering team developed 178 new extended repairs for Bell helicopters. Cadorath says this growth in the list of Bell repairs, as well as expansion of the engineering team, puts it on schedule to perform more repairs this year.
Boeing and Sikorsky Aircraft signed a teaming agreement to submit a joint proposal for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstration (TD), phase one. The effort aims to develop the Army’s next-generation medium helicopter. The two companies said they are prepared to “build and fly one or more” medium-sized demonstrator aircraft in 2017, the program’s first-flight milestone.
Bell Helicopter Asia, Bell’s maintenance service facility in Singapore, received Part 145 approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. This certification allows the company to repair, complete, maintain and customize Bell helicopters in Asia. The 165,000-sq-ft facility opened its doors six months ago in partnership with sister company Cessna Aircraft.